Kidney Stones are termed renal calculi in medical language. When a stone passes down the ureter from the kidney to the bladder, the pain produced is perhaps the most severe of all pains man experiences in bodily illnesses.
When the stones remain in the pelvis of the kidney, however, there is often little or no pain. The problem facing the individual who has a kidney stone is either to leave it alone or to remove it by dissolution or surgery of one type or another.
In considering the cause and the treatment of these calculi found so frequently in the urinary tract, one should always look at the disease syndrome as a physiological process rather than as a static condition of a stone in place. For there are causative factors which gradually distort the physiology of the body in such a manner that over a long period of time a stone is formed, bit by bit - often without sign or symptom. When the condition is discovered, the aberrant functioning is finally recognized and must be either treated or left alone. There is always a choice.
Three stages of kidney stone pathology may be roughly defined: (1) tendencies toward calculi in the urinary tract - a condition wherein normal eliminations are breaking down (the trouble has its inception in the kidneys); (2) the acute or semi-acute stage, in which stones have formed and are in the process of passing or causing chronic trouble; and (3) the body has come to a relative balance and manages to maintain a homeostasis in spite of one or more stones in the kidney's pelvis. In this kind of a problem the stone may deteriorate at any point and cause acute pain and difficulty as it starts to pass down the ureter. On the other hand, some individuals live out their lives with a stone in place and may never be bothered by any discernible trouble.
The traditional course of events is to ease the pain, soothe the mucous membranes of the urinary tract, and either let the stone pass or remove it surgically. Sometimes, it is the better part of judgment to let it merely remain in the pelvis of the kidney if it is not causing a problem.
In the Cayce material, the viewpoint is taken that there is always a cause, and the correction of the condition involves restoration of a more normal physiology. Surgery is sometimes needed, but when undertaken unadvisedly can frequently cause more harm than benefit. The incoordinations, subluxations, destructive attitudes, and accumulations from inadequate eliminations must always be attended to and corrected if possible. And this job sometimes becomes more tedious than many sufferers are willing to undertake with enough persistence to be successful. However, this is the story that comes out of the Edgar Cayce readings given for those who were experiencing one degree or another of urinary calculus.
I. Physiological Considerations
The onset of symptoms from a kidney stone announces that a process has been going on for a long time during which sufficient precipitated or sedimented material has accumulated to form what we call a stone (although not the best name for it). The stone can be composed of a number of materials found in the body's bloodstream. However, the liquid excreted by the kidney as it performs its eliminatory function may be saturated to such a degree that portions are no longer in solution, and the crystallization process or sedimentary process begins. The length of time it takes to form a stone that would cause symptoms is really unknown; it probably differs with individuals and circumstances. But it most certainly takes weeks, months, or sometimes even years.
How does such a condition begin? Obviously, there are more substances to be eliminated by the kidney than is possible under existing conditions. Cayce describes the condition of the blood as having "refuse forces accumulated by the activity from the lack of distributing forces in the system." (843-7) Or said another way, "the toxic forces that are being carried in the system without proper eliminations through their proper channels" are among the causative factors. (1060-1)
But it is not simply the overflow of toxins in the bloodstream. From the standpoint of physiology as seen in the readings, circulation to the liver and kidney is impaired, thus causing a decrease and an incoordination in the eliminatory process. Because of the stresses on the kidneys themselves, accumulations begin. But this is still an intermediary step. The actual beginning of the problem is more basic.
In many of the readings, no specific reference was made to the causes of impaired elimination - although trouble in the alimentary process was always present. In other references, however, an injury to the spine, a fall, a blow - often forgotten - produced faulty neurological impulses to the liver and kidney (often also to the spleen, pancreas, and intestinal tract), which in turn brought on incoordination and disturbed functions. (141-1, 370-4, 1055-1) In one instance, lack of proper care of the kidneys and eliminations during pregnancy and following delivery brought on the stone six months later. Subluxations were causative in another instance.
