Can Cranberry Juice Flush Out Kidney Stones?

There are various natural remedies that help in dissolving and flushing out kidney stones from the body. What about cranberry juice? Does it work? Learn the answer here.

Majority of the kidney stones are formed due to deposition of chemicals in the kidneys that are not passed in the urine. Crystals of these chemicals form and get attached to kidney walls particularly in highly concentrated and acidic urine. Kidney stones are formed of several different types of chemicals including uric acid, struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. Kidney stones may be dissolved and passed in urine by various natural products; however, you should consult your physician before consuming any new product.

Does Cranberry Juice Help Kidney Stones?

Cranberry is the bog plant native to the region of North America. Its fruit is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Citrate and magnesium are two compounds that inhibit the formation of renal stones. Both of these are present in urine. To effectively prevent kidney stones, a natural beverage should increase the levels of inhibitors and simultaneously decrease the levels of compounds which form stones.

Consuming cranberry juice raises the amount of citrate, magnesium, calcium and oxalate in urine. This implies that while increasing two inhibitory compounds, it also raises the amount of two compounds that form calcium oxalate stones.

Hence, consumption of cranberry products actually raises the risk of renal stones, which form from oxalate and calcium. Additionally, cranberry juice may also decrease urine acidity, which raises the risk of formation of uric acid renal stones.

However, cranberry juice prevents infection of the urinary tract; hence, it prevents formation of struvite kidney stones. This kind of stone is formed of ammonium, phosphate and magnesium and it is formed only when there is an infection of the urinary tract is present. Does cranberry juice help kidney stones? This implies that though the struvite stone components may be increased by consuming cranberry juice, their formation is actually prevented as it prevents UTIs. This occurs as it prevents the sticking of bacteria to the bladder wall.

A substance referred to as polyphenolic material is present in cranberry juice that helps in reducing viruses and bacteria. It also contains antioxidants which protect from processes of aging. It has high amounts of acidity, which is responsible for its effectiveness in blocking bacteria from attaching to renal cell walls. Its high vitamin C content boosts your immunity. However, before consuming cranberry juice, it is vital to determine the type of kidney stone you have so that you know whether you can take it safely or not. Hence, to begin with you should consult your physician.

How to Prepare?

Does cranberry juice help kidney stones? Sometimes it works. How to include it to your diet? You may eat the whole berries or you can take juices or extracts of cranberry (100% natural) regularly to prevent kidney stones, urinary infections and to remove existing kidney stones. The recommended dose is around one to two cups of cranberry juice (unsweetened) per day. Cranberry is also available in capsule form in the market; however, 1 capsule has only half cup of cranberry juice, so 2-4 capsules per day should be taken.

A word of caution: As cranberry juice contains oxalate, consuming it regularly can result in calcium oxalate stones of the kidneys while preventing formation of calcium phosphate and struvite stones. Hence, you should take a break in between and not consume it regularly.

Home Remedies That May Help with Kidney Stones

After discussing “Does cranberry juice help kidney stones?” let’s discuss other home remedies for kidney stones.

1. Water

When you are passing a kidney stone, you should increase your intake of water as it helps in speeding up the process. Aim to drink 12 glasses of water daily. After the stone has passed, continue drinking 12 glasses every day. Dehydration is among the most important risk factors of kidney stones. You should keep a check on your urine color. It must be pale yellow or very light in color. Dark yellow colored urine shows dehydration.

2. Lemon Juice

You may add fresh lemon juice to the water you drink. Lemon juice is rich in citrate, a chemical, which prevents the formation of calcium stones. Citrate also helps in breaking off small stones and making their passage easy. There are other benefits of lemon juice. For instance, it inhibits the growth of bacteria.

3. Basil Juice

Basil has acetic acid that helps in breaking off kidney stones and reducing pain. It also reduces levels of uric acid; thereby, lowering the risk of uric acid stones. Use dried or fresh leaves of basil to prepare basil tea and drink it several times a day. You can also make juice of basil leaves or add them to smoothie.

Basil juice should not be used for greater than 6 weeks at a stretch as it may result in:

  • Low levels of blood sugar
  • Increased bleeding
  • Low blood pressure

4. ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)

ACV has citric acid that helps in dissolving kidney stones. It alkalizes urine and blood and prevents formation of new kidney stones. Apart from flushing out kidneys, it also helps in relieving pain caused due to stones. Add 2 tbsp of ACV to six to eight oz of water. Consume this mixture all through the day. However, don’t drink greater than 1 eight oz glass of this ACV-water mixture in a day. If consumed in large quantity, ACV may result in osteoporosis and low potassium levels.

People suffering from diabetes should drink this mixture with caution and they should monitor their levels of blood sugar regularly all through the day.

You must not take this mixture in case you are ingesting:

  • Digoxin (Digox)
  • Insulin
  • Diuretics including Aldactone (spironolactone)

5. Celery Juice

It helps in clearing the toxins that lead to formation of kidney stones. It also helps in flushing out your body, so that the stone is passed easily. Put one or two stalks of celery with water in a jar, blend it to form juice. Drink this juice all through the day.

You must not consume this mix in case you have:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Any disorder of bleeding
  • Any surgery scheduled

You must also not consume this mix in case you are ingesting:

  • Lithium (Lithane)
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid)
  • Sedative medicines like xanax (alprazolam)
  • Medicines, which increase sensitivity to sun like isotretinoin (Sotret)

6. Pomegranate Juice

It helps in improving the overall function of your kidneys and in flushing toxins and stones from the system. It also reduces the acidity level of your urine, which decrease the risk of formation of kidney stones.

You can drink as much pomegranate juice as you like all through the day.

You must not consume this juice in case you are ingesting:

  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Blood pressure drugs such as Diuril (chlorothiazide)
  • Medicines that are changed by liver

7. Broth of Kidney Beans

The broth made from kidney beans (cooked) helps in improving overall kidney and urinary health. The stones are also dissolved and flushed out of the body with the help of this broth. Just strain the liquid of the cooked kidney beans and consume a couple of glasses all through the day.

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