While nettle tea is definitely not the first tea that many people go for, it is a delicious and beneficial beverage that can ease pain, soothe allergies, improve the immune system, protect the heart, optimize digestion, relieve inflammation and heal the skin, among others.
The nettle is a herbaceous flowering plant which is a subspecies of, and belongs to the Urtica genus. The nettle is a small plant and it rarely grows past five feet in height, but is has a huge variety of health benefits. The nettle plant has stinging hairs called trichomes on their leaves and stems, which, when touched by humans, injects chemicals such as histamine into the human body, thus giving it the name ‘stinging nettle’. It is also due to this very reason that this plant also has colloquial names such as burn nettle, burn weed and burn hazel. Nettle tea is made from the leaves and stems of the nettle plant.
The nettle plant actually offers great nutritional value. A single cup of nettled tea contains around 30-35 calories. It has no sodium, fat, cholesterol, or sugar in it, but it provides a substantial amount of carbohydrates and protein. Nettles also have minerals such as potassium, iron and silica. The stinging nettle is rich in antioxidants which protect your body from free radicals and other toxins.
The most useful benefit of nettle tea has to do with its positive effects on the kidneys. As a powerful diuretic, nettle tea can help to stimulate healthy, consistent urination and flow rate. Many people suffer from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which can affect a number of urinary and sexual aspects. Nettle tea has been shown to minimize those symptoms and improve prostate health, while also increasing the levels of testosterone in the body, which helps with certain sexual side effects of the condition. It can also help to prevent the development of kidney stones.
Regular consumption of nettle tea has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels. The anti-inflammatory components, as well as the potassium found in nettles can both help to reduce tension in arteries and blood vessels, promoting healthier circulation and oxygenating the body properly. This can lower chances of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular complications.
Nettle tea has traditionally been used for skincare in many parts of the world. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory abilities of nettle tea can help relieve symptoms of acne, eczema, irritation and other blemishes on the skin. The antioxidants contained in the tea can also help speed healing and prevent scarring from issues on the skin. To achieve these effects, the tea can either be drunk on a daily basis, or it can also be applied topically on the skin with a cloth.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of nettle tea makes it great for handling digestive issues, such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea and general stomach upset caused by bacterial imbalances in the gut. Nettle tea can help to kill intestinal worms and parasites as well, bringing your gastrointestinal health back on track and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
The flavonoids and carotenoids found in nettle tea, along with the high concentration of vitamin C, all make this beverage an effective immune system booster. Antioxidants are powerful substances that can seek out and neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause cellular mutation and chronic illness. By freeing up your immune system from fighting that oxidative stress, nettle tea can work as your first line of immune defense.
There is a huge amount of healthy minerals found in nettle tea, including calcium, magnesium and iron, which not only makes this tea an excellent option for people suffering from anemia, but it also helps to prevent the gradual breakdown of bone mineral density as we age. This helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
There are natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds in nettles that have made them so popular throughout history. Whether using this tea to soothe the pain of a pulled muscle, a sore back, a headache, or any bump or bruise, you can often get relief before you finish your cup. External application of nettle tea can be just as effective, and more direct, but these effects are also felt when the tea is drunk.
The chemicals and organic compounds found in nettles work as antihistamines. So if you have any kind of allergic reaction, drinking a cup of nettle tea will quickly and efficiently treat your allergies.
The most well-proven benefit of nettle tea is the positive effect it has on the kidneys. As a powerful diuretic, nettle tea can help to stimulate healthy, consistent urination and flow rate, as well as prevent the formation of kidney stones. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of nettle tea makes it great for handling digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, and other stomach-related issues. The flavonoids and carotenoids found in nettle tea, along with the high concentration of vitamin C, all make this beverage an effective immune system booster. There are natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds in nettles that have made them so popular throughout history. Drinking a cup of nettle tea can help soothe aches and pains easily and quickly.
Nettle tea is a beverage that does not generally have any side effects if taken in moderate doses. However, occasional side effects may include mild stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, fluid retention, rash and sweating. Additionally, it is very important to administer caution while handling the nettle plant, because touching it bare handed can cause allergic rashes and reactions.
