10-Day Kidney Cleanse For Better Energy & Skin Health
Your kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on each side of your spine below your rib cage. They help to filter and return blood to your bloodstream while filtering and removing waste and toxins from your body. Protecting your kidney health is critical for your energy, skin health, and overall well-being.
In this article, you will learn about the importance of kidney health. You will understand why blood sugar stability is so important for your kidney health. I will share the top kidney-supporting foods and herbs and their science-backed benefits. I will share my best tips and break down how to do a 10-day kidney cleanse for better energy and skin health.
Importance of Kidney Health
Your kidneys are a pair of organs that look like oversized beans that weigh 135 to 150 grams. Your kidneys are part of your renal system. They are located on each side of your spine at the bottom of your rib cage. These fist-sized organs’ job is to filter and return about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to your bloodstream within every 24 hours (1, 2).
During this blood filtering process, your kidneys also help to filter and remove any chemicals, waste, and toxins to a fluid that can excrete your body through urine. Your renal and urinary system’s primary role is to allow detoxification through filtering and removing any waste products, including toxins and drugs.
They also help to regulate your body’s salt, potassium, and acid content, as well as your blood pressure. It regulates your body’s water balance. It also produces a hormone called erythropoietin, which makes your red blood cells, and an active form of vitamin D called calcitriol (2). To learn more about kidney health, I recommend reading this article.
Blood Sugar Stability and Kidney Health
Blood sugar (blood glucose) is the main sugar located in your blood that comes from food. Unless you are leading a fat-adapted ketogenic lifestyle, this is your body’s main source of energy. Your blood’s job is to take this sugar to your cells throughout your body for energy.
Diabetes is a disease characterized by too high blood sugar levels. Prediabetes is a precursor and risk factor for diabetes in which your blood sugar levels are high but not quite high to meet a diabetes diagnosis. Even if you are not dealing with diabetes or prediabetes, you may be experiencing symptoms of insulin resistance or blood sugar imbalances, which can affect your overall health and increase your risk of diabetes.
Paying attention to your blood sugar is critical for kidney health. Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease and prediabetes and blood sugar imbalances can increase your risk of kidney issues. However, managing your blood sugar levels and keeping them stable and healthy can lower your risk of kidney disease or help to slow or stop the progression of kidney disease (3, 4).
AGE Formation and Kidney Problems
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are one of the culprits behind many health issues and age-related diseases (5). According to a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology, a decrease in renal function increases circulating AGE concentrations, which can be very prominent in diabetic nephropathy as well as diabetic and non-diabetic renal diseases (6).
A 2016 systematic review published in the American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology, insulin resistance is an early metabolic change in those with chronic kidney disease (7). It may develop while filtration is still normal, but turns universal at the late stages of kidney failure. Insulin resistance is multi-natured in chronic kidney disease.
It often co-occurs with and is affected by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, vitamin D deficiency, poor gut microbiome balance, vitamin D deficiency, physical inactivity, anemia, and adipokine derangement. According to the review, insulin resistance contributes to the risk and progression of chronic kidney disease (7).
According to a 2018 study published in the Clinical Medical Insights of Endocrinological Diabetes, insulin resistance can lead to a 40 to 100 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease (8). It also increases the risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. A 2019 cohort study published in BMC Nephrology has also found that insulin resistance can increase the risk and progression of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular health issues, and even related death (9).
The good news is that as the 2016 systematic review we’ve discussed explains, insulin resistance is a modifiable risk factor. Reducing insulin resistance and improving insulin sensitivity may lower the risk and progression of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular issues, and related death (7).
Best Foods For Kidney Health
Nutrition is always one of the best strategies to improve your health. Eating a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet free from refined sugar, refined oils, processed food, and junk food and high in greens, vegetables, low-glycemic index fruits, herbs, spices, healthy fats, fermented food, and clean animal protein is critical for your kidney health.
To specifically support your kidney, I recommend that you add some kidney-supporting food to your daily diet. Here are the best foods for kidney health:
Cucumbers are a very low-calorie vegetable with a very high water content that helps your body to stay hydrated and detoxify. It may help your body to remove toxins and resolve small kidney stones.
According to the National Insitute of Health (NIH), National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), eating cucumbers may also help people to reduce their protein intake which is an important strategy for those with chronic kidney disease (10).
Celery is another high water-content and antioxidant-rich vegetable that may aid detoxification and kidney health. According to a 2019 rat study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences, the anticalculi activity in celery may help to dissolve kidney stones (11).
