We have two kidneys that are located in the mid-lower back area. The kidneys, unlike the liver, do not regenerate. People have had near death experiences related to the kidneys. Kidney infections can be serious and need medical attention.
The kidney works with the liver providing balance to fluids, pH, and salt by processing and filtering the blood. It’s important to drink plenty of water and urinate as needed. Eating plenty of seeds including pumpkin and watermelon and eating celery, carrots and asparagus can be helpful.
The kidney’s dislikes include; lack of water, lack of urination, lots of caffeine or alcohol, NSAIDs, chlorine, unbuffered vitamin C, a unhappy liver, excess oxalic acid (spinach and beet greens), or high amounts of essential oils.
It is important to support the kidneys when you treat the liver, after alcohol or NSAID use, after a lot of pool or hot tub use, etc...
Two important herbs in assisting the kidneys include Corn Silk and Marshmallow.
Corn Silk (Zea Mays) is the silky yellow that surrounds corn. It is a gentle herb that can be used in a tincture or dried and used for tea. Corn Silk is soothing to the urethra, kidneys and bladder.
Use any part of the Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) plant; the root, leaf or flower. The root is best for the kidneys; the mucilaginous carbohydrate chains are re-concentrated in the urinary tract acting as a topical agent.
Other kidney herbs include: Dandelion leaf, Cleavers, Nettles, Parsley, Horsetail, and Queen of the Meadow.
Dandelion leaf is a great diuretic used a lot in high blood pressure where the body is keeping too much water. High blood pressure should alway be monitored by a health care professional. Generally diuretics leach potassium but Dandelion actually replenished the body’s potassium.
Cleavers can be juiced into a smoothy and used for ulcerations of the mouth, stomach or topically. Nettles are also a great diuretic. Parsley, an awesome kitchen herb, is a diuretic that contain tons of minerals. Horsetail is a kidney structure tonic, is high in minerals and regenerates connective tissue. (be picky upon harvest; Horsetail absorbs toxin easily)
What is a UTI? UTI stands for urinary tract infection and nobody wants one of these as they accompany urgency, pain, burning and if not treated properly can move up the ureters to the kidneys causing kidney infections which can become a medical emergency.
UTIs are more common in female anatomy due to a shorter urethra. It is important to practice good hygiene including: wiping front to back, wearing cotton/breathable underwear, urinating before and after sex, support good bacteria, not consuming too much protein, consuming less sugar, using organic cotton for menstrual needs, etc.
Some things that may aggravate an UTI include, birth control/hormones, antibiotics, vaginal doosh, perfumes near genital area including scented toilet paper. A note on dooshing, mostly it’s a bad idea but if needed, a better option includes calendula or vinegar doosh.
Support your urinary system during a UTI!
- drink lots of water (supports and flushes)
- unsweetened cranberry juice or blueberry juice
- eat lightly (less protein which is taxing to the kidneys)
- support skin secretions
- soothing tea butt-bath with demulcent herbs including: marshmallow, corn silk, comfrey and oatmeal
- pour warm water on genitals while urinating
- no sex (keep clean and use mouthwash to avoid passing UTI on to partner)
- no lubricant (lubricant glycerin aggravates UTI and feeds bacteria)
Red Flags! include; fever, back pain, vomiting, kidney bruising, extreme pain. Get medical attention!! A.S.A.P.
Helpful herbs in treating urinary tract issues include: Uva-Ursi (short-term), Pipsissewa (over harvested; do not use), Pyrola, Blueberry, Manzanita, Madrone, Grindelia, and Juniper. Each of these herbs needs to be researched prior to use; I am not familiar with their use.
I am making tincture:
Nettles (Urtica dioica)
- 50%; People’s Coop bulk; Everclear
- dried leaves