Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Is Lemon Good for Kidney Stones?

Yes, drinking lemon juice had been shown to be beneficial for patients with kidney stones. However, the exact mechanism how lemon juice helps in kidney stones is unknown, but many people drink lemon juice as a natural treatment remedy for kidney stones.

Lemon mainly contains citrate or citric acid. Like acetic acid it is also a weak acid. Many other fruits also contains citrate, but lemons have high amounts of citric acid compared to other fruits. Therefore it’s an excellent source of citrate

Is Lemon Good for Kidney Stones?

How Can Lemon Help With Kidney Stones?

Alkalizing Effect of Lemon To Prevent Kidney Stones: Lemon contains high amount of citrate when metabolized in the body produces alkaline by-products. This will make the urine more alkaline. This will prevent formation of calcium oxalate, cystine, and uric acid stones.

Most of the vegetables and fruits contains potassium, even lemon has lots of potassium. Potassium in the urine will make the urine alkaline and this will also prevent stone formation.

Lemon Softens and Dissolves Kidney Stones: Lemon juice also softens dissolves and reduces the size of kidney stones that has been already formed so that it will pass out from the urinary tract.

How to Make Lemon Juice?

  • Drink half-cup (4 ounces) of pure lemon juice or 32 ounces of prepared lemonade per day.
  • You can break this amount and have it half in the morning and another half in the afternoon.
  • You will have to continue drinking this for sometimes to get the effect.
  • Drink ample amount of water to flush the kidneys

You can add apple cider vinegar (ACV) and olive oil to lemon juice. ACV contains acetic acid and citrate. The combination of ACV and lemon juice will make the urine more alkaline. Olive oil acts as a lubrication medium which can help the stones pass easily.

  • Make the mixture by adding
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV
  • 2 ounces of lemon juice
  • 2 ounces of olive oil
  • Drink this mixture followed by a glass of water.

The above mentioned amount is for a day. Do not drink excessive amounts of the above mixture.

Precautions

  • Do not drink excessive amounts of lemon juice as this can cause
  • Enamel erosions.
  • Heartburns.
  • Ulcers.

How Are Kidney Stones Formed?

There are mainly four types of stones formed in the kidneys.

  1. Calcium Stones: Calcium Oxalate and Calcium Phosphate
  2. Struvite or Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate Stones
  3. Uric Acid Stones or Urate
  4. Cystine Stones

The mechanism of stone formation is not identified properly however supersaturation (precipitation of solutes) leads to crystal formation in urine. This is called crystallization. Crystallization occurs when the concentration of two ions exceeds their saturation point in the solution. The formation of various types of kidney stones is strongly influenced by urinary pH. Calcium oxalate, cystine, and uric acid stones are formed in acidic medium whereas calcium phosphate and struvite stones are formed in alkaline medium. There are other factors as well that promotes stone formation and alter the pH as well.

Conclusion

Yes drinking lemon juice has shown to be helpful in patients with kidney stones. However the exact mechanism how it helps is unknown. The possible explanation might be, lemon contains citric acid/citrate in high amounts. The citrate when digested produce alkaline by-products which makes the urine alkaline. This will prevent formation of calcium oxalate, cystine, and uric acid stones. It also softens, dissolves and reduce the size of the stones that has been already formed, so that the stones will be passed out form the kidney. Lemons also has high amounts of potassium which also makes the urine alkaline and reduce stone formation. Drink half-cup (4 ounces) of pure lemon juice or 32 ounces of prepared lemonade per day. To enhance the effect you can add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 ounce of olive oil to 2 ounce of lemon juice. Drink the mixture followed by a glass of water. Have ample of amount of water throughout the day.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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