Natural Medicine Causes & Treatment of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones

Kidney stones (ureterolithiasis) result from stones or renal calculi in the ureter. The stones are solid concretions or calculi (crystal aggregations) formed in the kidneys from dissolved urinary minerals.

From a natural medicine perspective there is a plethora of dietary, lifestyle, supplement and herbal medicine advice that will address the causes of kidney stone formation and alleviate the symptoms. Kidney stones (ureterolithiasis) result from stones or renal calculi in the ureter. The stones are solid concretions or calculi (crystal aggregations) formed in the kidneys from dissolved urinary minerals. From a naturopathic perspective there is a plethora of dietary, lifestyle, supplement and herbal medicine advice that will address the causes of kidney stone formation and alleviate the symptoms. For herbal medicine to dissolve kidney stones.

Nephrolithiasis refers to the condition of having kidney stones.

Urolithiasis refers to the condition of having calculi in the urinary tract (which also includes the kidneys), which may form or pass into the urinary bladder.

Ureterolithiasis is the condition of having a calculus in the ureter, the tube connecting the kidneys and the bladder. The term bladder stones usually applies to urolithiasis of the bladder in non-human animals such as dogs and cats.

Kidney stones typically leave the body by passage in the urine stream, and many stones are formed and passed without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size before passage on the order of at least 2-3 millimetres they can cause obstruction of the ureter.

There are several types of kidney stones based on the type of crystals of which they consist. The majority are calcium oxalate stones, followed by calcium phosphate stones.


Within the United States, about 10–15% of adults will be diagnosed with a kidney stone, and the total cost for treating this condition was US$2 billion in 2003. The incidence rate increases to 20–25% in the Middle East, because of increased risk of dehydration in hot climates. (The typical Arabian diet is also 50% lower in calcium and 250% higher in oxalates compared to Western diets, increasing the net risk.) Recurrence rates are estimated at about 10% per year, totalling 50% over a 5–10 year period and 75% over 20 years. Men are affected approximately 4 times more often than women. Recent evidence has shown an increase in paediatric cases.

Signs and symptoms of kidney stones

Colicky pain: "loin to groin". Often described as "the worst pain ever experienced". This can also occur in the lower back.

Nausea/vomiting: embryological link with intestine– stimulates the vomiting centre

Haematuria: blood in the urine, due to minor damage to inside wall of kidney, ureter and/or urethra.

Pyuria: pus in the urine. Dysuria: burning on urination when passing stones (rare). More typical of infection. Oliguria: reduced urinary volume caused by obstruction of the bladder or urethra by stone, or extremely rarely, simultaneous obstruction of both ureters by a stone. Postrenal azotemia: the blockage of urine flow through a ureter.

Hydronephrosis: the distension and dilation of the renal pelvis and calyces

Types of kidney stones

Calcium oxalate stones

The most common type of kidney stone is composed of calcium oxalate crystals, occurring in about 80% of cases.

Uric acid (urate)

About 5–10% of all stones are formed from uric acid. Uric acid stones form in association with conditions that cause hyperuricosuria (Hyperuricosuria refers to the presence of excessive amounts of uric acid in the urine) with or without high blood serum uric acid levels (hyperuricemia); and with acid/base metabolism disorders where the urine is excessively acidic (low pH) resulting in uric acid precipitation. A diagnosis of uric acid nephrolithiasis is supported if there is a radiolucent stone, a persistent undue urine acidity, and uric acid crystals in fresh urine samples.

A calcium oxalate stone is radiopaque (opaque) where as a uric acid stone is radiolucent (transparent)

Other types

Other types of kidney stones are composed of

  • Struvite (magnesium, ammonium and phosphate)
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Cysteine

Struvite stones are also known as infection stones, urease or triple-phosphate stones. About 10–15% of urinary calculi consist of struvite stones.

The formation of struvite stones is associated with the presence of urea-splitting bacteria, most commonly Proteus mirabilis (but also Klebsiella, Serratia, Providencia species). These organisms are capable of splitting urea into ammonia, decreasing the acidity of the urine and resulting in favourable conditions for the formation of struvite stones. Struvite stones are always associated with urinary tract infections.

The formation of calcium phosphate stones is associated with conditions such as hyperparathyroidism and renal tubular acidosis.

Formation of cystine stones is uniquely associated with people suffering from cystinuria, who accumulate cystine in their urine. Cystinuria can be caused by Fanconi's syndrome


Clinical diagnosis is usually made on the basis of the location and severity of the pain, which is typically colicky in nature (comes and goes in spasmodic waves). Pain in the back occurs when calculi produce an obstruction in the kidney.

