ARISTOLOCHIA

OTHER NAME(S):

Aristoloche, Aristoloche Clématite, Aristoloche de Texas, Aristoloche des Vignes, Aristoloche de Virginie, Aristoloche Vulgaire, Aristolochia auricularia, Aristolochia clematitis, Aristolochia fangchi, Aristolochia heterophylla, Aristolochia kwangsiensis, Aristolochia manshuriensis, Aristolochia moupinensis, Aristolochia reticulata, Aristolochia serpentaria, Aristoloquia, Birthwort, Guan Mu Tong, Guang Fang Ji, Long Birthwort, Pelican Flower, Poison de Terre, Pomerasse, Ratelaine, Rateline, Red River Snakeroot, Sangree Root, Sangrel, Sarrasine, Serpentaire, Serpentaire de la Rivière Rouge, Serpentaria, Snakeroot, Snakeweed, Texas Snakeroot, Virginia Serpentary, Virginia Snakeroot.

Overview

Overview Information

Aristolochia is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground and the root are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, aristolochia is sometimes used by mouth to prevent seizures, increase sexual desire, boost the immune system, and start menstruation, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how aristolochia works.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea).
  • Achy joints (rheumatism).
  • Arthritis.
  • Boosting the body's defense system (immune system).
  • Excessive crying in infants (colic).
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
  • Gallbladder pain.
  • Gout.
  • Increasing response to sexual stimuli in healthy people.
  • Obesity.
  • Seizures.
  • Wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of aristolochia for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Aristolochia is UNSAFE. It contains aristolochic acid, which is toxic to the kidneys and causes cancer. Using aristolochia can cause kidney damage leading to the need for kidney dialysis and kidney transplant. It also greatly increases the risk of bladder cancer and other urinary tract cancers.

Health authorities around the world have taken action to protect the public against aristolochia and aristolochic acid. Aristolochia is banned in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain, Belgium, and Japan. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seizes any product that it believes might contain aristolochic acid.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Aristolochia is UNSAFE for anyone to use, including pregnant and breast-feeding women. Aristolochia contains aristolochic acid, which is toxic to the kidneys and causes cancer. Don't use it.

