Kidney Disease Preventative Care
Traditional Chinese medicine can help you take an active role in your health.
Posted June 30, 2009
Goji berries are among the traditional Chinese treatments that can be use in kidney ailments.
A recent study in the June 18 Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports that nearly one of every two people over the age of 60 hoping for a kidney transplant will die while on the waiting list. Other factors—having diabetes, being black, having blood types O or B, being older than 70, or waiting for a transplant in certain areas of the country—dramatically increased the odds that someone could die waiting for a donated kidney. The areas with the lowest death rates while on the waiting list include Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Areas with the highest deaths for people over 60 while on the kidney transplant list include California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. What do the doctors recommend? Get on the kidney list early. Not a word about prevention! Here are a few foods/herbs to protect your kidneys and help keep blood pressure and diabetes in check.
A Chinese friend, who has a congenital kidney problem, needed a transplant so she went to China and waited there. When I asked what herbs she was using to protect her kidneys—not cure the disease but reduce kidney damage—she told me:
• Goji berries—rejuvenated kidney and liver
• Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucid)—anti-inflammatory, immune balancing
These can easily be cooked together. Simmer a handful each of sliced reishi and goji berries for at least 45 min. and drink the tea all day or between meals. You can also cook a handful of each in a crockpot for 3-4 hours at high heat to make a water extract, which is stronger than a tea. Drink one glass of it hot or cold daily. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. Store it in a glass container.
Reishi mushroom water extract is soothing, relaxing and supports immune balance for autoimmune illnesses. You can find goji berries in many healthfood stores and online. Reishi often comes in capsules or pill combinations. For example, Power Mushrooms (pills) made by Health Concerns.
For Diabetes and certain sexual issues:
Nine Flavor Tea pills from Health Concerns, Quiet Contemplative pills from Kan Herbals, or other such Chinese herbal pills contain yin tonics (moistening herbs) that rejuvenate liver, kidney, stomach, spleen. This sort of moistening, rejuvenating tonic is useful for the form of diabetes considered a “thirsting and wasting” illness with afternoon fevers, night sweats, heart palpitations, possible TMJ discomforts, and tight back muscles or sore throat and lymph swelling.
The main ingredients in many moistening kidney tonics are most often raw rehmannia root (Chinese foxglove, avoid if you have herpes), dioscorea, poria (a diuretic), cornus fruit for kidney and sexual weakness, mouton root bark, alisma (a diuretic), scrophularia, glehnia and ophiopogon, which are moistening herbs for lung dryness and chronic thirst. The dose is usually 3-5 pills twice daily if you have a dry red tongue and fast irregular pulse.
The China patent remedy that most closely resembles it is Liu Wei di Huang Wan The recommended dose is large: 15-20 small Chinese round pills once or twice daily until muscles relax, you can sleep deeper and feel less stressed, hot and dry. Stop or reduce the dose if you develop diarrhea.
The reason you can find Chinese herbal pills such as those mentioned in some American health food stores is that American companies are making the pills, using Chinese raw herbs and checking for purity during every step of manufacture. The most common side-effect of overuse of moistening herbs is diarrhea. The dosage should be comfortable, sometimes lower than the recommended dose. The dose can be increased as needed. Moistening and laxative herbs and foods should be avoided during pregnancy.
Letha Hadady is the author of many personal transformation books, including Feed Your Tiger: The Asian Diet Secret for Permanent Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. She is widely acknowledged as a top expert on natural health and beauty. Her website is AsianHealthSecrets.com.