Episode 44: Kidney Stones

One of the worst pains known to both men and women would be the passing of a kidney stone. In fact, it might even rival childbirth as far as it’s severity goes. Kidney stones are made up of either Calcium Oxalate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate or Uric Acid, although, 80% of all kidney stones are the Calcium Oxalate variety.

The causes of stone formation are poor water consumption, magnesium & potassium deficiency, a diet low in citrate, high consumption of sugar (in all its forms), high soft drink consumption, high sodium consumption and high consumption of oxalate containing foods. These foods include beans, chocolate, spinach, certain berries, coffee and tea. Contrary to popular belief, high doses of Vitamin C do not cause stone formation. This erroneous theory came from lab collections of urine samples where oxalate formed after the samples left the body. Inside the body, oxalate formation from vitamin C cannot occur and has historically never been documented.

That brings us to the many interventions. One of the biggest interventions, is to ensure that one does not become dehydrated. During dehydration, urine concentration is high. This in combination with some of the above-mentioned causes, increases the likelihood of stone formation. 2 liters/ day of water is sufficient for most adults.

Another important intervention would be the consumption of potassium and magnesium aspartate supplements at a dosage of 200mg potassium/100mg magnesium.

As citric acid helps with the dissolving of calcium oxalate, additional magnesium citrate would also be beneficial. 1 tsp of magnesium citrate powder before bed is sufficient.

Vitamin C also helps to dissolve calcium oxalate by virtue of its ability to bind to calcium. 1-3000mg of vitamin C per day is a good addition.

Chinese medicine also has some stone dissolving properties. The Chinese herb Ji Nei Jin (also known as chicken gizzard), is cooked up into a soup and drank daily during stone episodes.

As far as diet goes, a diet lower in oxalates found in the foods mentioned above will also prevent stone formation.

Finally, though acupuncture doesn’t take 2 minutes, an acupuncture treatment will also help with the passage of stones when they are present.

Join us next week when we’ll cover the benefits of balanced electrolyte salt.


Be Well and Be Zen

Alex Audette TCMP, R.Ac.




Gaby., Potassium., Kidney Stones., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., Ch. 28., ps.141-3, Ch. 213., ps.787-92., ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.

Benski D., Gamble A., Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica (1993), ps.226-7., ISBN: 0-939616-15-7., Eastland Press Inc., Seattle, WA.


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