Dandelions are yellow flowers that can be found everywhere in your yard, parks, and open fields throughout spring and summer. They are practically free food. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has found that dandelion greens have diuretic benefits that can benefit your kidney health (12).
Beets are a popular sweet root vegetable that is great for your kidneys and liver. They are delicious raw, cooked, and within a green juice. According to a 2020 review published in Nutrition & Metabolism, beetroot may be beneficial for metabolic diseases, kidney function among those with renal diseases, and blood pressure health (13).
Berries are low glycemic index and high-water content fruit that benefit your health and detoxification. Blueberries are particularly great for their antioxidant and kidney-health benefits. A 2014 animal study published in PLoS One has found that eating a diet rich in blueberries may improve renal function (14).
Citric acid is an organic compound that is found in many fruits and fruit juices including lemon and lime. It is highly beneficial for people with kidney stones as it may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones by breaking down smaller stones just as they begin to form (15).
According to a 2014 study in the Korean Journal of Urology, low urinary citrate is common in those with kidney stones and increasing foods high in citric acid, such as lime and lemons can benefit them (16).
Lemons are similar to limes with similar health benefits. Due to their citric acid content, they may help to break down small kidney stones and benefit kidney health. Simply adding 4 oz of lemon juice a day can make a difference according to the 2014 study in the Korean Journal of Urology (15, 16).
Onions are a fantastic vegetable that not only provides a great flavor to your meals but offer many health benefits. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Hypertension, allium vegetables, such as onion and garlic, may reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease by 32 percent, cardiovascular disease by 64 percent, and hypertension by 26 percent (17).
Broccoli is a high-fiber cruciferous vegetable. According to a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, taking cruciferous broccoli powder supplementation high the precursor to antioxidant-activating sulforaphane reduced kidney injury by knocking out the GSTM1 enzyme in mice (18).
Best Herbs For Kidney Health
Additionally to kidney-supporting vegetables, you can support your kidney health with the help of some powerful herbs that you can add to your dishes, make tea out of, or use them as part of a kidney-supporting supplement. Here are the best herbs for kidney health I recommend:
Parsley is a popular herb used in salads, soup, and various meals, and often as garnish. It is highly anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, parsley has diuretic properties and may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones (19).
Cilantro is a popular spicey herb often used in salads, salsa, dressing, soups, and certain dishes. A 2015 rat study published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology, cilantro has biotherapeutic properties that may be beneficial against gentamicin-induced renal damage (20).
Horsetail is an herbal remedy that has been used since the Ancient Greeks and Romans usually as a tea for various health ailments including kidney stones. According to a 2014 randomized, double-blind clinical trial published in Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, horsetail has diuretic effects that may benefit kidney health (21).
Burdock is a root vegetable from Asia and Europe that’s now also grown in the United States. It is used for its natural medicinal properties as a tea. It is a diuretic that can help your body to get rid of excess fluid. According to a 2011 review published in Inflammopharmacology, burdock can support detoxification, help to remove toxins from the blood hence support the kidney’s filtration process (22).
Stinging nettle is a nutritious herb with a multitude of health benefits. The National Kidney Foundation recommends stinging nettle as a beneficial herb for kidney disease among other potassium-containing herbs (23).
Milk thistle is a powerful herb that’s often recommended for kidney and liver health. A 2010 study published in Renal Failure has found that milk thistle extract may help to improve kidney activity and prevent diabetic nephropathy in diabetic rats (24).
Gynostemma is a powerful herb that’s native to South- and East-Asia. It is a popular herbal supplement. A 2018 rat study published in Oncotarget found that gynostemma along with motherwort and chitosan may inhibit STAT1 activation and help to reduce the progression of renal failure (25).
Marshmallow root comes from the marshmallow plant that’s native to Europe, Western-Asia, and North-Africa. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, it may help to reduce inflammation and relieve irritation of the urinary tract (26). It is a diuretic that helps to support kidney and urinary function.
10-Day Kidney Cleanse
A poor diet, poor lifestyle choices, environmental toxin exposure, and chronic stress can compromise your kidney health. Doing a 10-day gentle kidney cleanse can enhance detoxification and support your kidney function.
Most people notice a significant improvement in their energy, mental clarity and overall health on this cleanse. It is important that after you finish the kidney cleanse that you continue to eat a healthy diet with kidney-supporting foods and herbs and lead a healthy lifestyle with low stress and low toxic exposure.