Imaging is used to confirm the diagnosis and a number of other tests can be undertaken to help establish both the possible cause and consequences of the stone.


The relatively dense calcium renders these stones radio-opaque and they can be detected by a traditional X-ray of the abdomen that includes the kidneys, ureters and bladder. This may be followed by an IVP (intravenous pyelogram; (intravenous urogram (IVU) which requires a special dye to be injected into the bloodstream that is excreted by the kidneys and by its density helps outline any stone on a repeated X-ray.

These can also be detected by a retrograde pyelogram where similar "dye" is injected directly into the ureteral opening in the bladder by a surgeon, usually a urologist.

About 10% of stones do not have enough calcium to be seen on standard X-rays (radiolucent stones).

Computed tomography

Computed tomography without contrast is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for the detection of kidney stones. Drawbacks of CT scans include radiation exposure and cost.


Ultrasound imaging is useful as it gives details about the presence of hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney—suggesting the stone is blocking the outflow of urine). It can also be used to detect stones during pregnancy when x-rays or CT are discouraged.

Other investigations typically carried out include;

  • Microscopic study of urine, which may show proteins, red blood cells, bacteria, cellular casts and crystals.
  • Culture of a urine sample to exclude urine infection (either as a differential cause of the patient's pain, or secondary to the presence of a stone)
  • Blood tests
  • Full blood count for the presence of a raised white cell count (Neutrophilia) suggestive of infection, a check of renal function and to look for abnormally high blood calcium blood levels (hypercalcaemia).
  • 24 hour urine collection to measure total daily urinary volume, magnesium, sodium, uric acid, calcium, citrate, oxalate and phosphate
  • Catching of passed stones at home (usually by urinating through a tea strainer or stonescreen) for later examination and evaluation by a doctor.

Natural Medicne causes of kidney stones

Kidney stones or calcium oxalate crystals in kidney can be due to underlying metabolic conditions, such as;

  • Renal tubular acidosis
  • Dent's disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Destructive bone disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Kidney stones are also more common in patients with Crohn's disease.

The kidney stone belt

The American Urological Association has projected that increasing global temperatures will lead to greater future prevalence of kidney stones, notably by expanding the "kidney stone belt" of the southern United States.

The “stone belt” (also called the “kidney stone belt") is the area of the United States where people experience the most kidney stones. The term “stone belt” dates to at least 1976, when the belt was determined to be in the Southeast. The belt extends from Washington, D.C., on the north to Florida on the south. It runs from about 50 miles inside the eastern coastline to the crest of the Appalachians. The belt is widening due to rising temperatures resulting from global warming. Kidney-stone hospitalisations tend to peak after a hot summer.


A recent US Army study also found a spike in kidney stones in soldiers.


Astronauts show a higher risk of developing kidney stones during or after long duration space flights.

Calcium and kidney stones

Common sense has long held that consumption of too much calcium could promote the development of calcium kidney stones. However, current evidence suggests that the consumption of low-calcium diets is actually associated with a higher overall risk for the development of kidney stones.

This is related to the role of calcium in binding ingested oxalate in the gastrointestinal tract. As the amount of calcium intake decreases, the amount of oxalate available for absorption into the bloodstream increases. This oxalate is then excreted via the urine by the kidneys. In the urine, oxalate is a very strong promoter of calcium oxalate precipitation, about 15 times stronger than calcium.

Water fluoridation and kidney stones

There has been some evidence that water fluoridation may increase the risk of kidney stone formation. In one study, patients with symptoms of skeletal fluorosis were 4.6 times as likely to develop kidney stones. use a Carahealth Eco Gravity Water Filter

Vitamin C supplementation and kidney stones

A 1998 paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined the sources of a widely-held belief in the medical community that vitamin C can cause kidney stones. As vitamin C undergoes metabolic conversion to oxalic acid in the body, it is speculated that large amounts of vitamin C may contribute to the formation of oxalate-type kidney stones.

As the amount of oxalic acid in the urine increases as the dose of vitamin C increases, it is reasoned that a prolonged intake of large amounts of vitamin C may cause kidney stones. Some experimental evidence supports this concern. Although the evidence is inconclusive. It is suggested that the "upper safe doses of vitamin C are less than 1,000 mg daily in healthy people".

