We’ve all heard about the benefits of supporting our kidney function for overall health. But how do these bean-shaped organs work, and how can we help them perform their detoxification duties more efficiently with herbal supplements?
The following 8 herbs for kidney failure are instrumental in supporting kidney function, the elimination pathways, the urinary tract, and the lymphatic system. They are not only purgative in their chemistry, but are also high in vitamins and minerals to support organ cleansing and restoration.
This information will focus mostly on kidney detoxification since the kidneys are responsible for flushing out the body’s sewage waste from metabolic processes, foreign proteins, and water-soluble toxins through the urine.
The Role of Kidneys in Body Detoxification
The kidneys are the body’s major elimination organs that process water-soluble toxic waste converted by the liver for elimination. They are also responsible for eliminating cellular metabolic waste that is accumulated in the body’s sewage system – the lymphatic system, which is the body’s largest fluid system.
The organs are vital in ensuring that acute inflammation doesn’t develop into chronic acidosis of the body, which is the precondition for the development of most diseases.
The kidneys also help the liver detoxify environmental chemicals, drugs, and alcohol. They detoxify waste hormones that are not fully metabolized by the liver, such as estrogen. They also detoxify and eliminate excess sodium and potassium when the body’s detoxification mechanisms are overburdened.
When detoxification systems are overwhelmed, urination is usually suppressed to prevent the flushing out of these toxins into the kidneys where they can cause more damage.
Contrary to popular belief in most medical circles, the kidneys do not directly filter the blood – that is the liver and spleen’s job! Instead, kidneys work to filter waste products from the blood that have been purged into the body’s largest interstitial fluid system – the lymphatic system.
The lymph fluid covers all the cells and tissues in the body and circulates their waste to the lymph nodes where our good bacteria help clean the fluid from bad bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Then, the lymph is moved to the kidneys to be further filtered, where its waste byproducts are eliminated via the urine.
The liver works in similar ways with the blood by filtering water-insoluble toxins from it, but unlike the kidneys, it is not an elimination organ.
It is a laboratory that converts toxins into material that the kidneys and the colon then purge out of the body through urine and feces.
Essentially, by investing in a regular kidney and lymphatic system cleanse, you can avert several chronic health issues, as well as prevent kidney stones, urinary tract infections, kidney cancer, and other digestive and kidney diseases.
Why the Kidneys Require Regular Kidney Cleanses
So, why do kidneys need support if they are equipped with everything they need to do their job? There are many reasons for this!
For one, our current modern lifestyle is so removed from life in nature, and we are exposed to so many toxins on a daily basis, that our kidneys simply cannot keep up with the influx.
Secondly, our stress levels are much higher than that of our ancestors, and the repeated fight or flight response overstimulates the adrenal glands that sit right on top of the kidneys.
If the adrenal glands have to secrete cortisol to fight body stresses repeatedly, they get depleted, and since they are a part of the kidney system, this also weakens the kidneys.
Likewise, physical and emotional stress can lead to mineral imbalances and nutrient malabsorption, causing systemic depletion of energy and vitality.
And thirdly, our standard diets are highly processed, packaged, and full of artificial preservatives that would never be found in nature and that we were never meant to consume.
They rob the cells of energy, inflame the body with acidic chemistry, and don’t provide the cells with the nutrition they require to thrive.
The body then must compensate by borrowing essential elements like calcium (which buffers inflammation) from tissues and organs, making them weaker and systemically diseased over time.
This influx of oxidative stress on the body and its elimination organs is exactly why herbal detox cleansing is essential in supporting kidney function.
Healthy kidneys can flush out harmful toxins efficiently, which, if stagnant in the body for too long, can damage cells and tissues and cause myriad health issues, such as chronic inflammation, skin disease like eczema and psoriasis, auto-immune disorders, arthritis, and cancer.
Natural kidney cleansing ensures that toxins don’t accumulate in the lymphatic system for too long and won’t cause a “backup” in the system that can cause a multitude of health problems over time.
Did you know that U.S. researchers tested 3,348 women and found that there is a strong correlation between under-performing kidney function and the consumption of a meat-based, high-protein diet?
Since kidneys help convert complex proteins (including those that are derived from plant-based sources) into amino acids, their function and effectiveness wear out with high protein intake, causing toxic build-up in the body and a myriad of health issues.
In this day and age, due to stress, sedentary lifestyle, and high-protein diets that are promoted even in the natural health circles, there is a greater need to prioritize kidney health and avoid chronic kidney disease with greater movement, a low-protein alkaline diet, and a proper herbal kidney cleanse protocol.
The health benefits of a routine kidney cleanse are that it will provide diuretic properties to help kidneys properly filter metabolic and toxic waste from the entire body by eliminating obstructions that may develop into kidney stones.
A cleanse will also strengthen kidney tissue and function, enabling kidneys to filter the lymphatic system faster and keep our bodies from developing chronic inflammation.
