Your kidneys are among the most important organs in your body. They work hard every day detoxifying the blood and sending waste toxins out through the urinary system. Kidneys also balance electrolytes, regulate minerals, like calcium, and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. With all this work to do and with so many chemicals in our environment, it’s not surprising that one in three Americans is at risk of developing kidney disease in their lifetime or that 10 percent of Americans will develop painful kidney stones. Supporting your kidneys with a cleanse or simply incorporating certain foods and herbs into your diet can improve kidney health and provide other health benefits.
Short Breakdown of the 4-Day Kidney Cleanse
- Pre-Cleanse: Gather necessary supplies like healthy foods, distilled water, apple cider vinegar (ACV), and lemon juice.
- Cleanse Prep (Morning 1 Only): Prepare Kidney Cleanse Drink and prepare Lemon-ACV mix.
- Days 1 – 4: Minimize your consumption of solid foods, eating only kidney-cleanse friendly fruits like watermelon or avocado, as well as raw nuts and seeds, if needed. Drink a full glass of the Kidney Cleanse Drink at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. or every three hours starting after your first meal. Drink ACV-Lemon water throughout the day.
What Do Kidneys Do?
Part of your body’s renal or urinary system, the kidneys are curved, fist-sized organs located halfway down your back that perform critical functions in your body. Perhaps most importantly, they are instrumental to your ability to detoxify chemicals you encounter. They filter more than 200 quarts of blood daily, removing nearly two quarts of water and metabolic waste that gets excreted as urine.
The kidneys also help regulate and balance your sodium, phosphorus, and potassium levels. The importance of these nutrients is often glossed over, but proper, balanced levels are critical for good health and life.
Finally, the kidneys are responsible for releasing three hormones — erythropoietin, renin, and activated vitamin D. Erythropoietin supports red blood cell production, renin controls blood pressure, and vitamin D is necessary for the body to effectively use calcium, as well as many other benefits.
Signs of Poorly Performing Kidneys
Kidney issues can arise silently or suddenly. High levels of calcium in the blood may lead to calcium deposits in the kidneys, which ultimately produce kidney stones. People with stressed kidneys may experience the following symptoms:
- Itchy, dry skin
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Swollen ankles
- Brain fog
- Changes in urine frequency or color
- Leg pain
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
What’s the Best Kidney Cleansing Diet?
A kidney cleansing diet involves eating foods and herbs that support normal kidney function while avoiding foods that discourage kidney function. It can be done for a brief period, as an actual cleanse, and below, we provide a protocol for a four-day Kidney Cleanse. You can also take a less regimented approach and simply incorporate these foods and herbs into your regular diet. Either way, taking these steps will provide specialized nutrients that support your kidneys and boost your overall health and wellness.
Herbs for Kidney Cleansing
Since ancient times, herbalists have embraced the therapeutic characteristics of plants and used them as remedies for a variety of health conditions, including helping kidney function. The following herbs can be taken in supplements or used to make tea. A few are listed below, but see more in our best herbs for kidney cleansing article.
This herb known popularly as java tea (Orthosiphon stamineus) contains caffeine, and, as its name indicates, is typically served in herbal tea form. Studies found that it lowers uric acid in the blood, which can otherwise accumulate and cause painful conditions like gout, which is a painful form of arthritis associated with kidney dysfunction. It also helps protect the kidneys and stomach, lowers cholesterol, balances blood sugar, and is an antioxidant.
Brahmi or Gotu Kola
Also called water hyssop, this herb (Bacopa monnieri) is frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine. It reduces oxidative stress on cells, and specifically protects the kidneys by balancing blood sugar, uric acid levels, and blood lipid levels. Brahmi also increases blood flow to the brain.
This low-growing evergreen herb, also called bearberry leaf (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), has been safely used for centuries in traditional medicine to support urinary tract health. Uva ursi can deplete potassium levels by increasing urination, so make sure you get enough in your diet.
Scientists have found this marsh plant to be as safe and effective as the commonly used diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide, without causing excess loss of electrolytes. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) not only works to cleanse the kidneys but it also helps protect the liver.
