herbal · wild foods

Nephros

Tea of the day :: Calendula – horsetail – seaberry – joe pye weed – corn silk – fireweed

Nephros-
Pertaining to the kidneys, and essentially the urinary system.

Kidney days

The urinary system is composed of the kidneys, the bladder, ureter, and urethra. The supradrenal glands sit on top the kidneys on each side of the spine. The psoas muscle group runs through the system nestled in the renal artery, down to the bladder, to each side of the pelvis. This group of organs is responsible for homeostasis in the body. The kidneys regulate water flowing through the body, through its absorption, filtration, reabsorption, and evacuation of liquid by way of urinating 1-2L/day. Our bodies need to consume at least 2L of water each day in order to keep fluids replenished in our bodies.

When in the acute phases of kidney stones, tract infections, or cystitis, it is very important for you to seek professional medical guidance. No herbs can “cure” these disorders and can be potentially dangerous. There are many products and diets that focus on “detox-ing” the kidneys which should be met with some scepticism. They are not always dangerous, but they are also not for everyone. While it can be beneficial to use diuretics to remove environmental build-up, it’s also important (if not more so) to support the urinary system so that calcium or phosphate oxalates, or other infections don’t accumulate in the first place.

If you know that your environment is providing you with an excess of heavy metals in the air, the water, and the earth, adopting an eating plan that supports the elimination organs would be only a plus for your quality of life. The people of Flint, Michigan are a good example of battling lead poisoning with nutritional habits. There are foods that can limit the absorption of heavy metals but excretion becomes increasingly difficult if you’re constantly exposed to it.

Many of the herbs used in detox programs which are diuretic and astringent which can eliminate water reserves in the body without properly replenishing them. Simply piling on diuretics in a blend will not only be bitter & unpleasant, it may also overwork your organs, creating undue strain on an already weak system. You don’t have to buy into a kidney-cleansing program in order to take care of the system. Treating the body right is the best way to overcome urinary disorders. Incorporate light diuretics into your tea ritual 1-3 times per week.

 

Equisetum vulgare – Horsetail
Eupatorium graveolens – Joe-Pye Weed / Gravelroot
Zea mays – Corn silk
Epilobium angustifolia – Fireweed

For some reason I omitted the goldenrod – I didn’t want to overdo it. It is a lovely herb that is also diuretic but also remineralizing. So I added instead

Hippopheae rhamnoïdes – Seaberry
Calendula officinalis – Calendula (Pot Marigold)

For flavour & colour, yellow/orange flowers & fruits are the way to go. Unsweetened cranberry juice also helps the bladder by lowering the urine pH in order to fight local infection.

Cornsilk star
One of my favourite summer rituals is shucking corn, but I prefer to blanch & freeze to use in the wintertime.

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