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Herbal teas are known to offer reliable help for specific health complaints. Accordingly, many tea herbs can be classified according to their area of application. The most commonly used medicinal plants include, along with cold herbs, so-called bladder and kidney herbs. They are used to treat urinary tract disorders and are made for this purpose as bladder or kidney tea. Since the ingredients of a corresponding herbal tea must first pass through the kidneys in order to develop their healing effects in the urinary tract, one often speaks of only one Kidney tea. In this article you will find out which herbs work particularly well here and what a medicinal plant needs to prove itself as a real kidney herb.
What are kidney herbs?
Medicinal herbs are commonly referred to as kidney herbs, and their mode of action supports kidney health in particular. As a rule, this healing effect also benefits the other urinary tract organs, which is why they can almost always be used to treat the ureters, bladder and urethra in addition to kidney problems. The most important property of kidney herbs is a diuretic effect, which stimulates urine formation and ensures that the urinary tract is flushed out carefully. In this way, the urinary tract organs are cleaned extensively and any pathogens are quickly eliminated. The diuretic effect of the tea herbs is usually promoted by ingredients such as:
- Mineral salts,
- Citric acid.
The diuretic effect of kidney tea is often used to cleanse the body as part of a detoxification or detoxification course. The antioxidant effect that is common to many kidney herbs also helps here. Thanks to him, kidney teas sometimes successfully freeze free radicals in the organism. This applies above all to the body's own vessels, which are particularly numerous in the kidney area and are essential for urine filtration. When used correctly, kidney tea can improve kidney function and increase urine production if there are problems with urination. In addition, the antioxidants in kidney herbs also reduce the risk of inflammation, which often increases due to vascular damage caused by free radicals. Very important antioxidants in kidney herbs are:
- Vitamin C,
- Vitamin E.
With regard to inflammation, most kidney herbs also have a targeted anti-inflammatory effect. This is particularly important for inflammatory urinary tract diseases such as kidney or bladder infection. Prepared as a tea, the anti-inflammatory active ingredients of the herbs develop best, as the liquid can be used in the urinal tract. On their way through the urinary tract, they also disinfect adjacent organ sections and thus prevent existing infectious diseases or secondary infections from rising. The most important anti-inflammatory agents are:
- Bitter substances,
- Vitamin C,
- Vitamin D,
- Vitamin E.
With all these highly effective ingredients, it quickly becomes clear that kidney herbs and the kidney tea prepared from them also play a very important role in the treatment of urinary tract diseases. Many acute diseases in the urinary tract can be remedied more quickly by taking the tea regularly, and chronic diseases can at least be alleviated. If the course of the disease is mild, as is often the case with cystitis, drinking bladder and kidney tea is often even sufficient to cope with the inflammatory germs. Overall, the following diseases can be treated with kidney herbs:
- Bladder weakness (urinary incontinence),
- impaired urine production (diuresis),
- Gout (uricopathy),
- decreased urine production (anuria / oliguria),
- Urethritis (urethritis),
- Urinary stones (concretions),
- Retention of urine (ischuria),
- Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis),
- Kidney failure (renal insufficiency),
- Kidney stones (nephroliths),
- Painful urination (dysuria),
- Dropsy (edema).
Overview of kidney herbs
There are a number of herbs that can be used to prepare kidney tea. Not every herb has the same effect, which means that the exact composition of the tea can vary depending on the disease. For this reason, we have listed all the important kidney herbs for you below and listed the most important areas of application.
Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
The field horsetail is already one of the classics among kidney herbs. It is mainly used in the treatment of urinary disorders such as kidney or bladder weakness. Field horsetail is also a tried and tested tea herb for diseases that are accompanied by disturbed urine production and that lead to an increased deposition of water in the tissue. The most important ingredients of the medicinal plant are above all diuretic components such as saponins or potassium. A special recipe recommendation is the use of horsetail for inflammation of the female urinary tract. The ingredients:
- 10 g field horsetail,
- 10 g nettle leaves,
- 10 g yarrow,
- 10 g sage.
Put the herbs in a teapot and pour 1.5 to 2 liters of hot water on top. Let the tea blend steep for ten minutes and then filter out the herbs before drinking the tea in small sips throughout the evening. It is said that the vapors of this mixture can also heal the lower urinary tract. For this purpose, pour the brew into the toilet bowl and sit on the toilet for about ten minutes so that the vapors can reach the urethra.
