Monday, August 15, 2005

Chanca Piedra

Recently, I had a doctor tell me I might have kidney stones. Turns out, after having an ultrasound, cystoscopy and CT scan, they're saying I don't, but while I thought I did, I did a bit of research.

My biggest concern was the pain that's involved. Wife had a kidney stone years ago, with pain so bad she vomited from it, and can't quite decide these days which was worse, the stone or labor pains. Regardless, I'm a wimp, and would rather not have to deal with it.

After doing some searches in a low-carb forum I read somewhat irregularly, I found a post from one of the regulars who passes a stone or two a year, and has done so for the past 20 odd years. He's managed to come up with his own lithotripsy machine (pillows and ceramic speakers, and the right kind of music to knock the edges/points off the stone), a home remedy (6 Cokes consumed within 2 hours, followed by 8 oz of pureed asparagus), and a pain herb, namely Chanca Piedra.

I didn't mess with the lithotripsy machine, did try the asparagus remedy, and got some Chanca Piedra. With the asparagus treatment, I was expecting that if I had stones, I'd see (according to others) sand or gravel from the stone in my urine; I saw nothing, but then I'm not sure I ever had a stone, either.

I tried the Chanca Piedra, too. It's brewed like tea, and tastes pretty much like tea as well, (which is a shame, as I don't like tea at all). It's promoters claim it will dissolve stones, as well as act as an antispasmodic to help them pass without pain. And after drinking a batch of it, I can say that it certainly acted as a relaxant. Nothing that would keep me from driving, but just very nicely relaxed. And, in fact, I took drank another batch on the morning of my cystoscopy, and had almost no discomfort with that at all, also.

So on the one hand, I may have had no stones, and the Chanca acted as a placebo. On the other, I may have had a stone, and the Chanca dissolved it and had it pass without incident. I really don't know much what to think, although I'm keeping the Chanca around, just in case.

(YMMV, void where prohibited, batteries not included, etc.)

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