Drink Kidney-Health Tea for World Kidney Day & National Kidney Month
Today is a kidney two-fer: March is National Kidney Month, and today is World Kidney Day. As kidneys come in pairs we think it’s an auspicious day for learning about your kidneys, and how to take care of them.
First off, let’s explore these vital organs. What do do these bean-shaped organs located behind the abdomen do?
Blood courses through our veins every day, and kidneys process about 200 quarts — that’s 50 gallons! — across the day. The bad stuff that the kidneys catch through filtration get removed from the body through urine.
Keeping up the pressure
For filters of any kind to work, they rely upon pressure; the force pushes substances through the filters. Kidney reliance upon pressure is key. As such, kidneys often control pressure throughout the body.
Red blood cell factory
A hormone called erythropoietin instructs bone marrow to make all-important red blood cells. The cells, true workhorses, constantly work hard delivering oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, which relies on red blood cells for energy.
Vitamin D absorbs calcium and phosphorus, both of which are essential for bone strength. It’s the kidneys that make and supply the Vitamin D.
Keeping fluids in balance
Among other things, we all are combinations of acid and base, also known as pH. Acids are sharp, like orange juice. Base substances — baking soda is a classic — are the opposite, or alkaline. Keeping them balanced is vital. Kidneys offer the body a suite of chemicals that control the volume of acids and bases. Balance between these things does fluctuate every day; food, for one thing, affects pH.
Kidney health depends on myriad different things. Diet, for one, can help achieve healthy, or struggling, kidneys.
While tea is not going to make a damaged kidney healthy again, some teas do, in fact, promote kidney health with every sip. Let’s brew them and drink them for March, yes? Maybe we all will develop strong kidney-supporting habits during this month of the kidneys.
Drink: Green Tea
Superb news, tea lovers. Green tea supports kidney health. A 2017 study, for example, found the polyphenols in green tea helped ameliorate kidney damage in people. Polyphenols are a family of roughly 8,000 different micronutrients widely found in plants. The study is not alone; research into compounds found in green tea and kidney health proliferate.
As the majority of traditional Camellia sinensis teas in China and Japan are green teas, we carry quite a range of them, everything from Xin Yang Mao Jian, grown at high elevation China’s Henan Province to Japanese Matcha and an Earl Grey with green tea, rather than traditional black tea, serving as its base.
Among herbal ingredients, dandelion leaf and root stands as one of the most potent ingredients for kidney health. A key to dandelion’s facility for kidney health rests with its ability to stimulate the kidneys, which strengthens the organ’s ability to flush fluid and reduce fluid retention. Some diuretics — substances that encourage fluid expulsion — promote potassium loss, which is bad for cardiovascular health. But dandelion is one of the best sources of natural potassium in the world. As a result, sipping tea with dandelion simultaneously improves kidney health while adding potassium to the diet.
Our Organic DetoxiTea Herbal Blend tea is based on South African honeybush, a shrub similar to rooibos. Both herbs offer a wealth of electrolytes, which also promote kidney health. In addition to honeybush, lemon peel, cinnamon and lapacho (tea made from the inner bark of the South American pau d’arco tree, and widely used as herbal medicine across the continent), DetoxiTea includes dandelion root.
Sip up, friends! Your kidneys will thank you for it.
Drink: Organic Beauty Tea
As discussed above, dandelion serves as an excellent kidney balm. Our Organic Beauty Tea includes dandelion as an ingredient, and for that alone we would recommend this tasty tea. But it also offers another kidney-boosting herb: nettle.
Just as dandelion is a diuretic, so are nettles. As we discussed, diuretics often promote kidney health by encouraging the organs to flush with more regularity and oomph. But according to a 2014 study in Molecular Medicine Reports, nettles also help reduce the accretion of calcium oxalate crystals, which contribute towards kidney stones. With both nettles and dandelion in Organic Beauty Tea, sippers gain multiple kidney benefits.
Nettle-seeking tea sippers can turn to another of our blends, the Organic Tired Bone blend, for a dose of nettle. This delicious tea, which combines ginkgo, lemon balm, rose hip, lavender, chamomile and nettle, is designed to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation throughout the body. One of the beneficiaries? The kidneys.
Drink: Bounce Back Tea
Our custom Bounce Back Tea is rich in antioxidants and other compounds, which help bolster bones, reduce inflammation and ease digestion. One of the tea’s ingredients, ginger, is especially packed with antioxidants. It’s these compounds, which neutralize the unstable molecules known as free radicals, that contribute towards kidney health.
Free radicals induce inflammation throughout the body, which damages cells and tissues, including those found in kidneys. Anything that mitigates the potency of free radicals is good for the body. With its punch of ginger, Bounce Back helps fill the body with antioxidants, which spread out in search of free radicals to defeat. You need antioxidants on your side during your body’s war with free radicals!
Studies confirm ginger’s kidney-healing properties. One of them concludes that “ginger provides evidence for kidney protection and reduces severity of damage” caused to kidneys.
A Bounce Back bonus? Nettles! This tea is a boon for kidney health.
Another strong option for a ginger-full tea? Our wonderful Balance Tea, a delicious blend of cinnamon, cardamom, licorice root, coriander, fennel, rose and ginger root.
Given this tea’s name, it might not surprise that it helps improve kidney function. After all, kidney health is important for immune function. As with many of the other teas discussed in this deep dive into tea and kidney health, ImmuniTea’s advantages rest with its diuretic powers — that is, its ability to encourage the kidneys to flush toxins from the body.
The herb behind the flushing? Marshmallow root. Marshmallow comes from the mallow plant, which grows wild in marshes across Europe, Asia and North America. The confection we know today as marshmallow (a conflation of the wetland ecosystem known as “marsh” and the plant, “mallow,” that grows there) was originally made in Egypt, where confectioners used real mallow along with sugar and other ingredients to make marshmallow. Today, most marshmallow skips the mallow plant.
But the mallow plant now is commonly referred to as marshmallow. Herbal medicine practitioners around the world routinely leverage marshmallow for different conditions, including kidney problems.
Our Organic ImmuniTea doesn’t taste like something that kids toast over flames and sandwich with chocolate between wafers of graham cracker. It’s not a s’mores tea. But it’s awfully satisfying, with peach rooibos (an electrolyte-packed shrub from South Africa that aids with kidney health), marshmallow, echinacea, ginkgo leaf and chamomile.
Today, World Kidney Day, is an excellent time to start incorporating tea into your daily diet as a way to empower important vital organs with more strength. It’s a habit to keep-up throughout the year.
Here’s to healthy kidneys!