The stinging nettle has its origins in the cold regions of Asia and Northern Europe. Today, however, this plant grows all over the world. The stinging nettle need soil rich in nitrogen for its growth, and can mostly be found in areas that are not very well tended to, such as gardens, lawns and other areas such as construction sites. This plant can also be found in areas with moderate forest coverage, as well as open meadows.
Home Remedies to Reduce High Creatinine Levels
Creatinine is a chemical waste product of muscle metabolism that is eliminated through the kidneys. Persistently high levels of creatinine indicate that the kidneys may not be functioning properly. The normal range of creatinine in blood is:
0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL (or 53 to 106 mcmol/L) for males, and
0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL (or 44 to 97 mcmol/L) for females.
The values may vary slightly depending on different laboratories and their techniques. Men usually have higher levels than women because creatinine increases with muscle mass.
Factors that contribute to high creatinine levels include dehydration or inadequate water intake; medications like ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, chemotherapy drugs and others; strenuous exercise; chronic diseases like kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disorders; kidney problems; and excessive blood loss.
Muscle building, taking the dietary supplement creatine and eating large amounts of meat can also elevate creatinine levels.
Some common symptoms of high creatinine are digestive problems like nausea, vomiting and poor appetite; fatigue; urinary changes like frequent night urination, decreased urine output and dark colored urine; edema; itchy skin; and shortness of breath.
As high creatinine levels may indicate kidney problems and kidney damage, it is best to see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In addition, you can try some home remedies and dietary tips to help manage the problem. Drinking plenty of water, for instance, is highly recommended when dealing with this problem.
Also, there are some herbs that act as natural diuretics and thus help provide some relief. You can follow one or more of these herbal remedies daily for a few weeks or until your creatinine levels are reduced.
It is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking these herbs or their combinations because they may interfere with certain prescription drugs or may not be suitable for some cases. Some of these remedies may not be suitable for those with a history of kidney stones or other pre-existing conditions.
Here the top 10 home remedies to reduce high creatinine levels.
1. Chamomile Tea
A study published in the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemicals found decreased creatinine levels in study participants who drank chamomile tea. Plus, this herb will work as a mild sedative and induce relaxation.
Put two or three teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water.
Let it steep for three to five minutes.
Strain the tea and drink it.
Drink a few cups of chamomile tea daily.
2. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle can help remove metabolic wastes and promote renal excretion due to its diuretic properties. Plus, it purifies the blood and improves immunity.
Add two to three teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water.
Let it steep for 10 minutes.
Strain and drink it.
Drink this nettle tea once or twice daily.
Note: This remedy can interfere with blood-thinning, high blood pressure, diuretic and diabetic medications. Consult your doctor before using this remedy.
3. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root tea also works as a natural diuretic to flush out toxins and lower creatinine levels. It also helps improve kidney function and relieve edema or swelling due to water retention.
Put one tablespoon of dried dandelion root powder in a cup of hot water.
Allow it to steep for about 10 minutes.
Strain and drink it.
Drink this tea two or three times daily for a few days or weeks.
Note: Dandelion may interact with diabetes and high blood pressure medications.
Due to its diuretic properties, cinnamon is considered good for those suffering from high creatinine levels and kidney problems. It helps increase kidney output and promotes renal filtration ability. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, thus preventing further renal damage.
Incorporate cinnamon in your diet by adding it to warm beverages, smoothies, baked goods, cereals and other foods.
Note: Do not take this herb in excess or it may lead to liver and kidney damage. Though there is no established dosage still, the generally recommendation is one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon a day.
5. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng containing eleutheroside compounds is mostly used as a health supplement for its energy-boosting properties. It is also an effective remedy to get rid of excess creatinine because it revitalizes the kidneys and promotes renal circulation. Plus, you’ll get its anti-fatigue and anti-stress benefits.
The general recommended dosage for this herb is 300 to 600 mg per day. For proper dosage and suitability for your condition, consult your doctor. It can also be taken with cinnamon.
