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~ Don’t “Kid"ney Yourself ~
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, kidney disease is listed as one of the top ten causes of death due to disease in America! Neglected kidneys are often overlooked and ignored when it is the neglect of these organs that is at the root of many of health problems.
The kidneys play an integral role in many body functions. As they tend to carry a lot of responsibilities, it is wise to support, nourish and cleanse them before any problems arise.
Functions of the Kidneys
The kidneys' major bodily functions are as follows:
Healthy kidney works continuously to keep the system in a homeostatic state of balance. At an hourly rate, the body's blood is circulated through the kidneys about twenty times. During this process the kidneys are acting as filters by continuously removing excess water, minerals, waste and eliminating these by-products in the urine.
The kidneys are a regulatory system. If too much fluid is taken in, the kidneys eliminate the excess. If not enough fluid is taken in, then fluids are conserved. They manage potassium and sodium levels. If salt intake is excessive or potassium is deficient, the kidneys strive for equilibrium either by excreting or retaining that element.
Another duty of the kidneys is the manufacturing of an important hormone called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is an essential element for stimulating the production of red blood cells.
The Eastern Perspective
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the kidneys are the storehouse for Jing. Jing is the life force associated with birth through unto death. According to TCM, every part of the body is dependant on Jing; the kidneys are the foundation of health for each and every organ. This is one reason why the kidneys are referred to as the "root of all life."
Jing is the original source of reproduction; the kidneys govern conception. They carry on to assist with the passage from childhood to adulthood and as the Jing weakens, the inevitable descent into old age.
Because of the intimate relationship between Jing and the kidneys, reproductive disorders such as impotence, sterility and lack of sexual maturation are all considered to be malfunctions of the kidneys.
The kidneys act as bone specialists. In this arena, the kidneys hold the responsibility of producing marrow, which in turn supplies strength and nourishment to the skeletal system. Any bone deficiency conditions such as osteoporosis, bones that are too soft or stiffness in the spine all relate back to the health of the kidneys.
Have you ever heard the phrase "I have to go to the bathroom so bad my teeth are floating"? Or worse yet, have you ever felt that uneasy discomfort yourself? No, this is not some isolated quirk; there is some truth to this saying as the kidneys rule the teeth.ome physically sensitive individuals will actually have a tickling sensation in their gums when there is an urgency to urinate.
The health of the teeth seems to be dictated by the state of well-being of its ruler, the kidneys.
Hearing well? If your significant other constantly complains that you are not listening to them, it may be more than selective listening habitsl. It could be the kidneys. It should be of no surprise by now that the kidneys have an affiliation with the ears. In TCM, practitioners address hearing problems in the elderly by first treating the kidneys.
What about your Hair? Has it been looking and feeling drier and thinner these days? Are there a few gray strands popping up prematurely? Kidneys again! A loss of the vital Jing force can be the culprit here. This loss in Jing subsequently leads to a path of feeling and looking older than one really is.
The emotion associated with the kidneys is fear. The kidneys can become weakened by fear, as well as emotions related to fear, such as extreme shyness, insecurity, anxiety and nervousness. Weakness can occur from high stress levels and overwork.
Conditions related to poor kidney function are:
A More Serous Side
Many of the symptoms listed above are common and many people will just accept and live with them. This may be that many symptoms of a kidney condition are vague, varied and difficult to pin down. But if left to progress without any intervention, a kidney disorder can become quite debilitating, painful and life threatening.
Some of the more serious illnesses connected with the kidneys are:
Causes of Kidney Disorders
A diet high in animal proteins, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine can be very detrimental to the kidneys and can be the source of a self-inflicted kidney weakness.
Diet is of critical importance in preventing and healing a kidney problems. The kidneys are sensitive to acid-forming foods (all the foods listed above) because they are responsible for flushing out these acids and maintaining the pH balance in the blood.
The more acid-producing the foods, the harder the kidneys must work to equalize and maintain the pH balance of the body. Since our diets are high in acid-producing foods, it is no wonder kidney disorders are on the rise, as are many other diseases that a high acidic content can be held accountable for.
Prevention is Still the Best Way
As with so many diseases, kidney disease can be prevented. There are some very simple measures that can be taken to ensure good health and happy kidneys.
Keeping the kidneys cleansed and nourished year round is the most sensible and body friendly action one can take.
WATER, water, water - is sooooo good! It is essential that you do drink your 6-8 glasses of purified water per day. Water has a multitude of functions and it is the "oil" that greases the machinery.
