Published on November 5th, 2019 | by Michaelw0
Truth about ancient remedies
Hello, this is Katherine, welcome to 00Kidney.
Today we are going to focus on alternative medicine and treatments for kidney disease, like Ayurveda, acupuncture, holistic medicine and herbal remedies.
And I know that a lot of people turn up their noses at home remedies and other forms of alternative medicine, especially if they suffer from a serious condition like kidney disease.
But wait until you’ll hear the 5 facts I’ll present you in this video before you make a decision.
Fact number 1 alternative medicine is gaining acceptance in conventional medicine
Once considered fringe or even bogus, ancient remedies and alternative medicine treatments, such as herbal remedies and acupuncture, are gaining traction in what we call evidence-based medicine, or conventional medicine.
Thanks to increasing research, scientists and doctors are gaining a better understanding of the role these therapies play in preventing and even treating illness.
And, as evidence of efficacy and safety grows, these therapies are being used more and more.
What are the benefits of alternative medicine for people suffering from chronic kidney disease?
Integrative medicine and alternative medicine are mostly used to help people with chronic kidney disease better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
The main goal here is to reduce fatigue, pain and anxiety.
Some common practices that have been shown to produce significant results in these areas include: traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture, herbal and home remedies, Dietary supplements, Massage therapy, Meditation and Music therapy, Ayurveda.
Ok, what people usually ask at this point is: can alternative medicine improve my condition, kidney disease, better than western medicine or will it just help relieving the symptoms?
To answer this question, what we need to understand is that we are not talking anymore about western versus alternative medicine here.
doctors are starting to combine Alternative medicine techniques with conventional treatments.
This approach — called integrative medicine — takes advantage of evidence-based conventional and alternative medicine practices to improve health and treat illness.
The result is not just aimed to treat the symptom and improve the quality of life of the patient, but it can also improve lab analysis value like creatinine, GFR and blood pressure.
This indicates that a real improvement of the renal function is possible through a combination of alternative and conventional treatments.
So, a lot of people are actually already using alternative medicine to improve their kidney function.
Is there something actually proven to work for people with kidney disease?
FACT n2 Some treatments from Ayurveda are proven to work
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient holistic healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.
Holistic means that this is a whole body approach. Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
It’s a very interesting concept, and it’s different from what conventional medicine usually do.
Its main goal is to promote good overall health
But there are also specific treatments that can be used to treat specific health problems, like kidney disease.
In the US there are even some state-approved Ayurvedic schools, but there’s no national standard training or certification program for those who practice this alternative therapy.
Can an Ayurvedic Treatment plan actually help people with kidney disease?
Since there’s no national standard or certification, all practitioners may treat their patients in a different way.
But what most of them do is creating a treatment plan specifically designed to treat the overall wellbeing of the patient.
They say that they can take into account the unique physical and emotional makeup of the patient, the primary life force, and the balance between all three of these elements.
Ayurveda is very focused on cleansing, they have a cleansing process called “panchakarma” designed to clear the body of toxins, waste and undigested foods.
The goal of the treatment is to reduce the symptoms and restore harmony and balance.
To do this, an Ayurvedic practitioner might rely on herbal remedies.
Now, recently there were some problems with the approval from the FDA of some of these herbal products used in Ayurveda.
In fact, the FDA has banned certain ones from entering the country since 2007.
What’s more, the agency has warned that 1 in 5 Ayurvedic medicines contain toxic metals, like lead, mercury, and arsenic. These heavy metals can cause life-threatening illness.
So my recommendation here is to be very cautious with the source and provenience of any herbal remedy or unconventional treatment you may want to try.
And to do researches on the certifications and knowledge of any practitioner you may want to consult.
And to always talk to your doctor before you try Ayurveda or any other alternative medical treatment.
Now, as I was saying there’s still some good in this kind of approach.
Ayurveda is very strong on herbal remedies, and there are some studies proving the effectiveness of these remedies on people with kidney disease.
More info on what herbal remedies from Ayurveda can actually work for kidney disease in the next part of the video.
Fact n3 there are studies showing the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine in CKD patients
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used in the treatment and prevention of diseases for thousands of years.
Today, TCM is also widely used to promote health and improve overall well-being and to complement the treatment of Western medical conditions.
Just like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, adopts a holistic approach in healing the body and mind.
But, while Ayurveda has three “Doshas”, according to traditional Chinese philosophy, the human’s body health is linked to the movements of the Qi. (“chee”)
What is the Qi?
According to TCM, Qi is the vital energy that goes through the body at all times.
Practitioners believe that illness occurs when the flow of Qi and blood is blocked or unbalanced.
Now, obviously these concepts at the base of TCM are not always confirmed or supported by modern science. They have their roots in ancient Chinese practices.
So ,while there is no scientific proof for the existence of Qi or for its connection to health problems, many people understand these terms as ways to describe issues in the body as a whole — rather than taking the rigorous route based on symptoms that medical science does.
Treatment approaches of TCM, such as Tuina, Qigong, herbal remedies, cupping, acupuncture aim to harmonize the flow of Qi and restore proper function of the body.
Now, what makes all this interesting for people with kidney disease is that some of these practices are starting to being studied and there’s even some proof that they may work.
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers multiple methods to help battle decreased kidney function, but the most common form of TCM used is acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow into areas lacking, allowing the transportation of vital nutrients that keep the tissues healthy and functioning properly.
Does acupuncture really work to improve kidney function?
The National Institute of Health recently published a study on the effectiveness of Acupuncture on Chronic Kidney Disease.
The researchers were specifically looking at the effects of acupuncture on the renal function of kidney disease patients to evaluate the changes in levels of serum creatinine and established glomerular filtration.