Excess vitamin D and kidney stones

Excess vitamin D can result in increased risk for kidney stones. High vitamin D intake causes excess calcium to be excreted. Avoid fortified foods in particular.

Milk and antacids and kidney stones

Fortified milk with added calcium can lead to kidney stones. Unfortunately, the calcium added to milk, most calcium supplements and antacids is derived from calcium carbonate. This is the most poorly digested form of calcium. The hydroxyapatites and citrates and malates being more assimilable. If we do not digest it, it does not end up in our bones as intended but is excreted through he kidneys. Over a long period this may cause stone formation, particularly in combination with dehydration. Dietary advice is to avoid added calcium and vitamin D fortified foods and limit dairy.

Magnesium deficiency and kidney stones

Magnesium is vitally important to prevent kidney stone formation. Magnesium is deficiency is commonplace. Nutrients work in pairs and groups. Excess calcium and vitamin D results in magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps the calcium dissolve correctly in the urine and decreases the production and excretion of calcium. Magnesium is more effective with B6.

Smoking and coppersmiths and kidney stones

Smoking causes high amounts of a heavy metal called cadmium to accumulate in the body. This cadmium then concentrates in the kidneys. High cadmium unfortunately results in low zinc, which is incidentally the reason why smokers have such a poor sense of smell and taste.

Coppersmiths, who work with cadmium, have an extremely high incidence of kidney stones, especially the ones that smoke.

Oxalates and kidney stones

The formation of kidney stones containing oxalate is an area of controversy in clinical nutrition with respect to dietary restriction of oxalate. About 80% of kidney stones formed by adults in the U.S. are calcium oxalate stones. It is not clear from the research, however, that restriction of dietary oxalate helps prevent formation of calcium oxalate stones in individuals who have previously formed such stones.

Since intake of dietary oxalate accounts for only 10-15% of the oxalate that is found in the urine of individuals who form calcium oxalate stones, many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot significantly reduce risk of stone formation. In addition to the above observation, recent research studies have shown that intake of protein, calcium, and water influence calcium oxalate affect stone formation as much as, or more than intake of oxalate.

Finally, some foods that have traditionally been assumed to increase stone formation because of their oxalate content (like black tea) actually appear in more recent research to have a preventive effect. The best dietary advice is to suggest "limiting" or "reducing" oxalate intake rather than complete elimination, particularly as many of the high oxalate containing foods are extremely healthy. People with kidney stones should avoid high oxalate containing foods such as black tea, rhubarb, silver beet, parsley, beet leaves and cocoa. Under normal circumstances, these foods are completely OK.

Alkaline foods and acidic foods and kidney stones

If a food tends to increase the acidity of urine after it is ingested, it is classified as an acid forming food. Conversely, if a food increases the alkalinity of urine after it has been ingested, it is classified it as an alkaline forming food.

The effect foods have on urine pH may be quite different than the pH of the foods themselves. For example, lemon juice is a highly acidic food due to its high citrus acid content, but after being metabolised it will cause urine to become alkaline. Excess acid forming foods contribute to kidney and bladder infections and stone formation

Other Dietary factors

  • Risk low fibre
  • high CHO diet
  • High sugar pancreas – insulin depletes calcium
  • High alcohol
  • High animal protein
  • High saturated fat
  • High calcium containing foods especially dairy
  • High sugar and salt pushes increased urinary excretion of calcium

Mainstream Medical Management


About 90% of stones 4 mm or less in size will usually pass spontaneously, however 99% of stones larger than 6 mm will require some form of intervention.

There are various measures that can be used to encourage the passage of a stone. These can include increased hydration, medication for treating infection and reducing pain, and diuretics to encourage urine flow and prevent further stone formation.

Caution should be exercised in eating certain foods, such as starfruit, with high concentrations of oxalate, which may precipitate acute renal failure in patients with chronic renal disease.

In most cases, a smaller stone that is not symptomatic is often given up to four weeks to move or pass before consideration is given to any surgical intervention as it has been found that waiting longer tends to lead to additional complications.

Immediate surgery may be required in certain situations such as in people with only one working kidney, bilateral obstructing stones, intractable pain or in the presence of an infected kidney blocked by a stone which can cause sepsis

Straining the urine allows collection of the stone when it passes. Analysis can help establish preventative options.


Management of pain often requires intravenous administration of NSAIDS or opioids in an emergency room setting.

