17 Home Remedies for Kidney Infection (Backed by Science)

Kidney infection is a form of urinary tract infection (UTI) that occurs in one or both of the kidneys.  It is also called pyelonephritis [1].

This happens when the UTI in the lower urinary tract progresses and travels all the way up to the kidneys [2].

Although various strains of viruses and bacteria can cause kidney infection, the most common cause is a bacterium called Escherichia coli (also known as, E. coli.) [3, 4].

You can detect kidney infection when certain signs and symptoms appear. This includes fever, frequent and painful urination. Also, vomiting and nausea, chills, and pain in the side, back of your abdomen and genital area.

If such condition occurs, then you require immediate medical attention as it can leave permanent damage to the kidneys, or prompt the bacteria to invade the bloodstream and put your life at risk [5].

IT IS a MUST to get medical treatment should you be diagnosed with this condition.

Also, you can help improve symptoms and feel better with some tried-and-tested home remedies for kidney infection. in this article, you’ll learn about top natural remedies with cost-effective ingredients, herbs, etc.  these natural remedies are efficient to deal with any type of kidney infection and are listed below.

So, in the following article, you will read about:

  • How to get rid of a kidney infection at home
  • 17 home remedies for bladder and kidney infection
  • Some questions and answers about kidney infection

Related: 10 Proven Methods to Get Rid of Kidney Stones (No. 5 is the simplest!)

17 Natural Remedies for Kidney Infection

1. Water


One of the simplest home treatment for kidney infection is to drink more water. The premise is the more water you take in, the more urine you produce.

According to a 1965 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, water diuresis or the process of excreting urine after intake of water is an excellent way to prevent renal infection [5].

How does this work?

Remember that it is through urination (and bowel movement) that the body gets rid of harmful substances inside the body including those infection-causing pathogens.

So drinking water flushes out bacteria from the kidneys and keeps them functioning optimally. Thus, reducing the chances of kidney infection.

Take note, however that coffee, soda, and alcoholic beverages don’t work the same way water does, and may only aggravate your condition.

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 to 10 glasses of water
  • Slices of cucumber, lemon, and watermelon
  • 2 to 3 glasses of coconut water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day.
  2. You can also try infusing the water with flavor by putting slices of fruits.
  3. Chill the water for several minutes before drinking.
  4. It’s also a good idea to drink coconut water.

2. Cranberry Juiceceanberry-drink-for-kidney-infection

Cranberry juice is often recommended for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI) [6, 7, 8].

In fact, it even works for recurrent cases of UTI that cannot be treated by antibiotics [9].

As you have probably heard, some strains of bacteria have already grown resistant to antibiotics, which means that they’ve become stronger and can no longer be controlled by medication.

This juice is also an effective preventive measure and can keep the kidneys healthy and be working to their full power [10].

Now, for more severe infections such as those that have progressed to the kidneys, cranberry juice can also help.

Published in the Annals of Saudi Medicine Journal is a set of guidelines for inpatient care of children with infection of the kidneys [11].

One of the interventions suggested is drinking cranberry juice, which contains active compounds such as proanthocyanidin and fructose that work to inhibit the adhesion of E. coli in the kidney cells [11].

The anti-adhesion properties of cranberry juice have also been confirmed in a 1991 study that investigated the effects of various juices in the kidneys [12].

Of all the fruit juices tested (blueberry, grapefruit, orange, mango, pineapple, guava, and cranberry), only cranberry and blueberry have the ability to stop bacteria from adhering in the kidneys and causing infection [12].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 to 3 slices of cranberry
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Squeeze cranberry slices to extract the juice.
  2. Add to a glass of water.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Do not add sugar or any sweetener.
  5. Put in the refrigerator for several minutes.
  6. Drink the juice once a day for one to two weeks.
  7. Do not drink more than the recommended amount and period.
  8. Drinking more than a liter of cranberry juice for an extended period can increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Related: 12 Cranberry Juice Benefits (Backed by Scientific Evidence)

3. Yogurt


Eating a cup or two of yogurt a day is good not only for your tummy but also for your kidneys.

