Send to

Choose Destination
Int Braz J Urol. 2009 Jul-Aug;35(4):396-405.

Use of traditional Chinese medicine in the management of urinary stone disease.

Author information

Department of Urologic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.



To assess the evidence-based literature supporting the use of traditional Chinese medicine Kampo herbal and Acupuncture in stone disease management.


Four of the most commonly used herbal components of Kampo medicine in the treatment of stone disease are described according to their in vitro and in vivo effects. We also reviewed the role of Acupuncture in urologic clinical setting as well as its proposed mechanisms of action and results. Medline database was assessed using isolated and conjugated key words (Chinese Medicine, Kampo, Chinese Herbal, Calculi, Stone Disease, Kidney, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine). Articles were reviewed and summarized.


Herbal medicine has been proven to be free from side-effects and therefore suitable for long term use therapy. Its antilithic beneficial effects include increased urinary volume, increased magnesium excretion (Takusya), inhibitory activity on calcium oxalate aggregation (Takusya, Wulingsan and Desmodyum styracyfolium), inhibition of calcium oxalate nucleation and hydroxyapatite internalization (Wulingsan). In contrast, acupuncture, has shown to be effective as a pre-treatment anxiolytic and analgesic during colic pain and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy treatment, reducing the need for complementary sedative drugs.


Chinese traditional medicine is promising as regards its role in stone prevention. An effort must be made in order to standardize study protocols to better assess acupuncture results since each procedure differs in regards to selected acupoints, electrostimulation technique and adjunct anesthetics. Similarly, standardization of Kampo formulations and acceptable clinical endpoints (imaging vs. symptomatic events) is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for International Braz J Urol
Loading ...
Support Center