Urologic interventions

Most kidney stones do not require surgery and will pass on their own. Surgery is necessary when the pain is persistent and severe, in renal failure and when there is a kidney infection. It may also be advisable if the stone fails to pass or move after 30 days. In most of these cases, non-invasive extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) will be used.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is the non-invasive treatment of kidney stones (urinary calculosis) and biliary calculi (stones in the gallbladder or in the liver) using an acoustic pulse.

Ureteral (double-J) stents

One modern medical technique uses a ureteral stent (a small tube between the bladder and the inside of the kidney) to provide immediate relief of a blocked kidney. This is especially useful in saving a failing kidney due to swelling and infection from the stone.

Natural medicine treatment principals of kidney stones

Avoid excess acid forming foods

Acidic Foods

Very Acidic Foods

Supplements Non Food Substances That Can Make Urine Acidic

Most grains
Distilled water

Liver and other organ meats
Broth made from bones or other animal parts
Yoghurt with active cultures
Sour cream
Most fermented foods
tempeh, tamari, shoyu, soy sauce, miso.
Aged cheeses
B vitamin supplements increase HCL acid in the stomach
Hydrochloric acid supplements Digestive enzymes

Probiotics as beneficial bacteria help to create an acidic environment.

Soft water is water that is low in minerals. This type of water tends to be more acidic.

Alkaline Foods

Very Alkaline Foods

Non Food Substances That Can Make Urine Alkaline

Most fruits, except as noted above

Most vegetables, except as noted above

Mineral water
Orange juice
(citrus fruits, have an acid pH before they are consumed and but they usually leave an alkaline residue in the body after they have been metabolised)
Dandelion Greens

Antibiotics kill both bad and the helpful bacteria work to create an acidic environment in the body.

Mineral supplements especially calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are common ingredients in antacids as they neutralize stomach acid. Some people get upset stomachs (gas, bloating, diarrhoea, malabsorption) from these types of mineral supplements, especially if they suffer from hypochlorydria (low stomach acid).

Antacids, containing magnesium or calcium, increase alkalinity of the urine. (This can lead to bladder infections as bacteria tend to thrive in alkaline environments)

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content, and as a result tends to be more alkaline

Restricting oxalate consumption

Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and in humans. In chemical terms, oxalates belong to a group of molecules called organic acids, and are routinely made by plants, animals, and humans.

Our bodies always contain oxalates, and our cells routinely convert other substances into oxalates. For example, vitamin C is one of the substances that our cells routinely convert into oxalates. In addition to the oxalates that are made inside of our body, oxalates can arrive at our body from the outside, from certain foods that contain them.

Calcium plays a vital role in body chemistry so limiting calcium may be unhealthy. Calcium in the intestinal tract binds with available oxalate, thereby preventing its absorption into the blood stream so some nephrologists and urologists recommend chewing calcium tablets during meals containing oxalate foods.

A more reliable approach is to restrict the intake of food that is high in oxalates. This is only helpful in those patients who are absorbing excess oxalate which is a minority of patients as most oxalate excreted in the urine is actually made by the liver.

Foods that contain oxalates

The following are some examples of the most common sources of oxalates, arranged by food group. It is important to note that the leaves of a plant almost always contain higher oxalate levels than the roots, stems, and stalks.



Nuts &seeds



Blueberries Raspberries
Red grapes

Swiss chard (silver beet)
Beet greens
Green beans


Soy products

Wheat bran
Wheat germ
Quinoa (quinoa most oxalate-dense)
black tea 


As dehydration contributes to stone formation regardless of the type of stone, excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided particularly water at the same time. One of the recognised medical therapies for prevention of stones is thiazides a class of drugs usually thought of as diuretics. These drugs prevent calcium stones through an effect independent of their diuretic properties: they reduce urinary calcium excretion. Sodium restriction is necessary for clinical effect of thiazides, as sodium excess promotes calcium excretion.

It is preferable to use natural diuretics such as celery, parsley and herbal teas including dandelion leaves, nettle and corn silk are encouraged. It is essential to drink 8 glasses of fluoride free, filtered water. See Carahealth Eco Gravity Water Filters.

Low protein diet

Protein from meat and other animal products is broken down into acids, including uric acid. The most available alkaline base to balance the acid from protein is calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite) from the bones (buffering). Therefore high protein diets also contribute to osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Other modifications

Potassium citrate is also used in kidney stone prevention. This supplement increases urinary pH (makes it more alkaline), as well as increases the urinary citrate level, which helps reduce calcium oxalate crystal aggregation. There are urinary dipsticks available that allow patients to monitor and measure urinary pH so patients can optimise their urinary citrate level.


