The most common types of kidney cleanses are done with herbs, food or vitamins, according to Cathy Wong for About.com. As of 2015, however, kidney cleanses have not been fully tested for safety.
Commonly used herbs to help cleanse the kidneys include dandelion, marshmallow root, juniper, nettles and parsley. Red clover, ginger and goldenrod are additional herbs used in natural kidney cleanses. Foods that are emphasized in kidney cleanses include watermelon, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds and cranberry juice, notes Wong. Other kidney cleanse proponents advocate adding vitamins B2, B6 and magnesium to the diet.
Scientifically proven methods to help care for the kidneys include avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption; maintaining healthy cholesterol levels; and drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, explains Wong. Keeping blood sugar levels low and maintaining a healthy weight are also ways to reduce risk for kidney problems. It is suggested for patients with a history of kidney stones to avoid eating chocolate, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, spinach and okra.
In addition to helping the kidneys, these cleanses are said to keep blood pressure healthy, boost immunity and improve the urinary tract system, reports Wong. Since there are a variety of approaches, it is suggested to speak with a professional health care provider before doing a kidney cleanse.