Very interestingly, the study found that the acupuncture treatment was effective in lowering creatinine levels and in increasing the glomerular filtration rates, or GFR, the main indicators of kidney function.
Now, before rushing to the nearest acupuncture practitioner, consider that this study was only done with 53 patients who suffered from chronic kidney disease. Each patient received acupuncture plus electroacupuncture once per week for 12 weeks.
BUT we should consider that 53 patients are not a very significant number and there’s the need for more researches before stating that acupuncture can work in lowering creatinine levels and improving kidney function effectively.
STILL I consider these results extremely encouraging, so I think it’s worth going a little bit in deeper on the topic of acupuncture.
What is exactly acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner’s hands or with electrical stimulation.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points, connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow Qi through the body that is responsible for overall health.
And, since according to TCM, disruption of the energy flow is what can actually cause disease, applying acupuncture to certain points is thought to improve the flow of Qi, subsequently improving health.
Again, there are studies showing that acupuncture is effective for a variety of conditions.
Now, some of the conditions on which acupuncture has proven itself most effective include headache and migraines, Osteoarthritis, Low back pain, dental pain and neck pain.
So it’s used mostly to treat pain, but as we have seen, it may even be useful to improve kidney function.
Although there is much work to be done before we can truly understand the mechanisms of acupuncture and Qi, there is a growing body of solid evidence that suggests acupuncture and TCM are safe and effective for the treatment of many conditions.
More importantly, Chinese medicine may have much to offer us in the West in terms of things we can do to prevent illness and disease, optimize our health, and enhance our wellbeing.
Now, scientific studies have not fully explained how acupuncture works within the framework of Western medicine and acupuncture remains a source of controversy.
By the way, have you ever tried acupuncture? Was it useful for you? Let me know in comment section!
In any case, what’s most important when trying this kind of alternative therapies, is taking the right precautions.
This bring us to the next fact.
Fact number 4 there’s a way to understand if alternative medicine can help you
First, Do your homework and stay informed.
This shouldn’t be a news for people following me here on 00kidney.
Staying informed has becoming some sort of a mantra for us.
So, when researching treatments, do what doctors do. Look for high-quality studies.
These large, controlled and randomized trials are published in peer-reviewed journals — journals that only publish articles reviewed by independent experts.
The results of these studies are more likely to be reliable.
You can find many of these studies online, but researching and understanding these studies is not always easy.
Not all studies are equal.
Be cautious about studies in animals and studies that include only a small number of people. Their results may not hold up when tested in larger trials or on people.
Now, it isn’t always possible to find good studies about nonconventional therapies.
But a lack of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean a treatment doesn’t work. But for sure it does make it harder to evaluate whether it’s safe and effective.
Also remember that sound health advice is generally based on a body of research, not a single study.
The main problem with doing a research about alternative treatments on the internet is that the web and social media are full of information about integrative health techniques, but not all of it is accurate.
So you should try and Weed out misinformation, especially because Certain therapies and products are not recommended at all or not recommended for certain conditions or people.
So double-check everything you read or see. Visit multiple sites and compare information.
And remember that there may be dangers.
Don’t assume ‘natural’ means ‘safe’.
Herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, and dietary supplements are often marketed as natural products, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’re safe. These products can have serious side effects. Even some vitamins and minerals can cause problems when taken in large amounts
This is why I always recommend people to talk to their doctors before trying anything new.
Don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor if you have questions, or doubts.
Also talk to your doctor before taking herbal remedies or dietary supplements.
This is especially important if you are have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Also remember that there could be possible drug interactions.
Prescription and over-the-counter medicines can interact with certain supplements.
For example, many supplements and herbs can interact with the blood-thinning medications and increase the risk of serious bleeding complications.
Now, if I’m telling you this, it is because some of these alternative treatments and herbal remedies actually work, so it may be worth the effort of finding an integrative treatment that can help you.
Some herbal remedies have been proven especially useful for people with kidney disease, as I’ll show you in a moment.
Now, the most important thing to remember is that we are talking about an integrative treatment here, and not a cure or a treatment that can replace or substitute conventional medical care.
The treatments promoted in integrative medicine are not substitutes for conventional medical care. They should WORK in concert with standard medical treatment.
The aim of the tips of today’s video is to help you find integrative techniques that enhance not just the health of your kidneys but your whole body health and quality of life.
Just remember that these are meant to assist, not replace, conventional medicine. Keep your doctor informed about all integrative therapies you’re using.
Fact number 5 some herbal remedies from Ayurveda and TCM are actually proven to work
Ok, I’ve kept the best for last.
What are the herbal remedies from these ancient forms of therapy that are actually proven to work?
Cilantro, from Ayurveda is one of the most interesting.
Cilantro has been used for thousands of years to fight infections, soothe skin rashes, improve digestion and to detox and heal the kidneys.
And there are studies proving that Cilantro is actually useful for the health of your kidneys.
These studies were published in very respectable papers, like the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” and the “Journal of Food Science”
These studies showed that cilantro can be used to lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure. Since diabetes and high blood pressure are the main causes of kidney disease, cilantro, that can help with both, should be considered really beneficial for kidney health.
Another great herbal remedy is Astragalus root, from the Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Astragalus root is what they call an adaptogenic herb.
Adaptogenic remedies are substances used to balance physiological processes of the body, equilibrating the hormones and supporting the adrenal system.
Astragalus is particularly useful for renal patients because it contains very powerful, natural compounds to treat both diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Most important, there are evidences in medical literature suggesting that this herb can reduce the creatinine levels CKD patients.
Another very interesting herb from Ayurveda is Turmeric.
Watch this video to know more about Turmeric.
This is all for today, thank you for watching.