Note: Do not confuse Siberian ginseng with other types of ginseng, especially Asian ginseng which has an anti-diuretic effect. Seek your doctor’s advice before taking Siberian ginseng because it may interfere with many prescription drugs.
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine that helps slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. It works as a mild diuretic and helps improve creatinine levels. It contains a diuretic compound called asparagine that helps eliminate fluid through the kidneys. This herb also strengthens metabolism and digestion.
Boil a handful of dried astragalus root slices in one quart of water for 30 minutes.
Strain and drink the tea.
Drink this daily between meals.
Note: Those who have autoimmune diseases should consult a doctor before taking this herb as it may stimulate the immune system.
7. Corn Silk
Corn silk acts as a natural diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps increase urine output, thus aiding in removing excess creatinine. It also reduces edema and lowers high blood pressure.
Put two teaspoons of dried corn silk in a cup.
Pour boiling water over it.
Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain and drink this tea three times a day.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you are allergic to corn or have a history of liver or kidney disease. It may also decrease blood sugar and potassium levels.
Salvia officinalis, commonly known as sage, has been found to be beneficial in increasing the rate at which creatinine is removed in kidney failure patients because it helps filter out and eliminate creatinine from the body. It also increases circulation to the kidneys.
Add one teaspoon of dried sage or 10 fresh leaves to a cup of hot water.
Let it steep for five to 10 minutes.
Strain and drink this tea one to three times a day.
Note: Avoid this remedy if you have diabetes or a history of liver or kidney disease.
9. Chinese Rhubarb
Chinese rhubarb promotes intestinal detoxification and increases urine output. It lowers creatinine levels by increasing the excretion of metabolic waste products including creatinine. It also improves kidney function.
Chop a stalk of Chinese rhubarb.
Boil it in a cup of water.
Strain and drink it twice daily for up to a week.
Note: Do not take this herb if you have a history of kidney stones.
Barley water works as a natural diuretic and kidney cleanser. It also helps reduce blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels and treat nephrocalcinosis. Being rich in fiber, barley helps reduce blood sugar levels and improves digestion as well. Plus, it has a high nutritive value due to its rich vitamin and mineral content.
Add one cup of barley in one liter or about four cups of water.
Boil the solution for at least 30 minutes.
Strain and drink it slowly.
Drink it daily.
As barley is a whole grain, you can also replace refined flour in your diet with barley flour.
Note: Check with your doctor before taking this remedy as it may not be suitable for those on a potassium restricted diet.
Increase your water and fluid intake.
Replace your regular tea, coffee or sodas with herbal tea.
Avoid eating high protein foods, dairy products and other dietary sources of creatine until your creatinine levels reduce to normal.
Steer clear of high arginine foods like seafood, chocolate, gelatin, beer, soybeans, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and other nuts and seeds because they tend to increase the liver’s production of creatine.
Reduce minerals like sodium, potassium and phosphorus in your diet.
Include more carrots, cucumbers, garlic, onion and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
Avoid strenuous activity as it promotes the breakdown of creatine into creatinine.
What are kidney stones?
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones usually comprised of a compound called calcium oxalate, are the result of an accumulation of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. These deposits can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure.
The kidney stones may be small and pass unnoticed out of the urinary tract, but they may also cause extreme pain upon exiting.
Kidney stones that remain inside the body can lead to many conditions, including severe pain and ureter (the tube connecting the kidney and bladder) blockage that obstructs the path urine uses to leave the body.
People with kidney stones are at a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease. What causes kidney stones? the leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. Stones commonly have been found in those that drink less than the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid (component of urine), the ph level within the kidneys drops and becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in the kidneys is conducive to the formation of kidney stones.
Medical conditions such as crohn's disease, urinary tract infections, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and dent's disease have been known to lead to kidney stones. It also has been suggested that water fluoridation - the addition of fluoride to drinking water - is responsible for some cases of kidney stones. Vitamin d and calcium supplements linked to kidney stone risk scientists at creighton university medical center, omaha, ne, usa, found that calcium and vitamin d supplements could increase the risk of developing kidney stones because they raise levels of calcium in the blood and urine.
