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Foraged Herbs for Urinary Tract and Kidney Health

Posts: 206
Location: South Central Kansas
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I’m trying to push my family through the winter in health amidst close quarters, travel, off diets, and a particularly aggressive year for cold and flu bugs. So far no vomming, infections, hospitals, or otc medicine, hooray!

Until last night. Our two-year-old had a multi-vom evening, and is describing back and stomach pain. I suspect a flair-up of undesirable microbes in her UT and maybe overtaxed kidneys. I’d like to support her recovery and cleansing as naturally as possible, which is tricky away from our home apothecary and outside our familiar ecological context!

We have been utilizing homemade elderberry syrup, home harvested and prepared reishi / turkey tail tincture, apple cider vinegar, and a low tolerance for sugar. We also have attempted to stay dark-adapted after sundown to support rest and recovery.

I was out in the woods behind my in-laws’ House Inc Georgia yesterday, where I discovered so much green growies as compared to what I’m used to in the Midwest. I can’t help but wonder what a treasure trove of medicinal plants I’m missing.

What hand-harvested or wild-crafted things does your medicine cabinet hold, particular in the SouthEast?
Posts: 96
Location: Vermont
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Sounds like you have a good start with the plant and mushroom medicines you mentioned.  Chamomile is always good for children as is catnip. The apple cider vinegar should help as well.

To find out whats in the back yard/woods etc, I would get a good herbal field guide for the Southeast.  Peterson's Guides are worth looking into:
https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/a-field-guide-to-edible-wild-plants-eastern-and-central-north-america-peterson-field-guidesr_lee-peterson/265160/#isbn=039592622X&idiq=4068187 also shows central n america as does https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/a-field-guide-to-medicinal-plants-and-herbs-of-eastern-and-central-north-america-peterson-field-guides-r_steven-foster/295914/#isbn=0395467225&idiq=5631084  

I like Thayer's books https://www.foragersharvest.com/our-books.html#/ for overall good foraging info and I would suggest nettle as a good first plant to forage for kidney health.

Good luck. Foraging is a very addictive pastime :^)
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Oh UTIs are the worst! That’s a bummer especially for such a little one. I see your post is already a few days old, so hopefully she’s feeling better by now... but I have a family remedy to share for anyone who might need it.

My Great Great Aunt Lula taught my family that fresh parsley tea (or dry if it’s all you’ve got) is a must have for UTIs. I’ve been using this remedy for years and find it to be amazing. The parsley has a mild and pleasant flavor all on its own, no need to sweeten it or anything. It soothes the pain one feels while urinating almost completely, and seems to calm the feeling of internal inflammation that sometimes occurs. Drink as much tea as desired.

That said, Please be very careful foraging for parsley. I know where I live in California we have a fairly convincing imposter that is quite poisonous. Dried is just fine if you’re unsure.

I’m not positive that this method can completely kill off the “bad” bacteria causing the infection, though mine always clear up on their own after two or three days of parsley tea. Though it’s not a concern for me personally, I’ve heard that some people are prone (genetically or otherwise) to severe UTIs that can become dangerous if allowed to spread. So if the issue seems to be worsening to an extremely painful point after a few days, an antibiotic might be necessary. Especially because she’s so young, I don’t want to deter you from going to a doctor if she is in need of one 😕

Also... if available, cranberries and/or cranberry juice is great to try and clear the infection as well. I’ve done both parsley tea and cranberries at the same time in the past which has seemed to work well. Just be aware that the juices found at the regular grocery are often packed full of extra sugars which could worsen the issue. Avoid cocktails etc. Good luck! 🌿
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I can second cranberry, but my prefered one was uva ursi tincture, so the leaf and not the fruit.

Parsley is a traditional diuretic tea.

But parsley itself is quite high in oxalate, so it is not a good idea to use the herb as food more than usual. It is also a good idea for everybody with tendency to UTIs, to be informed about oxalate issues. Some diets have increased the use of these foods while decreasing or suppressing dairies (their calcium is preventive if eaten with the high oxalate food). Those diets that can increase the problem are : vegan, paleo and gluten-free. It comes from the excess use of some greens like spinach, chards, beets, chenopodium, purslane, amaranth, and such seeds as amaranth and quinoa or buckwheat, and a big consumption of any nut from trees.

Foraged herbs can be higher in oxalate as this is their defense. Think oxalis family and also chenopodiums like lambquarters, all the amaranth family. A lot of spices are also high, while extracts and essential oils are safer. Do not exceed time for infusions. For example black tea gets more oxalates when you let it infuse. There is no oxalate in oils but it is water soluble.
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