Kidney disease: Aristolochia might bring on early kidney failure in people with kidney disease.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for ARISTOLOCHIA Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of aristolochia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for aristolochia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Shaohua Z, Ananda S, Ruxia Y, Liang R, Xiaorui C, Liang L. Fatal renal failure due to the Chinese herb "GuanMu Tong" (Aristolochia manshuriensis): autopsy findings and review of literature. Forensic Sci Int. 2010;199(1-3):e5-7. View abstract.
  • Tazi I, Nafil H, Mahmal L. Fatal renal failure due to self administration of Aristolochia Longa after treatment with chemotherapy. Arab J Nephrol Transplant. 2012 Jan;5(1):54; discussion 55. View abstract.
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  • Zhang HM, Zhao XH, Sun ZH, et al. Recognition of the toxicity of aristolochic acid. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2019 Apr;44(2):157-162. View abstract.
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  • Arlt, V. M., Pfohl-Leszkowicz, A., Cosyns, J., and Schmeiser, H. H. Analyses of DNA adducts formed by ochratoxin A and aristolochic acid in patients with Chinese herbs nephropathy. Mutat.Res 7-25-2001;494(1-2):143-150. View abstract.
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  • Balachandran, P., Wei, F., Lin, R. C., Khan, I. A., and Pasco, D. S. Structure activity relationships of aristolochic acid analogues: toxicity in cultured renal epithelial cells. Kidney Int 2005;67(5):1797-1805. View abstract.
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  • Gadhi, C. A., Benharref, A., Jana, M., and Lozniewski, A. Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of Aristolochia paucinervis Pomel extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;75(2-3):203-205. View abstract.
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  • Gadhi, C. A., Hatier, R., Mory, F., Marchal, L., Weber, M., Benharref, A., Jana, M., and Lozniewski, A. Bactericidal properties of the chloroform fraction from rhizomes of Aristolochia paucinervis Pomel. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;75(2-3):207-212. View abstract.
  • Gadhi, C. A., Weber, M., Mory, F., Benharref, A., Lion, C., Jana, M., and Lozniewski, A. Antibacterial activity of Aristolochia paucinervis Pomel. J.Ethnopharmacol. 1999;67(1):87-92. View abstract.
  • Grollman, A. P., Shibutani, S., Moriya, M., Miller, F., Wu, L., Moll, U., Suzuki, N., Fernandes, A., Rosenquist, T., Medverec, Z., Jakovina, K., Brdar, B., Slade, N., Turesky, R. J., Goodenough, A. K., Rieger, R., Vukelic, M., and Jelakovic, B. Aristolochic acid and the etiology of endemic (Balkan) nephropathy. Proc Natl.Acad Sci U.S.A 7-17-2007;104(29):12129-12134. View abstract.
  • Haruna, A. K. and Choudhury, M. K. In vivo antisnake venom activity of a furanoid diterpene from Aristolochia albida Duch (Aristolochiaceae). Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 1995;57:222-224.
  • Hinou, J., Demetzos, C., Harvala, C., and Roussakis, C. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial principles from the roots of Aristolochia longa. Int.J.Crude Drug Res 1990;28:149-151.
  • Hranjec, T., Kovac, A., Kos, J., Mao, W., Chen, J. J., Grollman, A. P., and Jelakovic, B. Endemic nephropathy: the case for chronic poisoning by aristolochia. Croat.Med J 2005;46(1):116-125. View abstract.
  • Ioset, J. R., Raoelison, G. E., and Hostettmann, K. Detection of aristolochic acid in Chinese phytomedicines and dietary supplements used as slimming regimens. Food Chem Toxicol 2003;41(1):29-36. View abstract.
  • Kessler, D. A. Cancer and herbs. N Engl.J Med 6-8-2000;342(23):1742-1743. View abstract.
  • Laing, C., Hamour, S., Sheaff, M., Miller, R., and Woolfson, R. Chinese herbal uropathy and nephropathy. Lancet 7-22-2006;368(9532):338. View abstract.
  • Lee, H. S. and Han, D. S. A new acylated N-glycosyl lactam from Aristolochia contorta. J Nat.Prod. 1992;55(9):1165-1169. View abstract.
  • Lemos, V. S., Thomas, G., and Barbosa Filho, J. M. Pharmacological studies on Aristolochia papillaris Mast. (Aristolochiaceae). J Ethnopharmacol. 1993;40(2):141-145. View abstract.
  • Liebman, B. Herbs and cancer. Nutrition Action Health Letter 2000;27(7):11-13.
  • Lo, S. H., Wong, K. S., Arlt, V. M., Phillips, D. H., Lai, C. K., Poon, W. T., Chan, C. K., Mo, K. L., Chan, K. W., and Chan, A. Detection of Herba Aristolochia Mollissemae in a patient with unexplained nephropathy. Am.J Kidney Dis. 2005;45(2):407-410. View abstract.
  • Meinl, W., Pabel, U., Osterloh-Quiroz, M., Hengstler, J. G., and Glatt, H. Human sulphotransferases are involved in the activation of aristolochic acids and are expressed in renal target tissue. Int J Cancer 3-1-2006;118(5):1090-1097. View abstract.
