Caring For Your Kidneys – From Ayurvedic Perspective
Kidneys play a very important role in your overall health as they are responsible for cleaning and detoxifying your blood. They process your blood to separate out excess fluids, toxic chemicals and waste; and turn these into urine. Besides cleaning and filtering your blood, they also help regulate your blood pressure, balance the amount of water in your body, and manage your body’s production of vitamin D.
Ayurvedic approach to Maintain Healthy Kidneys
Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach towards maintaining healthy kidneys by offering natural ways to kidney cleanse and detox using the proper diet and exercise, and inculcating the ability to stay positive. The most important thing is to hydrate yourself, since water acts as a natural lubricant and detoxifier. Eat kidney-friendly food, limiting your protein intake and avoiding excessive intake of high sodium and processed foods. Also limit intake of excessive sugar. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and maintain your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in the healthy range – high blood pressure and high blood sugar are the two main causes of kidney failure. Avoid taking pain-killers which are available over-the-counter.
Ayurveda also recommends consumption of juice of radish leaves, watermelon – either in raw form or juice, beetroot juice or cooked beetroot, juice of moringa leaves, and figs for healthy kidneys. Tulsi (basil) leaves taken along with honey are also good for cleansing the kidneys.
Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy kidneys. Daily consumption of decoction prepared by boiling coriander seeds and barley in water is also very useful.
Ayurveda also prescribes regular administration of ‘Niruha basti ‘(procto-colonic administration of decoction of herbs like Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), rocksalt, sesame oil and mixture of herbal powders having beneficial effect on kidneys such as Varuna (Crateva nurvala) and Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris)), to maintain healthy kidneys. Yoga asanas such as Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Viparita Karani, Balasana and Pawanmuktasana are effective for maintaining healthy kidneys; as also Pranayama technique such as Anulom-vilom.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Healthy Kidneys:
Classical Ayurvedic herbs which are known to have beneficial effect on kidneys include: Varun (Crateva nurvala), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Kaasni (Chicorium intybus), Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri), Shirish (Albezzia lebbok), Shigru (Moringa oleifera), Apamarg (Achyranthes aspera), Pashanbheda (Bergenia ligulata), Palaash (Butea monosperma), Gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), Kamal (Nelumbo nucifera), Lal chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus), Ushira (Vetiveria zizanioides), Dhania (Coriandrum sativum), Chaulai (Amaranthus spinosus), Kakri Beej (Cucumis utilissimus) and Panchtrin Mool – a combination of five herbs, namely: Kusha (Desmostachya bipinnata), Kasha (Saccharum spontaneum), Shara (Ceratophyllum submersum), Durva (Cynodon dactylon), and Ikshu (Saccharum officinarum).
Polyherbal Ayurvedic Formulations for Healthy Kidneys: Following polyherbal Ayurvedic formulations have been used for centuries by practitioners of Ayurveda to treat various kidney disorders:
Goksuradi guggulu: It contains Gokshura fruit (Tribulus terrestris), Guggulu resin (Commiphora mukul), Musta root (Cyperus rotundus), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki fruit (Terminalia belerica), Haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula), Pippali fruit (Piper longum), Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) and Black Pepper fruit (Piper nigrum).
Punarnavadi guggulu: It contains Guggulu, Ginger root (Zingiber officinale), Punarnava root (Boerhaavia diffusa), Castor root and oil (Ricinus communis), Nishoth stem (Operculina turpethum), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis), Pippali fruit (Piper longum), Black Pepper fruit (Piper nigrum), Chitrak root (Plumbago zeylanica), Bhallataka herb (Semecarpus anacardium), Bibhitaki fruit (Terminalia belerica), Haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula), Guduchi stem (Tinospora cordifolia) and Danti root (Baliospermum montanum).
Rasayan churna: It contains Gokshura fruit (Tribulus terrestris), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis) and Guduchi stem (Tinospora cordifolia) in equal quantities.
Varunadi kvath: It contains Varuna tvak (bark of Crataeva nurvala), Bilva moola (Aegle marmelos ), Apamarga, Chitrak moola (Plumbago zeylanica), Arani (Clerodendron phlomidis), Shigru (Moringa oleifera), Bruhati (Solanum melongena), Kirattikta (Swertia chiretta), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), and Darbha (Desmostachya bipinnata).
Punarnavadi kvatha: It contains Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa), Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Patola (Trichosanthes Dioica), Sunthi or dried ginger (Zingiber Officinale), Kalmegh (Andrographis Paniculata), Giloy or Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia) and Devdaru (Cedrus Deodara).
Varunadi vati: It contains Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Varun (Crataeva nurvala), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) and Shuddha Guggulu (Commiphora mukul)
Chandraprabha vati: It contains Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Bhunimba (Andrographis paniculata), Amruta (Tinospora cordifolia), Daruka (Cedrus deodara), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), Darvi (Berberis aristata), Pippalimoola (Piper longum), Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica), Dhanyaka (Coriandrum sativum), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Gajapippali (Piper chaba), Shunti (Zingiber officinalis), Maricha (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Makshika Dhatu Bhasma (Purified Copper Iron Sulphate), Yava Kshara (Hordeum vulgare), Swarjika Kshara, Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt), Sauvarchala Lavana (Sochal salt), Vida Lavana (Vida salt), Trivrit (Operculina turpethum), Danti (Baliospermum montanum), Patra (Cinnamomum tamala),Twak (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Ela (Elettaria cardamomum), Vamshalochana (Bambusa bambos), Loha Bhasma (Iron Bhasma), Shilajatu (Asphaltum), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul).
Panchtrin Mool Ghanvati: It consists of natural diuretic herbs such as Kusha (Desmostachya bipinnata), Kasha (Saccharum spontaneum), Shara (Ceratophyllum submersum), Darbha (Cynodon dactylon), and Ikshu (Saccharum officinarum).
Disclaimer: All the information in this article is only for the purpose of education. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Always consult your doctor for any health related issues. Remember that self-medication is dangerous.