Renal lithiasis, more commonly known as kidney stones, are a collection of salts that bind together in the urinary tract and are incredibly painful to pass. Most commonly, prescription medications are used to dissolve the stones, although in some cases surgery is required. However, recent research indicates that lemon juice can be used to not only dissolve kidney stones, but also help to prevent new ones from forming in those that suffer from chronic renal lithiasis.
A substance known as citrate naturally occurs in urine, and is meant to keep the salts in urine from clumping together to form kidney stones. In many people, however, the body does not create enough citrate to prevent kidney stones from developing or dissolve existing ones. Although the most common prescription treatment for kidney stones contains a man-made version of citrate, Mother Nature has a fruit that is rich in it: lemons.
Lemon juice, when drank daily, can be used to dissolve existing kidney stones. The naturally occurring citrate not only helps to break up the deposits, but also prompts the body to make more citrate of its own, dissolving stones faster and keeping new ones from forming. For this purpose, it is generally recommended that one cup of straight lemon juice be mixed with seven cups of water, with a glass or two a day being most beneficial. While sugar can be added, it is generally best if it isn’t.
Although sometimes medication is necessary, lemon juice for kidney stones is a natural way to help your body function as it’s meant to. As with anything, always discuss using lemon juice for kidney stones in lieu of medication with your doctor, as this alternative treatment may not work for everyone.
Lemon juice is also popular for other health applications such as for detox or cleansing programs or some people use lemon juice for acne.