The kidneys, located near the lower ribs on either side of the spine, look like two
bean-shaped organs that regulate the fluid in your body. They also excrete
too much acid or alkaline elements and clear the blood of toxins. About 2.5
pints of water are excreted as urine every day. Urine is about 96% water.
The river of life must always flow, and a malfunctioning kidney/bladder system has become a common problem for millions. With powerful chemicals being washed out of the body from stress or dietary and environmental poisons, inner tissue can be irritated or even burned. Constant irritation will wear down the health of the urinary system and leave it open to infection.
A common irritant is diuretic drugs, often taken to expel excess water from the body, to lose weight or alleviate swelling. Other drugs can be irritating also, especially if the liver is unable to sufficiently neutralize their toxic properties first.
Another common problem is caused by not drinking enough water, or water that is contaminated. Although 8 glasses of water are recommended, this amount is not correct for everyone. Too much water can diminish the blood’s oxygen and cause lethargy or a type of “drunkenness”. Too little cuts energy production and all cell activity, also piling up wastes to poison and suffocate the whole system. Drink enough to satisfy your inner feedback system. It knows how much you need, unless you are experiencing certain diseases (like diabetes) that warp your inner signals for thirst.
So besides using good water, various nutritional aids can strengthen, clean out, and increase the proper function of the kidneys and its associated bladder and tubes.
The body uses the kidneys to maintain a balance of many processes and needed nutrients. The blood flowing through the kidneys needs to have a pH of 6-7. This can be determined by touching a small piece of pH paper to a drop of urine. (You can purchase this pH paper on this site.) Any large shift to either alkaline or acid can be a warning of trouble. [You may want to read the article "About the pH"]
If stress has caused an alkaline (higher pH number) condition, this is medically called “alkalosis”. Certain acids like vitamin C, lemon juice, cranberries, apples and especially apple cider vinegar diluted with water are excellent normalizers.
A pH of 4 is too acid and “five” may be temporary. Sometimes vinegar will drop the pH that low for awhile, but soft drinks and coffee are very acidic (4.5 pH) and cause a lowering of the pH also. People drawn to these drinks may actually be suffering from alkalosis as a result of stress and are unwittingly balancing their blood pH. However, they are using means that may harm other parts of the body at the same time.
Everyone probably recalls having the flu and the backache that went with it. This was more than likely caused by overloaded kidneys trying to cleanse the body from the mass of destroyed germs and body tissue that occurs during an illness. The kidneys ache. This is an important time to rest and wash the poisons out by diluting them with plenty of liquid—healing broth,“green drinks” (made from blended/strained wheatgrass or other greens), fruit and vegetable juices and pure water.
Without getting into the function of the kidneys, it should be understood that each contains little tubules that must not die or the blood cannot be cleansed. Dirty blood wears out the body, like dirty oil in an engine. Never allow this to happen! Your kidneys are giving you a continual “oil change” every minute. Of the heart’s total output, the kidneys take 25% all the time. Remember that exercise will also help keep the plumbing running, and can help strengthen muscles needed to prevent embarrassing moments.
We must not forget the bladder.
This little storage facility has special muscles that actually wring itself out when emptying. Having to hold irritating substances for too many hours will weaken these muscles and the bladder may not totally empty. The remaining often contains bacteria which, in this warm environment, can cause bladder infection.
If, however, you experience bladder irritation, it could be one sign of a weakened constitution. If this is the case, JP-X, Golden seal, and Urinary Maintenance are very effective in combating this painful situation. Once the irritation is overcome, continue to use Urinary Maintenance to help rebuild and maintain healthy kidneys and the overall urinary system.
If the infection becomes persistent, or keeps recuring, it would be wise to check and treat for Candida Albicans.
This is just a general overview of the urinary system, and it will be the foundation upon which we will continue to build by discussing some of the specific problems and common distresses experienced within the kidneys and the bladder.