In the physical readings, past lives are seldom mentioned, but in the life readings the Cayce source often stated that there are no accidents. So these so-called accidents to the spine might be viewed as karmic responses to past-life experiences and represent the other major etiological factor - destructive attitudes. In one instance, the kidney stone recurred. (843-7) Cayce suggested that the repeat performance came from mental attitudes of fears, oversensitivity, and anger, and from nonadherence to diets. The kidney, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, upper intestinal tract, and spleen are all under the influence of the adrenal glands (called in the endocrinology texts the "fight-flight glands"). These organs normally respond to any emotions or attitudes that activate the sympathetic nervous system through the adrenals or the hormones that arise in those glands.
We see, then, that the supersaturated conditions existing in the kidney excretions, the incoordinations between the liver and the kidneys, the toxins accumulated in the bloodstream, and even the injuries which might bring about some of the problems may all have as an underlying essence, as a primary cause, the attitudes and emotions that cause destruction in the body.
Remember that the attitude of the body - towards circumstances, towards individuals, towards conditions - ever has much to do with creating an environment for disturbing or for helpful things as related to the bodily functions...
Know that there are ever those experiences to be met in the experience of each soul, that must be met. Meet these, not in anger, not in wrath but in gentleness and the fruits of the spirit; not in swearing vengeance or any of those attitudes. (370-5)
II. Rationale of Therapy
Throughout the Cayce readings, repeated references are made to the importance of persistent follow-through in therapeutic measures. In this particular problem, the theme is the same. For a 53-year-old man, , with passage of a stone and a deteriorating physical condition, Cayce saw the possibility of building the body back to normal, "if there is the persistence and consistence in the activities, the application and the attitudes of the body towards a constructive influence throughout its bodily functioning itself, as well as its applications to those things that may make for helpful influences." (370-4)
In cases in which the problem is quite complicated physiologically or the physical condition can easily turn into a critical situation, then all of Cayce's suggestions must be followed - these were the instructions. To , a 37-year-old woman who had a calculus, it was pointed out that the problem could be eliminated; but, he warned her, unless they are "done consistently and persistently, for a sufficient period to insure that the causes in the first, and the effects that have already been produced, have been rejuvenated and resuscitated for their normal activity, then don't begin them!" (1054-1) And another, a 53-year-old man, , was told he would run into extreme measures of therapy [surgery?] "unless all are done. . ." But, he added, if those suggestions would be done cooperatively and in a way that would aid the body to produce helpful influences, "resuscitating forces, revivifying energies, may be brought about in the body." (1060-1)
In applying these suggestions to individuals today, it must be kept in mind that every person is different. No two readings contain exactly the same directions. Thus with mild, severe or asymptomatic renal calculi, a given course of therapy - including consideration of attitudinal changes - must be followed with patience and persistence. It is always a process of aiding the body in altering its functioning physiology in such a manner that balance is maintained and constructive influences are always kept. And it is well to remember that healing the body physical without giving it hope in the spiritual is to save a body for destruction in materiality.
Therapies for Renal Calculus
In the readings studied, including all those currently indexed under kidney stones, the following suggestions were identified as being helpful:
- Turpentine stupes: These were prepared in different strengths.
For , 1/2 pint of spirits of turpentine was added to one to one-and-a-half
quarts of hot water. Heavy flannel, five to six thicknesses, was
dipped in the solution and applied over the bladder and pubic area,
"so that there may be the relaxation of the urethra and the penetrating
forces of the turpentine to alleviate." (843-4) Cayce gave some interesting
information to this man: ". . we find that the application of the turpentine
stupes over the area as indicated would offer a means for causing a
disintegrating of the stone sufficient for its passage without operative
forces; because of the very nature of the penetrating influences of
the turp." (843-5)
For a 35-year-old woman, , a milder solution was suggested: two ounces of turpentine to a quart of water. The pack was to be placed over the kidney area, and a massage done afterward to the abdomen with a mixture of equal parts of mutton tallow, spirits of turpentine, and spirits of camphor.
And in reading 1472-16, an even more dilute solution of spirits of turpentine was suggested - one teaspoonful to a gallon of water, heated to 90 degrees. The flannel cloth dipped in this solution was to be applied for an hour across the kidney area twice a week, followed immediately by massage with a solution of peanut oil (one ounce), olive oil (one ounce), and melted lanolin (one-half teaspoon).
