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Honey, lemon juice and olive oil won’t dissolve kidney stones in 15 days – see a doctor instead

IN SHORT: Some social media posts claim that honey, olive oil and lemon juice will dissolve kidney stones in just 15 days. But this claim isn’t quite true.

A post shared on Facebook claims that you can use honey, lemon juice and olive oil to dissolve kidney stones in 15 days. 

“Mix honey, lemon juice and olive oil, one spoon each in half a glass of water and drink. In 15 days, the stone will dissolve and come out,” it says. 

The post has 246 comments, and over 12,000 likes and reposts. While some users in the comment section ask questions, others claim the remedy does work. 

Similar claims can be found here, here, here, here and here

But can the above combination cure kidney stones in 15 days? We checked. 


What are kidney stones?

The kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine, beneath your ribs, and behind your stomach. The kidneys filter blood, eliminate waste, and regulate fluid balance in the body.

The US-based National Library for Medicine describes kidney stones as solid, pebble-like pieces of material that can develop in one or both of your kidneys. This happens when there’s excessive concentrations of a substance, such as  calcium salts or uric acid, in your urine.

If kidney stones are not treated properly by a medical doctor, they can result in permanent kidney damage.​ They also vary in size; they can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as golf balls. 

Is honey, lemon juice and olive oil mixture the cure?

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which may help prevent the formation of kidney stones, according to the National Library for Medicine. The claim may rely on the belief that olive oil acts as a lubricant, making it easier to pass the stones, but there is no evidence for this. 

Africa Check spoke to Prof Sunday Atawodi, head of the biochemistry department at the Federal University Lokoja in Nigeria. 

He said there was no scientific evidence to prove that honey, lemon juice, and olive oil can dissolve kidney stones in 15 days.

“But it has been shown that over time, these substances which have been used for ages in some cultures for the management of kidney stones, could have had beneficial effects for some reasons.”

While he highlighted that the therapeutic use of honey, lemon juice and olive oil may show promise, Atawodi warned against relying on this as a main treatment for kidney stones.

There may be a time and place for some traditional remedies, but it is important to seek medical attention should you suspect that you have kidney stones.

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