Field cabbage (Thlaspi arvense)
The Acker-Hellerkraut not only resembles the field horsetail in name, it is also one of the most used kidney herbs. However, its healing properties are somewhat different. Since it mainly contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as mustard oil and vitamin C, it is primarily used to treat kidney and bladder infections. The effects of the field herb are so strong that it can even be used for other infections and inflammatory diseases, such as flu infections, bronchitis, uterine and vaginal infections. Unfortunately, the herb is almost forgotten nowadays, although it is contained as a hidden ingredient in numerous ready-made kidney teas.
A kidney tea is prepared from field herb with 2 teaspoons (teaspoon) of the cut herb. Poured into a cup of hot water, it must steep for about five minutes. The herbs are then filtered off and the tea can be drunk carefully.
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Now the bearberry also has berry-like fruits, but instead of the fruits, the leaves of the plant are used as kidney herbs. Thanks to ingredients such as flavonoids, tannins, glycosides and vitamin C, this kidney herb contains a very extensive healing effect and can therefore be used in a variety of ways. The areas of application range from bladder infections to urinary incontinence to kidney semolina and bladder stones. An all-round talent in the field of urinary tract treatment. The following herbal mixture is recommended for kidney and bladder tea with bearberry
- 1 tablespoon (EL) bearberry leaves,
- 1 tbsp parsley root,
- 1 tbsp asparagus root.
Parsley and asparagus are usually known as kitchen herbs and vegetables. However, the roots of both crop plants also have an extremely diuretic effect, which is why they are wonderfully suitable for tea that flushes out the urinary tract. Since the herbs are also particularly mild, you can confidently take 2 teaspoons for a cup from the tea mixture mentioned above. The brewing time for the tea is five minutes. It can be taken three times a day.
Birch (Betula alba)
Birch leaves are also known as kidney herbs. Their multifunctional healing effects are in no way inferior to those of bearberry leaves. Equipped with an abundance of bladder and kidney-active ingredients such as vitamin C, saponin, tannins and bitter substances, they are used for bladder infections, kidney failure and kidney stones, as well as for urinary disorders such as gout and water retention in the form of edema. Since they are so versatile, birch leaves are usually a standard ingredient for ready-made bladder and kidney teas from the pharmacy. Birch leaves are particularly interesting in this connection for the treatment of urinary retention. Take this:
- 20 g birch leaves,
- 10 g field horsetail,
- 10 g bearberry,
- 10 g nettle,
- 10 g yarrow,
- 10 g juniper,
- 10 g of blackberry.
Poured into a cup with 250 ml of hot water and left covered for ten to 15 minutes, you get a tea that stimulates urine production and should be enjoyed unsweetened before eating.
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Urinary tract diseases are undoubtedly the main evidence that nettles are wrongly cried as weeds. They are widely used as tea herbs against urinary tract infections, for which the diuretic nettle leaves offer an incredibly valuable help. However, and not everyone knows that nettles also help with kidney weakness and gout. The latter disease is based on a disturbed purine metabolism, which causes an increased loss of uric acid crystals in the blood. In the long run, this also damages the kidneys to such an extent that sooner or later kidney failure occurs. Thanks to the strongly diuretic effect of the nettle leaves, the metabolism can be specifically stimulated and the kidney damage can be reduced. The secret of the nettle in this regard lies above all in the plant's own active ingredient, secretin. As the name suggests, it stimulates secretion production and thus urine formation. This allows the blood to be cleared of uric acid crystals more quickly and the gout disease to be kept in check.
To prepare a nettle kidney tea, simply take 2 tsp nettle leaves and pour a cup of boiling water over them. Let the whole thing steep for about ten minutes before sipping the tea in small sips. Alternatively, the nettle can also be easily combined with other kidney herbs.
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
Marshmallow, along with the mallow and hibiscus, is actually known as a gourmet flower tea. Very few are aware of the diuretic and softening effects of their saponins and asparagine in marshmallow. The ingredients help especially with bladder infections and bladder stones. A high proportion of tannins and zinc also gives the marshmallow a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which is also relevant for inflammatory urinary tract infections. Here is a suitable recipe with marshmallow for existing urinary tract infections:
- 20 g marshmallow,
- 10 g nettle,
- 10 g Gundel vine,
- 10 g yarrow,
- 10 g sage.
