top of page

Kidney Care

Kidney and urinary tract irritation, infection and stones are common health problems.  Kidneys filter all the fluids in our bodies continuously and never stop working, whereas the other organs in our bodies have periods of time during the day or night when they can go into “rest, repair, restore” mode. The kidneys never rest - they work hard 24 hours a day.


In Chinese medicine (TCM) the kidneys are considered the source of the energy in the body.  When kidneys are compromised our energy is compromised.  Common signs of over-burdened kidneys include:

  • Fatigue

  • Lack of motivation

  • Jumpiness/excessive startle response to minor events

  • Chronic fear/anxiety

  • Unsettled, restless sleep patterns/nightmares/night sweats/bedwetting in children

  • Rashes, foul/bitter/metallic taste in the mouth

  • Aching in the mid-back over the kidneys

  • Frequent urinary tract irritation and/or infections

  • Slow urination

  • Urgency to urinate with episodes of incontinence

  • Regularly occurring low-grade headaches

  • Long-lasting sluggishness after taking any type of medication (anesthesia from surgery/dental work, antibiotics, pain medications)

  • Systemic dryness

  • Chronic/recurring bouts of water retention 

  • Chronic/recurring sciatic nerve pain


Drinking hard, softened, or purified water irritates the kidneys and leads to kidney function issues. If you have not made a habit of properly filtering your drinking and cooking water, chances are you have mineral deposits in your kidneys which can lead to kidney stones over time


If you’d like to preventatively clear out mineral deposit from your kidneys, spend a day fasting on only peeled peaches or nectarines.

You can blend them with water to make a smoothie or just eat as many of them as you can handle and drink plenty of water. Fresh peaches work best, but canned or dried fruit will do in a pinch.  Do not try this if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic!

Lifestyle/Diet Support


There are many foods and medications in our everyday diet that contribute to overburdened, poorly functioning kidneys and back pain. Finding healthy alternatives, reducing, or eliminating them is how we can maintain healthy kidneys for a lifetime.  These items include:

  • Common diuretic foods like coffee, sodas, alcohol, excessive salt

  • Not enough water, or drinking and cooking with low quality water 

  • Excess protein in the diet compared to your needs for repair and strength building

  • Artificial sweeteners of all types

  • Medications

    • Common pain medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, gabapentin

    • Stimulant drugs and medications like adderall, decongestants, cocaine etc.

    • Anesthesia used in surgery and dental work

    • Other medications which clear through the kidneys. If you take daily over the counter or prescription medications of any type, check the factsheet that comes with them or ask your provider.

  • Prolonged periods of high stress/a high stress lifestyle/overactive adrenal glands

Kidney Cleanse

Herbal Kidney Cleanse


This is good for all of us to do annually to optimize the function of our kidneys and prevent infections, irritations and stones. It often relieves aching back pain and will ease pressure on the sciatic nerve and relieve chronic sciatic nerve pain.

Make a quart of tea using a minimum of 3 of the following dried loose herbs: 

  • calendula/marigold petals

  • horsetail/shavegrass

  • corn silk

  • oat straw

  • palo azul

  • marshmallow plant (malvas)

  • hydrangea root

  • juniper berries

  • gravel root

  • burdock root

  1. Chop and mix the herbs well and store in an airtight glass container. These herbs will leach metal, plastic, and wood into the tea and won’t be effective if made or stored  in these types of containers

  2. Combine about 4 pinches with 6 cups of spring or properly filtered water. Simmer them for 5-10 minutes until you are left with about 4 cups of tea (1 quart).

  3. Strain the herbs out and drink the tea slowly over the course of the whole day. Eat and drink as you normally would, avoiding kidney irritating foods and beverages but drinking plenty of plain water as well as this tea.

Do this daily for 3 weeks or until you feel your urine is clear and flowing well and any tightness in your kidney area is gone. 

Rubbing castor oil on the kidney area at bedtime and putting a hot pack over the area aids in the process and relieves aching/pain that can be uncomfortable with this cleanse.  It will also speed up the process and help you feel better. 

If you want to make a larger batch of the tea instead of making it daily, it will remain effective if stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

To speed up this process, try our Kidney Cleanse Tincture as an alternative to the tea

Kidney Cleanse

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are symptom-free until they start moving. Sudden sharp, hot pain is one of the most common reasons for Emergency Room visits. The cleansing process can also move stones which have been stored without symptoms.


If you feel sharp pain in the kidney or urinary tract area, rub castor oil along the kidney and the tract of the ureter and bladder and place a hot pack over the area. This can often dissolve anything that’s moving and alleviate the pain. Alternate the hot pack with an ice pack and add arnica tincture or cream over the area for pain relief.


Drink a cup of hydrangea root tea (25 drops of a standard alcohol tincture in 8oz of water) every hour.  You can also use our Kidney Cleanse Tincture in the same way if you don’t have access to the hydrangea root tincture.

If the pain doesn’t subside within a few hours or gets worse, it’s time to get yourself to the hospital and have them help you get the stones moved.

Long-Term Support for

Fragile/Damaged Kidneys

Cranberries soothe and stabilize the pH of the kidney and urinary system. The problem with cranberry juice is that it’s too diluted and has too much sugar added (because it’s terribly tart). It would take a full quart per day of the juice to support you this way. A better solution is freeze dried or dehydrated and powdered cranberries.  A good supplement will supply 25,000mg in a capsule and should be taken daily. This is a good tactic for those who have a long history of kidney stones, irritation, inflammation or infection. Paying close attention to hydration and using steam and therapeutic baths to augment your hydration also greatly support kidney health.

Therapeutic Baths

Removing water-soluble waste products from our bodies with guided baths is a great support to the kidneys.  Because many things in our lives (like hard workouts, recovery from illness or surgery and travel) often leave us sore and achy all over because of the waste products produced in these processes.


Bathing in a standard tub with a large handful each of baking soda and sea salt and rubbing and stretching your muscles and joints and lymph nodes while you are in the water is tremendously helpful for these issues. If you have had long-term issues with disease/infection, make a pot of wormwood tea, strain it and add it to the water instead of the salt/baking soda mixture. This is also a great pain reliever for tissues. Commercial bath salts or Epsom salts will also work, but be careful to make sure the perfumes don’t bother you or contribute to yeast infections. Epsom salts are not as comprehensive as a cleanse and are very drying to the skin. If you don’t have access to a bathtub, soaking only your feet in a pan/bowl of water with about a teaspoon each of both baking soda and sea salt is still extremely detoxifying and supportive of the kidneys.

Removal of Anesthesia

In addition to the kidneys, anesthesia is stored in the lymph system and can release slowly for months after surgery. A quick way to get it out of your system is to take about a teaspoon of chaparral tincture, put it in a pan of warm water (as warm as is comfortable) and soak your feet for 20 minutes. Rinse your feet and rub some castor oil or lotion on them afterwards because this process is very drying. Repeat daily until the metallic taste is gone from your mouth and your morning urine starts to smell like chaparral. Generally 1-5 days is enough.

Sciatica: Kidney & Bladder Meridians


The kidney and bladder meridians (paths of energy) in Chinese medicine directly follow the path of the sciatic nerve. This means that poor flow/function in the kidney and bladder meridians often results in pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the lower back. This is known as sciatica.  For relief from sciatica do the following: 

sciatic nerve (2).png
Bladder Meridian (2).png
Kidney Meridian (2).png
bottom of page