Though caffeine does acutely increase urinary calcium excretion, several independent epidemiologic studies have shown that coffee intake overall is protective against the formation of stones. Caffeine is a bladder irritant.


Hyperuricosuria too much uric acid in the urine, is a risk factor for calcium stones. Allopurinol interferes with the liver's production of uric acid. Allopurinol reduces calcium stone formation in such patients.

The drug is also used in patients with gout or hyperuricemia. However, hyperuricemia is not the critical feature of uric acid stones, which can occur in the presence of hypouricemia. Uric acid stones are more often caused by a combination of high urine uric acid and low urine pH. Even relatively high uric acid excretion will not be associated with uric acid stone formation if the urine pH is alkaline. Therefore prevention of uric acid stones relies on alkalinisation of the urine with citrate in the form of potassium citrate. I use potassium citrate as an alkaliser. Citrate competes with oxalate for calcium and can thereby prevent stones

Dietary advice to prevent and treat kidney stones

  • Drink at least 2 litres of spring or filtered water every day.
  • A diet low in protein, nitrogen and sodium intake
  • Drink the juice of fresh lemon in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning.
  • Increase intake of dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates and green leafy vegetables.
  • Increase intake of foods with a high magnesium:calcium ratio (barley, bran, corn, buckwheat, rye, soy, oats, brown rice, avocado, banana, lima beans, potato).
  • Avoid smoking, as cadmium poses increased risk of kidney stones.
  • Reduce intake of high oxalate containing foods (black tea, cocoa, spinach, beet leaves, rhubarb, parsley, cranberry, nuts)
  • Limit dairy products, especially milk fortified with vitamin D.
  • Avoid sugar, salt and salt substitutes. Sugar stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, which in turn causes extra calcium to be excreted in the urine.
  • Avoid antacids. Eat less meat and poultry.
  • If you are prone to stones, become vegetarian, or, better still, vegan.
  • Get daily exercise. This helps calcium to stay in the bones.
  • Maintenance of an adequate intake of dietary calcium. There is equivocal evidence that calcium supplements increase the risk of stone formation, though calcium citrate appears to carry the lowest, if any, risk.
  • Taking herbal or diuretic drugs such as thiazides, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate and allopurinol depending on the cause of stone formation.
  • Some fruit juices such as orange, blackcurrant, and cranberry, may be useful for lowering the risk factors for specific types of stones. Orange juice may help prevent calcium oxalate stone formation, black currant may help prevent uric acid stones, and cranberry may help with UTI-caused stones
  • Limit intake of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee.
  • Avoidance of cola beverages
  • Avoiding large doses of vitamin C as vitamin C is converted to oxalates in the body
  • Vegetarians have a lower incidence of kidney stones.

Remember, kidney stones are nearly entirely preventable with proper diet and prevention is better than the pain.

Herbal medicine for kidney stones

There are specific herbs for stone formation. These are called anti-lithic herbs. There are also strong anti-inflammatories that can be prescribed by a qualified herbalist. Kidney stones require professional treatment. If you have kidney stones, book a Skype consultation. The Chinese use walnut paste that dissolves the stones, giving milky urine.

Carahealth Urinary Tonic

Contains  Uva ursi Arctostaphylos uva ursi Dandelion Leaf Taraxacum officinalis Nettle leaf Urtica dioica Golden rod Solidago virgaurea Marshmallow root Althea officinalis Crataeva Crataeva nurvala


  • Cystitis
  • Pain, frequency, urgency
  • Kidney infections
  • Kidney stones

This tincture contains a blend of urinary tract antiseptics that kill bacteria in the urinary tract and diuretics to promote the flow of urine. The tincture is indicated for cystitis, urethritis, dysuria, pyelitis and lithuria. This tincture is formulated specifically for kidney stones. It contains anti-lithic herbs that prevent the formation of stones or gravel in the urinary system and help the body in their removal. The herbs included will break down the stones and promote elimination of them while soothing the mucous membranes of the genitourinary tract (GUT). The tincture should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease.