Symptoms & Conditions
CAUTION: As always, use wisdom and care when dealing with any physical problem. Do not take unnecessary chances. Nutritional supplements can give you remarkable results when used correctly. Be glad to get counsel and learn more about your particular problems. In that spirit of knowledge and being responsible, we offer some folk uses (some of which are being validated by scientific research) of various herbs, vitamins and minerals. Perhaps these will also help to correct other health problems you did not realize were related to the urinary system.
(from stressed or inflamed kidneys): Alfalfa, garlic, parsley (see “infection” below).
(see infection, below): capsicum, combination KB-C, vitamins A, C.
Immersion in water helps to rid the body of sodium, which may keep excessive water in the body. Combination potassium will also help drive sodium and water from the system.
Alfalfa, Corn silk, Golden seal, Juniper berries, Parsley, Parthenium, Uva ursi, L-Lysine amino acid, vitamins A, C and E.
This can be a streptococcus infection that has reached the kidneys and can destroy them. However, strep bacteria cannot tolerate an acid environment. Acidifying the urine may therefore help the antibiotic herbs (see “infection” above) in combating this serious disease. Note that vitamin C, cranberry, lemon juice, and vinegar diluted in water are all acid formers of the urine. Other causes of nephritis may be other kinds of bacteria, toxic drugs, alcohol, arsenic or mercury poisoning.
(See “backache” and “infection” or “stones”)
Capsicum, Juniper berries, immersion in water.
(see below): Cornsilk, Horsetail, Hydrangea, Magnesium, strawberries, Zinc.
Preventing stones is the painless way “to go”. Plenty of water keeps the blood thin and the urine diluted so that mineral or chemical compounds do not precipitate into stones. Another preventative is to take enough Calcium with Magnesium and vitamin B6.
Eating too much meat raises the stone-forming oxalates and calcium in the urine. In addition, natural fiber in the diet helps sop up excess fat and toxic materials. Products like Psyllium Hulls, Nature’s Three should help. Increase your dietary intake of natural, whole foods.
There can be three causes of kidney stones:
* too much acid in the kidneys
* chronic diarrhea and
* too much animal protein.
But a diet too high in fat and sugar, and lacking in natural fiber, magnesium or B6 can also lead to problems. For those suffering from stones, be very cautious. Unless you fully understand your condition, and know precisely what to do, self-treatment is not safe. Using ultra sound to break up stones can cause high blood pressure if they damage the kidneys.
The ripe berries are used. They can be eaten raw (hard to do because they are so strong), made into a tea, or dried carefully to maintain the aromatic oils and encapsulated. They are effective against a uric acid buildup in the blood, which can settle out in the toes as gout. The berries also settle the stomach and help prevent flatulence.
Although a wonderful nutritional aid for the urinary system, and effective against infections of the whole urinary tract, juniper berries should not be overused when the kidneys are weak. If they are infected, use other herbs first until the kidneys are normalized.
Externally the berries can be applied to any painful swellings, including neuralgic and rheumatic pains. It is also a parasite killer, and is soothing and helpful in many cases of diabetes. Juniper has even been used as a seasoning for meats, sauces, soups, stew and marinades. We know one man who had chronic urinary infections for years, and antibiotics were beginning to fail him. But with juniper berries, he has not been bothered since. That is a true story, and while it won’t apply to everyone, many will experience a relief and lifting of a very painful burden to both body and spirit.
This very strong diuretic is packed with an abundance of nutrition. Parsley is very powerful and heavy consumption during pregnancy is not advised because it is very high in potassium, which helps remove water retaining sodium in the body. It is also high in calcium, vitamins A and C, niacin and riboflavin; all builders of the urinary system. Ancient folk uses include kidney stones and gallstones, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, asthma, and coughs. Parsley is most famous as a tonic and breath mint. It stimulates good digestion and is somewhat laxative. As a poultice it can help with swollen glands, insect bites and stings. No wonder parsley is still popular. It is used in herbal formulas for the kidney, thyroid, liver and prostate, and is somewhat antibiotic. So why would anybody leave it on their plate?
Signs of Urinary Problems
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