- Osteopathic manipulations were suggested frequently. Most often those areas of the spine below the shoulder blades and down into the lumbar and coccygeal vertebrae were designated as needing most attention, but the upper dorsal and the cervical were frequently mentioned. Treatments were to be given sensitively, deeply for some and very gently for others, depending on their need and, of course, their physical condition.
- Massage has already been mentioned. Various combinations of oils have been suggested. In 843-6, for instance, Cayce suggested a combination made up of equal parts of olive oil, tincture of myrrh and compound tincture of benzoin, this to be massaged across the lower back from the kidney area to the sacrum. Instructions were to heat the olive oil, then add the other two constituents. The massage was to prevent "the body from tiring so" and to relax the patient. Another common massage formula is equal parts of mutton tallow, spirits of turpentine, spirits of camphor and compound tincture of benzoin.
- Diet is a factor in all instances. Only foods that are easily assimilated should be eaten. If foods are taken at all, cooked vegetables and cooked fruits could be eaten when the problem is acute. As a general maintenance diet one should eat one meal consisting of only fresh raw vegetables or fruit, a simple breakfast (avoid combining citrus and cereal at the same meal), and a dinner of principally vegetables. Baked potato peel is very good; pears or grapes are perhaps the best fruit. When able, such patients may eat fish, fowl or lamb as protein. It must be kept in mind that the diet should always be such as not to add more to the body than the body can tolerate and use adequately. This means no alcohol, pastries, or desserts; avoid sugars and to a great extent starches. Cayce reminded one person that chewing food well would activate the salivary glands to supply the "lactics - or the alkalines - as they enter the system." (1060-2)
- Mullein stupes and mullein tea were both recommended, but infrequently.
- Watermelon seed tea (made like any herb tea) has been found in the readings to be beneficial in all kidney conditions, so it is not surprising to find it mentioned where stones have been formed. It was not a frequently recommended suggestion, however.
- Colonics and enemas are suggested for both these procedures increase the elimination of toxins from the bloodstream, giving relief to the kidneys in their attempts to return to normal conditions.
- The wet cell battery, radio-active appliance, and diathermy were all suggested to at least one of these individuals for whom readings were given, but it cannot be determined for certain that they were specifically for relief of the kidney condition. In one instance, reference was made to "vibrations" which would help to disintegrate the stone, and we might assume that that was meant to refer to the wet cell battery.
- A prescription of oils to be taken orally was suggested for a man
with nephritis and a kidney stone. To stimulate the dissolving
of the "sediments" and to bring about better eliminations through the
liver and kidneys, the following (in reading 149-1) was suggested to
be taken in a capsule once daily, along with osteopathic treatments:
Eucalyptol, 1 minim
Rectified oil of turpentine, 1/2 minim
Oil of juniper, 1 minim
- A pack of baking soda, saturated in hot water and applied over the bladder area, was suggested in one case ( 149- 1) to ease stresses in the bladder and urethra.
- Castor oil packs were recommended to aid elimination of toxic forces that had gradually built up destructive influences in the body. Laxatives for  at that time were not good; rather he needed something that would not only aid eliminations but also build up vitality and resistance within the body. It was suggested that the packs be used for three-and-a-half to four hours, changed every 20 to 30 minutes, using two to three to four thicknesses of heavy flannel. They were to be applied as hot as could be endured and gentle osteopathic manipulations were to be done during the period when the packs were being used. Two days later, another reading was taken on the man, who had by then greatly improved (he had gall bladder gravel as well as kidney stones). Cayce's psychic report was that the sedimentary conditions in the gall bladder and the hardening in the kidneys "have in a manner been dissolved by the use of the oil packs and the manipulations that have aided same to be expelled from the body itself." The one session with the packs was all that was needed. After that, colonics and enemas provided cleansing for the intestinal tract.
- For a teen-ager (427-2) who was diagnosed as having stones, or "sediments"
in the kidneys as Cayce called it, a prescription was given to be taken
"every second day" in the morning before breakfast:
Phosphate of soda, 1/2 teaspoon
Syrup of sarsaparilla, 2 minims
Oil of juniper, 1 minim
And, every fifth day, one minim of sweet spirits of nitre was to be added to the mixture.