Kidney Cleanse Foods
There are many foods that help detox the kidneys. You can add these to your regular eating plan, or follow a temporary diet that focuses specifically on kidney-cleansing foods. If you have kidney disease, your healthcare provider may have specific diet recommendations, such as limiting sodium (salt) and potassium. However, if you are trying to be proactive about kidney health, these foods are just a few kidney-cleansing foods you can try.
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly used as baking soda, has incredible benefits for the kidneys! In a two-year study, only 9 percent of patients with chronic kidney disease who took a small daily dose of bicarbonate developed end-stage renal disease, compared to 45 percent of the other group.
Vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants are generally good for the kidneys. That’s because antioxidants counteract the harmful effects of certain toxic chemicals and harmful free radicals in the blood, which, of course, filters through the kidneys. Celery is known to help urinary tract issues and reduce blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids (fats).
These watery vegetables have many kidney-boosting properties, including preventing the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints, which leads to gout. Cucumbers are also high in silicon, and act as a diuretic, helping the kidneys remove toxins.
Beets have high levels of antioxidants, and help remove calcium buildup in the kidneys, which otherwise can lead to kidney stone formation. You can drink beet juice, eat whole beets. Eating your beets raw in salads or in juice is a great boost to your kidney cleansing.
Onions and Garlic
Foods to Avoid for Healthy Kidneys
Just as certain foods help the kidneys function better, other foods stress the kidneys. High-protein diets with a lot of red meat and full-fat dairy stress the kidneys. If you are doing a cleanse or just want healthier kidneys, avoid these foods:
- Liver and organ meats
- Red meat
- Seafood (especially sardines, anchovies, shellfish, tuna)
- Beer and distilled liquor (wine is ok)
Kidney Cleanse Recipes
One of the most effective strategies for promoting kidney health is to combine the various fruits, vegetables, and herbs that support kidney health so they can work together. Below are just a few ideas you can use to get started.
Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea
To make a tasty kidney cleanse tea that also benefits your digestive system, squeeze the juice from a one- or two-inch piece of ginger root into hot water. Add a half teaspoon of turmeric. Turmeric not only has antioxidant properties, it also reduces harmful molecules circulating in your blood, which benefits the kidneys. Ginger scavenges damaging free radicals and improves kidney function. Together they pack a punch!
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Make juice from fresh organic watermelon, beets, ginger, celery, and lemon for super kidney benefits, or try one of these kidney-cleansing drinks.
Dr. Group’s Kidney Cleanse Drink
Although this drink is part of the four-day protocol outlined below, you can drink a glass of this anytime for a kidney-cleansing boost. Add a dash of raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (ACV), a squeeze of lemon, and a dropperful of Renaltrex® to distilled water. Renaltrex is an all-natural, vegan blend of several of the kidney-cleansing herbs listed above. It's available in the Kidney Cleanse Kit, which is linked to below.
4-Day Kidney Cleanse
If you want to perform a four day kidney cleanse, these instructions will tell you what you need to know before you start and while you are detoxing.
Items You Need for the Kidney Cleanse
The following are the supplies you will need for the four day kidney cleanse.
- The Kidney Cleanse Kit, which includes:
- 1 bottle of Renaltrex
- 1 bottle of Oxy-Powder®
- 1 bottle of Latero-Flora™
- 2 gallons of distilled water
- 1 bottle (8 ounces) of Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Organic, kidney-cleansing fruit for breakfast each morning
- Kidney-friendly snacks, like raw nuts and seeds, or avocado
We recommend you follow the schedule below to maximize the benefits from your kidney cleanse. However, you may modify it to fit your daily routine, especially if your work schedule varies (for example, you work nights).
Make sure you do not eat 30 minutes before or after drinking the Kidney Cleanse Drink.
Preparation (Day 1 Morning Only)
7:30 am: Step 1 – Make Your Kidney Cleanse Drink: Start with 1 gallon of distilled water. Pour out 5 ounces of water to make room for the ingredients you will add. Add 2 ounces (the whole bottle) of RenalTrex, 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of organic raw apple cider vinegar (ACV), and the juice of 1 organic lemon. Shake and refrigerate - You will drink this gallon over the next 4 days. If you need to work or run errands during the day, bring it with you in a small cooler.
