Botanical diuretic herbs include Solidago spp. (such as goldenrod,) Levisticum officinale (lovage) root, Petroselinum crispus (parsley) fruit, and Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) leaf. The three types of plant diuretics include cardiac glycosides, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and plants containing methylxanthine.
Nettles leaf can reduce blood pressure in patients with congestive heart failure. The leaves and seeds of nettles are used for edema and as an anti-inflammatory. (Nettles roots are used for benign prostatic hypertrophy.)
Equisetum arvense (horsetail) is an herb for treating edema according to the German Commission E report.
Goldenrod is used for urinary gravel, to prevent kidney stones, and to treat cystitis during pregnancy. Lovage is used for lower urinary tract infections and for urinary gravel. Lovage and parsley should be avoided in pregnancy. (Parsley appears to block the sodium pump (Na+/K+-ATPase.)
Plants have developed chemicals to protect themselves from infections and are useful to animals, too. Many of these chemicals are excreted through the urinary system and are beneficial to the urinary system. Some kill microorganisms or prevent them from sticking to the wall of the urinary system to prevent infections.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (uva-ursi) is a urinary antiseptic and anti-adhesion herb. Uva ursi is only effective in alkaline urine with a pH over 7.0. If uva-ursi is not working, take a tablespoon of sodium or potassium bicarbonate to alkalinize the urine and see if the uva-ursi becomes more effective. Uva-ursi is not used for more than two weeks since the hydroquinones it produces may be carcinogenic over a period of time.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) prevents bacteria from sticking to the wall of the urinary tract and prevents Helicobacter pylori from sticking to the stomach wall. Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) has similar properties. Cranberry is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Berberine from Oregon grape root (Mahonia aquifolium) prevents bacterial adhesion.
Rheum palmatum (Chinese rhubarb) root and Lespedeza capitata (round-head lespedeza) prevent kidney toxicity. Chinese rhubarb increases blood flow to the kidneys and increases the elimination of toxins. It reduces the risk of kidney disease in rats. It is used in Chinese medicine for chronic kidney failure.
Herbs used for symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy are Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) fruit, Urtica dioica (nettles) root, and Prunus africana (pygeum) bark. Pygeum is used in people who don’t respond to the other herbs. The trees of origin of pygeum are marginally sustainable and are overharvested.
CONCLUSION: “… research does suggest that many traditional herbal practices are valid and can be improved upon, leading to relatively inexpensive, effective, and safe therapies.”
NOTE: Nettles is the same herb as stinging nettles. pH paper can be used to check the urine pH if the uva ursi is not working. The pH should be above 7 to be alkaline.
Read about the use of probiotics for urogenital infections. Read about the use of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as saw palmetto to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.