The Role of Herbs in Ancient Cultures
Before we get to the top 8 detox herbs for the kidneys, I think it is highly important to discuss the role of herbs throughout history and showcase their primary use as medicine in the treatment and cure of disease.
In ancient cultures and today’s indigenous cultures, herbs were seen as gifts from God to help the animal kingdom heal itself. In the ancient world, healing was not centered around curing “an illness” or biological symptoms; instead, illness was seen as an imbalance of energies. This is why herbs were used as tools to purify the body so that its natural self-healing potential could return health and vitality.
Even in the Bible, herbs were mentioned as having restorative powers: “God created the herb of the field before it grew on earth, and God himself planted a garden eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8-9).
The herbs found in the Garden of Eden were said to have been given by Adam and Eve for their healing. Even Solomon’s Temple was built with 300 different aromatic herbs that were burnt at least once per week to purify, detoxify and heal the temple from Egypt’s political turbulence.
Back then, there was no separation between human-made medicine and herbalism as seen today – herbal medicines were pure energy medicine that brought balance to the body to promote self-healing.
Likewise, in Eastern medical traditions, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs are known to possess the consciousness that, when in communion with diseased cells, can repair and restore the cell’s function and bring homeostasis to all the body’s processes.
Ayurveda uses herbs such as turmeric to strengthen the function of the liver detoxification pathways as well as the kidney detoxification pathways.
Traditional Chinese Medicine likewise devotes enormous importance to the role of kidneys in the body – designating them as one of the most important organs and the root of life energy force that sustains our vitality and longevity.
Native American tribes had a great affinity for utilizing the healing power of native herbs for treating disease. In the early 15th century, Spanish Franciscans noted that Native Americans had no name for man-made medicine because they considered plant medicines a gift from God.
They observed the animals around them and how they treated their ailments by which plants they gravitated toward. Through experimentation, they were able to develop and cultivate specific plants as medicine.
They would either ingest the plant extract, use it topically on the affected area, or smoke it from a pipe. Their philosophy was that every herb had a spirit – an essence – just as we have a personality; thus Native Americans could communicate with each plant’s spirit through prayer and meditation to determine which plants would provide the best treatment for their illness.
In modern times, detox herbs have been used by herbalists and naturopaths as cleansing agents or detox support to help detoxify the body of heavy metals, pesticides, and metabolic cellular waste.
However, because detoxification is a complex process that involves many detoxification pathways in the body, detox herbs are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Foremost, we must understand the way the body converts and eliminates chemistry and support and strengthen these processes so that the body doesn’t get overwhelmed.
It is a very specialized process that stems from knowledge of how the body works holistically and which herbs can help with the multifold detox process.
Many of these concepts are also the core principles of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathy, also known as integrative or functional medicine, is a traditional system of healthcare that blends the use of natural remedies, a holistic understanding of the body, and modern scientific understanding.
Some of the fundamental beliefs of naturopathy (also known as functional or integrative medicine) rest on the following principles:
- The healing power lies within us all
- Our bodies have the innate ability to heal themselves
- Human disease arises from internal causes, not external ones
- Prevention is more effective than treatment
- Natural methods are often best for treating acute and chronic diseases
- It is better to address the cause rather than the symptoms or side effects
The Role of Herbs in Modern Research
“Physicians pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into humans of which they know nothing.” – Voltaire (1694-1778)
Today, with our modern approach to health and disease, we are trying to dissect herbs into their separate elements so that we know what these plants have to offer as chemical compounds.
We isolate them from their whole-food matrix by growing them in a lab, depriving them of any synergy they might have been connected with when grown naturally.
Then, we give the isolated compound its own patent name or number like “curcumin” or “resveratrol”, develop a chemical compound that includes it in various quantities, and brand it as “beneficial” for whatever the research is claiming it does.
A lot of money is being made off of this fragmented science that has no consideration for natural law and wholeness, which is the true essence of a being, in which each part relates to every other part equally, rather than seeing creation from a material perspective as the sum of its parts.
This is exactly why most of the benefits pharmaceuticals offer are their placebo effect, given that their basis of development is far removed from understanding how the body and nature actually operate.
The Use of Medicinal Herbs Today
Herbs have been, and still are today, the most effective way to address disease – from physical, emotional, and mental detox to detoxifying thinking and behavioral patterns.
They help us regulate our inner states of health by balancing the endocrine system, which coordinates the different functions in the body (like an operations manager) and is the source of the body’s hormone production.
They also work at a cellular level through bio-electrical communication, which is beyond consciousness and simply cannot be accessed with synthetic drugs and their reactions.
In short, herbs are natural detox healing tools designed by nature herself for complete body detoxification and cellular restoration. And they do so naturally without side effects or addictive properties.
Although we currently use herbs mainly as a garnish for cooking and as an herbal tea, herbology and the science of using herbs as remedies is an ancient art of high complexity. There are over 7,000 plants used worldwide in detoxifying medicines.
