Lemonade to ward off kidney stones

The People's Pharmacy

Q: The other day, someone wrote asking about kidney stones. To cut down on kidney stones, I drink several glasses of lemonade a week.

A: There is some scientific basis for your observation. Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate to disrupt kidney-stone formation. Lemonade also contains citrate, and some research shows that lemonade therapy reduces the rate of kidney-stone formation (Journal of Urology, April 2007).

Three or four glasses of lemonade per week are probably not enough to do much good, however. Studies of “lemonade therapy” have used 1 to 2 quarts of unsweetened or low-sugar lemonade daily.

A: For a year and a half, my dermatologist has treated me for psoriasis. First I took cyclosporine and then CellCept.


Like another reader stated, I too developed every side effect listed in the warnings I got with the medication: hair loss, blisters, dry skin and scalp, and blurred vision. Worst of all, I got no permanent relief from psoriasis.

I then tried a turmeric capsule twice a day (one in the morning and one at bedtime), following your reader’s example. Within two weeks, all my psoriasis patches disappeared, and my hair loss has all but stopped! I don’t even have the 24-hour heartburn I had on both cyclosporine and CellCept.

A: Many people with psoriasis find that turmeric or its active component curcumin can be helpful. Not everyone benefits, however, and some people develop a severe rash. No one taking the anticoagulant Coumadin (warfarin) should take turmeric medicinally. We have received several reports of excessive bleeding or high INR values from people combining these therapies. INR is a measure of bleeding susceptibility.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.