Passing a stone into the kidney can be a painful experience. And the stones in the kidneys usually occur again. According to Roger L. Sur, MD, director of the University of California San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center, if you had a kidney stone, there is a 50 percent chance that you will develop another one within five to 10 years. Although there are several strategies to prevent reappearance, you may wonder what to do when you have a stone. Lemon juice is an alternative therapy; consult a health care professional before using it.
Stones in the kidneys
The stones in the kidneys happen when minerals and other substances in the urine combine to form a solid mass. The most common type of kidney stone is based on calcium; Calcium is combined with oxalate or phosphate. Other types of kidney stones include uric acid, struvite and cysteine. Some stones will pass by themselves, but others may require treatment, such as lithotripsy (crushing stones using shock waves) or surgical removal. None of the conventional treatments dissolve them.
Citrate or citric acid is common in citrus fruits and lemons are an excellent source, according to a study published in the March 2008 Journal of Endourology. Researchers compared lemons juice, limes, grapefruit and orange to determine the best source of citric acid. Citric acid helps prevent kidney stones by increasing the acidity of urine. One of the conventional medical treatments for kidney stones is potassium citrate, a form of citric acid combined with potassium.
Lemon juice as therapy
Dr. Edward Group, a naturopathic physician and founder of Global Healing Center, Inc., has a favorite remedy for kidney stones. At the first sign of pain, drink 2 ounces of organic olive oil mixed with 2 ounces of organic lemon juice. Follow with 12 ounces of purified water and wait 30 minutes. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink it. Repeat the recipe for lemon juice, water and apple cider vinegar every hour until the symptoms improve. As when starting any new treatment, consult your doctor first.
Considerations and warnings
There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that lemon juice helps dissolve a stone. Dr. Group does not state how your treatment works and does not provide data to support your recommendations. If you have symptoms of kidney stones (back, abdominal or groin pain, nausea and vomiting, chills or fever) contact a health care professional.