According to a 2001 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, overuse of antibiotics can make bacteria stronger and more resistant, which in turn, puts people at higher risk of being infected [13].

Natural remedies like yogurt, which is known to control bacteria effectively, can come in handy in these situations.

Many strains of bacteria that are found to cause infection have not yet grown resistant to yogurt and other natural antibacterials, at least not yet.

That’s not all, the probiotics that can be found in yogurt can also restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the kidneys, and can, therefore, bring back its optimal function [13].

It’s important, however, not to consider probiotics a “panacea in treating urogenital infections”. Researchers recommend further investigation on this matter [14].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 to 3 cups of plain yogurt
  • Slices of apple, strawberry or mango

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add fruits to your plain yogurt.
  2. Consume yogurt during the day.
  3. Do this for several weeks until condition improves.

4. Marshmallow


As mentioned earlier, diuretics like water play a crucial role in maintaining kidney health as it helps get rid of the impurities inside the body.

Another type of diuretic that can help curb the problem of kidney infection is the marshmallow.

Its seeds are said to be efficient in increasing urine output, according to a review of herbal products in Pakistan [15].

It is also a potent antibacterial that fights E. coli and other bacterial strains the can cause infection in the kidney. It does so by preventing them from growing and spreading [16].

Moreover, it has a high amount of mucilage content that protects the bladder, preventing infections and complications [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 piece of marshmallow root
  • 3 seeds of marshmallow
  • 3 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put water in a pot, and boil.
  2. Add marshmallow root and seeds.
  3. Lower heat.
  4. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from the stove.
  6. Strain the solution.
  7. Drink it two to three times a day for four to five days.

5. Vitamin C


Antioxidants such as vitamin C protect the tissues of the body from oxidative stress, thus preventing a number of serious ailments [18].

Emerging studies also show that vitamin C can reduce peroxidation of lipid and boost the antioxidant enzymes in the kidneys [19].

Apart from this, vitamin C has also been proven capable of preventing kidney scars during cases of an acute kidney infection, reports a study conducted in Poland [20].

Kidney scars can cause recurrence of the infection, so it makes sense to exert extra effort in preventing these from forming in your kidneys.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 to 2 pieces of citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit)
  • 2 servings of vitamin C rich vegetables (broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes)

Recommended Directions:

  1. Snack on vitamin C fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
  2. You can also take vitamin C supplements but be sure to consult your doctor first regarding proper dosage.
  3. Large doses of vitamin C can also lead to kidney stones, particularly among men.

RELATED: 18 Surprising Benefits of vitamin C

6. Aloe Vera


Since historic times, aloe vera has been utilized for its wide variety of therapeutic purposes [21].

The gel derived from its fleshy leaves demonstrate anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, UV protective, and wound-healing properties, among many others [22].

It has also been found to be a strong antifungal agent, combating Candida albicans, a type of fungus that can cause infection in the kidneys [22].

Kidney failure due to Candida infection is a potentially life-threatening condition that should be given immediate medical attention. It’s a must to visit your doctor right away [23].

Apart from getting medical treatment, you can also rely on aloe vera as an adjunct treatment for fungal kidney infections.

Indian researchers also confirm the efficacy of aloe vera also against E. coli and other strains of bacteria that can harm the kidneys [24].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 glass of 100 percent aloe vera juice

Recommended Directions:

  1. Drink aloe vera juice once a day in the morning.
  2. Follow this treatment until symptoms subside.

RELATED:  Aloe Vera for Gastritis, Ulcer, and Stomach Infections

7. Garlic


Known all over the world for its antibacterial and antimicrobial powers, garlic is used to treat countless of infectious diseases, whether minor or serious.

Several studies document the potent bactericidal effects of this herb against E. coli [25, 26, 27].

Most of the microorganisms tested in these studies were susceptible to the inhibitory effects of garlic, but its effects were strongest against E. coli [28].

