Kidney stones can be an extremely painful condition. Many people search for natural remedies to help prevent or treat kidney stones. One natural remedy that gets a lot of attention is chamomile tea. But is drinking chamomile tea beneficial for people with kidney stones? Let’s take a look at the research and evidence.
Is chamomile tea good for kidney stone patients?
Chamomile tea has some characteristics that make it potentially helpful for people with kidney stones. Here are a few ways chamomile tea could potentially benefit kidney health:
Chamomile contains compounds like bisabolol and apigenin that have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is thought to play a role in kidney stone formation. By reducing inflammation, chamomile may help prevent stone formation.
Chamomile has mild diuretic properties, meaning it increases urine output. This could help flush out kidney stones or stone-forming substances. Increased urination may also dilute the concentration of minerals in the urine that can form stones.
The antispasmodic actions of chamomile may relieve ureteral spasms caused by kidney stones. This could provide relief from the severe pain caused by stones passing through the ureters.
Chamomile’s sedative effects can promote relaxation and ease pain. This may help with the discomfort caused by kidney stones.
So in theory, the anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antispasmodic, and sedative effects of chamomile tea could aid in preventing and passing kidney stones. However, we need high-quality research specifically on chamomile and kidney stones to say for sure.
Is Tea Bad for Kidney Stones?
There are a few potential downsides of tea for people prone to kidney stones:
- Oxalate content– Some types of tea, especially black tea, are high in oxalates. Oxalate is one substance that can form calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of kidney stones. Higher oxalate intake from foods like tea could increase stone risk.
- Caffeine– The caffeine in many teas may contribute to dehydration and heighten calcium excretion in urine. Both of these can raise kidney stone risk.
- Tannins– Tannins are plant compounds found in tea that may increase uric acid excretion. High uric acid levels can lead to uric acid kidney stones.
However, herbal teas like chamomile contain no caffeine and minimal oxalates or tannins. This makes them less likely to hurt kidney stone formation compared to true teas.
It’s also important to note that research on the effects of tea on kidney stone risk has been mixed. Some studies have linked high tea intake with increased kidney stone risk, while others find no effect. Much may depend on the specific type and amount of tea consumed.
Is Chamomile Tea Good For Kidneys?
There isn’t a great deal of research specifically on the effects of chamomile tea on kidney health. However, some studies suggest chamomile could potentially benefit the kidneys in a few ways:
Animal studies show chamomile can reduce inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). High levels of inflammation in the kidneys are linked to kidney disease progression.
A couple of small human studies found that regularly drinking chamomile tea for 4-8 weeks significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol compared to placebo or water. High cholesterol is a risk factor for kidney disease.
Protects against diabetes complications
Diabetic nephropathy is one of the main causes of chronic kidney disease. Animal studies indicate chamomile may help prevent some diabetes complications like kidney damage by lowering blood sugar levels and oxidative stress.
The mild diuretic effect of chamomile could help flush out wastes and excess fluid from the kidneys. This may lower the risk of kidney stones and infections.
However, this limited research doesn’t conclusively prove chamomile tea protects kidney function. Larger, high-quality human-controlled trials are still needed.
Is it safe to drink chamomile tea daily?
For most healthy adults, drinking up to 3-4 cups of chamomile tea daily is considered safe. Some potential side effects can include:
- Allergic reactions (rare)
- Drowsiness, especially when combined with other sedatives
- Increased risk of bleeding when combined with blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin)
- Pregnancy/breastfeeding risks – chamomile may act as a uterine stimulant
People with kidney disease should use caution with chamomile tea due to its potassium content. Excess potassium can be dangerous for those with severe kidney dysfunction or who are on dialysis.
It’s also best to avoid drinking chamomile tea in excess over long periods. The long-term safety is unknown. Periodic breaks from daily use are a good idea.
Tips for using chamomile tea
If you want to try using chamomile tea to help prevent kidney stones or improve kidney health, keep these tips in mind:
- Buy high-quality tea– Loose-leaf tea or tea bags without additives or flavorings are best. This ensures you get the full chamomile benefits.
- Watch the dosage– 1-3 cups daily is a safe amount for most people. Don’t overdo it.
- Time it right– Drink chamomile tea between meals for optimal diuretic effects. Drinking with meals may decrease its diuretic action.
- Brew it properly– Use hot, not boiling water (170°F is optimal). Steep for 3-5 minutes with a tea infuser or reusable bag. This prevents bitterness from overstepping.
- Avoid triggers– Don’t drink chamomile if you have any known chamomile allergies. Stop drinking it if you develop signs of an allergic reaction like hives, swelling, or breathing problems.
