Creatinine is a chemical waste product of muscle metabolism that is eliminated through the kidneys. Persistently high levels of creatinine indicate that the kidneys may not be functioning properly. The normal range of creatinine in blood is:
- 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL (or 53 to 106 mcmol/L) for males, and
- 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL (or 44 to 97 mcmol/L) for females.
The values may vary slightly depending on different laboratories and their techniques. Men usually have higher levels than women because creatinine increases with muscle mass.
Factors that contribute to high creatinine levels include dehydration or inadequate water intake; medications like ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, chemotherapy drugs and others; strenuous exercise; chronic diseases like kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disorders; kidney problems; and excessive blood loss.
Muscle building, taking the dietary supplement creatine and eating large amounts of meat can also elevate creatinine levels.
Some common symptoms of high creatinine are digestive problems like nausea, vomiting and poor appetite; fatigue; urinary changes like frequent night urination, decreased urine output and dark colored urine; edema; itchy skin; and shortness of breath.
As high creatinine levels may indicate kidney problems and kidney damage, it is best to see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In addition, you can try some home remedies and dietary tips to help manage the problem. Drinking plenty of water, for instance, is highly recommended when dealing with this problem.
Also, there are some herbs that act as natural diuretics and thus help provide some relief. You can follow one or more of these herbal remedies daily for a few weeks or until your creatinine levels are reduced.
It is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking these herbs or their combinations because they may interfere with certain prescription drugs or may not be suitable for some cases. Some of these remedies may not be suitable for those with a history of kidney stones or other pre-existing conditions.
Here the top 10 home remedies to reduce high creatinine levels.
1. Chamomile Tea
A study published in the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemicals found decreased creatinine levels in study participants who drank chamomile tea. Plus, this herb will work as a mild sedative and induce relaxation.
- Put two or three teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for three to five minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink it.
- Drink a few cups of chamomile tea daily.
2. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle can help remove metabolic wastes and promote renal excretion due to its diuretic properties. Plus, it purifies the blood and improves immunity.
- Add two to three teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink it.
- Drink this nettle tea once or twice daily.
Note: This remedy can interfere with blood-thinning, high blood pressure, diuretic and diabetic medications. Consult your doctor before using this remedy.
3. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root tea also works as a natural diuretic to flush out toxins and lower creatinine levels. It also helps improve kidney function and relieve edema or swelling due to water retention.
- Put one tablespoon of dried dandelion root powder in a cup of hot water.
- Allow it to steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink it.
- Drink this tea two or three times daily for a few days or weeks.
Note: Dandelion may interact with diabetes and high blood pressure medications.
Due to its diuretic properties, cinnamon is considered good for those suffering from high creatinine levels and kidney problems. It helps increase kidney output and promotes renal filtration ability. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, thus preventing further renal damage.
Incorporate cinnamon in your diet by adding it to warm beverages, smoothies, baked goods, cereals and other foods.
Note: Do not take this herb in excess or it may lead to liver and kidney damage. Though there is no established dosage still, the generally recommendation is one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon a day.
5. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng containing eleutheroside compounds is mostly used as a health supplement for its energy-boosting properties. It is also an effective remedy to get rid of excess creatinine because it revitalizes the kidneys and promotes renal circulation. Plus, you’ll get its anti-fatigue and anti-stress benefits.
The general recommended dosage for this herb is 300 to 600 mg per day. For proper dosage and suitability for your condition, consult your doctor. It can also be taken with cinnamon.
Note: Do not confuse Siberian ginseng with other types of ginseng, especially Asian ginseng which has an anti-diuretic effect. Seek your doctor’s advice before taking Siberian ginseng because it may interfere with many prescription drugs.
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine that helps slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. It works as a mild diuretic and helps improve creatinine levels. It contains a diuretic compound called asparagine that helps eliminate fluid through the kidneys. This herb also strengthens metabolism and digestion.
- Boil a handful of dried astragalus root slices in one quart of water for 30 minutes.
- Strain and drink the tea.
- Drink this daily between meals.
Note: Those who have autoimmune diseases should consult a doctor before taking this herb as it may stimulate the immune system.
7. Corn Silk
Corn silk acts as a natural diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps increase urine output, thus aiding in removing excess creatinine. It also reduces edema and lowers high blood pressure.
- Put two teaspoons of dried corn silk in a cup.
- Pour boiling water over it.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea three times a day.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you are allergic to corn or have a history of liver or kidney disease. It may also decrease blood sugar and potassium levels.
Salvia officinalis, commonly known as sage, has been found to be beneficial in increasing the rate at which creatinine is removed in kidney failure patients because it helps filter out and eliminate creatinine from the body. It also increases circulation to the kidneys.
- Add one teaspoon of dried sage or 10 fresh leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for five to 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea one to three times a day.
Note: Avoid this remedy if you have diabetes or a history of liver or kidney disease.
9. Chinese Rhubarb
Chinese rhubarb promotes intestinal detoxification and increases urine output. It lowers creatinine levels by increasing the excretion of metabolic waste products including creatinine. It also improves kidney function.
- Chop a stalk of Chinese rhubarb.
- Boil it in a cup of water.
- Strain and drink it twice daily for up to a week.
Note: Do not take this herb if you have a history of kidney stones.
Barley water works as a natural diuretic and kidney cleanser. It also helps reduce blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels and treat nephrocalcinosis. Being rich in fiber, barley helps reduce blood sugar levels and improves digestion as well. Plus, it has a high nutritive value due to its rich vitamin and mineral content.
- Add one cup of barley in one liter or about four cups of water.
- Boil the solution for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain and drink it slowly.
- Drink it daily.
As barley is a whole grain, you can also replace refined flour in your diet with barley flour.
Note: Check with your doctor before taking this remedy as it may not be suitable for those on a potassium restricted diet.
- Increase your water and fluid intake.
- Replace your regular tea, coffee or sodas with herbal tea.
- Avoid eating high protein foods, dairy products and other dietary sources of creatine until your creatinine levels reduce to normal.
- Steer clear of high arginine foods like seafood, chocolate, gelatin, beer, soybeans, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and other nuts and seeds because they tend to increase the liver’s production of creatine.
- Reduce minerals like sodium, potassium and phosphorus in your diet.
- Include more carrots, cucumbers, garlic, onion and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
- Avoid strenuous activity as it promotes the breakdown of creatine into creatinine.