The increasing prevalence of kidney stone has become a worldwide health issue. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey report, almost 8.8 American adults have kidney stone problem. The incidence rate in more among male than females. In the last twenty years, the kidney stone prevalence has tremendously increased due to global warming, alteration of dietary intake, lifestyle changes and increasing trend of obesity.
Kidney stone formation is a complex process that occurs due to physicochemical changes, including supersaturation, crystallization, enlargement, aggregation, and retention within the kidneys. Kidney stones are classified according to chemical composition. The size of stones also varies and the sign and symptoms depend upon the size of the stones.
The urine passage is obstructed due to kidney stone formation and produce discomfort, back pain and unbearable pain in lower abdomen that arise in aggravated condition. The obstruction depends upon the size and position of the stone. The clinical signs like pain result from inflammation of the kidney, bladder or ureters. The scope of reoccurrence is high and almost 50% percent of initially affected patients have recurrence issue within 7 years time period. Therefore, the preventive measure is very important to restrict the reoccurrence.
Why natural treatment for Kidney stones become popular?
The usual medical treatment of kidney stone involves invasive intervention including ureteroscopy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, or percutaneous nephrolithotomy. But, the high recurrence rate needs preventive measures. Moreover, some synthetic medicines are also prescribed to ease the excretion of kidney stones like α-1 blockers and calcium channel blockers. But medication like α-1 blockers has significant side effects, such as nasal congestion, dizziness, hypotension, and ejaculatory disturbances. Some drugs like potassium citrate, Thiazide diuretics and Allopurinol are also prescribed as preventive measures. But the patients usually avoid taking these medications due to their side effect burden. Potassium citrate can cause gastrointestinal disorder and diarrhea; thiazide diuretic lowers blood pressure, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, and erectile dysfunction; whereas allopurinol increases the risk of rashes.
Natural treatments have no such significant side effects and have sufficient evidential support to efficacy. Kidney stone preventive measures require long-term management, therefore affected individual are keen to take natural therapies to prevent recurrence. In addition, some natural therapy has urolithiasis property, which means splitting the stones and further accelerating stone excretion.
Intolerable pain due to kidney stone is one of the major health concern. Synthetic strong analgesic medicines are usually prescribed to control pain symptoms. But these medications are not recommended for long-term administration due to their side effects. Acupuncture is better alternative analgesic treatment in kidney stone associated pain management. A research study has compared the analgesic effect of acupuncture with morphine to treat a kidney stone. The study result showed acupuncture provides faster pain relief and better-tolerated treatment outcome than intravenous administration of morphine.
Multiple herbs are identified which are effective to treat and prevent kidney stone. A traditional medicinal system like Ayurveda, Chinese Traditional medicinal system uses different herbs to treat the condition. However, modern herbalist also recommends herbal treatment for treating and preventing kidney stone.
This herb is also known as a chinaberry tree, which belongs to Meliaceae family. Oral juice of this plant leaves acts as diuretic, antilithic and also has a preventive effect against urinary stone formation. The efficacy of this natural remedy has been studied in animal research model and urolithiasis efficacy has been proved through this study.
This herb is an important Ayurvedic medicinal ingredient for treating a kidney stone. The common name of this herb is Paashaanbhed and belong to Saxifragaceae family. Aqueous extract of this herb can specifically treat calcium oxalate crystals and calcium phosphate crystals by inhibiting the growth of calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate crystals. Whereas, the alcoholic extract has the ability to dissolve renal calculi or kidney stone.
The English name of this herb is quail grass and belongs to Amaranthaceae. In the traditional Indian medicinal system, this herb is specifically used for kidney stone treatment. The kidney stones are dissolved and extracted by oral administration of the aqueous decoction.
This herb is commonly known as Puncture vine, belongs to Zygophyllaceae family. This herb provides antiurolithiatic activity by regulating oxalate metabolism and decreasing urinary oxalate excretion. Antiurolithiatic activity means a reduction of stone-forming constituents in urine. In-vitro research report described that aqueous extract of this herb can inhibit calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate crystals growth.