It also works for pathogens that have grown resistant to antibiotic medications [27].

Thus, garlic is one of the potent alternative remedies for kidney infection and pain.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 cloves of garlic

Recommended Directions:

  1. Eat garlic cloves in the morning before eating anything.
  2. You can also try taking garlic supplements if you don’t like the taste of raw garlic.
  3. Just make sure that you consult your doctor first regarding this.
  4. Do this remedy for one to two weeks.

8. Parsley Juice


For most people, parsley is nothing more than a garnish to make one’s dish appear fancy and attractive.

What many do not know is that this herb is packed with nutrients that can benefit the health in more ways than one.

Parsley juice is, in fact, a proven diuretic that can increase the amount of urine to help the body get rid of toxins and bacteria more efficiently.

A Lebanese study conducted in 2001 confirms its diuretic effects [29].

Results show that the animal subjects that were made to drink parsley juice excreted a much larger amount of urine within 24 hours than those who took in water [29].

Since this juice also acts as an “antiseptic of the urinary tract”, it can also prevent recurrence of the condition [30].

It does so by removing the bacteria and fungi that exist in the urinary tract [30].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Crush fresh parsley, and set aside.
  2. In a pot, bring water to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Transfer liquid to a cup.
  5. Add crushed parsley.
  6. Cover and steep for five minutes.
  7. Strain the solution.
  8. Let it cool a little before drinking.
  9. Drink this twice a day for several weeks.
  10. Consult your doctor to find out if parsley may interfere with any medication that you’re taking.

9. Apple


High in fiber and nutrients, apples are a great way to keep oneself healthy and strong.

These fruits can help ward off numerous ailments, particularly those that commonly affect people with weak immune system.

If you’re at risk of a kidney infection, or if you already have one, it’s a good idea to incorporate apples into your diet.

Because of their acidic content, they can help maintain acidity in the urine to prevent the growth and spread of infection-causing bacteria.

In addition, apples also contain active compounds that have significant anti-inflammatory properties that can also help alleviate kidney infection [31, 32].

These include procyanidins, triterpenes and flavonoids [31, 32].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 to 4 organic apples
  • 1 glass of apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon of applesauce

Recommended Directions:

  1. Snack on apples throughout the day.
  2. Drink apple juice in the morning.
  3. Add applesauce to your dishes.
  4. Do this remedy for three to four weeks.

RELATED: How to Use Apple Juice for Constipation Relief

10. Warm Compress


A warm compress will not kill the microbes causing the infection inside your kidneys. But it can do so much in alleviating your pain and suffering.

As you know, pain in the abdominal area, in the back, and on your sides are just a few of the many symptoms of kidney infection. Fortunately, you can find immediate relief from heat therapy.

Various studies show how warm compress can minimize pain in different conditions and situations [33, 34, 35].

A 2002 clinical review reports that heat therapy is a viable method for pain management not only in the hospital setting but also at home [35].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bowl of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak a clean towel in hot water.
  2. Wring out to get rid of excess water.
  3. Place the towel on top of your abdomen for several minutes.
  4. Re-apply every hour until the pain subsides.

11. Baking Soda


The scientists from Japan, USA and Belgium conducted an extensive review of 19 studies that investigated the effects of baking soda on kidney infection [36].

Summative findings favor the use of baking soda, particularly for preventing kidney injury among those with chronic kidney disease [36].

A different team of researchers performed a similar study in the same year, probing the efficacy of baking soda as a treatment for contrast-induced nephropathy, which is a common cause of acute kidney injury [37].

Of the 17 randomized controlled trials that they have assessed, it was found that this natural method reduced the incidence of damage in the kidney [37].

However, both teams recommend further research to be done on this matter.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 8 ounces of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add baking soda to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well to dissolve the powder in water.
  3. Drink the mixture daily for two to three weeks.

ReadHow to Use Baking Soda for Constipation: 4 Effective Ways

12. Apple Cider Vinegar


The use of vinegar in traditional medicine and culinary dates back to 300 BC [38].