The kidneys are responsible for flushing out the metabolic wastes such as uric acid, lactic acid and urea, and it is water that is required to dissolve these acids. Wihout an adequate supply of this vital fluid, damage to the kidneys can result.
Many of us lose our taste for water over the years and it takes a concerted effort to get it into the body. Not only does the thirst reflex become weaker as we get older but as the body becomes more and more dehydrated, water becomes less and less appealing. A good psychological edge to trick the psyche is to always have a bottle of water on hand. It doesn't take long to develop a habit and before long your hand will naturally bring the bottle to the mouth for a splash of water. Try to drink eight ounces of water every hour. It seems less painful that way.
Green tea has a regenerating effect on the kidneys. Chinese physicians have been experimenting with Green tea in chronic renal failure and they are having significant results with it, showing a decline in symptoms and improved blood and urine profiles. They believe this is due to green tea's ability to neutralize free radicals.
More Green Stuff
Liquid Chlorophyll is an excellent green drink that has an exceptional cleansing, healing and rejuvenating action on the kidneys. It is a blood purifier and it helps to regulate the calcium levels in the blood.
One teaspoon a day supports the kidneys in filtering out sludge and promotes healthy pH levels.
Green Zone helps to alkalize the system. It is cleansing, nutritious and eases the burden of the kidneys to eliminate waste. It contains trace minerals and minerals that are often deficient in people with kidney dysfunctions. A great "fast food" for those who are on the run and still want to eat well.
Wheatgrass is another green drink that can't go without mention. It is very high in chlorophyll as well as minerals, vitamins and enzymes. It is a highly concentrated food that contains potent free radical scavengers. It cleanses the blood, bowels, kidneys and liver at the same time, it nourishes the entire body. It alkalizes an acidic state.
Parsley is a simple food that can be added to every meal in a small amount and is often used as a garnish to tempt the palate and to make food look more appealing.
Parsley is much more than decorative. It is high in chlorophyll and minerals, particularly iron and potassium. Among herbalists, it is a favorite for kidney and bladder problems, often used to treat kidney stones, bed-wetting and general kidney malaise. It is an excellent diuretic and it strengthens the adrenal glands.
More Herbs To Help
Uva Ursi — is a diuretic, it tonifies the kidneys, and it aids in the removal of mucous and blood from the urine. This herb is effective in most kidney disorders and is best known for its historical uses in kidney/bladder infections, incontinence, nephritis, diabetes, and bed-wetting.
Juniper Berries - This little berry is a diuretic. Juniper is used to clean the system of uric acid. It has been used to treat kidney infections, kidney stones, edema, adrenal weakness, diabetes, and bed-wetting.
Because juniper stimulates the kidneys by irritating them, it is advisable to use it for short periods of time, and to avoid its use where there is inflammation of the kidneys.
Hydrangea - contains alkaloids that act like cortisone in the body; therefore it aids in alleviating pain. This is good news for anyone who knows firsthand the pain of passing a kidney stone. Hydrangea can prevent gravel from forming in the kidneys. It is also helpful in the case of gallstones. Other uses for hydrangea are for bladder infections, gout, and backaches.
Marshmallow root — is a mucilaginous herb that is very soothing to the kidneys and bladder. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant that soothes and heals. Marshmallow is high in vitamin A, calcium, and zinc. It has been used for bed wetting, gravel, urinary tract infections, nephritis, and stones.
Cornsilk - has a cleansing effect on the urinary tract. It is a valuable herb in cases of renal and cystic inflammation. Cornsilk removes gravel from the kidneys, urethra, and bladder, and cleanses mucus from the urine.
Herbal combinations for the kidneys:
Kidney Activator is nutrition for the urinary system and balances the sodium/potassium levels.
KB-C is used to strengthen a weakened condition of the kidneys. This combination strengthens bones, enhances the libido, and treats adrenal exhaustion, lower backaches, frequent urination, premature graying of the hair and spinal disorders.
Kidney Activator - Chinese is used to alleviate a stressed condition of the kidneys. It treats conditions such as edema, pain and swelling of the joints, arthritis, dizziness, obesity, nephritis and urinary tract infections.
The Kidneys' Plea
Reduce stress, (well actually, learn how to manage stress), eat a balanced diet with less emphasis on animal proteins, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. Exercise, and cleanse and nourish the kidneys. Integrate these steps into your lifestyle, and your kidneys will treat you well! Its as simple as that, and I’m not kidneying!