Kidney stones are a medical condition that affects approximately 1 in 11 people in the United States (1). These stones are small, hard deposits of salts and minerals that are formed within the kidneys or urinary tract. Though this condition can affect anyone, men between the ages of 30-50 are more prone to developing kidney stones than women.
Kidney stones are formed when there is a decrease in urine volume or an increase in calcium, oxalate or uric acid in the urine. Not drinking enough fluids is the most common cause of stone formation. Other contributing factors include heredity, urinary tract infections, a high protein low fiber diet or medical conditions like gout, hypertension and inflammatory bowel disease (2).
When the kidney stones are small, they may get eliminated through the urine unnoticed. But larger stones can block urine flow leading to sharp, excruciating pain in the back or lower abdomen. Frequent and painful urination, foul-smelling urine with traces of blood in it or accompanying fever and vomiting are other symptoms of kidney stones.
Large kidney stones need medical intervention but smaller stones and painful symptoms can be relieved with natural remedies. Parsley, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are a few examples of simple home remedies for kidney stones. In this article, let us examine in detail why parsley is beneficial in treating the problem.
What Makes Parsley Effective for Kidney Stones?
- Parsley contains a low percentage of sodium, which keeps a check on blood pressure and helps to prevent kidney disease. High blood pressure can damage and harden the blood vessels of the kidneys, leading to accumulation of unwanted wastes and formation of stones.
- Parsley prevents the accumulation of calcium oxalate in kidneys, which is the most common cause of stone formation (3).
- The vitamins A, C and K present in parsley help in preventing calcification and stone-formation in the kidneys.
- It contains protective anti-inflammatory and flavonoid anti-oxidants that help in fighting against free radical damage and oxidative stress caused to the kidneys as a result of stone formation.
- Parsley works as an extremely effective natural diuretic. It flushes out the toxins, excess salts and water accumulated in the body by improving kidney function (4).
How to Use Parsley for Kidney Stones
Parsley can be used as a simple infusion or tea, or in combination with a number of other natural ingredients to help combat the symptoms of kidney stones.
1. Parsley Water
The simplest way to use parsley as a natural remedy for kidney stones is to prepare its infusion in hot water and consume it multiple times a day.
- Take a handful of fresh parsley leaves in a saucepan.
- Add enough water to cover the leaves.
- Boil for 3-4 minutes and remove from the flame.
- Allow the liquid to cool.
- Strain and drink 3 – 4 times a day.
Note: For added benefits and taste, add some lemon juice into the parsley water. Lemon juice is a rich source of potassium along with vitamins B and C, which have a cleansing effect on the blood vessels of the kidneys and helps keep blood pressure in check. You can also substitute lemon juice with ¼ teaspoon salt or olive oil.
2. Parsley Tea
Parsley tea works as a natural cleanser and helps to prevent salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues, reducing the chances of stone formation in kidneys.
- Boil 1 cup of water in a kettle or a saucepan.
- Rinse ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves under running water.
- Roughly chop the parsley leaves to release some of its natural oils.
- In a cup, place the chopped leaves at the bottom.
- Pour the hot water over the leaves to fill the cup.
- Allow it to stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain the leaves through a sieve and collect the liquid tea in a cup.
- Drink 1-2 cups daily for best results.
Note: Do not allow the parsley leaves to stand in hot water for very long; otherwise the tea will become bitter in taste. You can also add some honey or sugar to the tea if the taste seems unpleasant while drinking.
3. Parsley and Apple Cider Vinegar
The citric acid constituent of apple cider vinegar plays an important role in dissolving kidney stones. It also promotes the production of hydrochloric acid in the body which prevents stone formation.
- Add 1 cup of water, a bunch of freshly washed parsley (including stems) and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the blender.
- Blend till it attains the consistency of a thick mixture.
- Consume 2-3 times a week.
Note: If the resulting mixture is too thick, you can use a strainer to separate the fiber part from the juice and consume the resulting green parsley solution.
4. Parsley, Lemon, Cucumber and Watermelon
Lemon juice works as an excellent cleanser for the kidneys, helping to dissolve unwanted mineral deposits that lead to calcium oxalate stones. It also plays a role in delaying the oxidation of other juices when used in combination with them.
Cucumber acts as a diuretic and flushes out the accumulated uric acid from the body, dissolving kidney stones.
Watermelon juice and its seeds are rich in anti-oxidant (lycopene), magnesium and zinc that have a powerful detoxing effect on the kidneys, helping to improve their function by preventing the formation of stones altogether.
- In a blender, add ½ an ounce of organic parsley, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 chopped cucumber and ¼ of a watermelon.