It has been used in many parts of the world including Asia, Europe and Western societies as a method for preserving and adding flavor to food as well as for curing many types of ailments [38].

Some people say that you can benefit from a type of vinegar called apple cider vinegar if you have kidney disease.

A 2014 study sheds light on apple cider vinegar’s benefits on kidney function [39].

Results from this animal trial reveal that apple cider vinegar can prevent kidney oxidative injury in mice fed with high cholesterol diet [39].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix the two ingredients.
  2. Consume the mixture daily for up to one month.

RELATED:  Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI Treatment: 10 Practical Ways

13. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is not a salt as the name suggests. It is named after a place called Epsom in Surrey, England, where you get it naturally in springs.

Epsom salt is a mineral made up of magnesium and sulfate. For centuries people have been using this mineral for various therapeutic purposes. [40]

Epsom salt is loaded with numerous medicinal values. The magnesium and sulfate in the salt can easily penetrate your skin and manage health problems.

Studies have confirmed that the magnesium compound in Epsom salt can regulate over 325 enzymes inside your body. [40]

Thus, Epsom salt plays important role in relieving inflammations, muscle and joint pains, stress, constipation, and artery tightening.

The sulfate in the salt can actively flush out the toxins, heavy metals, and waste from your body and cells to boost your kidney. It can relieve migraine pains and absorb the nutrients as well.

Epsom salt bath is the most popular way to detox your body, boost kidney, and improve your overall health. Your skin has billions of porous membranes. [41]

Epsom salt is the right minerals in your bath water. It can trigger a reverse osmosis to pull out the harmful substances and toxins out of your body. [41]

Here’s how you should go about with Epsom salt.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of Epsom salt

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add the mineral to the water in your bathtub.
  2. Now indulge in a detoxifying bath for 10 -15 minutes.
  3. Repeat the process at least twice in a week for relieving kidney infection.

14. Cabbage

Cabbage is a favorite veggie for salads and many other delicious food items.

Cabbage comes from cruciferous vegetable family. it has a big list of health benefits and medicinal values as well. [42]

Cabbage is a cost-effective home remedy for various illnesses such as gout, scurvy, kidney infection, etc.

Green and red cabbage are rich in photochemical, vitamin B6, C and K, fiber and folic acids. [42]

These active components and nutrients can fight free radicals, cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. A healthy diet that incorporates raw or boiled cabbage can relieve kidney infection and pain. [43]

What You’ll Need:

  • Raw red or green cabbage

Recommended Directions:

  1. You can prepare salads with raw cabbage.
  2. You can stuff the cabbage or top it on tacos for your fancy nutrient food items.
  3. Alternatively, boil the cabbage into a soup to prepare an appetizer.

 15. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the best home remedies for a kidney infection. Olive oil is popular for its mild aroma and a balanced pH level.

In fact, only a tablespoon of olive oil contains less than a mg. of sodium, potassium and zero amount of phosphorus. [44]

That’s why; this superb oil is very efficient in fighting kidney problems.

Olive oil is a rich source of monosaturated fat, oleic acid, and polyphenols. These active components are full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties.

Olive oil can eliminate the harmful toxins from your body especially from the kidney, liver, and gallbladder. [44]

In a recent study on the effects on olive oil on cancer and cardiac patients, olive oil showed positive results.

People who consume olive oil regularly have lower chances of developing kidney infections, heart problems, and cancer. [45]

If you want to maximize the benefits in the treatment for a kidney infection, try a mixture of olive oil with lemon juice.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil
  • A few drops of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add olive oil and lemon juice to the water.
  2. Drink this potion every morning.
  3. Additionally, use olive oil to dress salads, in marinating vegetables and eat with toasted bread.

Related: 7 Ways of Using Olive Oil for Ear Infection

16. Watermelon Seeds

Watermelon is a delicious juicy fruit. This refreshing fruit is full of nutrients, minerals and about 92% water.

