The extract of the desert barberry (Berberis trifoliata) was studied and found to be an effective alternative treatment for the reduction of the formation of stones in the bladder or urinary tract. A recent study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines concluded that urolithiasis, which is a condition that affects one out of of every 1,000 adults globally, can be treated safely with a methanolic extract of the plant.
Desert barberry is a shrub that grows abundantly in the southwest deserts and grasslands. The evergreen can grow up to five feet and has three-lobed, strongly serrated leaves with a medium coarse texture. The plant belongs to the genus Berberis, a family which folk medicine healers use for their antibacterial, anti-tumor, and tonic properties.
We have seen that natural alternatives are often better in the treatment of various diseases. From the common to the more complicated, herbs and plants carry healing properties that – if used correctly – can alleviate even the most acute symptoms. Finding a desert barberry may be difficult for those not living near a desert (although supplements can be found in trusted holistic stores). That said, there are other natural alternatives you can use to treat kidney stones. Here are some of them:
Lemon juice – Kidney stones are calcium deposits that build up in the urinary tract. Lemon contains a compound called citrate which breaks down these calcium deposits and then flushes out the excess as urine. For minor cases of kidney stones, try taking two five oz. glasses every day; the first should be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning while the other should be a few hours before dinner. Remain cautious of lemon juice concentrates which are normally filled with sugar. For the best results, buy pure extracts or make your own.
Basil – The herb stabilizes uric acid levels which prevents calcium buildup. Basil also contains acetic acid which can dissolve small kidney stones. Try taking one teaspoon of basil extract each day to gain the full benefits.
Wheatgrass – Wheatgrass is a diuretic, which can be a great way to flush out stones and reduce the risk of them forming. Wellness experts recommend taking two to eight oz. of pure extract or juice daily.
Celery juice – This is a favorite for many nutritionists as the juice is a known detox beverage. It not only increases urine production but is filled with the nutrients you need for overall wellness.
Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar can dissolve big calcium deposits. Mix two tablespoons of pure apple cider vinegar into an eight oz. glass of water. You can drink this concoction several times a day although we’d recommend taking a glass before meals.
Pomegranate juice – This helps kidney stones pass easier through the urinary tract. The juice dramatically reduces the risk of developing kidney stones. Juicing whole pomegranates and eating their seeds is the best way to receive their benefits.
Dandelion extract – You can easily find dandelions in your garden. Take a few roots and make a tea or juice out of them. The beverage increases the production of bile and urine, which helps get rid of toxins. As a tea, drink around three to four cups daily for maximum effect.
Water – Let us not forget the most important drink of all. Drink enough glasses of water every day to prevent the buildup of calcium in your body.
Hydrangea – Known for its flowers, the roots are used for medicine and easily found as a supplement. It is an effective remedy for UTIs, kidney stones and hay fever.
Urolithiasis: A closer look
Kidney stones normally occur in people who practice unhealthy eating habits. Men are more likely to have the condition rather than women. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the calculi.