Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
For centuries, some people have tried to use herbs to treat and prevent stones that form in the kidneys and bladder. Traditional herbs for bladder stones include gravel root (also called kidney root, queen of the meadow and Joe Pye), stone root (also called citronella and colinsonia) and hydrangea (wild or mountain hydrangea).
These herbs are used alone or in various combinations and drunk as tea or taken in tincture form. Some herbal formulas add marshmallow (the plant, not the confection), which is said to coat the fragments so that they can be eliminated painlessly. No studies, however, have confirmed that herbs can break up bladder stones, which are extremely hard and usually require a laser, ultrasound or other procedure for removal.
For prevention, parsley leaf is reported to have a diuretic effect and may be helpful for preventing bladder stones.
Always check with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine therapy to be sure it's safe, and that it won't adversely interact with other medications you're taking.
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