  • Mongelli, E., Martino, V., Coussio, J., and Ciccia, G. Screening of Argentine medicinal plants using the brine shrimp microwell cytotoxicity assay. International Journal of Pharmacognosy 1996;34:249-254.
  • Mongelli, E., Pampuro, S., Coussio, J., Salomon, H., and Ciccia, G. Cytotoxic and DNA interaction activities of extracts from medicinal plants used in Argentina. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71(1-2):145-151. View abstract.
  • Murillo-Alvarez, JI, Encarnacion, DR, and Franzblau, SG. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of some medicinal plants from Baja California Sur (Mexico). Pharmaceutical Biology (Netherlands) 2001;39:445-449.
  • News Potpourri. Southern Medical Journal 2000;93(11):1129-1130.
  • Nortier, J. [Renal interstitial fibrosis and urotelial carcinomas after ingestion of a Chinese herb (Aristolochia fangchi)]. Nephrologie 2002;23(1):37-38. View abstract.
  • Otero, R., Nunez, V., Barona, J., Fonnegra, R., Jimenez, S. L., Osorio, R. G., Saldarriaga, M., and Diaz, A. Snakebites and ethnobotany in the northwest region of Colombia. Part III: neutralization of the haemorrhagic effect of Bothrops atrox venom. J.Ethnopharmacol. 2000;73(1-2):233-241. View abstract.
  • Peng, G. P., Lou, F. C., and Chen, Y. Z. Studies on the chemical constituents of Tubeflower Dutchmanspipe (Aristolochia tubflora). Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1996;26:623-626.
  • Pistelli, L., Nieri, E., Bilia, A. R., Marsili, A., and Scarpato, R. Chemical constituents of Aristolochia rigida and mutagenic activity of aristolochic acid IV. J Nat.Prod. 1993;56(9):1605-1608. View abstract.
  • Ruffa, M. J., Ferraro, G., Wagner, M. L., Calcagno, M. L., Campos, R. H., and Cavallaro, L. Cytotoxic effect of Argentine medicinal plant extracts on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002;79(3):335-339. View abstract.
  • Schaneberg, B. T. and Khan, I. A. Analysis of products suspected of containing Aristolochia or Asarum species. J.Ethnopharmacol. 2004;94(2-3):245-249. View abstract.
  • Sosa, S., Balick, M. J., Arvigo, R., Esposito, R. G., Pizza, C., Altinier, G., and Tubaro, A. Screening of the topical anti-inflammatory activity of some Central American plants. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81(2):211-215. View abstract.
  • Violon, C. Belgian (Chinese herb) nephropathy: why? J Pharm Belg. 1997;52(1):7-27. View abstract.
  • Wen, Y. J., Su, T., Tang, J. W., Zhang, C. Y., Wang, X., Cai, S. Q., and Li, X. M. Cytotoxicity of phenanthrenes extracted from Aristolochia contorta in human proximal tubular epithelial cell line. Nephron Exp Nephrol 2006;103(3):e95-e102. View abstract.
  • Zhang, C. Y., Wang, X., Su, T., Ma, C. M., Wen, Y. J., Shang, M. Y., Li, X. M., Liu, G. X., and Cai, S. Q. New aristolochic acid, aristololactam and renal cytotoxic constituents from the stem and leaves of Aristolochia contorta. Pharmazie 2005;60(10):785-788. View abstract.
  • Zhu, Y. P. Toxicity of the Chinese herb mu tong (Aristolochia manshuriensis). What history tells us. Adverse Drug React.Toxicol.Rev. 2002;21(4):171-177. View abstract.
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  • Arlt VM, Stiborova M, Schmeiser HH. Aristolochic acid as a probable human cancer hazard in herbal remedies: a review. Mutagenesis 2002;17:265-77. View abstract.
  • Chang CH, Wang YM, Yang AH, Chiang SS. Rapidly progressive interstitial renal fibrosis associated with Chinese herbal medications. Am J Nephrol 2001;21:441-8. View abstract.
  • Cronin AJ, Maidment G, Cook T, et al Aristolochic acid as a causative factor in a case of Chinese herbal nephropathy. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2002;17:524-5. View abstract.
  • Hong CH, Hur SK, Oh OJ, et al. Evaluation of natural products on inhibition of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cultured mouse macrophage cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83:153-9. View abstract.
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  • Lord GM, Cook T, Arlt VM, et al. Urothelial malignant disease and Chinese herbal nephropathy. Lancet 2001;358:1515-6. View abstract.
  • Lord GM, Tagore R, Cook T, et al. Nephropathy caused by Chinese herbs in the UK. Lancet 1999;354:481-2. View abstract.
  • Maggini V, Menniti-Ippolito F, Firenzuoli F. Aristolochia, a nephrotoxic herb, still surfs on the Web, 15 years later. Intern Emerg Med. 2018 Aug;13(5):811-813. View abstract.
  • Martinez M. C., Nortier J., Vereerstraeten P., Vanherweghem J. L. Progression rate of Chinese herb nephropathy: impact of Aristolochia fangchi ingested dose. Nephrol.Dial.Transplant. 2002;17(3):408-12. View abstract.
  • Nortier JL, Martinez MC, Schmeiser HH, et al. Urothelial carcinoma associated with the use of a Chinese herb (Aristolochia fangchi). N Engl J Med 2000;342:1686-92. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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