Kidney Stones are formed due to crystallization of minerals and waste materials found in urine. A kidney stone may be the size of a pinhead and may pass unnoticed through urine; or it can be large, up to the size of a grapefruit, and may obstruct the urinary pathway, causing acute pain and bleeding, as well as blocking the flow of urine. In Ayurveda, it is known as Vrukka Ashmari (vrukka means kidney and ashmari means stone).
Some of the common causes of Kidney Stones include:
- Following an improper diet and sedentary lifestyle
- Working for long periods in direct sunlight
- Doing excessive physical work
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee
- Indulgence in heavy, oily, sweet, and indigestible foods and reduced intake of fresh vegetables, salt, and alkaline-producing foods
- Drinking too little water
- A diet high in meat, fish, and poultry
- Suppressing the urge to pass stools and urine
There is acute pain in the flanks radiating towards the lower abdomen and groin area. The site of the pain depends on the site of the stone in the urinary tract. Pain is associated with severe perspiration, nausea and vomiting. There may be a burning sensation while urinating, or there may be urinary urgency or frequency. If the stone is large and sharp, it may erode the tissues, causing some bleeding through the urinary tract. Fever with chills might also be associated.
According to Ayurveda, improper diet and lifestyle leads to aggravation of all three doshas (Ayurvedic humors) and impairment of the digestive fire, causing formation of toxins (ama) in the body. These toxins travel down the channels carrying urine, where aggravated doshas combine with it, causing its crystallization and leading to the formation of kidney stones.
Ayurvedic treatment of Kidney Stones involves the use of diuretic and stone-dissolving herbs in acute cases. The system is then cleaned and strengthened using toning and rejuvenating preparations. Panchakarma therapy is a very effective means of cleansing the body internally in order to help it regain strength.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
- Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, cold drinks, pickles, fish, poultry, meat, spinach, and chocolate.
- Avoid sour, heavy, and dry food.
- Increase intake of liquids like water, juice, soup, lime water, etc.
- Be sure to drink enough water each day. Usually 1 to 2 liters of water per day is adequate. Drink more if you are perspiring heavily, working outdoors, the weather is hot, etc.
- Increase the use of barley, horse gram (a type of bean), ginger, and brown rice or parboiled rice.
- Avoid suppressing urges to urinate and defecate.
Some Home Remedies
- Make a powdered preparation of equal quantities of the bark of three-leaved caper tree (varun), puncture pine (gokhru), thatch grass (kas) and horse gram (kulth). Have 1 teaspoon of this powder 3-4 times a day with water. This is one of the best home remedies for kidney stones.
- Boil 1-2 figs in 1 cup of water for 15-20 minutes and have this twice a day.
- Boil 10-12 basil leaves in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey in it and take twice a day.