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What is a Kidney Stone Flush?

By T. K. Marks
Updated Jan 21, 2024
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A kidney stone flush is a natural method for treating kidney stones. Kidney stones are mineral crystals that form in the kidneys and bladder when the mineral density increases too much. Frequently, a doctor's first course of treatment when presented with kidney stones is to recommend a water flush in which the kidney stone patient must drink as much as 2-3 quarts (1.9-2.8 liters) of water in a day to help pass the stone out of his or her system. If this method fails to pass the stone, the next step in medical treatment can involve one of many painful procedures. As a result, many people opt for natural alternative methods for removing their kidney stones.

There is no single kind of kidney stone flush. Although water remains the most popular and simplest kind of flush for removing kidney stones, throughout history, physicians and healers have recommended a number of herbal and homeopathic remedies for kidney stones. Many are still utilized. Most of the kinds of kidney stone flushes that are recommended can be broken down into two types: herbal flushes and food flushes.

An herbal flush, or kidney stone cleanse, generally consists of drinking large amounts of herbal tea composed of one or more herbs. Marshmallow root, dandelion, hydrangea, juniper, nettle, parsley, red clove and ginger are among the most frequently recommended herbs for this kind of flush. Specially prepared combinations of these herbs are frequently sold in health food stores as herbal cleanse teas. The ingredients of these prepared teas should be checked carefully. Just as there are herbs that possess a reputation for expelling kidney stones, some herbs can actually cause more kidney stones.

Many people swear that certain foods help them dissolve their kidney stones. Watermelon, citrus juices, cranberry juice and pumpkin seeds all possess properties that might help prevent kidney stones. To actually dissolve kidney stones, though, a person would have to consume an extremely large amount of these foods. For example, one flush recommends drinking the juice of half a lemon every hour for one to three days. As with consuming large amounts of anything, the side effects of a kidney stone flush using food could be potentially dangerous if not monitored.

The most effective way of dealing with kidney stones is for one to prevent them before they start. Healthy diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables and water are the most successful and least risky way of dealing with kidney stones. For anyone who is unfortunate enough to suffer from kidney stones, it is recommended that he or she should consult with a doctor before beginning any kidney stone flush.

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Discussion Comments
By mrwormy — On Mar 19, 2014
@AnswerMan - My wife went to the health food store after her last kidney stone attack and bought one of those kidney stone flush kits. She said it wasn't the best tasting stuff she'd ever had, but she did feel like it was doing something positive internally. She didn't feel those little twinges of pain she used to experience before an impending attack.

I say as long as the ingredients don't trigger allergies or cause more problems than they solve, going with a homeopathic cleanse makes sense to me. Thankfully, I've never had to go through the pain of a kidney stone attack myself, but my wife tells me it can be really intense.

By AnswerMan — On Mar 18, 2014

My doctor recommended increasing my water intake and decreasing my soda and milk consumption. He wasn't a fan of cranberry juice, mostly because of the additional sugar. I wouldn't mind trying an herbal cleanse, since I'm not anxious to have another attack. I was developing a new stone every three years like clockwork, but once I started drinking more water, it's been over six years without an attack.

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