Consuming certain foods, drinks, and herbs may help cleanse the kidneys. A doctor can advise on how to approach a kidney cleanse or detox regimen.

The kidneys are two small, bean-shaped organs located beneath a person’s ribcage on either side of their spine.

They act as a natural filtration system for the body and play a vital role in:

Most people can keep their kidneys healthy by staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet.

However, some people may want to do a kidney cleanse.

A kidney cleanse involves consuming specific liquids, foods, and herbs to help:

  • remove toxins from the body
  • promote better kidney health
  • reduce the risk of kidney disease

Kidney cleanses typically involve consuming a restricted diet for several days.

In this article, we look at how to cleanse the kidneys, an example two-day plan, and the risks and considerations.

Person washing an apple.Share on Pinterest
Sergey Narevskih/Stocksy

Proponents of kidney cleansing say that certain foods, beverages, and diets can detoxify the kidneys and body.

However, there is currently little scientific research to support these claims, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

The following tips may help the kidneys remove toxins from the body, improve kidney health, and reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Drink more water

Drinking enough water can help prevent kidney problems, such as kidney stones.

This is because kidneys filter waste products by secreting urine. If a person does not consume enough water, then their urine output will be low and waste products may build up in the body.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), healthcare professionals recommend drinking six to eight 8-ounce (oz) glasses of water per day.

Drinking enough water is essential to a person’s overall health, as it is crucial for:

  • digesting food
  • absorbing nutrients
  • getting rid of waste and toxins
  • keeping the skin healthy
  • performing a wide range of other bodily functions

Reduce sodium intake

The body needs salt (sodium), but consuming too much can raise blood pressure, which can increase a person’s risk of kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends people limit their sodium consumption to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.

People can reduce their sodium intake by eating fewer processed foods and choosing low-sodium or sodium-free options.

Make dietary changes

Some dietary changes, such as eliminating or adding certain foods, may help boost kidney function.

A person can try adding these kidney-friendly foods to their diet:

Some foods and beverages to limit or avoid include:

The above lists are general guidance. People with kidney disease should speak with a medical professional to determine the best diet for them.

A person should consult a doctor before starting a kidney cleanse, particularly if they have kidney disease. Limiting the duration of cleansing programs to two days may also help reduce the risk of adverse health effects.

Here is a 2-day kidney cleanse plan for people who do not have kidney problems.

Day 1

On the first day of the cleanse, people can prepare the following three meals:


Start the day with an 8-oz glass of warm water containing 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of fresh lemon juice.


For breakfast, blend the following ingredients to make a 12-oz smoothie:


Eat a large mixed green salad containing:

  • grilled chicken or tofu
  • half a red onion
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • one-quarter cup grapes

For the dressing, combine:

  • one-third cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Top the salad with sliced almonds.


For dinner, make an 8-oz smoothie containing:

Day 2

On the second day, people can eat a more substantial lunch and dinner.


Start the morning with a cup of green tea containing 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.


Blend the following ingredients to make an 8-oz smoothie:


Combine the following ingredients and then saute together in olive oil:


Make a vegetable soup using the following ingredients:

Begin by heating the vegetable broth over medium heat. Chop all of the vegetables and add them to the broth. After cooking the vegetables completely, stir in parsley. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Kidney cleanse programs generally encourage people to consume more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. However, there is little scientific research to support their beneficial claims.

According to the NCCIH, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against several companies that offer detox and cleansing products because they made false therapeutic claims about their products, or the products contained illegal and potentially harmful ingredients.

For example, the FDA filed a warning letter in 2018 to Ozark Country Herbs, which is a company that produces a range of herbal products that promise to treat everything from depression and migraine to flu and kidney stones.

Although drinking enough water is essential for health, too much fluid can reduce mineral concentrations in the body and lead to health complications.

A 2018 case study, for instance, reports that a 67-year-old man developed severe hyponatremia, or low sodium levels in the blood, while performing a kidney cleanse. Hyponatremia is a serious medical condition that can lead to potentially life-threatening complications, such as swelling of the brain.

Many kidney cleanses and detox programs also require a person to fast or severely restrict their calorie intake, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and nutritional imbalances.

People who wish to try a kidney cleanse should consult a doctor first and ensure they are consuming enough calories and electrolytes to support their metabolism.

What do you drink to flush out your kidneys?

Drinking enough water per day is crucial to promote urination, through which the kidneys secrete waste products. It is recommended that people consume six to eight 8-ounce (oz) glasses of water per day.

How can I repair my kidneys naturally?

Most people can keep their kidneys healthy by:

  • drinking six to eight 8-ounce (oz) glasses of water per day
  • keeping sodium levels below 2,300 mg per day
  • eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • exercising regularly

If a person is experiencing symptoms of kidney failure, they should get immediate medical attention. This is a condition that needs medical treatment. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening.

Kidney cleansing programs may vary considerably, but they often involve:

  • restricted diets
  • consuming lots of water, smoothies, and teas
  • taking herbal supplements

Although proponents claim that these programs detoxify the body and promote better kidney health, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

Most people can keep their kidneys healthy by eating a healthful, balanced diet and drinking enough fluid.