Nephritis refers to an inflammation of the kidneys. It is a serious condition and may be either acute or chronic. Most often this disease strikes in childhood or adolescence. It can become progressively worse and result in death, if not treated properly at the initial stage.
Causes and Symptoms
The main symptoms of acute nephritis are pain in the kidneys- extending down to the ureter, fever, dull pain in the back, and scanty and highly coloured urine. Often, the urine may contain blood, albumin, and casts consisting of clumps of red and white cells. Other symptoms are puffiness in the face, and swelling of the feet and ankles. In the chronic stages, the patient passes large amounts of albumin in the urine. Later, there may be a rise in blood pressure and the patient may develop uraemia.
Nephritis usually follows some streptococcus infection of the throat, or an attack of scarlet fever, or rheumatic fever. The underlying causes of this disease are, however, wrong feeding habits and weak defence mechanisms of the body.
Carrot Juice: The use of carrot juice is one of the most effective home remedies for nephritis. One glass of carrot juice, mixed with a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of fresh lime juice, should be taken every day, first thing in the morning.
Banana: Bananas are an effective remedy for nephritis due to their low protein and salt, and high carbohydrate content. A diet of bananas only should be taken for three or four days, consuming eight to nine bananas a day in the treatment of this disease.
Avocado: Avocados are valuable as a staple food in nephritis. The usefulness of this fruit arises from its large mineral and small protein contents.
Grapes: Grapes are an excellent remedy for acute and chronic nephritis. They possess an exceptional diuretic value on account of their high contents of water and potassium salt. Their value in kidney troubles like nephritis is enhanced by their low albumin and sodium chloride content.
Coconut Water: Tender coconut water is another excellent remedy for this disease. The water of one green tender coconut can be taken beneficially once or twice a day. It acts as a very effective but safe diuretic in the treatment of nephritis.
The safest treatment for acute nephritis is fasting on vegetable juices for seven to ten days. This will remove the toxins and systemic impurities responsible for the inflammatory kidney conditions. After the juice fast, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for four or five days. Thereafter, he may adopt a diet of fruits and milk for about a week, and then gradually adopt a well- balanced, low-protein vegetarian diet, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw and steamed vegetables.
In case of chronic nephritis, a short juice fast for three days may be followed by a restricted diet for ten days. Under this regimen, oranges or orange juice may be taken for breakfast. Lunch may consist of salad made of raw vegetables in season, and dinner may consist of one or two vegetables, steamed in their own juices, and a few nuts. Thereafter, the patient may gradually adopt a well-balanced, low-protein vegetarian diet.
Further juice fasts of short duration and a restricted diet for a week should be undertaken at intervals of two or three months until such time as the kidney condition shows signs of normalisation. The patient should avoid vegetables containing large quantities of oxalic acid, such as spinach and rhubarb. Chocolate and cocoa contain oxalic acid and must not be taken. Common salt should be eliminated from the diet. Five or six small meals should be taken in preference to a few large ones.
A warm-water enema should be taken each day to cleanse the bowels during the initial juice fast.