Anyone who has suffered from stones in their kidneys knows how uncomfortable and painful it can be. Renal stones are one of the most common urinary infections that people suffer from all over the world. Also known as Urolithiasis, kidney stones refer to the formation of calculi or stones in a person’s urinary tract.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidneys are one of the essential organs in our bodies. They are located at the back of the abdominal cavity and have two main functions. First, kidneys help remove harmful toxins from the system and maintain hydration and mineral levels in the body. Second, they help in filtering, reabsorbing, secreting, and excreting the blood supplied to them and throwing all of it out in the form of urine.
Healthy kidneys are essential for a worthwhile lifestyle. With food quality decreasing every day, various toxins are introduced in our bodies each time we eat. The accumulation of these toxins can cause severe problems for the human body and its excretory system.
Sometimes small pebbles of minerals and salt are formed in urine, and this condition is known as kidney stones. Kidney stones can be as small as a pea or as big as a golf ball and are usually calcium oxalate. They are crystalline in their structure and can cause problems like difficulty in urination, nausea, acute pain, hematuria, etc.
People suffering from kidney stones often experience intense abdominal pain. Usually, these stones pass on their own, but sometimes some medical procedures could be required to remove them.
The ayurvedic name for kidney stones is VrukkaAshmari. ‘Vrukka’ means kidney, and ‘Ashmari’ means stone. Also known as Moothrashmari, it is a disease that affects the Moothravahasrotas or the urinary tract and causes intense pain. These stones are deposits formed in the ureter and the bladder and obstruct the passage of urine.
Causes of Kidney Stones
According to Ayurveda, kidney stones are formed when an imbalance in the Vata leads the Kapha to dry. In Ayurveda, there are two main processes of kidney stone formation. The first is when the urine stagnates and is supersaturated because of crystal-forming substances like uric acid and calcium. The supersaturation becomes more than the fluid and can dilute in your urine.
The other is when the urine lacks substances that help in preventing the crystals from sticking together. When crystals are not prevented from sticking together, it causes the formation of kidney stones.
Other Causes May Include:
- Unhealthy Lifestyle
- Bladder Infections
- Metabolic Instability
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Hereditary Tendencies
- Diet Factors
Not following the Pancha-Karma lifestyle.
- Medical conditions such as RTA or UTIs.
- Surgeries that affect the urinary tract.
Types of Kidney Stones
There are four kinds of kidney stones in Ayurveda:
Modern medicine classifies kidney stones based on morphology and chemical constitution. In contemporary medicine, different classifications of kidney stones are calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones.
In modern medicine, the Vatika, Paitika, and Shlaishmika categories of kidney stones in Ayurveda are parallel to calcium oxide stones, uric acid stones, and calcium phosphate stones.
Risk Factors in Kidney Stones
The factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones are:
You are more likely to develop kidney stones if someone from your family suffers from this problem.
A high body mass index or obesity can directly lead to the development of kidney stones.
If you consume a high-sodium, high-sugar, and high-protein diet, you might be at a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, it may cause impurities to form in your body, leading to kidney stones.
Diseases or Surgery of the Digestive Tracts
Gastric bypass surgery or certain other diseases may put you at a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are the symptoms of kidney stones, which are as follows:
- The texture of urine gets dense
- Pain in the urinary bladder
- Body ache
- The odor of urine is similar to hessonite stone or Gomed
- Pain is aggravated by physical activity
Ayurvedic Treatment of Kidney Stones
Ayurveda provides a variety of treatments for kidney stones. The treatment prescribed under Ayurveda removes kidney stones quickly and effectively. Most of the time, a simple dietary change can help in the removal. Different kinds of kidney stones are treated differently in Ayurveda. Every person has different Prakriti and doshic properties. Ayurveda aims at removing the root cause of kidney stones, which helps in the effective removal of kidney stones without any complications.