Take 1 teaspoon of the herb mixture as usual and boil it in 250 ml of water. After a brewing time of ten minutes and sieving the herbs, the kidney tea is ready to eat. You can drink three cups a day.
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
Actually, the goldenrod is more known as an old wound herb. Interestingly enough, it is used much more often in the modern era for the production of bladder and kidney tea. This is mainly due to the fact that it has almost all the important raw materials that a kidney herb should have. The goldenrod lacks nothing from tannins and bitter substances, flavonoids and terpenes to glycosides. Accordingly, very different urinary tract diseases belong to their areas of application. In addition to inflammation of the bladder and kidney pelvis, this includes kidney semolina, kidney stones and urinary disorders. On the other hand, disorders in the body's water balance, such as gout and dropsy, are among the areas of application of this blood-purifying medicinal plant, which further supports the health value for the kidneys.
The basic recipe for kidney tea from goldenrod herb is made with 2 tsp of the herb per 250 ml of water.
Common Hake (Ononis spinosa)
In ancient folk medicine, the hake was once considered one of the most important kidney herbs. Today you know why. With a wide range of tannins, glycosides and essential oil components such as terpenes, the plant, like the goldenrod, covers a wide range of healing effects around the urinary tract, which makes it suitable for the use of common urinary tract diseases such as bladder, urethral or renal pelvic inflammation, as well as rarer and more specific diseases such as kidney stones, gout and edema. You are also welcome to mix the roots of the harrow with other diuretic herbs such as nettle or birch to form a cleansing metabolic tea. Our tip:
- 20 g grass hake,
- 20 g angelica,
- 20 g honorary award,
- 10 g birch leaves,
- 10 g nettle leaves,
- 10 g bedstraw,
- 10 g yarrow.
Take a teaspoon of this herbal mixture, pour 250 ml of boiling water over it and let it sit for about ten to 15 minutes before filtering off the herbs. Three cups of this metabolic tea can be enjoyed daily.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Many know the nasturtium as a red or yellow flowering perennial, the shield-shaped leaves with striking net-like leaf veins. Few people know that nasturtium is one of the strongest herbal antibiotics in the world. Due to its highly effective ingredients, nasturtium is now even traded as an antibiotic of the future, in the fight against multi-resistant germs. The most important ingredients here are flavonoids, carotenoids, mustard oil glycosides and vitamin C, whereby the mustard oil glycosides have the main part in the healing effects of nasturtiums. This antibiotic wonder weapon can help the urinary tract, especially in the fight against inflammatory infections. However, it should be mentioned that the taste of the herb, which is reminiscent of a mixture of watercress, chives and garlic, sometimes takes some getting used to. Therefore, please only take ½ teaspoon per cup and add more pleasant taste components such as honey if necessary. On the other hand, you should avoid lemon juice if you have a bladder infection, since the fruit acid it contains can cause problems with urination. Alternatively, a kidney tea mixture with other herbs for flavor enhancement is also conceivable. Our tip:
- 20 g field horsetail,
- 20 g bearberry,
- 10 g nasturtium.
Add 1 teaspoon to 250 ml of water and let it steep for about ten minutes. Then filter the herbs and drink the kidney tea in small sips. This tea recipe can be enjoyed two to three times a day.
Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
The lovage is another all-round talent among the kidney herbs. What is more, the number of ingredients contained in the herb makes the medicinal plant a quite multifunctional source of active ingredients, even far from urinary tract diseases. However, to stay with the urinal tract, lovage helps with a substantial amount of bitter substances, tannins, flavonoids and terpenes. They are equally disinfectant, metabolism-stimulating and diuretic, which is a great help both for inflammatory diseases and for functional disorders of the urinary tract. Medicinal lovage is also used in particular for stone diseases of the kidney and bladder. As usual, the strong diuretic effect of kidney herbs is in the foreground.
Lovage is also known as Maggi herb because it has a taste similar to Maggi. If you don't like the unusual aroma in tea, you should probably resort to another kidney herb. Otherwise, take 1 to 2 tsp of the herb for a cup of tea as usual. The drawing time for lovage is 15 minutes a little longer. The reason for this is the fact that the root of the herb is used, which is somewhat harder than leaf herbs and therefore also has to be boiled out longer.
Dandelion (taraxacum officinale)
Most people know the dandelion as a striking yellow meadow flower. It is also no stranger to salad and soup greens and medicinal herbs. While the leaves of the dandelion are important in the kitchen, naturopathy tends to use the dandelion root. This contains an abundance of bitter substances, vitamins and minerals, which are used for the treatment of urinary tract diseases.
