The People's Perspective on Medicine

Should You Choose Lemonade over Iced Tea?

Hot weather is associated with a higher risk of kidney stones. Researchers have noted that there are more hospitalizations for kidney stone emergencies during the summer. Google searches for information on kidney stones also peak in August. This could be related to the possibility of dehydration as temperatures climb. Dehydration raises the risk of kidney stone formation, and those susceptible to this problem are urge to drink lots of fluids to prevent them.

There may also be another factor. Dr. John Miller of Loyola University points out that most kidney stones contain oxalate as a principal ingredient. His hypothesis is that people are getting oxalate by drinking lots of iced tea in the summertime. Iced tea is a rich source of oxalate, along with spinach, Swiss chard, chocolate, blueberries and strawberries. Rather than iced tea, those who have had kidney stones in the past may want to sip lemonade during the summer. The citrate from lemons prevents oxalate absorption and helps lower the likelihood of a kidney stone recurrence.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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The tea is the problem, the lemon is not going to do anything if you continue drinking tea, and eating vegetables high in oxalates.
Today they use laser to destroy the stones, and hope they will dissolve. Check a natural store or store/person where/who sells herbal remedies and ask for the plant that dissolves stones (maybe internet?)

A neighbor in his early 40’s develops kidney stones one after the other. Although there is much pain associated with passing the stone, he has not yet gone under the knife. This worrisome problem greatly interferes with his job and life in general. He has seen a urologist in Washington, DC, and in North Carolina, but there has been no improvement. This summer he attended a wedding overseas and suffered an
acute attack within 3 days of arrival. Is there a kidney stone expert in the U.S.
What advice would you give this patient?

What if you drink iced tea with lemon? Would the lemon counteract the oxalate?

P Pharm, I for one do not like lemonade. Would eating other citrus fruits be as helpful rather than drinking?
Also, many years ago I had several kidney stone attacks, but none since. BUT,
I do have a stone in one kidney now that is not moving. I am told to do nothing and just wait until it starts moving. Should not something be done ahead of time rather than have a horrible attack event come up on a 75 year old? That seems similar to not wearing seat belts in a car and wait for an accident to happen. Of course I know better than that, but I still would like your comment. Are there any probability studies of the chances of stones to start moving in elderly people? The just wait advice I guess is because that elderly will die before the stone moves?

How about half lemonade, half iced tea?

My brother is a urologist. He advocates hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of water. Tea and other oxalate-containing foods may be a factor for some people, but hydration with water is important. Drink before you feel thirsty on hot days.

I do believe it has to do with the tea we drink that has oxalates other wise half of the world -very dry and hot areas – will have kidney stones.

What if you use lemon in your tea?

Another way to get the benefit of lemon without the sugar, sugar substitutes and carbs in commercial products is to drink lemon water. In addition to the kidney benefits, I have found lemon water helps to keep my system clear and also helps with my sinus and allergy problems.
If I do get a cold, the lemon water helps to clear out mucus and help me to heal quicker. I have not had a cold or the flu in several years and I attribute lemon water to part of that. It can take a little getting used to taste wise as well as figuring out how much lemon to use. For the most part I use fresh lemons but have rinds who use the concentrated lemon juice and get the same benefits.
Those who are diabetic or trying to cut back on sugar and carbs for general overall health may find this useful.

What about drinking lemon in your iced tea?

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^