Perhaps using vitamin d and calcium supplements is not as benign as people had thought. He advised people not to exceed the guidelines for these supplements of 800 international units of vitamin d, and 800-1, 200 milligrams of calcium per day (according to the institute of medicine).
'It is not clear whether it is the extra calcium, the vitamin d or both together that cause these problems.
However, it is possible that long-term use of supplements causes hypercalciuria and hypercalcemia, and this can contribute to kidney stones. For these reasons, it is important to monitor blood and urine calcium levels in people who take these supplements on a long-term basis. This is rarely done in clinical practice'
Who gets kidney stones?
Kidney stones are twice as common among males as females. Most people who experience kidney stones do so between the ages of 30 and 50. A family history of kidney stones also increases one's chances of developing them at some point in life. Similarly, a previous kidney stone occurrence increases the risk that a person will develop subsequent stones in the future if preventative action is not taken.
Certain medications can increase the risks of developing kidney stones. Scientists found that opiramate (topamax), a drug commonly prescribed to treat seizures and migraine headaches, can increase the propensity of calcium phosphate kidney stone.
The more overweight a person is the more at risk he or she is for forming uric acid kidney stones, a study found.
Additional risk factors for kidney stones include diets that are high in protein and sodium but low in calcium, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high blood pressure, and conditions that affect how calcium is absorbed in the body such as gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic diarrhea.
A study indicated that kidney stones among children are on the rise.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
A kidney stone usually remains symptomless until it moves into the ureter. When symptoms become apparent, they include:
Severe pain in the groin and/or side
Blood in urine
Vomiting and nausea
White blood cells or pus in the urine
Reduced amount of excreted urine excreted
Burning sensation during urination
Persistent urge to urinate
Fever and chills if there is an infection
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
Several different tests can verify the existence of a kidney stone. A physical examination may reveal colicky pain (in the groin) and pain in the lower back by the kidneys - often warning signs of the condition. An analysis of the urine will indicate whether or not there is blood in the urine and if there is a subsequent infection. Blood tests can be done to identify complications that may accompany a kidney stone and check the validity of the diagnosis.
A ct scan of the abdomen is the most thorough way to test for kidney stones. A ct scan will ascertain the state of the ureter, bladder, and kidneys, whether or not a stone exists, the kidney stone's exact size and location, whether or not a blockage exists, and the state of the other adjacent organs such as the appendix, aorta, and pancreas. Pregnant women may receive an ultrasound rather than a ct scan in order to avoid unnecessary radiation.
Once a patient is diagnosed with a kidney stone, simple x-rays will be used to track the stone's progress through the excretory system.
Top 8 natural remedies for kidney stones that really work
Affecting around 10% of the population of the world and most common in men between the ages of 30 and 40, kidney stones are a painful and often recurring issue that can last for weeks at a time. Stones are formed when high levels of calcium, sodium, uric acid (the same stuff that causes gout flare-ups), or other crystal-forming substances build up in the urine to levels which the body cannot properly eliminate. These substances gather and chemically bond to each other forming a stone inside the organ. Some kidney stones are very small and may be passed out in the urine with minimal or no symptoms. Others may grow quite large and eventually become lodged in the opening of the urethra - the tube that allows urine to pass from each kidney to the bladder. At this point the stones cause pain, frequent urge to urinate, nausea, vomiting, and excessive sweating among other things.
If you're one of the unlucky 10% who has experienced kidney stones, or if someone in your family has gotten them in the past (kidney stones are hereditary), you probably want to read on to discover the top eight natural remedies for kidney stones that will help to prevent, alleviate the discomfort of, and break apart those nasty little rocks before they become a big problem.