- Blend till the parsley leaves turn into a thick paste.
- Drink the resulting smoothie 2-3 times a week.
- Remove the seeds of the lemons while squeezing their juice into the blender.
- Peel the cucumber before chopping it (leave the peel on if the cucumber is organically grown) and adding it to the blender.
- However, leave in the watermelon seeds and allow them to blend into tiny pieces with the rest of the smoothie.
- Drink the mixture immediately after preparing it, since the blended watermelon doesn’t keep fresh for long after blending.
5. Parsley, Celery, Ginger and Lemon
Celery helps to eliminate toxin accumulation in the kidneys by increasing urine production which reduces the incidence of kidney stone formation.
Ginger is a good natural source of citrate, which prevents the formation of kidney stones by helping to expel the accumulated toxins through hydration and adequate volumes of urine.
- Blend 4-5 stalks of celery and keep the resulting juice aside in a bowl.
- Take 3 cups of freshly washed parsley (including stems), a small piece of ginger and 1 cup of water in a blender.
- Blend the mixture till it attains the consistency of a thick juice.
- Strain it through a sieve into a bowl.
- Add the celery juice to the parsley and ginger mixture.
- Add ½ cup of lemon juice to it and stir thoroughly.
- Consume 2-3 times a week.
6. Parsley, Apple, Lemon and Honey
Apple juice is high in fiber as well as vitamin C, which acts as a natural anti-oxidant to help the kidneys function smoothly.
Honey helps maintain the pH balance of the body at an optimal level, minimizing the formation of kidney stones.
- Soak a bunch of fresh parsley in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- In a blender, add 1 chopped apple, 2 tablespoons of honey, the juice of 1 lemon and the soaked parsley.
- Add ¼ cup of water to it.
- Blend until it attains the consistency of a thick liquid.
- Drink 2-3 times a week.
7. Parsley Drink
Olive oil aids in lubrication of the passages to ensure easy expulsion of the stones from the body. Maple syrup is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are necessary for the healthy functioning of the kidneys.
- Scrape the lemon and cut it into chunks with the peel on.
- Put the 9 ounces of lemon chunks into blender and process it.
- Scrape the parsley root and cut it into chunks.
- Add 9 ounces of parsley root into blender and process it again.
- Add 1 cup of maple syrup, 9 ounces each of olive oil and raw honey.
- Blend everything well and pour the mixture into an airtight container.
- Store it in the refrigerator.
- Consume 1 tablespoon of the mixture every day on an empty stomach.
8. Parsley Juice
Carrots are a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C that help in fighting off bacterial infections in the kidneys and dissolve kidney stones.
Beetroot juice is an extremely effective cleanser and detoxifier for the kidneys, especially when used in combination with other juices.
- Soak 1 bunch of parsley in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
- Chop 2-3 carrots, 6 ribs of celery, 1 beetroot and 1 cucumber into smaller pieces.
- Add the chopped pieces along with soaked parsley to the juicer, along with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Blend till the mixture attains a uniform consistency.
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice along with ice cubes to the blended mixture.
- Stir well and drink immediately after preparation.
- Repeat 2-3 times a week.
Note: If the fruits/vegetables are not organic, remove their peels before chopping and adding them to the juicer.
Tips and Precautions
- If you are allergic to carrots, celery or fennel, do not use parsley in the form of any natural remedy as it may cause allergic skin reactions.
- Parsley increases fluid loss from the body. Hence, pregnant or lactating women, patients on blood thinner prescription drugs or those suffering from high blood pressure should consult a medical practitioner before consuming parsley in any form on a regular basis.
- The juice of parsley is an extremely potent so use it only in specified quantities and frequencies. If you are using it for a longer duration of time, it is advisable to consume it in a combination with other natural juices instead of in its concentrated form.
- Always opt for organic fruits and vegetables (including parsley) for any of these natural remedies.
- The ideal diet to prevent kidney stones would include high calcium, low sodium, low refined sugar, normal protein and high fluids.
- Avoid consuming foods that are rich in oxalic acid which include spinach, tomatoes, eggplants, collards, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and almonds.
- Include plenty of fruits along with green leafy vegetables in your diet and limit the consumption of dairy products.
- Avoid processed foods, sodas, alcohol, red meat and excessively salty or sugary foods. Replace animal proteins with vegetable protein sources.
- Stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day to flush out the harmful toxins from the body.
- In case the pain becomes worse or you experience problems while passing urine, it is recommended to consult a registered medical practitioner immediately.
Drinking plenty of fluids to keep the body hydrated is the key to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Which of the above natural parsley remedies did you find most effective? Do share your ideas, suggestion and experiences in the comments section below.