Before we dive into kidney cleanses, what they’re good for, and how to do one, we should first talk a little about the kidneys.
Our kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs that reside below the ribcage. The kidneys are responsible for filtration. Every day, the kidneys filter “120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.”
Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder, where it is stored until the bladder eventually gets emptied — you already know how it is emptied, so we won’t explain this here.
In addition to filtration, the kidneys also help out by regulating various hormones, preventing waste buildup in the body, and assisting in maintaining the body’s electrolyte levels.
What is a “Kidney Cleanse”?
Also called a “kidney detox,” the goal of a kidney cleanse is often to remove or prevent the formation of kidney stones — waste in the kidneys that has calcified and become solid and sometimes painful.
Kidney cleanses are not only for those with kidney stones or who are prone to having kidney stones. A cleanse can also be useful in simply detoxifying the kidneys of any toxins and promoting proper kidney function. Kidneys can be detoxified in a variety of ways.
How to Perform a Kidney Cleanse (or, How to Improve Kidney Function)
Some kidney cleanses only involve drinking lots of water, and others involve eating or drinking various things. If you don’t think you are drinking enough water every day, it’s recommended you start there, as a water detox is the easiest cleanse to attempt.
If you’re already drinking enough water and want to cleanse your kidneys, you can try supplementing your diet with various kidney-friendly foods. These foods naturally bolster your kidneys’ effectiveness and are safe to consume unless you have a specific allergy to them.
Lastly, there are various apple cider vinegar drinks that you can try. Apple cider vinegar is highly effective at dissolving stones over time. If you have kidney stones, they won’t dissolve completely the first time you drink apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar also flushes toxins from the kidney, preventing the formation of kidney stones and promoting healthy kidney function. Apple cider vinegar is quite strong, and should not be consumed regularly, only as necessary.
A water detox is the easiest way to perform a kidney flush. All you need to do is drink at least eight glasses of water a day. You’ll want to drink more water than this if you exercise and lose body water through sweating.
You’ll know you’re drinking enough water if your urine is clear-colored. It may take a few days of drinking this much water or more to experience improvements in kidney function. Even if you don’t have kidney problems, it is healthy and beneficial to drink this much water daily.
Food & Drink Detoxes
Watermelon, pumpkin seeds, ginger, and turmeric are all foods you can eat to help your kidneys out and cleanse the kidney of any toxins.
When it comes to beverages, a daily glass of cranberry juice, lemon juice, celery juice, or other fruit juices can lead to improved kidney function. Consuming enough fruit and vegetables is also beneficial to your kidneys.
Herbal (Tea) Detox
Various kinds of tea can serve as kidney cleansing drinks. Parsley, dandelion root, marshmallow, ginger, and turmeric can all detoxify your kidneys naturally. Parsley can also be consumed whole mixed in with a salad, and turmeric also comes in juice form, so you have plenty of earthy options to choose from.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Kidney Stones
Apple cider alone doesn’t taste very good to most people, so you’ll probably want to combine it with something to make it more palatable. Below, we offer four possible mixtures for kidney cleanses utilizing apple cider vinegar.
In addition to curing kidney stones, apple cider vinegar offers a host of other benefits. It can help with heartburn and acid reflux, help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and can even help you lose weight by suppressing one’s appetite.
When you’re out shopping for apple cider vinegar, be sure to purchase the organic, raw variety. It should also be noted that you’ll only want to drink these remedies once or twice a day. Now, let’s begin.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Water
This is the simplest mixture. Just mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it down.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Honey
For this kidney-cleansing option, first, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey. Then, dissolve this mixture in a glass of water, and you’re ready to drink it.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Baking Soda
By combining baking soda with apple cider vinegar, you’re making the mixture less acidic. This can be desirable for some people.
Baking soda also brings its own health benefits to the mix, making this concoction beneficial to more than your kidneys. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda combine to improve the health of your skin, ease arthritis and pain, and soothe all kinds of allergies and cold symptoms.
To begin, mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with an eighth teaspoon of baking soda in a glass. Then, fill the rest of the glass with water.
The baking soda should make the apple cider vinegar more tolerable, but you can add honey to the mixture to further improve the taste.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon Juice
Add lemon juice to one of the above mixtures to increase its ability to cleanse the body of toxins. In addition to aiding with the flushing of toxins, lemon juice also helps control blood pressure, lower stress, and boost your immune system.
Other Ways to Care for Your Kidneys
While the above methods are useful for cleansing your kidneys of harmful toxins, there are certain ways to prevent your kidneys from having to work as hard to filter what enters your body.
Smoking, as well as consuming alcohol or caffeine in excess, can all be detrimental to any attempts to detoxify your kidneys.
You’ll also want to keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels healthy, drink enough water every day, and maintain a healthy weight.