A kidney infection is a bacterial infection that occurs in one or both of your kidneys. Also known as pyelonephritis or renal infection, it starts as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection that eventually affects your kidneys.

Kidney infection happens when a bacteria called Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, attacks the lower part of your urinary tract and then spreads to the upper section. [1]

This is a serious medical condition and requires immediate treatment. Some home remedies for kidney infection may also help reduce the symptoms. 

Remember, these natural remedies are complementary treatments that may help you to get rid of the pain and discomfort. You need to seek medical attention if the condition becomes severe.

This article looks into some natural home remedies that may help soothe the symptoms of kidney infection.

Home Remedies for Kidney Infection

1. Waterwater

Drinking a lot of water can be one of the best natural remedies to get rid of kidney infections. 

Water can flush out the toxic substances and bacteria from your body through urination and bowel movements. 

It’s because the more water you drink, the more you urinate, thus getting rid of the infection-causing bacteria.

A study published in 2015 shows that high water intake is associated with a slower progression of chronic kidney diseases, including infections. [2]

To get the best results, drink a minimum of eight glasses of water. You can also add some cucumber or lemon slices to make them healthier and tastier.

2. Vitamin CVitamin-C

Vitamin C can increase the acid level in your kidneys, preventing the growth of bacteria. Hence it can work as a great defense against kidney infection.

It is a potent antioxidant that can protect your body tissues from oxidative stress, promoting kidney health. 

A 2003 research shows the efficacy of vitamin C in preventing kidney scarring due to an infection. [3]

You can eat fruits like orange and grapefruit, or some vitamin C supplements.

3. Cranberry Juice

Recurrent UTI and bladder infections can lead to severe kidney infections. Cranberry juice has long been an effective natural remedy for recurrent UTIs.

A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that cranberry juice can effectively prevent UTIs that could cause kidney infections. [4]

Another research was published in 2012. It shows that cranberry juice can even treat urinary tract infections that cannot be soothed with antibiotics. [5]

However, cranberry juice contains a high amount of sugar, so you need to drink it moderately.

4. Parsley JuiceParsley-Juice

Parsley juice is a natural diuretic, meaning that it can work as a cleanser for the kidneys. 

The research was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. It proves the diuretic effects of parsley. [6]

If you’re taking antibiotics, drinking parsley juice can make them work faster. 

Besides, parsley contains a considerable amount of vitamin A, B, C, and minerals like copper, potassium, sodium, and thiamin.

Apart from being diuretic, parsley also has antioxidant, brain-protective, anti-diabetic, analgesic, and estrogenic effects that help keep your body healthy. [7]

5. Yogurtyogurt

Probiotics like yogurt can control the bacteria that can cause infections in the kidneys.

Excessive use of antibiotics may make bacteria resistant to those medications.

Research published in 2001 shows yogurt can fight against those bacteria that are resistant to over-the-counter medications. It can also keep a balance between the good and bad bacteria in your kidneys. [8]

You can have a cup of fresh, sugar-free yogurt to keep your kidneys healthy.

6. Aloe VeraAloe-Vera

Aloe vera is rich in therapeutic properties that can be effective against the toxins present in the kidneys and the urinary tract.

A study was published in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. It confirms the efficacy against E.coli bacteria. [9]

Another research published in 2010 found aloe vera to be effective against Candida albicans, a type of fungus responsible for life-threatening infections in kidneys. [10]

Besides, aloe vera has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and immunomodulatory properties that can improve your overall health condition while treating kidney infections.

7. Marshmallow

Marshmallow root and seeds are a natural diuretic that can help your kidneys excrete harmful components from your body through urination.

A study published in 2011 shows that marshmallow seeds have diuretic and antibacterial effects that can protect your kidney from infections. [11]

The mucilage content in marshmallows can protect your bladder and kidneys from infections. [12]

Besides, marshmallow root is rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, and wound healing properties. It has been proven to combat the E.coli bacteria, thus preventing their growth. [13]

8. Garlicgarlic

Garlic has been a popular remedy for a number of infectious diseases, thanks to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. 

You can also use it to treat kidney infections as it has the potential to fight against the E.coli bacteria.

A study published in 2005 confirms the antibacterial effects of garlic against this life-threatening bacteria. [14]

It also shows that garlic extract can work effectively against those pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics.

Another 2007 research shows a strong inhibitory effect of garlic against E.coli bacteria. [15]

You can consume raw garlic or use them in your regular cooking. However, make sure you discuss it with your physicians first before you start taking raw garlic.

9. Apples

Apples are nutrient-dense fruits that also contain a good amount of fiber. They can help your kidneys to maintain the acidity in your urine, thus preventing the growth of bacteria. 

Apples are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe the infections in your kidneys. [16]

Besides, apples contain a significant amount of flavonoids that can also relieve kidney infections, as well as the pain and discomfort with their anti-inflammatory effects. [17]

To protect your kidney, incorporate apples into your daily diet. You can also drink apple juice instead of the whole fruit.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider is one of the most popular natural remedies for so many ailments, including kidney problems.

It is rich in antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can kill the bacteria and fungus responsible for kidney infections.

In a study published in 2014 apple cider vinegar showed positive results in inhibiting oxidative kidney injuries in mice that received a high cholesterol diet. [18]

Another research published in 2018 proves the antimicrobial effects of ACV against E.coli, Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus aureus. [19]

However, if you’re under medications, talk to your doctor before consuming ACV.

