The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.
Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine. Urine flows from each of the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters. The bladder stores the urine until we are ready to expel it. The kidneys, ureters, and bladder make up our urinary system.
While the kidneys continually filter blood by removing waste and excess water they also remove acid which is produced by the cells. The kidneys play a key role of balancing water, salts, and minerals, such as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Without this balance, the nerves, muscles, and tissues in our bodies would not function normally.
The kidneys also produce certain hormones that regulate blood volume by controlling the volume of water, they produce red blood cells in the bone marrow and convert vitamin D to the active form of 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D. This is especially important for strong and healthy bones.
Kidney Health and Ayurveda
Vrikka is the Ayurvedic word for the kidneys which are formed by the rakta (blood) and medha dhatu (fat tissue) combined. Ayurveda sees vrikka as the source for the medovaha srotas (fat tissue channel) and relies on a downward flow from apana vayu (downward moving vata). Apana Vayu is responsible for regulating kidney function and helps to eliminate urine and stool in the downward direction. When Apana vayu is vitiated then symptoms of constipation and obstruction of urine can develop.
Any health disorder related to blood and fat may affect the functioning of the kidneys. An example of this would be prameha or diabetes, as well as obesity.
Symptoms Related to Kidney Problems
Ayurveda uses several safe and effective herbs that help support the function of the kidneys. These herbs aim to balance the doshas and support kidney function by strengthening the kidneys.
Herbal Support for Kidney Health
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Our eyes are vital to our life, yet we often neglect to take care of them. Ayurveda educates on the importance of eye health and how practicing daily self-care helps maintain healthy eyes. The classical Ayurvedic texts mention in great detail the importance of eye health. There are many chapters on anatomy, physiology, reversing common disorders, and preventive practices to maintain healthy eyes.