Since root herbs are always a little harder than leaf herbs, they also need a slightly longer brewing time. In the case of the dandelion root, this is about ten minutes. 2 tsp of the root herbs are placed on a cup of boiling water. In addition to the treatment of kidney problems, the tea is also wonderful for so-called detoxification treatments. In addition, dandelion root is a relatively mild additional herb for kidney tea blends.
Mustache (Orthosiphon aristatus)
The cat beard, also known as an orthosiphon, comes from Asia. More specifically, it is also native to Australia and Africa, where it has been used to make bladder and kidney tea for centuries. The main active substances are the flavones, flavones, potassium salts, terpenes and saponins. The main areas of application are bladder and kidney weakness, dropsy and edema.
Even with Orthosiphon, 2 teaspoons per cup are perfectly acceptable. The maximum daily dose is between 8 and 12 g. Good combinations for a multi-herbal kidney tea can be achieved with birch, nettle, goldenrod and squirrel.
You may not immediately see parsley, but there is more to it than just being suitable for the kitchen herb. In fact, the herb contains an abundance of flavonoids, glycosides and a good dose of vitamin C and zinc. This makes parsley an ideal kidney herb and, in addition to delicious dishes, it can also be used to make herbal teas for the treatment of typical urinary tract diseases.
Similar to dandelions, parsley uses roots rather than leaf herbs to make kidney tea. Alternatively, the use of parsley seeds is also conceivable. As usual, the dosage guidelines are 1 to 2 teaspoons of herbs per cup with a steeping time of ten minutes. Three cups of the parsley root tea can be drunk every day.
Secret weapon berry herbs
Anyone who knows a little about kidney herbs knows that certain berries have a very special position here. We're talking about red and blue berry fruits, like
- Blackberry (Rubus sec. Rubus),
- Cranberry (Vaccinium macroparpon),
- Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus),
- black apple (Aronia melanocarpa),
- black currant (Ribes nigrum),
- Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea).
The coloring of the herbs is crucial. Because anthocyanins are mainly responsible for the special healing properties of the berries. These are vegetable dyes (flavonoids), whose name is derived from the ancient Greek words anthos for "blossom" and kyaneos for "dark blue", "black blue" or "dark colored". Anthocyanins are therefore dark violet to blue-coloring substances that give black and red berry fruits their unique color. However, their content in black berries is logically higher, which is why they are generally more effective. The secret of anthocyanins lies in their extremely strong antioxidant potential, which is particularly high in aronia and cranberry. The fruits are therefore always recommended for cystitis, as they reliably help disinfect the bladder. And the berry fruits mentioned also offer a good option for inflammatory kidney diseases.
Tip: In addition to using dried berries as tea herbs, berry juices are also recommended.
Side effects and contraindications
Due to their strongly draining effect, kidney herbs should only be taken as tea for a limited period of time. If the dosage is incorrect, there is otherwise a risk of a lack of fluid. The consequences of dehydration can be felt in different ways. Symptoms such as are typical
- Eye bags,
- Cardiovascular problems,
- Difficulty concentrating,
Kidney tea should also not be used if there is a weak heart or severe kidney dysfunction. The drainage properties of kidney herbs could cause serious complications here. Children and pregnant women should also not be treated with kidney herbs with a view to complicating interactions. (ma)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Miriam Adam, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Hummel, Andreas: Pharmaceutical Teaching, Vincentz Network GmbH & Co KG, 2004
- Urban & Vogel (ed.): "Bladder and kidney tea - helpers with urinary tract infections", in: Uro News, issue 6, 2011, Springer
- Kozachok, Solomiia et al .: "γ-Pyrone compounds: flavonoids and maltol glucoside derivatives from Herniaria glabra L. collected in the Ternopil region of the Ukraine", in: Phytochemistry, Volume 152, August 2018, sciencedirect.com
- Oh, Hyuncheol et al .: "Hepatoprotective and free radical scavenging activities of phenolic petrosins and flavonoids isolated from Equisetum arvense", in: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 95, Issues 2-3, December 2004, sciencedirect.com
- Book, Corinne: "Tropaeolum majus: Large nasturtium (Tropaeolaceae), medicinal plant of the year 2013", in the yearbook of the Bochum Botanical Association, 2014, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main