Natural remedies for chronic kidney disease
Ahead of the World Kidney Day tomorrow, March 10, 2017, scientists have identified diabetes and high blood pressure as the leading causes of poor kidney health, which in turn are caused by a poor diet, lifestyle and obesity.
Several studies recommend that the only real long-term solution to kidney disease is to drink more clean water, get more exercise and, most importantly, to reject processed and unhealthy foods in favour of natural whole foods.
Also, researchers have identified foods that can treat kidney disease and boost renal function. Top on the list is garlic, ginger and watermelon.
How garlic, ginger, onions, others prevent renal damage
Researchers have found that eating meals rich in ginger (Zingiber officinale), onion (Allium cepa) and garlic (Allium sativum) could be the novel preventive and therapeutic diet or drug against the menace.
A recent study published in Journal of Renal Nutrition concluded: “This study concludes that alcohol-induced nephro-toxicity was attenuated by ginger extract treatment, thus ginger can be used as a regular nutrient to protect the renal cells.”
The study investigated the nephro-protective effect of ginger against chronic alcohol-induced oxidative stress and tissue damage. Results of another study published in World Journal of Life Science and Medical Research revealed that Allium cepa has renal protective effects in diabetic rabbits.
Another study published in Science Alert concluded: “This study shows that cadmium induces nephrotoxicity by impairing renal functions and stimulating lipid peroxidation. Pre-treatment and post-treatment of onion extract in cadmium-treated rats produced mild protective potentials.
However, co-treatment with onion extract during cadmium administration showed significant antioxidative potentials in preventing cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity.”
Meanwhile, results of an animal study published in Food Chemistry found that ginger could help protect against kidney damage, a condition said to threaten one in three diabetics.
The new study assessed the effects of ginger on the blood antioxidant levels and kidney health of diabetic rat models. One study published in Pharmacological Reports in 2008 discovered that garlic could significantly reduce kidney damage associated with mercury chloride exposure in laboratory animals (mercury chloride is a potential carcinogen used in disinfectants, batteries, insecticides and many other products to which humans are regularly exposed).
Another study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2001, found that garlic in low doses could enhance the antioxidant status of the kidneys, thus protecting them from the cell-damaging effects of free radicals.
There are three reasons why watermelons are good for treating kidney disease. Firstly, they are low in potassium and phosphorus, which are two minerals that dysfunctional kidneys can have problems balancing. Secondly, they are comprised of approximately 92 percent alkaline water, which helps flush the urinary system of accumulated toxins (watermelon fasts can even dissolve kidney stones). Lastly, they help the liver to process ammonia and deliver it to urea, thus easing the strain on the kidneys while ridding the body of excess fluids. Unlike garlic, watermelon is high in natural sugars. For this reason, people with diabetes-sourced kidney disease should be careful not to consume too much of it on a regular basis.
Pawpaw seeds offer protection against kidney damage
Nigerian researchers claim that seed extracts of unripe mature fruits of pawpaw (Carica papaya) can protect the kidneys from damage and could offer hope for the treatment of poison-related kidney (renal) diseases.
The study was published in Biology and Medicine.
The researchers concluded: “It is proposed that the nephroprotective activities of the aqueous seed extract of the unripe, mature fruits of Carica papaya in carbon tetrachloride-induced nephrotoxicity may involve its antioxidant and/or oxidative free radical scavenging activities.
“Also, the results of this study have confirmed the rationale for the folkloric use of the aqueous seed extract of Carica papaya in the treatment of poison-related renal disorders.”
Also, among the Yoruba herbalists, hot infusion of the seeds of the unripe, mature fruits of Carica papaya is employed in the local treatment of poison related renal and hepatic disorders.
Zobo reduces diabetes-induced kidney disease risk
Results of a recent study suggest that aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HSE) has no harmful effect on the liver but when consumed in high doses could be harmful to the kidney.
Commonly called zobo or roselle in Nigeria, Hibiscus sabdariffa belongs to the plant family malvaceae. Another study found that Hibiscus sabdariffa might help treat kidney stones via uricosuric activity. Uricosuric agents are used to lower the uric acid level in the blood and to prevent the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints and kidneys. These drugs are often used to treat gout, a disease in which uric acid crystals deposit in joints and cause pain. By decreasing plasma uric acid levels, these drugs decrease the deposition of crystals in joints, eventually decreasing inflammation and thereby reducing the pain of gout.
The study authors concluded that roselle has a uricosuric effect and they suggested that the chemical constituents exerting this effect should be identified.
Plantain extract boosts kidney health, sexual functions in men
A meal of unripe plantain with local spices like cloves, onions, garlic and ginger could be the answer to erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, ulcer, kidney problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to “Medicinal Uses of Fruits and Vegetables” written by Mr. Olalekan Jagun, unripe plantain contains special dietary fibre called pectin, which increases the number of calories ingested thus can shed weight or treat obesity
Plantain is also recommended for the treatment of urinary stones. The stem juices of plantain (Musa paradisiaca) have been reported for dissolving pre-formed stones and in preventing the formation of stones in the urinary bladder of rats. Stem juice is also used in nervous affectations like epilepsy, hysteria and in dysentery and diarrhoea. Several oligosaccharides comprising fructose, xylose, galactose, glucose and mannose occur naturally in plantain, making it an excellent prebiotic for the selective growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Director of Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Centre, Rev Fr Anslem Adodo, said Plantain Root Juice (PRJ) offers great hope for all forms of kidney problems and diabetes. “It promotes the flow of urine and helps in metabolism. PRJ has proved helpful to diabetics who are lucky enough to know about it. The dosage is two tablespoons thrice daily,” he said.
Chronic kidney disease patients may live longer on a plant-based diet
Also, a study published in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology found that kidney disease patients who regularly consumed produce, legumes, cereals, whole grains, and fibre lived longer than those who did not.
The researchers concluded that a healthy, plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, whole grains, and fiber and low in red meat, salt, and refined sugars may reduce the risk of early death in people with CKD. Traditionally, CKD patients have been taught to restrict individual nutrients, such as phosphorus, salt, potassium, and protein, but limited evidence show that these efforts prevent complications, according to the investigators.
Unlike some previous research, the investigators found no significant associations between consumption of healthy, whole foods and progression to end-stage renal disease. Neither patient age nor country of origin accounted for the outcomes.
Baking soda prevents kidney disease, renal failure and kidney dialysis
A recent study discovered a new use for common household baking soda. The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) reported that a daily dose of baking soda could prevent kidney damage and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in a study entitled, Bicarbonate Supplementation Slows Progression of CKD and Improves Nutritional Status. Baking soda prevents kidney disease and dialysis.