Use Liquid Nutrition
For your 10-day kidney cleanse I recommend using liquid nutrition to support kidney function and detoxification through urine. I recommend that you replace one or two meals with bone broth and/or a protein shake.
Additionally to liquid nutrition, consume many of the top kidney-supporting foods and herbs in salads, juices, or smoothies that are easy to digest. Taking stress off of your digestive system, frees up more energy for cleansing and healing.
Practice Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that alternates between a period of not eating (fasting) and a period of eating (feasting) within a day. Among other benefits, intermittent fasting offers certain benefits for your kidney health, including improved insulin sensitivity and improved cellular autophagy and renewal (27, 28).
I recommend that during your kidney cleanse, you consume meals in a 6 to 8-hour eating window. To learn more about intermittent fasting, I recommend reading this article.
Drinking plenty of water is necessary for kidney health and function. According to a 2014 study in Obesity Facts, increased hydration may slow kidney disease (29). During your kidney cleanse, I recommend that you start your day with 32 ounces of water before eating anything and stay hydrated throughout the day.
The water can be in the form of herbal tea or you can add lemon or other herbs to your water. Make sure to drink around 1 gallon of filtered water daily in addition to your protein shakes, juices, bone broth, and hydrating kidney-supporting vegetables.
Gentle Self Massage on Kidney Reflex Points
Reflexology is a massage healing technique that originated from ancient China and Egypt. It uses meridian points on your feet, hands, and head that are linked to certain parts of your body and can support health in those areas.
During your kidney cleanse, I recommend that you gently massage your kidney pressure points on your palms three times a day. You can also do your feet or have a spouse or loved one help massage your feet if you are able. Most people find that doing this massage on their palms in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed really helps them feel better and get a deeper cleanse.
Dry Brushing The Skin
Dry brushing your skin stimulates your lymphatic system, helps your circulation, and supports detoxification. Find a brush with soft natural bristles. Dry brush your body daily before your shower.
Use circular motions throughout your body towards your heart. When brushing your stomach, use a circular motion to support digestive flow. To learn more about dry brushing, I recommend reading this article.
Daily movement is very important for cleansing and overall health. During your 10-day kidney cleanse, I don’t recommend doing any hard workouts or strenuous exercise unless you have been doing that leading up to the cleanse.
However, it is important that you move your body on a daily basis. Go for a walk, preferably in nature. Do some yoga or light Pilates. Enjoy an easy bike ride. Try some easy dancing. Play outside with your kids or pets. Make sure you stretch your body regularly.
Use Herbal Teas
To further kidney health and cleansing, I recommend trying some kidney-supporting herbal teas. They support hydration, kidney health, and detoxification while calming your body and mind.
I recommend this Kidney and Bladder Cleanse Tea with organic parsley root, organic cornsilk, organic juniper berries, organic couch grass root, organic shave grass herb, and organic cleavers herb. For the kidney cleanse, I would drink 2-3 cups of this tea daily.
Kidney Cleanse Supplements
To receive that maximum benefits from your 10-day kidney cleanse, support your body with herbal kidney cleanse supplements. I recommend Plant Based Kidney Health which is an enhanced blend of potent, organic herbs, that contains powerful antioxidants and nutrients that cleanse the kidneys and encourage normal kidney function and support the drainage pathways.
This product contains cranberry, horsetail, hydrangea, uva-ursi, marshmallow root, juniper berry, gingko biloba and it is powered by bioactive carbons in the shilajit complex. This combination of nutrients supports drainage and immune function in the kidneys and liver. Take 1 ml in the morning and again in the evening, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
When cleansing your kidneys, it is also important to support your urinary tract as part of your renal and urinary system. I recommend UT Support a fantastic supplement that features D-mannose along with hibiscus sabdariffa for urinary tract issues. Take one to two capsules three times a day during your cleanse.
Bonus Strategy: Infrared Sauna
Infrared sauna therapy has so many health benefits from detoxification to enhanced physical endurance. Infrared sauna therapy used Far Infrared Technology (FIR), which is a non-invasive light therapy that can penetrate your body as much as three inches using FIR wavelengths between 5.6 and 20 microns.
According to a 2015 research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, regular sauna use can lower the risk of mortality by 40 percent (30). A 2012 study published in Toxicology Independent Health, sauna therapy can improve detoxification and chronic disease (31). It is a simple yet effective way to support your kidney cleanse and detoxification through sweating.
