(NaturalNews) The excruciating pain of passing a kidney stone usually makes sufferers go to the hospital. In most cases, physicians aren't able to do much except send the patient home with a prescription for painkillers. In instances where a stone is particularly large, doctors use shock waves to break the stone into pieces small enough to pass through the urethra. Either way, the patient incurs the usual outsize bill that goes with any emergency room visit.
Rather than experience first-hand why the saying "harder than passing a kidney stone" has become a common way to describe an agonizing experience, you may want to take adjust your diet to avoid the formation of these mineral deposits comprised of calcium, uric acid or the amino acid cysteine.
Highly acidic diets tend to create an environment which encourages kidney stones, while more alkaline diets help prevent these kind of deposits. Soft drinks, coffee, alcohol, products containing corn syrup and most forms of animal protein have an acidic effect on the body.
Some fruits and vegetables have a more alkaline effect, while others are more acidic. Some otherwise healthful foods such as rhubarb, spinach, beet greens, sorrel, green tea and chocolate can contribute to kidney stone formation because they contain oxalic acid.
Drinking plenty of pure water also helps discourage the formation of mineral deposits in the kidneys. Holding the bladder rather than urinating when nature calls can also contribute to stone formation. Unless there is a history of kidney infection, people who maintain diets which emphasize fruits and vegetables over animal protein generally have a lower risk of kidney stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones may include nausea and vomiting, as well as pain in the lower back and/or abdomen and blood in the urine. There are natural home remedies which can help dissolve kidney stones, as well as natural aids to help ease stones out of the body more quickly and reduce the pain associated with kidney stones.
Western herbal remedies to prevent kidney stones include meadowsweet, sarsaparilla, joe-pye weed and plantain which help cleanse excess uric acid from the kidneys. Goldenrod is so effective in helping dissolve kidney stones that in Germany, where herbal medicine has received more official acceptance than in the U.S., it is part of the recommended course of treatment.
Multiple scientific studies have verified the folk medicine wisdom which has long prescribed goldenrod for a variety of kidney, bladder and urinary tract disorders. Herbs such as St. John's wort, agrimony, horsetail, nettles, yarrow and shepherd's purse can offer some relief for the kidney stone pain and bleeding.
Next time you treat yourself to some fresh corn on the cob, don't discard the silky part of the cornhusk known as cornsilk. Instead, boil the cornsilk in pure water along with some marshmallow herb to make a potent stone-dissolving tea.
Cornsilk is an excellent example of how the move away from fresh, whole foods deprives people of natural healing. If you buy frozen corn, or the pre-husked and cut corn on the cob, you miss out on this substance which also aids against urinary tract stones, urinary tract infections, hypertension and prostate disorders.
The name of Amazon herb chanca piedra actually translates as "stone breaker." Concoctions of this plant have long been used in South America to break down stones of the kidneys and gallbladder. It is also effective against a host of ailments from diabetes to jaundice.