11. Epsom Saltepsom-salt

Epsom salt is a mineral that is used to treat a number of diseases, thanks to its therapeutic properties. [20]

It consists of magnesium and sulfate, two beneficial minerals that can manage several health problems. 

Magnesium in Epsom salt can easily penetrate your skin and regulate more than 325 enzymes that help soothe inflammation, joint pain, stress, constipation, etc. [21]

Epsom salt can effectively detox your body, thanks to its sulfate content that can effectively eliminate the toxic components from your body. [22]

Having an Epsom salt bath can also reduce the abdominal pain caused by a kidney infection.

12. Cabbage

Cabbage is a vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family. It is rich in numerous medicinal properties such as phytochemicals, folic acids, fiber, vitamin B6, C, and K. [23]

The phytochemicals in cabbage have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce the infections in your kidneys. [24]

The research was published in the journal Nutrients. It shows that a diet that incorporates cabbages (both green and red) can help soothe kidney infections. [25]

13. Olive Oilolive oil

Olive oil is known as an effective home remedy for kidney infections, thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids that can help soothe chronic kidney disorders. [26]

The oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help flush out the harmful components from your liver, and kidney, keeping them healthy and functional. [26]

According to a scientific report published in 2010, regular consumption of olive oil reduces the chances of cancer, cardiovascular problem, and kidney infections. [27]

Consuming olive oil with lemon juice may maximize the efficacy of the treatment.

14. Peppermint Essential OilPeppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil is a popular essential oil that comes with numerous therapeutic properties. 

The therapeutic oil is rich in antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce the pain and inflammation due to kidney infections.

Free radicals can damage your kidney in several ways. The antioxidants in peppermint oil can fight free radicals, thus reducing the possibility of kidney infection. [28]

Research published in the Phytotherapy Research confirms the efficacy of peppermint essential oil in maintaining kidney health. [29]

You can massage your abdomen area with diluted peppermint oil to soothe infection and pain.

15. Tea Tree Essential Oiltea-tree-oil-for-lipoma

E.coli bacteria account for about 80% of urinary tract infections, which eventually lead to chronic kidney infections. 

Tea tree essential oil is considered a great remedy against the E.coli bacteria. 

Although it is rich in anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds, a 2006 study has confirmed the presence of antimicrobial properties as well. [30]

A study was published in 2002. It shows tea tree oil has preventive effects against E.coli. [31]

Another study was published in the Journal of Applied Bacteriology Banner. It states that tea trees can neutralize bacteria. [32]

You can use this oil for both massage and bath to soothe infection.

16. Clove Essential Oilclove-oil

Clove oil is a potent essential oil that is famous for its pain-relieving effects.

Although there’s no such research on its effects on kidney health, some research shows its efficacy against the E.coli bacteria, a key reason for kidney infections.

According to the research published in 2016, clove oil can effectively eliminate E.coli bacteria. [33]

The research also states that this therapeutic oil can kill bacteria that are bacteria-resistant.

If you experience severe pain due to a kidney infection, you can massage diluted clove oil into your abdomen.

17. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil originates from the resin of olibanum trees that belong to the genus Boswellia carteri. 

This essential oil is extremely popular because of its immune-boosting properties that can help treat different types of infections.

A study published in 2003 proves the immunomodulatory effects of frankincense oil. [34]

Another 2010 study shows similar findings. [35]

Besides, frankincense oil can stimulate urination that helps eliminate the toxins from your body, reducing the possibility of kidney infection.

18. Thyme Essential Oilthyme-essential-oil

Thyme essential oil is extracted from the buds and leaves of the evergreen thyme plant.

This essential oil has been quite famous for relieving inflammation, muscle pain, and soreness.  It contains antibacterial substances called caryophyllene and camphene.

Research published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research states that thyme essential oil has an inhibitory effect against E.coli bacteria. [36]

To reduce the infection, you can massage diluted thyme oil into your abdomen area or soak it in a bath.

Symptoms of Kidney Infection

The symptoms of a kidney infection usually start in the bladder or urethra and spread to one or both of your kidneys.

If not treated properly, the infection can cause permanent damage to your kidney, which can be life-threatening.

The common symptoms of a kidney infection include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Groin pain 
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • An urge to urinate frequently
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urine with a bad smell
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate

How to Prevent Kidney Infection?

Some changes in your lifestyle may prevent or reduce the possibility of kidney infection, including:

  • Always drink plenty of water.
  • Do not store the urine for a long time. Urinate immediately whenever you feel the urge.
  • Use lubricated condoms instead of spermicidal ones.
  • Maintain proper hygiene of your genital area after urinating and a bowel movement.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

Kidney infections are severe conditions that require immediate medical attention. This condition cause long-term kidney damage if left untreated.

Sometimes severe kidney infection causes sepsis, which eventually leads to shock. That’s why kidney infection cannot be allowed to progress further.

Although these natural remedies can help soothe most of the symptoms of kidney infections, you’re highly recommended to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Bottom Line

Some home remedies, especially the essential oils may cause irritations or allergies. Hence you need to test them first or talk to an expert before using them.

Remember, these home remedies for kidney infection are complementary treatments that are not meant to replace your doctors. Do not completely rely on them if you have severe infections in your kidneys. 

If you’re already under treatment for kidney infections, consult with a licensed physician to learn if these natural remedies are safe for you to use.

Finally, stop consuming alcohol and drink a lot of water to keep your kidneys healthy and fully functional.

Read Next: Essential Oils for Kidney Failure: Do They Really Work?