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 Rivi&egrave;re Rouge, Serpentaria, Snakeroot, Snakeweed, Texas Snakeroot, Virginia Serpentary, Virginia Snakeroot.<br/><br/>

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 research to support these uses.

How does it work?

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

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Sexual arousal.
  • Convulsions (seizures).
  • Boosting the body's defense system (immune system).
  • Starting menstruation.
  • Colic.
  • Gallbladder pain.
  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Achy joints (rheumatism).
  • A skin condition called eczema.
  • Weight loss.
  • Wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of aristolochia for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Aristolochia is UNSAFE. It contains aristolochic acid, which is toxic to the kidneys and causes cancer. Use of 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 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. The FDA will not release the product until its maker proves the product does not contain aristolochic acid. Health Canada, the Canadian health authority, removed five aristolochia-containing Chinese herbal medicine products from sale. The products include Touku Natural Herbal Rheumatic Pills, two brands of Tri-Snakegall & Fritillary Powder, Tracheitis Pills, and Gastropathy Capsules.

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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  • 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.
  • Arlt, V. M., Stiborova, M., and Schmeiser, H. H. Aristolochic acid as a probable human cancer hazard in herbal remedies: a review. Mutagenesis 2002;17(4):265-277.
  • 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.
  • Camporese, A., Balick, M. J., Arvigo, R., Esposito, R. G., Morsellino, N., De Simone, F., and Tubaro, A. Screening of anti-bacterial activity of medicinal plants from Belize (Central America). J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;87(1):103-107. View abstract.
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD). Systematic review: hepatotoxic events associated with herbal medicinal products. 2004;
  • Chou, L. D., Chen, Z. M., Liang, Y. L., Che, D., and Chen, S. L. Study on determination of aristolochic acid in Radix stephaniae Tetradrae (Aristolochia fangchi). Bull.Chin.Mater.Med. 1986;11:363-365.
  • Cosyns, J. P. Aristolochic acid and 'Chinese herbs nephropathy': a review of the evidence to date. Drug Saf 2003;26(1):33-48. View abstract.
  • de Barros, Machado T., Leal, I. C., Kuster, R. M., Amaral, A. C., Kokis, V., de Silva, M. G., and dos Santos, K. R. Brazilian phytopharmaceuticals--evaluation against hospital bacteria. Phytother Res 2005;19(6):519-525. View abstract.
  • El Tahir, K. E. Pharmacological actions of magnoflorine and aristolochic acid-1 isolated from the seeds of Aristolochia bracteata. International Journal of Pharmacognosy 1991;29:101-110.
  • Enriquez, R. G., Chavez, M. A., and Reynolds, W. F. Phytochemical investigations of plants of the genus Aristolochia, 1. Isolation and NMR spectral characterization of eupomatenoid derivatives. J Nat.Prod. 1984;47(5):896-899. View abstract.
  • 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.
  • Gadhi, C. A., Benharref, A., Jana, M., Basile, A. M., Contet-Audonneau, N., and Fortier, B. Antidermatophytic properties of extracts from the leaves of Aristolochia paucinervis Pomel. Phytother.Res. 2001;15(1):79-81. View abstract.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arandjelovic C. Canadian health officials pull Chinese herbal drugs. (Reprinted from Reuters). Richters HerbLetter November 23, 1999.
  • 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.
  • Lewis CJ, Alpert S. Letter to health care professionals -- FDA concerned about botanical products, including dietary supplements, containing aristolochic acid. Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, Dietary Supplements. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. May 31, 2000.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nortier JL, Vanherweghem JL. Renal interstitial fibrosis and urothelial carcinoma associated with the use of a Chinese herb (Aristolochia fangchi). Toxicology 2002;181-182:577-80. View abstract.
  • 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.
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  • Yu Y., Zheng F. L., Li H. [Chinese herbs-induced renal failure with Fanconi syndrome: a report of 6 cases]. Zhonghua Nei Ke.Za Zhi. 2003;42:110-12. 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.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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