Herbs And The Urinary System
Herbs And The Urinary System
The importance of the Urinary System can-not be over stated. The various functions fulfilled by the kidneys and associated structures show how fundamental to body health and well-being they are. The maintenance of homeostasis is pivotal to any experience of wellness. With a variety of herbal diuretics in our herbal dispensaries, the medical herbalist is uniquely endowed by nature with the means to support and strengthen the complexed physiology that maintains healthy kidneys and water balance in the body.
The kidneys are major organs of elimination. They work in conjunction with the Liver, the Lungs, the Skin and the Bowels to help insure a clean internal environment. The body disposes of excess water, toxic waste products of metabolism, and inorganic salts in the form of urine. Because of their excretory function, the kidneys are also largely responsible for the maintenance of water balance of the body and the PH of the blood.
The kidneys also play an important roles in other body activities. For example, the kidneys release the protein erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to increase the formation of red blood cells. Because they have a role in regulating the volume of fluid in the body, they also help to control blood pressure. In addition some drugs or their metabolities are eliminated through the kidneys.
The are many herbs for which a herbalist can choose for treating kidney problems but the choice will depend on presenting symptoms and under lying cause. Each herbalist will have their favourite herbs to act as gentle tonic for the urinary tract and may include Cleavers, Couch Grass, Cornsilk or Yarrow to name but a few.
In the urinary system the emphasis is on nourishing the tissue and helping to support the normal functioning of the various organs and tissue involved. Stronger diuretic like Dandelion, would not be included in a list of gentle tonic herbs.
Attention to a number of straightforward factors will help maintain urinary tract health and avoid the development of illness in the whole system:
• Drink adequate amounts of water. 6 to 8 glasses a day.
• Avoid too much protein in the diet as it tends to over load the kidneys. The kidneys deal with much of the nitrogen-rich metabolic waste from these molecules produced. Under normal conditions this is no problem, but anyone with kidney problems should be on a low-protein diet, obtaining protein from vegetable sources.
• Practice good personal hygiene.
• Avoid dietary irritants especially foods containing oxalic acid. Do not consume too much coffee or tea. Some plant essential oils taken internally can damage the delicate tissue of the nephrons.
The kidneys process our creative energy and give us a sense of safety, identity and being grounded. Imbalances give rise to fear and insecurity. Overwork and prolonged stress exhaust the kidneys as does sustained worry about financial security. Creative activity and rest are the therapeutic activities recommended.
General herb classifications and considerations used when making up a herbal kidney remedy
Any good kidney and bladder formula will contain the following:
• Urinary tonics as the lead herbs to support kidney function
• Diuretics to encourage release of fluid
• Solvents to dissolve calcified kidney stones
• Demulcents to protect delicate tissue as the kidney stones are eliminated
• Nervines to relax and address the underlying energetics of the kidneys
• Circulatory stimulants to encourage the flow of circulation
In some cases the following classifications of herbs may be added:
• Antibacterial and Antimicrobial herbs in the case of infection
• Adaptogens to strengthen and support the rebuilding and storage of vital force in the kidneys and to address cases of chronic exhaustion
• Diaphoretics to encourage the elimination of fluid through the skin
• Colon cleansing where there is evidence of chronic constipation
• Alteratives where there is systemic acidity as in arthritis and rheumatism
Considerations for formula making to be taken into account:
The art of formula making for the kidneys is concerned with the strength of the formula. This organ system is very delicate and should not be pushed toward detoxification without due consideration of the overall health and age of the patient. When there is a full blown infection present and accompanying inflammation it is important to use copious amounts of demulcents alongside any other herbs in the formula. Mediterranean herbs such as juniper are quite strong and will purge the kidneys, so be cautious where the kidneys have been damaged by long term use of pharmaceutical drugs. It is sometimes better to administer warm infusions of kidney herbs only and in fact any kidney formula should always be accompanied by an kidney infusion!
If you are concerned about you Urinary System and would like to know more send Email or phone 085-2157479