Herbal detox remedies and cleansing detox diets include detox teas, tinctures, tonics, herbs, supplements, healing body butters, topical ointments, as well as many more natural medicinal applications of herbs.
Together with kidney detoxification herbs and a high fruit diet, which promotes body alkalization and hydration, our kidneys can regenerate and start to filter out toxins efficiently.
The following is a must-watch video lecture from one of my teachers and mentors, Dr. Robert Morse, on the importance of kidney filtration in achieving better health. It’s a must-see!
My Top 8 Herbs for Kidney Failure
So, what are some of the best herbs for kidney failure? Here are my top picks that are very potent, anti-inflammatory, and packed with antioxidants! They can be consumed in foods, in the form of a detox tea, as a tincture, or as powdered supplements. And remember – they are not only wonderful for the kidneys, but are likewise effective in cleansing the liver and the entire elimination pathways.
My favorite way to eat herbs is to add them to my main meals and salads. After doing this for many years, foods without them seem so bland and unpalatable; you simply expect more flavor with herbs and spices…your standards when it comes to food will go way up!
Do make sure that all of the herbs are certified organic, since pesticides can be found in many of our healthiest foods and can add additional toxic strain on the body, reversing many of the benefits of herbal detoxification.
In general, the consumption of the following herbs is safe in high quantities, and they make for the ideal dietary supplement. However, do ensure that if you’re taking any prescription medication, to research whether the herbs could combine chemically to cause any adverse effects.
A natural diuretic, parsley helps detoxify toxins and fat from the kidneys and the liver; it also helps dissolve kidney stones and reduces high blood pressure (which is associated with kidney function).
This magical “weed” aids detox of the kidneys, bladder, mucus membranes, and liver; it is high in magnesium and potassium, which are tonic minerals for nourishing and healing the kidneys.
This nutty-flavored, antioxidant-rich root supports the detox of the kidneys, bladder, liver, and mucous membranes. It stimulates urine flow, encourages the healing of tissue, and is a great choice for a post-kidney stone cleanse.
These fibers that come from inside of the corn husk are known to be powerful kidney healers; they remove stones from the kidneys and urethra (the tube connecting the bladder with the kidneys) and repair damaged kidneys. Corn silk is one of the best kidney-cleansing herbs in nature.
This flowering herb is known to be one of the best herbs to support the drainage of the lymphatic system (the body’s waste system), which is processed by the kidneys; it promotes urine flow and helps clean both the kidneys and the urinary tract.
Burdock root is an extremely powerful root that detoxifies the blood, lymph, liver, and kidneys; it also helps clean man-made chemicals and toxins from the body and actively supports skin function.
This berry-bearing plant is used for kidney and bladder infections; it reduces kidney tissue swelling; the anti-lithic compounds in the plant dissolve crystalized acids from all areas of the body, promoting full-body detoxification.
This herb is one of the most important kidney herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as it can treat all types of kidney problems and diseases; it reduces inflammation and helps support the lymphatic system (increasing immunity).
You should always ensure that the herbs are organic and that their production methods are sustainable. One of my most recommended organic herbal stores is Starwest Botanicals! They are one of the oldest and the largest organic herb suppliers in the US and are fully committed to sustainability and environmental best practices.
The best part is that they place a lot of importance on quality and directly source their products from around the world, test them for quality in their in-house laboratory, and package them sustainably. You can find all of the herbs listed in the Starwest Botanicals Store.
*Please note that Starwest Botanicals is the herbal store of my preference and is my affiliate partner. You won’t be charged anything by purchasing herbs through the link on my website, but a small part of the proceeds of your purchase will help support the growth of my small business. Thank you!
Throughout millennia, herbs have been used by all cultures for their detoxification and healing properties. They were medicines that healed and were revered as conscious beings that helped humanity on their physical journeys on earth.
Only in the last 150 years have we started developing man-made chemical drugs as “medicine”, which emerged as a byproduct of materialist system consolidation that took place during the Industrial Revolution.
This push toward modernization, centralization of thought and practice in all aspects of life, and commodification of nature were reflected in a desire to “improve on nature” through the intellect, which was removed from wisdom and understanding.
In fact, most of the chemical medicines that emerged from the pharmaceutical industry use herbs and natural compounds as the main compound of their composition.
But not understanding that nature works holistically, removing certain compounds and adding additional chemical elements to them completely diminishes the healing properties and healing integrity of those compounds.
Further, chemical medicine, because it is reactionary, could only focus on the practice of symptom suppression (momentarily feeling better through chemical suppression of the symptoms) and is incapable of healing. Symptom relief may feel good at the moment, but it never addresses the root cause of the symptoms for true healing to occur.
Thankfully, herbs are experiencing a massive comeback, as many are turning away from the empty promises of Western medicine and rediscovering the wisdom and healing power of nature.
And if you’re looking to take your detoxification journey to the next level through naturopathic diagnosis and a personalized, step-by-step detoxification protocol, my personalized wellness services will provide you with all the knowledge and guidance you need to live your healthiest life!