We love High Tech Health saunas and this is what my wife and I use on a regular basis. For a portable, lower cost option, I really like the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket here. Use the coupon code DRJOCKERS15 to save 15% off on HigherDOSE products including the Sauna Blanket.
Your kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that help to filter and remove waste and toxins from your body. Protecting your kidney health is critical for your energy, skin health, and overall well-being. Follow my best tips and break down how to do a 10-day kidney cleanse for better energy and skin health.
If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. On our website, we offer long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.
I love your articles as you explain issues and information so clearly and with illustrations and diagrams that are extremely helpful. Thank you immensely. Keep up the excellent work.
Thanks so much and blessings to you!
Gives insight to how kidney helps body function optimally if we follow certain guidelines shown here by Dr. Jockers. Thank you!
Thank you so much Dr. Jockers – I’m going to give this cleanse a try. I have several kidney/ bladder issues & know that your tips are 100% helpful because these foods (such as celery, lemon, lime, etc. have been the only one’s which give me some energy!). The full cleanse should make an even better difference with gaining more consistent energy.
Your knowledge & resources are such a blessing!
Best to you & your family!
Great to hear that! Blessings to you and your family Isabel!
Thank you, Dr. Jockers, for the wonderful explanation and instruction on Kidney Cleanse. Best foods and herbs list is really helpful. No one explained the abnormal GFR result on my blood test which means my kidneys are complaining (healing gut from potent Rx and mold toxicity). Your suggestions and support are very meaningful. Great visuals for comprehension. The only negative is a lack of printer so will handwrite this information but it’s probably a smart way to integrate the info. With my appreciation, Diane
Glad this was so helpful for you! Blessings!
🙏🏽thank you for your generous sharing of healthy living. For this, I’m truly grateful. Blessings to you and your family❤️
Thanks DJ and blessings to you!
I need to learn more about health doc
You are in the right place! Blessings!
This is the most comprehensive article I have read on Kidney support and help . Many many thanks for sharing .
Great to hear that Beryl! Blessings to you!
Your health articles are the best to be found. They are well grounded, thorough, and accessible. Thank you for your generous and intelligent health guidance.
Thank you so much for all your support! Blessings to you and your family!
Thank you for your generosity, encouragement. Just what I need. Want to break through drinking water resistance.
Thank you so much Ruth for all your support! Blessings!
You give such a full going-over that everybody can find something they can do to improve the health of kidneys, and in turn it’s really whole body cleansing.
Thank you for all your support Alison! Blessings to you!
Wonderful information and guidance. Thank you for all your help and concern for others’ wellbeing!
Thank you for all your support Judith! Blessings to you!
Blessings THANK YOU for all this wonderful information you continually educate us all with and I do pass it on. Most grateful to you and your Team
Thank you so much Barbara for all your support! Blessings to you!
I meant to also say that I am in Queensland, Australia . Once again thank you
Thank you for the excellent articles!
I have a question about drinking one a gallon of water/day. Should we be adding some electrolytes in the gallon of water? If not, won’t that much water dilute the electrolyte balance in our bodies?
Hello Nancy, yes if you are consuming the kidney friendly foods, that will help with providing the electrolytes you need!
Dear Dr Jockers
So many thanks for your information. I have learned so much and it has helped me a lot (I am 83)
Thanks Doctor for your assistant in keeping my kidney healthy . God bless you
Glad to hear this Marianne! Blessings to you!
Great information. One caution: As I have learned since experiencing a kidney stone in February 2022, those who are prone to developing stones are often advised to avoid or minimize eating foods that are high in oxalates. Beets, spinach and almonds are among the highest oxalate foods.
Yes if you have oxalate issues than it is best to avoid those. Thanks for shring!
Thank you so much Dr. Jockers. Most of the information here is so profound. I learned about it years ago and will start applying again.
Glad to hear that Victoria! Blessings!
I’m about to turn 61. Due to years of sciatica, I’ve lived on Aleve to relieve the pain. This has deteriorated my kidney function to a certain extent. Can I repair my kidneys, or will these lifestyle changes preserve what I have left? Thank you.
Yes you can still heal, start with the plan here!
I have only one kidney. I was born that way. My birth Mother wore a griddle till she was in her 9th month. I only have the one kidney and no tube or ovarey on my left side. At 14 I was in an accident on a ski-do. I bruised my good kidney and was in hospital for 2 months. My kidney seems ok for now. Do I do everything the same as if I had 2?
Sorry to hear that! Yes, this protocol will help you!
Great article overall! Thank you for your time and effort!