Panchkarma is a therapy that works as a cleansing process. It helps in releasing toxins stored in the body. Panchakarma also helps in restoring the healing ability of the body. You can get personalized panchakarma packages in consultation with your Ayurveda doctor. These packages usually include purgation, massages, stem therapy, etc., customized to suit your doshic imbalances.
Ayurveda treatment can treat around 95% of kidney stone issues without the need for surgery.
Customizing the treatment helps in increasing the accuracy with which a disease is addressed.
Use of Ayurvedic herbs and medicines for the treatment
In Ayurveda, the treatment of kidney stones involves a lot of processes involving plant-based therapies and diets. Changes in fluid and diet intake can alter the biochemical property of urine, which helps prevent and treat kidney stones or Ashmari.
The three main types of drugs to treat kidney stones mentioned in ayurvedic texts are, Mutravirechaniya (diuretic), Ashmarighna Dravya (lithotriptic), and Kshara Karma (alkali therapy).
Some Ayurvedic herbs used in treating kidney stones are Varuna, Pashanabheda, Punarnava, Shigru, Bakul, Kushmanda seeds, Coriander, Kantkari, and Jasmine.
Things to Include in Your Diet
Lemon juice infused with olive oil.
Drink this combination of liquids daily to remove kidney stones. Lemon juice helps break the stones, and olive oil acts as a lubricant that allows the stones to pass smoothly.
Okra or Ladyfinger
Ladyfinger is rich in magnesium and also has antioxidant properties. The anti-inflammatory features of okra help in keeping your kidneys in good health. It is also used in a variety of Ayurvedic treatments for kidney stones.
Water and Basil Juice
To maintain a healthy digestive and excretory system, it is pertinent that the hydration levels in our body are maintained. Water helps the kidneys in the process of dissolving minerals and fostering the digestion process. You should ideally drink about eight glasses of water every day.
Water also helps in detoxification by flushing out toxins from the body. Drinking plenty of water also helps in flushing out the stones from your kidney. Basil leaves maintain uric acid balance, minerals, and fluids.
Drink Coconut Water
The water inside green coconuts is rich in nutrients and is beneficial to health. It is extremely helpful in treating kidney stones. It dissolves the kidney stones and flushes them out.
Horse gram is rich in iron, calcium, protein, and phosphorus. In Ayurveda, horse gram is said to be a miracle pulse. It works not just on kidney stones but also gallbladder stones. It breaks the kidney stones, which makes them small enough to pass through urine.
Other Ayurvedic Remedies
- Drinking water instead of aerated or alcoholic beverages.
- Urinating from time to time and not holding it.
- Eating on time.
- Drinking warm water to cleanse your bowel.
- Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and foods that have high water content.
- Avoiding foods that may worsen the condition.
- Practice yoga and meditation to lead a healthier life.
- Limit the consumption of tea and coffee.
- Limit the consumption of an animal-based diet.
- Gokshura, Punarvana, Varuna, Pashanabheda, Shigru are some of the Ayurvedic herbs used.
How to Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones?
The best treatment for kidney stones is prevention, especially for people who have already had an occurrence of kidney stones. Recurrence of kidney stones must be avoided.
Exercising is good for your health, but too much exercise can cause excessive sweating, resulting in dehydration and less urine production. Less urine production can make you immensely susceptible to the formation of kidney stones. Drink about 3 liters of water in a day to avoid this from happening. People with existing kidney stones should drink 4 liters of water every day.
Recurrence of kidney stones can be stopped by taking an adequate amount of liquids to keep your urine clean. If the stone is a calcium stone, then sodium and protein intake should be restricted. Increasing the intake of potassium is also helpful in preventing the formation of calcium stones. Avoiding the intake of carbonated and alcoholic drinks is also pertinent in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones.Authored by: Bhavishya Pahwa
About the Author: Bhavishya Pahwa is a budding writer who has always confided in a pen. He believes that art is a cure-all and that introspection followed by writing can add to the sanity of the world.