Kidney Detox Cleanse
Your kidneys are two of the hardest-working organs in your body. They cleanse toxins, remove pollution, and filter water. Then, they pass all of the harmful pollutants out through your urine.
But few people ever take the time to undergo a kidney detox. Today, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about undergoing a kidney detox – including the scientific evidence that supports a detox and the best foods and drinks for your detox.
What is a Kidney Detox?
A kidney detox involves cleansing your kidneys and removing all toxins from the body. Humans have been performing detoxes for centuries to treat everything from acne to general tiredness.
During a kidney detox, you eat foods and drink liquids that naturally cleanse your kidney and encourage your body to release toxins. Some people only drink water, for example, while others will eat watermelon, lemon, limes, and a diverse range of other natural foods and supplements.
Why Should You Do a Kidney Detox?
There are lots of good reasons to do a kidney detox. Here are some of the most-recommended reasons why people think kidney detoxes are important:
— You Constantly Feel Tired Or More Fatigued Than Usual, Even When You Get Enough Sleep
— Your Kidneys Hurt After Eating Certain Foods, Especially Processed Foods
— You’re Experiencing Hormonal Imbalances Or You Feel Extra Moody
— You’ve Had Kidney Stones In The Past
— Your Skin Is Prone To Rashes, Eczema, And Other Blemish Problems
— You’re Experiencing Weight Gain And Bloating
— You Have Frequent Bladder Problems Or Urinary Tract Infections
In fact, just like a liver cleanse, almost anyone can benefit from a kidney cleanse. Humans have traditionally used fasting or cleansing in order to detoxify the physical and emotional body.
General Rules for Kidney Detox Diets
Kidney detox diets vary widely in terms of foods, drinks, and most importantly, effectiveness. However, they typically share some common traits.
Here are some general rules you’ll find when looking for kidney detox diets online:
Rule 1) You drink lots and lots of water. Doctors typically recommend drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day. On the kidney detox diet, you should double or even triple that. Most diets also recommend cutting out caffeinated drinks, beverages with processed sugar, and alcohol.
That means no coffee, soda, beer, or other tasty beverages. So you’re really left with few options but to drink water or healthy vegetable/fruit juice blends.
Rule 2) Eat more fruit. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium can help cleanse the kidneys according to kidney cleansing advocates. Some fruits seem to be more common than others, including grapes, limes, oranges, cantaloupes, bananas, kiwis, apricots, and prunes. Milk and yogurt are also popular.
It’s important to remember to aim for a healthy balance of potassium in your diet, as eating too much potassium can actually cause a fatal condition known as hyperkalemia. A healthy person is allowed to have up to 4.7 grams of potassium every day, although those with kidney problems cannot have too much potassium.
Rule 3) Quinine. You’ve probably heard of quinine. It’s the weird chemical compound in tonic water and in cranberries. Quinine has some unique chemical properties (like the fact that it glows under black light).
More importantly, quinine also converts itself into hippuric acid through a series of metabolic changes in the liver. This clears excess buildup of harmful acids in the kidneys – including urea and uric acid. Many cleansing advocates recommend eating a cup of cranberries every day to cleanse the kidney.
Rule 4) Eat more barley. Some diets have a surprising addition to their list: barley. What’s the big deal with barley?
Well, it’s a grain that can be used to cleanse the system. It’s particularly useful for diabetics whose kidneys may have been damaged from uncontrolled diabetes.
Rule 5) Avoid certain trouble foods. Alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and processed foods are all typically banned during a kidney cleanse diet.
It’s important to note, however, that science has shown that none of those foods/drinks have an effect on your kidneys. They do have adverse effects on the rest of your body, so limiting your intake is still a good idea for an overall body cleanse.
Rule 6) Avoid protein. Protein is one final food to avoid during most kidney cleanse diets. That’s surprising to many people, because diets high in lean protein always seem to be recommended by dieticians.
Protein, however, is the only kind of food that has proven to be detrimental to your kidneys. During digestion, protein produces more waste byproducts than most other food. One waste product called creatinine is particularly common. Creatinine is actually used by doctors to diagnose kidney disease: when levels of creatinine are high, it means the kidney isn’t functioning as well as it should.
Alternative Kidney Cleansing Methods
The methods listed above are fairly straightforward: cut bad foods out of your diet, drink more water, and eat cranberries or drink cranberry juice.
But there are plenty of alternative kidney cleansing treatment methods that may work for you.
You’ll find some of those methods listed below:
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
That tiny fossilized diatoms provide quite the detoxing effect to your whole body. On a hardness scale where a diamond ranks as a 9, Diatomaceous Earth is a 7. It works it's way through your system scrubbing the walls and taking toxins out of your system through natural excretion processes. This is our favorite way to detox. But you need to make sure you are using only a high quality (pharmaceutical grade) Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth supplement.
There are many brands out there that are cheap, but they are designed as an anti-caking agent in animal feed. Not meant to be ingested by people. So the product isn't carefully handled and cleansed properly. My personal brand that I use is SilaLive.
Dandelion – yes, dandelion – is a popular kidney cleansing herb typically used as a food additive. You can find it in teas and salad dressings, for example. Why is dandelion thought to be an effective kidney cleanser?
It’s rich in potassium and has a diuretic-like effect. Some cleansers take 10 to 15 drops of dandelion three times per day. Even taking high doses of dandelion extract for long periods of time has proven to be safe in scientific studies.
Gokshura is an ancient Ayurvedic herb thought to boost overall health while also cleansing the kidney. It works by soothing the urinary membranes, which then helps to maintain a healthy flow of urine. Its antibiotic properties have also long been used to treat urinary tract infections.
Some naturopaths recommend taking a capsule of gokshura once or twice per day to enhance renal function.
European barberry was a medieval kidney stone treatment method. Don’t worry: it’s a lot less painful than it sounds. Naturopaths have used European barberry to create a mother tincture known as berberis vulgaris. This herb has been shown to flush out kidney stones.
Take 10 to 15 drops of the mother tincture with water three times per day to flush out kidney stones within a few weeks.
Kidney Detox Recipes
Kidney detox recipes typically consist of some type of fruit or vegetable juice mixed together. You’ll find a few popular kidney detox recipes listed below:
Blend together two cups of watermelon and one peeled lime. That’s it. Watermelons consist of 92% water, which will flush your system, while also acting as a great source of potassium.
Carrot and Cucumber Juice
Run two carrots and one large cucumber through a juicer, then drink.
Radish, Cabbage, and Celery Juice
Run 1 cup of radishes, 1 cup of purple cabbage, and 1 rib of celery through a juicer, then drink.
Are Kidney Detoxes Right for You?
Ultimately, doctors still debate the value of a kidney cleanse. However, what we do know is that cleanses can significantly reduce your risk of kidney stones while also helping to cleanse kidney stones from the body.
The only debatable part about kidney cleansing is that toxins aren’t actually stored in your kidney. Your kidney constantly processes toxins but it never actually holds onto any. Thus, when people tell you they’re doing a kidney cleanse to release pent-up toxins, they’re not being entirely accurate.
Nevertheless, filling your body with healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables – along with plenty of water – can provide a good refresher for your entire system. Even if the cleanse doesn’t actually remove toxins from your kidney (because they aren’t there), you’re guaranteed to feel better after removing alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods from your diet – even if it’s just for a short period of time during your kidney detox.