1. Hydration, hydration, hydration
It's always a good idea to drink lots of water (use this calculator to find your daily requirement.) however, when you have kidney stones or if you think that you might be susceptible to them, it's absolutely critical to keep adequate fluids running through your system in order to flush out the minerals and other substances that cause stones to form. If you don't have the time (or patience) to measure and track your daily water intake, simply remember this general rule: the darker your urine is, the more water you need. When your urine comes out clear or close to it, you know you're drinking enough.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegarit's on the 'top 10 natural ingredients' list for a good reason. Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for a long list of ailments, including kidney stones. Not only will acv help to break apart and flush out stones, regular consumption of around 2 tablespoons per day can help to prevent future occurrences. Try an apple cider vinegar tonic first thing in the morning, again around midday, and a third time in the evening to reap the health benefits of this incredible natural remedy and get rid of your kidney stones at the same time. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of raw organic unfiltered acv (my favorite by far is this one by bragg) with an all natural sweetener such as honey or stevia powder and about 4 ounces of water.
3. Lemon juice + olive oil
While this method may not be suitable for people with larger stones, those with smaller kidney stones can try a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help break them apart and flush them out. Mix quarter cup each of lemon juice and olive oil, drink, and follow up with at least 8 ounces of water. Just make sure you're using only high-quality ingredients so you don't accidentally introduce something into your body (like sucrose or h. F. C. S.) that will worsen the condition.
For a delicious, organic lemon juice with zero added sweeteners, pesticides, or other contaminants, I recommend Santa Cruz pure organic unsweetened lemon juice. Also, if you haven't experienced the line of Bragg organic products yet (or even if you have and you love them as much as I do) try out their 100% pure organic extra virgin olive oil to experience the best olive oil flavor and maximum all-natural health potential from a name you can trust!
4. Pomegranate juice
A 2008 study concluded that pomegranate juice prevents the formation of certain types of kidney stones. If you think you're at risk for kidney stones, enjoy a serving or two of pomegranate juice every day. Not only will your kidneys thank you, pomegranates are also full of antioxidants that protect the body from damaging free radicals. What's not to love?
Try it out for yourself. I recommend Lakewood organic pomegranate juice for flavor and purity. You can order it by the case (about a 2-week supply) from this page on amazon.
5. Nettle leaf tea
Stinging nettle tea while stinging nettle is most commonly used for joint support and to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms, it is also a powerful diuretic with anti-bacterial properties. Drinking two to three cups of nettle leaf tea per day will work wonders to flush minerals and toxins out of the kidneys, halt the growth of existing stones, and discourage the formation of new ones, all the while helping to prevent urinary tract infections - another known cause of kidney stones.
6. Vegetable proteins
It's a well-known fact that over-consumption of certain animal proteins can cause kidney stones. If you are prone to the condition, consider replacing some (not necessarily all) of the meats in your diet with vegetable protein sources. While a lot of people may groan at the idea of giving up their beef, pork, eggs, fish, etc - the excruciating pain of passing a kidney stone after kidney stone might be incentive enough. Some excellent veggie sources of protein include green peas, chia seeds, quinoa, spirulina, almonds, beans, hummus, and of course soy. Just remember, you need approximately 50 grams of protein per day. If you plan to switch from meat to vegetable sources, you may want to first familiarize yourself with the protein contents of these foods.
7. Get your fiber
Many vegetable protein sources also have the benefit of being great sources of insoluble fiber - another effective remedy for halting the growth of existing kidney stones and preventing the formation of new ones. Insoluble fiber helps to reduce calcium in the urinary tract by binding to it in the intestines. Calcium passed through the stool means less of the mineral is available to crystallize in the kidneys. Some great sources of soluble fiber include whole grains, legumes, fruits, and green vegetables.
While many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, be aware that they may also contain high levels of oxalate which is one of the major causes of kidney stones. Read more about high-oxalate foods in this article by the university of Pittsburgh medical center.
8. Kidney beans
On a similar note (and somewhat ironically) kidney beans - so called for their resemblance in shape and color to the same-named organ - are also great for clearing up kidney stones. Kidney beans are not only very high in fiber, they're also a great source of non-animal protein, b vitamins, and minerals that improve urinary tracts and kidney health. To get the most out of your kidney beans, cook them in water (avoid meat broth, salt, etc) until they are tender enough to eat. Strain the liquid, let it cool, then strain it again. You can drink the resulting bean broth to help dissolve and flush out stones then eat the delicious beans themselves to boost your overall kidney health.