Effect of aqueous extract from Herniaria hirsuta L. on experimentally nephrolithiasic rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Nov;95(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.06.028.


Despite considerable progress in medical therapy, there is no satisfactory drug to treat kidney stones. Therefore, this current study is aimed to look for an alternative treatment by using Herniaria hirsuta on nephrolithiasic rats as a preventive agent against the development of kidney stones. The experiment was conducted in normal and calcium oxalate (CaOx) nephrolithiasic rats during 3 weeks. Several parameters were followed weekly including water intake, urinary volume and pH, some urinary chemistries, and crystalluria. At the end, kidneys were analyzed by light microscope. The results showed that water intake and urinary volume increased in nephrolithiasic rats, but their urinary pH decreased especially in the third week of treatment. Urinary oxalate increased significantly during the second week for untreated rats and remained constant in rats treated with Herniaria decoction. However, urinary calcium decreased significantly in week 2 in untreated rats and remained constant in treated rats. Qualitative analysis of crystalluria showed that untreated rats excreted large CaOx monohydrate and few dihydrate crystals while treated animals excreted mostly small CaOx dihydrate crystals. The examination of kidney sections revealed that CaOx deposition was limited in treated rats when compared to untreated ones. These results obtained in vivo confirmed the beneficial effect of Herniaria hirsuta and may justify its use as a preventive agent against the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / toxicity
  • Caryophyllaceae*
  • Kidney Calculi / chemically induced
  • Kidney Calculi / pathology
  • Kidney Calculi / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Water


  • Plant Extracts
  • Water
  • Calcium Oxalate