Greetings House of Blog faithful! March is upon us! I know most of you are thinking St. Patrick’s Day, NCAA March Madness, or even the oncoming of spring. Although all of those things are exciting, at Bucklebury when we think of the Month of March we think of our kidney’s! That’s right, March is National Kidney Month and affords us the perfect time to talk about this very important member of our bodies! If you have never done a kidney cleanse, now may be the perfect time to try one!

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Before we get to the herbs needed/recommended for a cleanse, let’s take a second and touch on kidney education. The kidneys are located under the rib cage in our lower backs. Most people have a pair of these bean-shaped organs. In a nutshell, our kidneys are basically sophisticated trash collectors and they are responsible for taking waste out of our bodies.

Did you know: Each day approximately 200 quarts of blood are processed by our kidneys to help remove about two quarts of waste products and excess water. This waste and extra water becomes urine which flows through tubes (ureters) to your bladder where it is stored until you urinate. The actual waste in your blood comes from the foods you eat and the breakdown of active muscle. The actual filtering occurs in your kidneys in small units called nephrons. There are around one million nephrons in each kidney!1

Kidneys also release three hormones that are very important to us: renin (regulates blood pressure), calcitriol (active form of Vitamin D), and erythropoietin (stimulates none marrow).2

If you already didn’t know, our kidneys are VERY important to us. Without them waste would continue to build up in our blood and that wouldn’t end well. With our kidneys being so critical to a healthy life it is important to take care of them!

6 Reasons to Drink Water EVERYDAY

Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids
Helps Control Calories
Helps Energize Muscles
Helps Keep Skin Looking Good
Helps Your Kidneys
Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function

What you can do:

  1. General Care: There are things you can do everyday to care for and help your kidneys.
    a. Maintain healthy weight and blood pressure
    b. Keep your cholesterol in check
    c. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol and caffeine
    d. Watch your sodium intake
    e. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER/FLUIDS (but especially water)
  2. Try a Kidney Cleanse: Any of the following are great kidney cleanse agents.
    1. Nettles: High in vitamin C and a natural detoxifier, blood cleanser and diuretic this herb can help filter out extra fluids in the kidneys. I would take this in a tea, three glasses a day.4
    2. Dandelion Root: The entire plant is beneficial for a myriad of reasons. The root in particular is great for cleansing your kidneys due to being diuretic. Take in a tea, three glasses a day.5
    3. Ginger: This herb is GREAT for kidney infections because of the active compound Gingerol, an antibacterial agent that inhibits the spread of bacteria in the kidneys. Cut into your weekly diet.3
    4. Turmeric: Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, inhibits the growth and spread of microbes and in turn, can help keep the kidneys healthy. Take in supplement form.3
    5. Cranberry: (Not sugar laden cranberry juice) is highly recommended and is also wonderful if you have a urinary tract infection. Dried or pure cranberry juice/extract is recommended. Take as needed.
    6. Celery Root: A natural diuretic (increase secretion and elimination of urine), this herb will help increase urine output and additionally is a wonderful tonic for your kidneys due to its potassium content.
    7. Garlic: contains allicin, which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties which in turn are all beneficial to a kidney cleanse. Cut into your weekly diet.

To perform a kidney cleanse, I would recommend taking either Nettles or Dandelion Tea for a week. Add Cranberry juice (pure extract or dried supplement). Additionally, and at the same time, cut in Ginger, Turmeric, and Garlic into your regular daily/weekly diet.

Caution: pregnant/nursing women, children, and people with a history of kidney disease should not try a kidney cleanse with the herbs listed above without first consulting their physician!

Additional note: It is not in the scope of this blog post to discuss kidney stones in detail, but I will call out that there is no evidence that a kidney flush/cleanse can help prevent kidney stones. For stones, I highly recommend reducing sodium and avoiding foods rich in oxalate (sweet potatoes, spinach, nuts, and chocolate). Also, if you are taking calcium as a supplement it is worth mentioning that some research suggests this may increase your risk of developing kidney stones.2

There you have it! Your kidneys are VITAL ORGANS, take care of them! With March being National Kidney Month, I encourage you to get on board and try a kidney cleanse! Also, don’t neglect the tips listed above under General Care.

So long for now and always remember, at Bucklebury we believe your best wealth is your health!