Watermelon is also rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, amino acids, lycopene and other antioxidants. [46]

These active components can improve your kidney, bone and heart health. Watermelon is also a very potent remedy for cancer prevention.

It is surprising that even the watermelon seeds are power packs of medicinal values. The tiny brownish seeds can be an effective cure for kidney infection.

It is an evident fact that watermelon seeds can help flush out the toxins from the kidney. [46]

This simple home remedy can lower the pains of kidney infections as well.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup of Watermelon Seeds
  • Water to boil

 Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot and add the seeds to it.
  2. Boil the seeds for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down.
  4. Strain the solution and drink it every morning.

17. Echinacea

Echinacea or American coneflower is an herbaceous flowering plant from Asteraceae family or daisy family.

This perennial spiky herb produces pink and purple flowers. Different parts of Echinacea plant and flowers are used for various medicinal purposes. [47]

Nowadays you can get Echinacea dried and liquid extracts, teas, pills, and capsules in the medical shops and supermarkets.

Traditionally Echinacea is a great home remedy for colds, flu, infections, etc.

The phenols, alkamides, caffeic acid, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins in Echinacea are active antioxidants and antimicrobial in nature.

These components in the herb can boost your immune system and help your kidney. [47]

When it comes to treating urinary tract and bladder infections; Echinacea is very effective in reducing pain and swelling.

 What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of dried Echinacea extracts
  • 2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the water for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the Echinacea extracts to the boiling water.
  3. Boil the tea for further 4-5 minutes.
  4. Now, remove it from the heat and let it cool down.
  5. Steep the Echinacea tea and drink it twice daily.

Tips to Get Rid of Kidney Infection

You can relieve the painful symptoms and get rid of kidney infection by doing the following:

  • Increase your fluid consumption on a daily basis. Proper hydration of the body helps to flush out the bacteria naturally through urination.
  • It is recommended that you take plenty of rest during this medical condition.
  • Change the manner you perform your urination process. It’s better to sit on the toilet than to squat over it. You need to empty your bladder every time you urinate.
  • Apart from home remedies for kidney infection pain, you can resort to the traditional acetaminophen drug.

How to Prevent Kidney Infection?

Certain habits and lifestyle changes can help you prevent the possibilities of bladder and kidney infections. Let’ have a look at these:

  • Don’t use deodorant body sprays on your genital area. The practice of spraying such may increase the risk of a bacterial infection.
  • Replace the spermicidal condoms with lubricated ones. Condoms with spermicide have the risk factors of bacterial growth on the genitals. But a well-lubricated condom can lower the irritation in the urethra and reduce the risk of infections.
  • Keep drinking plenty of water and never go thirsty.
  • It is of utmost importance that you urinate immediately whenever you feel the urge. Don’t strain your bladder and store the urine for a long time.
  • It is an excellent practice to pee after a course of lovemaking.
  • Practice good hygiene for your genitals every time you use the toilet.

Some Q&A About Kidney Infection

Q. Who is at more risk of developing kidney infection?
A. Women are at a higher risk compared to men. It is because their urethra is shorter than men’s. Pregnant women are at a higher risk amongst women to develop kidney infection

Q. What is the cause of kidney infection in men?
A. Unfortunately, if your prostate has become enlarged then, it can surely cause infection of the urinary tract. This can then lead to kidney infection

Q. How urgent is it for a pregnant woman who has kidney infection to seek medical treatment?
A. It is very urgent that a pregnant woman suffering from kidney infection seeks medical treatment. This is because it can create further problems during the complicated time of pregnancy for both the mother and the child. You can as well resort to some remedies mentioned here during pregnancy period.

To Sum Up

Kidney infection is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease.

While these natural remedies for kidney infection can definitely help make you feel better, you should not rely solely on them for treatment. Be sure to get medical help.

Although some of these can control the bacteria causing the infection, keep in mind that they are not meant to replace medical treatment.

If you find any information on this page and our website helpful, do leave a comment.

Tell us what more you’d like to know!

READ MORE: 10 Home Remedies for Bladder Infections (that Really Work)!