7:30 am: Step 2 – Make Your Water / Lemon / ACV Drink: Take a second gallon of distilled water and pour out 6 ounces. Add 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of organic raw apple cider vinegar to the water. Add 4 ounces of fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice (approximately the juice from one lemon). Drink this for snacks, during meals, and between meals when thirsty. Drink as much as you like throughout the day. The more you drink, the more successful your kidney cleanse will be. When you finish this mix, make another gallon and continue to drink as needed.
Daily Protocol (Days 1-4)
8:00 am: For breakfast, choose one of the following kidney-cleansing fruits and eat as much as you like: apples, cranberries, grapes, oranges, papaya, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. For best results, all fruit should be organic. If fresh fruit is not available, use frozen or dried.
9:00 am: Drink one 8-ounce glass of the Kidney Cleanse Drink.
10:00 am: Water / Optional Snack - Drink 12 ounces of your Water/Lemon/ACV Drink. If you need a small snack, munch on organic raw sunflower, chia, hemp or pumpkin seeds. Also, raw nuts such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, or almonds will work. It’s best to avoid the snack if possible and just drink the Water/Lemon/ACV Drink. Remember you are cleansing!
12:00 pm: Drink one 8-ounce glass of the Kidney Cleanse Drink.
1:00 pm: For lunch, eat fresh organic vegetables, make homemade vegetable soup or broth, or eat a salad. Use or combine the following vegetables: kale, dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, spinach, asparagus, beets, cabbage, celery, turmeric, ginger, and parsley. Drink only the Water/Lemon/ACV Drink with your lunch meal. Make your lunch in the morning and bring it with you to work or if you eat out, eat a salad.
3:00 pm: Drink one 8-ounce glass of the Kidney Cleanse Drink.
4:00 pm: Drink 12 ounces of the Water/Lemon/ACV Drink. Optional: if you want a small snack, have one handful of organic raw seeds or nuts.
6:00 pm: Drink one 8-ounce glass of the Kidney Cleanse Drink.
7:00 pm: Dinner: follow the same suggestions as you did for lunch using fresh organic vegetables, homemade vegetable soup, or eat a fresh salad. Drink only the Water/Lemon/ACV Drink with your dinner meal.
8:00-10:00 pm: Before bed, take 4 capsules of Oxy-Powder and 2 capsules of Latero-Flora. The Latero-Flora will help balance the probiotic bacteria in the intestinal tract to assist in kidney cleansing. Try to not go to bed past 10 pm.
Helpful Notes About the Cleanse
- To Summarize, drink four 8-ounce glasses of the Kidney Cleanse Drink: at 9 a.m. (or one hour after breakfast), 12 p.m. (or one hour before lunch), 3 p.m., 6 p.m. (or one hour before dinner). Throughout the rest of the day, drink the Water/Lemon/ACV drink. The more you drink, the more it flushes out your system.
- For optimal results drink only the Renaltrex Kidney Cleanse Drink and Water/Lemon/ACV drink throughout the four days. Avoid milk, alcohol, bottled juices, energy drinks soft drinks or diet drinks, as these liquids will decrease the effectiveness of the kidney cleanse, and add more toxins to your body.
- You should be able to perform this kidney cleanse while carrying on your normal daily activities. Oxy-Powder can cause watery stools, so make sure a bathroom is nearby. If your stools are liquid, remember this is not diarrhea but the detoxing of compacted fecal matter from the intestinal tract.
- If you want extra tips about kidney clansing, please read our 10 Essential Tips to Maximize Kidney Cleansing article.
Points to Remember
Being aware of your kidneys is important for everyone, not just people with impaired kidney function. A kidney cleanse can help you maintain the health of these two important organs throughout your life. There are many kidney-cleansing herbs, foods, and teas you can add to your lifestyle to boost your kidney health. To get the best bang for your buck, perform a four-day kidney cleanse. This involves following a clean diet that’s based on simple, organic vegetables and drinking a special Kidney Cleanse Drink that contains specially formulated herbs.
Have you ever done a kidney cleanse? Are you thinking about trying one? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please tell us about your experience in the comments section below.
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.