How Ayurveda Helps in Chronic Kidney Disease?

There are many kidney related diseases. The most talked about is Chronic kidney disease or chronic kidney failure. It is the condition when kidneys fail to efficiently filter waste products from the blood. It instead filters excess fluids from the blood into the urine leading to a buildup of electrolytes and fluids in the body. It develops over a period of years as a slow progressive loss of kidney functions.

Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

The main cause of Chronic Kidney Disease is blood pressure and diabetes. Other causes could be an autoimmune disease like Lupus, Tuberculosis of a kidney, genetic disease, chronic pyelonephritis, and injuries. Some medications like analgesics, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics also lead to Chronic Kidney disease.  Acute dehydration and liver malfunction may also lead to CKD.

Common Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

It leads to symptoms like upset stomach, loss of appetite, vomiting, and nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, swelling and itching in hands and feet, puffy face, feeling cold, bad breath, metallic taste in the food, muscle cramps, anemia, accumulation of fluid in lungs and frequent urination. Chronic Kidney disease indicates that the kidneys are in working condition but partially damaged.

A common symptom experienced by the patients with CKD is urine that has foams or bubbles due to protein in it and at times blood in the urine.

How Ayurveda Helps in Chronic Kidney Disease?

How Ayurveda Can Help in Chronic Kidney Disease

In Ayurveda, kidney problems are explained under Mutra Vaha Sroto Dusty, Mutraghata, Mutrakrcchra, Ashmari and Prameha. The blockage of minute body channels called srotas lead to renal failure. This is caused due to an imbalance of Kapha dosha in the body. Mutravaha srotoas are the body channels taking urine in and out of the kidneys, if these get blocked, the kidney gets denied of fluids and shrinks or swells accordingly. The imbalance of Vata dosha in the body is responsible for the impairment of kidney functions.

Ayurvedic treatment includes some herbal formulations that can help stop further kidney damage. The medications aim at cleansing the body of toxins, and reestablishing the harmony and balance for proper kidney functions. The herbs mentioned in Ayurveda that help to maintain kidney health are Bhumi Amalaki, Varun, Kaasni, Punarnava, Shirish, Gokshur, Palaash, Rakt Chandan, Brahmi or Gotu Kola, Apamarg and Shigru.

1. Punarnava (Boehavia Diffusa):

This herb is used to manage the symptoms of the disease like bringing down swelling of the feet and joints, reduces accumulation of fluid in lungs, and abdomen. Punarnava also helps in improving appetite. One of the best Ayurvedic medicine to treat CKD is Punarnava. It revitalizes the whole body and is very helpful in problems of water retention. Its oxidation activity protects against oxidative stress and renal cell injury.

2. Bhumi Amalaki

Bhumi Amalaki or Phyllanthus Niruri helps in preventing the formation of kidney stones and also stops the crystals once formed from clumping together. Thus, this herb is great in improving kidney functions for CKD. It helps in reducing edema.

3. Varuna (Crataeva Nurvala)

Varuna is a blood purifier and diuretic herb which has been used since ages to eliminate kidney and bladder stones. The compound Iupeol found in Varuna protects against free radical damage in kidneys. It is great for CKD treatment.

4. Kaasni (Chicory)

Kaasni herb is rich in iron and is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. It is a diuretic and thus helps in removing toxins from the kidneys and liver.

5. Shirish (Albexxia Lebbok)

Shirish prevents kidney inflammation and helps in eliminating the accumulated toxins from the body. It is very useful in treating all kinds of kidney related problems.

6. Aparmarg

The herb Aparmarg or Achyranthes Aspera or Nayurivi is an excellent blood purifier and very useful for reducing inflammation. It reduces the acidity in the urine.

7. Gokshur (Tribulus Terrestris)

Gokshur is a powerful diuretic herb which also has the ability to strengthen the kidney cells and promotes their regeneration. It is very helpful in preventing dialysis.

8. Brahmi or Gotu Kola

Brahmi or Gotu Kola is very useful in dealing with urinary problems and also inhibits the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Brahmi has a clear nephroprotective or kidney protective effect and is a great herb for CKD treatment.

The herbs are readily available in tablet or capsule form in the stores. The medicines should be taken under Ayurvedic doctor’s supervision.

Diet Recommendation for CKD Patients

  • A low salt diet, low fat, low protein and a low potassium diet is good for CKD patients.  Boiled diet is recommended and the food should be cooked in olive oil as much as possible.
  • Avoid citrus fruits and limit dairy intake. Vegetables that can be consumed are cauliflower, bell peppers, radish, bottle gourd, ash gourd while mushrooms, potatoes, spinach must be avoided.
  • Fruits like apples, papayas and pears are good while apricots should be avoided.
  • Keeping one hydrated is very important. Water dilutes the urine and flushes out toxins from the body.
  • Drinking herbal teas like the ones prepared from coriander, thyme and fennel seeds, Nettle leaf tea are a good choice for CKD patients.
  • Yoga, Meditation and regular exercise are good for kidney patients. It is very important to go for routine checkups in case of CKD.
  • It is advised to refrain from smoking, alcohol, oily and fried foods.
  • Ayurvedic treatment for Chronic Kidney failure is considered safe, natural and effective. Herbs resuscitate the harmed kidney cells, reduce the creatinine and urea levels and improve the kidney functioning over time.
  • Chronic kidney failure in advanced stage may be irreversible. The conventional approach of management of Chronic kidney disease is dialysis and renal transplantations. Kidney problems should be treated on time as it might affect the other organs of the body if left untreated. Kidney failure is the most severe stage of Chronic Kidney disease.