Herbal treatment for renal diseases

Ann Acad Med Singap. 2005 Jan;34(1):44-51.


Renal fibrosis is a common consequence of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Standard therapy to prevent progression of CKD in western medicine includes dietary protein restriction, blood pressure control, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and angiotensin receptor blockade. However, little is known about the renoprotective effects of Chinese herbal medicine. Cumulative evidence suggests that some Chinese herbal medicines, including Astragalus and a mixture of Astragalus plus Angelica, Ligusticum, Triptolide and Rhubarb, have a beneficial role in slowing the progression of CKD. This effect is multi-functional and multi-targeted, and is often associated with a reduction in proteinuria and the amelioration of dyslipidaemia, but not with changes in systemic blood pressure. These mechanisms include anti-inflammation and inhibition of TGF-b overproduction. On the other hand, some Chinese herbal medicines may be hazardous to patients with renal diseases. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the research of some Chinese herbs for pharmacological intervention of progressive renal diseases and kidney-related injuries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Preparations