- Watch interactions– Be cautious about combining chamomile tea with blood thinners, sedatives, diabetes medications, or other diuretics. Check with your doctor about potential interactions.
The bottom line – chamomile tea shows some promising potential to be helpful for kidney health, but more research in humans is needed. It’s likely safe for most people to include moderate amounts of chamomile tea in an overall kidney-friendly diet and lifestyle. But check with your doctor before making dramatic changes.
Chamomile Tea and Kidney Stones FAQs
Still, have questions about using chamomile tea for kidney stone prevention or treatment? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Does chamomile tea dissolve kidney stones?
No evidence drinking chamomile tea dissolves existing kidney stones. Once kidney stones form, they often require medical procedures like lithotripsy to break them apart or surgical removal. Drinking chamomile tea is unlikely to break down large stones.
However, chamomile may help prevent new stones from forming due to its anti-inflammatory, and diuretic effects. Theoretically, its diuretic properties could help flush out very small stones before they grow large enough to get stuck and cause problems. But this hasn’t been proven.
Is it safe to drink chamomile tea if I have kidney stones?
For most people, drinking moderate amounts of chamomile tea is safe even with kidney stones. Chamomile contains minimal oxalate and won’t significantly raise the risk of calcium oxalate stones.
However, excess chamomile could have a diuretic effect that causes you to lose too much fluid or electrolytes. This could be dangerous if you aren’t drinking enough other fluids. As long as you stay well hydrated when drinking chamomile tea, adverse effects are very unlikely.
If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before incorporating chamomile tea. Avoid drinking it in large amounts. And stop drinking chamomile if you notice any troubling symptoms.
Should I drink chamomile tea after passing a kidney stone?
Passing a kidney stone can be very painful and cause damage and inflammation in the urinary tract. Drinking chamomile tea for a few days after passing a stone may help soothe inflammation faster.
Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory effects combined with its antispasmodic properties could promote healing after a stone passes. The tea’s sedative qualities may also help with residual discomfort.
Just be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in addition to the chamomile tea. Limit intake to 1-2 cups per day. Too much tea could have a diuretic effect when fluids need to be replaced after passing a stone.
What is the best chamomile tea for kidney stones?
If you want to use chamomile tea to help with kidney stones, choose a high-quality loose-leaf tea or tea bag. Look for organic chamomile tea with no added flavors or fragrances. Steep for 3-5 minutes in hot (not boiling) water for the best flavor and highest concentration of beneficial compounds.
Some popular, widely available chamomile tea brands that make good options include:
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile Herbal Leaf Tea
- Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Herbal Tea
- Bigelow Benefits Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea Bags
- Tazo Organic Chamomile Herbal Infusion
- The Republic of Tea Organic Chamomile SuperHerb Tea
Buying loose dried chamomile flowers and making a tea infusion yourself is also a great choice. Just be sure your chamomile comes from a reliable source.
Can I drink chamomile tea every day to prevent kidney stones?
There’s no solid evidence proving that drinking chamomile tea every day will reliably prevent kidney stones in all people. Much more research is still needed.
However, chamomile tea is safe for most healthy adults to drink daily in moderate amounts (1-3 cups). Its anti-inflammatory properties and diuretic effects could be beneficial for overall kidney and urinary tract health by reducing stone risk factors.
Drinking chamomile tea regularly may be worthwhile as part of an overall kidney stone prevention diet and lifestyle. Just be sure not to overdo it, and drink plenty of water in addition to the tea. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns about incorporating daily chamomile tea.
Kidney stones can be excruciatingly painful and troublesome. Many natural remedies like chamomile tea are often tried to help prevent recurrent stones from forming.
Research suggests chamomile tea has some promising properties like diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic effects that could aid kidney health and potentially decrease stone risk. Things like its oxalate content are also lower compared to black or green tea.
However, human studies specifically looking at chamomile’s effects on the kidneys and kidney stone formation are still quite limited. We need more high-quality clinical trials to determine just how useful chamomile tea may be for improving kidney function and preventing stones.
For most people, drinking moderate amounts of chamomile tea daily is safe and may have benefits. Incorporating it into an overall healthy lifestyle with proper hydration, diet, and activity can be worthwhile for keeping kidneys healthy and reducing recurrent stones.
Just be sure to check with your doctor first, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or take medications that could interact with chamomile tea. Use caution with excessive intake over long periods. Stop drinking chamomile if you experience any side effects or symptoms indicating an allergy or adverse reaction.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder of Quick Medico and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.