Uva ursi/ Mountain cranberry Arctostaphylos uva ursi – Uva ursi is a. antilithic, astringent; birthing aid; diuretic, hypnotic, kidney, tonic; urinary antiseptic; women's complaints. It is indicated for cystitis, urethritis, dysuria, pyelitis and lithuria. Arctostaphylos has a marked antiseptic and astringent effect on the membranes of the urinary system, soothing, toning and strengthening them. It is specifically used where there is gravel or ulceration in the kidney or bladder. It may be used in the treatment of infections such as pyelitis urethritis and cystitis and is specifically indicated in acute catarrhal cystitis with dysuria and highly acid urine, where it helps to reduce accumulations of uric acid and is hence indicated in gout. With its high astringency it is used to treat some forms of enuresis and in diarrhoea. It is also used to treat dysuria. The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease.

Dandelion Leaf Taraxacum officinalis Dandelion leaf is a gentle diuretic and choleretic. It is indicated for oedema, oliguria and gout. Taraxacum leaf is a very potent diuretic and is an excellent remedy for water retention and oedema, particularly when it is of cardiac origin, or hepatogenous oedema (ascites). Its action comparable to the drug Frusemide. The usual effect of a drug which stimulates kidney function is a loss of potassium from the body, which aggravates any existing cardiovascular problem. A high level of potassium is particularly desirable when digitalis heart drugs are being prescribed, because if potassium levels fall, the drugs will produce irritability of the heart muscle. Luckily, Taraxacum is one of the best natural sources of potassium and therefore is a perfectly balanced and safe diuretic. Taraxacum leaf may be applied to urinary disorders in general, especially where worsened by the presence of oliguria.

Nettle leaf Urtica dioica Nettle is astringent, haemostatic, dermatological agent, mild diuretic, tonic; extracts are reported to have hypoglycaemic properties. Nettle is also a natural anti-histamine. It is indicated for rheumatic conditions, uterine haemorrhage, cutaneous eruptions, infantile and psychogenic eczema, epistaxis, melaena. Nettel is specifically indicated in nervous eczema. Nettles are rich in vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium and chlorophyll making nettle an excellent blood tonic and remedy in anaemia and other debilitated states. They strengthen and support the whole body. Throughout Europe they are used as a spring tonic and general detoxifying remedy. They are specific for rheumatism, arthritis and eczema especially associated with blood deficiency. The herb has an important effect on the kidney and on fluid and uric acid excretion, so is of benefit in gout and other arthritic conditions, particularly if there is an element of anaemia. Urtica is also of benefit in chronic skin conditions such as eczema, helping to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins. Urtica is known to stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers, and is often used in this way by farmers for their stock. It has been shown experimentally to have both hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic properties, the hypoglycaemic component being ‘urticin’. Nettle leaf extract contains active compounds that reduce TNF-α and other inflammatory cytokines.

Golden rod Solidago virgaurea – Golden rod is anticatarrhal anthelmintic, anticoagulant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifugeand stimulant. Golden Rod is one of the first plants to think of for upper respiratory catarrh, whether acute or chronic, It may be used in combination with other herbs in the treatment of influenza. According to Priest and Priest, Golden rod is specific for influenza, repeated colds, catarrhal bronchitis with purulent expectoration, putrescent tonsillitis, naso-pharyngeal catarrh with sneezing and excessive mucus. Goldenrod is a safe and gentle remedy for a number of disorders. In particular, it is a valuable astringent remedy treating wounds and bleeding, whilst it is particularly useful in the treatment of urinary tract disorders, being used both for serious ailments such as nephritis and for more common problems such as cystitis. The plant contains saponins that are antifungal and act specifically against the Candida fungus which is the cause of vaginal and oral thrush. It also contains rutin which is used to treat capillary fragility, and phenolic glycosides which are anti-inflammatory. Marshmallow root Althea officinalis – Marshmallow is anti-inflammatory, demulcent, diuretic, emollient and expectorant. Its abundance of mucilage makes marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated for all inflammatory conditions of the GI tract, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, oesophagitis, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis etc. Priest & Priest says it is a "soothing demulcent indicated for inflamed and irritated states of mucous membranes. Particularly suitable for inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestinal system such as gastroenteritis or diarrhoea”. Crataeva / Varuna

Crataeva Crataeva nurvala Crataeva is anti-inflammatory and antilithic i.e. an agent which reduces or suppresses urinary calculi (stones) and dissolves those already present. Crataeva nurvala is used for genitourinary conditions such as an atonic bladder (lack of normal tone), benign prostatic hyperplasia (increase in volume of a tissue or organ caused by the formation of and growth of new cells) bladder tonic, chronic urinary tract infections, hypotonic bladder (reduced tone or tension) and incontinence and possibly enuresis, prevention and treatment of kidney stones.

Carina Harkin 



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