Kidneys play a very important role in your overall health as they are responsible for cleaning and detoxifying your blood. They process your blood to separate out excess fluids, toxic chemicals and waste; and turn these into urine. Besides cleaning and filtering your blood, they also help regulate your blood pressure, balance the amount of water in your body, and manage your body’s production of vitamin D.
Ayurvedic Approach to Maintain Healthy Kidneys
Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach towards maintaining healthy kidneys by offering natural ways to kidney cleanse and detox using the proper diet and exercise, and inculcating the ability to stay positive. The most important thing is to hydrate yourself, since water acts as a natural lubricant and detoxifier. Eat kidney-friendly food, limiting your protein intake and avoiding excessive intake of high sodium and processed foods. Also limit intake of excessive sugar. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and maintain your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in the healthy range – high blood pressure and high blood sugar are the two main causes of kidney failure. Avoid taking pain-killers which are available over-the-counter.
Ayurveda also recommends consumption of juice of radish leaves, watermelon – either in raw form or juice, beetroot juice or cooked beetroot, juice of moringa leaves, and figs for healthy kidneys. Tulsi (basil) leaves taken along with honey are also good for cleansing the kidneys. Ayurveda also suggest consuming horse grams if you have kidney stones.
Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy kidneys. Daily consumption of decoction prepared by boiling coriander seeds and barley in water is also very useful. Another natural remedies suggested by Ayurveda for removing kidney stones is by drinking horse gram seed water (prepared by soaking horse grams in water for 12 hours)
Ayurveda also prescribes regular administration of ‘Niruha basti ‘(procto-colonic administration of decoction of herbs like Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), rocksalt, sesame oil and mixture of herbal powders having beneficial effect on kidneys such as Varuna (Crateva nurvala) and Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris)), to maintain healthy kidneys. Yoga asanas such as Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Viparita Karani, Balasana and Pawanmuktasana are effective for maintaining healthy kidneys; as also Pranayama technique such as Anulom-vilom.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Healthy Kidneys:
Classical Ayurvedic herbs which are known to have beneficial effect on kidneys include: Varun (Crateva nurvala), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Kaasni (Chicorium intybus), Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri), Shirish (Albezzia lebbok), Shigru (Moringa oleifera), Apamarg (Achyranthes aspera), Pashanbheda (Bergenia ligulata), Palaash (Butea monosperma), Gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), Kamal (Nelumbo nucifera), Lal chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus), Ushira (Vetiveria zizanioides), Dhania (Coriandrum sativum), Chaulai (Amaranthus spinosus), Kakri Beej (Cucumis utilissimus) and Panchtrin Mool – a combination of five herbs, namely: Kusha (Desmostachya bipinnata), Kasha (Saccharum spontaneum), Shara (Ceratophyllum submersum), Durva (Cynodon dactylon), and Ikshu (Saccharum officinarum).
Herbal Formulas for Healthy Kidneys
Ayurveda uses botanicals as the medicinal formulas to treat various diseases. Ayurveda recommends the following herbal formulas for different types of kidneys diseases. These formulas contain extracts, or whole form, of various herbs.
Rasayan churna: It contains Gokshura fruit (Tribulus terrestris), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis) and Guduchi stem (Tinospora cordifolia) in equal quantities.
Varunadi kvath: It contains Varuna tvak (bark of Crataeva nurvala), Bilva moola (Aegle marmelos ), Apamarga, Chitrak moola (Plumbago zeylanica), Arani (Clerodendron phlomidis), Shigru (Moringa oleifera), Bruhati (Solanum melongena), Kirattikta (Swertia chiretta), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), and Darbha (Desmostachya bipinnata).
Punarnavadi kvatha: It contains Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa), Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Patola (Trichosanthes Dioica), Sunthi or dried ginger (Zingiber Officinale), Kalmegh (Andrographis Paniculata), Giloy or Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia) and Devdaru (Cedrus Deodara).
Varunadi vati: It contains Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Varun (Crataeva nurvala), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) and Shuddha Guggulu (Commiphora mukul)
Chandraprabha vati: This herbal medicine in tablets form contains more than 20 different herbs and herbal extracts including Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), Loha Bhasma (Iron), Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt), Pippalimoola (Piper longum), Vamshalochana (Bambusa bambos), Dhanyaka (Coriandrum sativum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis),Shilajatu (Asphaltum), etc.
Panchtrin Mool Ghanvati: It consists of natural diuretic herbs such as Kusha (Desmostachya bipinnata), Kasha (Saccharum spontaneum), Shara (Ceratophyllum submersum), Darbha (Cynodon dactylon), and Ikshu (Saccharum officinarum).
How to Maintain Kidney Health Naturally
Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, instead of getting treatment for the diseases, you should always take measures to avoid diseases. In order to avoid kidney diseases you should not only take herbs that are highly beneficial in kidney diseases but also eat foods that are good for your kidneys. Vegetables like red bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage and onions are very good for your kidney. Fruits like apples, blueberries, and cranberries help kidney repair itself. A teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of water every day might not only help your liver process fats but also prevent calcium deposit in your kidney, thus, minimizing the risk of kidney stones. Drinking ginger tea regularly may not only reduce kidney inflamation but also help to flush to toxins from the kidneys and lower creatinine levels.