- Attitudes were always directed toward constructive thinking and helpfulness. Anxieties were to be replaced by faith in the knowledge that help is available. The 14th chapter of St. John was recommended at least once in these particular readings, to be read every night before retiring.
- For a man of 34 years who was experiencing an acute attack of kidney
stones, Cayce suggested (in reading 5580-1) osteopathy and the following
herbal remedy: To one gallon of rain water, add
Sarsaparilla root, 4 ounces
Wild cherry bark, 2 ounces
Yellow dock root, 2 ounces
Calisaya bark, 2 ounces
Black root, 2 ounces
Mandrake root, 30 grains
Buchu leaves, 10 grains
Reduce by simmering to one quart. Strain while warm. Add three drams of balsam of tolu cut in four ounces of grain alcohol. Give two teaspoonfuls four times daily.
- Finally, surgery was occasionally prescribed. For a 56-year-old woman with a large stone, Cayce saw "accumulations in the kidney itself from conditions where incoordination between the circulations of liver and kidneys has caused sediments to form, irritations that, as to size and condition, will require operative measures ... We would operate." (3623- 1)
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
For prevention of stones, the Cayce readings suggest that one should always look first to one's attitudes and emotions. Make corrections there, if needed. Then adopt a good basic diet which avoids fried foods, red meats (for the most part), white flour and white sugar products, and certain combinations of foods (such as cereals and citrus at the same meal). There are many publications on the market now dealing with Cayce's suggestions about diet, and these should be consulted. Lots of green vegetables and fruits are good, with fish, fowl and lamb supplying the protein.
Exercise regularly. Osteopathic or chiropractic treatments at intervals, even when one feels normal, are good procedures to follow. Full-body massages are good alternatives to the manipulations, especially if the latter are not available.
For the acute case of kidney stones, it is vitally important that relaxation be induced, so that the stone can pass without surgical interference. Here, the turpentine stupes can be used as well as the castor oil packs. Both of these tend to help break up the stone, and so are helpful. Osteopathic manipulations are very important in these instances; they aid in the relaxation of the tissues and help in the coordination of the liver and kidneys. Colonics or enemas are also helpful. The eucalyptol prescription in step 9 above might be helpful and, of course, it is very important that the patient help all he can by allowing his body to relax. (While biofeedback had not even been thought of when Cayce gave his readings, it is one way of training people to relax portions of their bodies.)
Attitudes should be of the nature of believing that the condition can be overcome. But it should be remembered that acute renal calculus is a very severe condition, and the aid of a narcotic to relax the ureter and the possibility of surgery as a final necessity should not be ruled out.
For the chronic case of renal calculi, all of those measures suggested for prevention should be utilized, keeping the body in a constructive phase and letting dissolution of the stone come about gradually - if it does come about at all. If the stone is large, such as a "staghorn" calculus, pieces may break off as dissolution occurs; these could cause acute problems as they try to pass down the ureter. Turpentine stupes may be used over a long period of time - and other measures that have been suggested in this commentary - but it must always be recognized that each person must make choices for himself. A large stone residing in the pelvis of the kidney is not an easy thing to correct. In many instances because of the psychological makeup of the individual, it may not be easily possible for the condition to be corrected. On the other hand, if the Cayce readings are to be taken at face value, it is always possible to clear up any condition. Choice is necessary as well as prayer, then definitive action to arrive at the method and the correction.
But no matter what the problem one faces regarding kidney stones - their formulation or their presence - the instruction that Cayce gave to a 53-year-old man suffering from a kidney stone should be kept in mind:
And let thy prayer oft be, in thy deeper meditation:
Father, God, Thou art life! Thou art hope! Thou art justice! Thou art mercy! In these may I, Thy servant, claim Thy care, Thy love; that my body may be cleansed as my mind may be cleansed, that I may be before Thee holy and acceptable unto Thee to do service to my fellow man in Thy name; and that the glory of Thy love as manifested in the Christ, my Savior, our Savior, may be manifested more and more in the earth...
And be consistent as to the applications of those suggestions and those activities that may bring about this; for every force and every power in the earth is of Him. Will you use it in His service or in defying Him in thy vain glory? (370-5)
[Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]