For a kidney transplant, a kidney is transferred from either a living or a deceased donor to an individual suffering from end-stage renal disease. Tremendous time and effort are spent in matching the donor kidney with the patient’s tissue group to avoid complications and organ rejection post-surgery. As a new (foreign) organ is introduced into the patient’s body, there are several precautions that need to be taken. Along with the several medications, restrictions are placed on the patient’s day-to-day activities, daily diet, and exercise routines. One needs to cut back on the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine to reduce the probability of kidney inflammation.
The hospital stay is well-managed by expert medical teams; the real fight begins once the patient is back to the home front. Along with all the other follow-ups, maintaining a healthy diet – one that aids the body recovery is vital to ensure quick and complication-free healing. Consuming a balanced diet that reduces inflammation and gives all vital nutrients necessary for the whole recovery process is a given, but adding a few herbs in that mix can work wonders for the patient.
Herbs are typically the plants used for food flavoring. The fact that they possess medicinal values too is an added bonus! Some herbs are used fresh, while others are dried before they are added to the cooking pot. Either way, there are certain special herbs that kick-start the healing process after a kidney transplant, and help to maintain healthy kidneys.
10 most helpful herbs to include in the diet plan of kidney transplant patients:
|1. Parsley||This healthy and immensely flavourful herb acts as a diuretic and reduces toxin build-up not just in the kidneys but also in the urinary tract. It helps by keeping infections at bay.|
|2. Ginger||Ginger root cleanses and purifies kidneys and the blood. It contains alkaloids called gingerols and is also a powerhouse of antioxidants, which particularly encourage kidneys to function smoothly.|
|3. Turmeric||Turmeric, a staple herb of every Indian kitchen, is the most prevailing anti-inflammatory and antiseptic household entity due to the alkaloid curcumin. Besides all its other benefits, it boosts kidney health, prevents kidney inflammation, and treats kidney infections.|
|4. Celery root||It’s high potassium and sodium content stimulates the kidneys. Its diuretic property reduces toxins and increases the quantity of urine.|
|5. Horsetail||It contains alkaloids like palustrine and nicotine, that offer a host of benefits to the kidneys as well as the entire renal system. It also flushes the toxins out of the kidneys and helps maintain them in good health.|
|6. Nettle||Nettle’s iron punch leads to the formation of blood in the body and its diuretic properties flush out the harmful bacteria of the kidneys.|
|7. Juniper||Though it looks like a berry, it’s actually a fleshy cone with merged scales. It prompts urination and aids the functioning of the kidneys. However, it is one of the rare herbs of nature that require careful administration. It is contraindicated in patients suffering from blood pressure disorders, stomach disorders, diabetes, and pregnant women.|
|8. Rosemary||Rosemary is a medicinal herb used mainly for its high antioxidant content and because it fights various infections in the body. It contains ample vitamin A that zaps the free radicals and vitamin C that works to synthesise collagen – used by the body to maintain the optimal level of blood vessels and to keep the organs in a healthy state.|
|9. Yarrow||Quite like turmeric, yarrow is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory in nature, thanks to its rich content of Achilles and achilleic acid. Along with these, it contains nitrates, phosphates, chlorides, resin, and tannin and has diuretic properties that help to flush the kidneys too.|
|10. Garlic||Garlic contains anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties, making it extremely useful to the body at many different levels. Garlic contains allicin, a sulphur enriched compound that produces sulfenic acid, which fights off the harmful free radicals in the body. This helps reduce kidney damage and speed up recovery.|
After a kidney transplant, the immune system has to strike the exact balance between being strong enough to shield the body from common ailments like cold or flu and yet not so robust that it attacks or rejects the transplanted kidney itself. Including these herbs in the daily diet will help the transplanted kidney to work effectively. These herbs work in conjuncture with the patient’s other treatment systems, including medications, to speed up the recovery process and to maintain the patient’s health thereafter.