The kidneys are our organs that filter out toxins and waste from the bloodstream. Because toxins can affect your entire body, there is no question that supporting your kidneys is crucial for keeping your overall health in check. Without a balanced diet, purified drinking water, and body cleansing, toxins can build up and affect the function of the kidneys, liver, and neighboring organs… and may even lead to kidney stones and other problems.
Cleansing the Kidneys With a Few Sips
Cleansing the kidneys is a simple process and most cleanses don’t require an exhaustive supply of tools or ingredients to work. In fact, just drinking plenty of purified water is the first step toward an effective flush. Water, however, only provides hydration. The following 5 kidney-cleansing drinks may provide that extra cleansing boost.
1. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has been touted for years as supporter for the urinary tract. Research shows that cranberries can help fight against urinary tract infections, possibly by decreasing the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder and urethra. Cranberries may also be helpful for cleansing the kidneys of excess calcium oxalate, one of the main contributors to kidney stones.  When purchasing cranberry juice, always choose varieties that are certified organic and free of added sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavors; or, get a juicer and make your own.
2. Beet Juice
Beets and beet juice contain betaine, a very beneficial phytochemical. It has antioxidant qualities and increases the acidity of urine. This can help clear calcium phosphate and struvite buildup from the kidneys.  The removal of calcium in the kidneys not only promotes kidney function, but decreases the likelihood of kidney stones.
3. Lemon Juice
Naturally acidic, lemon juice has been shown to increase citrate levels in the urine, a factor that discourages kidney stones from forming. For a quick lemon kidney cleanse, squeeze 4-5 lemons into a quart of cold water and drink up. Or, for a warming beverage, squeeze one quarter to one half a lemon into 8 ounces of hot water daily.
4. Juice Cleanses
Juice cleanses are all the rage, and with good reason. A juice cleanse combines the nutritional power of fruits and vegetables into one, easy-to-drink beverage. The juice of vegetables and fruits is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients necessary for facilitating the removal of toxins. This helps take the strain off the liver, colon, and kidneys. Vegetables like celery, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, kale, and spinach are great for juicing. For fruits, try apples, peeled oranges, pears, pineapple, and peaches.
5. Homemade Kidney Cleanse Beverage
Here’s one of my favorite beverages that will aid any kidney cleanse. All you will need are fresh lemons, apple cider vinegar (organic and raw), purified water, and Renaltrex. I’d suggest checking out the full kidney cleanse instructions for a detailed breakdown. But, in short, it involves mixing lemon juice, purified water, ACV, and Renaltrex into a beverage that you drink over the span of a four day cleanse.
What About Supplements?
There’s no question that certain nutrients are beneficial for kidney health but many people don’t get enough in their diet. That’s where kidney cleansing supplements can be helpful. The best ones contain herbs have had their active compounds extracted and enhanced to maximize efficacy. There are a number of herbs out there and a supplement like Renaltrex is a great source for many.
Have you cleansed your kidneys? What process did you use? Leave a comment below and share your experience!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Updated September 2014
 Avorn J, Monane M, Gurwitz JH, Glynn RJ, Choodnovskiy I, Lipsitz LA. Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juices. JAMA. 1994 March 9;271(10):751-4.
 McHarg T1, Rodgers A, Charlton K. Influence of cranberry juice on the urinary risk factors for calcium oxalate kidney stone formation. BJU Int. 2003 Nov;92(7):765-8.
 Frassetto L1, Kohlstadt I. Treatment and prevention of kidney stones: an update. Am Fam Physician. 2011 Dec 1;84(11):1234-42.