Cynodon dactylon extract as a preventive and curative agent in experimentally induced nephrolithiasis

Urol Res. 2009 Apr;37(2):75-82. doi: 10.1007/s00240-009-0174-8. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


Cynodon dactylon (Poaceae family) decoction was used in the treatment of kidney stones. However, no scientific study was undertaken so far to demonstrate the beneficial effect of the plant. Thus, the aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of Cynodon aqueous extract as a preventive and curative agent in experimentally induced nephrolithiasis in a rat model. Ethylene glycol (EG) was used in the experiment to induce calcium oxalate (CaOx) deposition into kidneys. In preventive protocol, Cynodon decoction was administered in the same day with EG to evaluate the ability of the extract to prevent crystal deposition. However, in curative protocol, rats were first rendered nephrolithiasic and then the extract was administered to assess the ability of the plant to eliminate the pre-existing crystal deposition. In both protocols, urinary biochemical and other variables were measured during the course of the study. Crystalluria and renal histology were examined as well. The results showed that, in both protocols, all measured variables were similar for both the rat groups. Nevertheless, urinary biochemical analysis was apparently unaffected by the extract except oxalate in preventive protocol, and calcium, sodium, and potassium in curative protocol which were significantly highly excreted in treated rats compared to untreated animals. Crystalluria was characterized mostly by the presence of large quantities of CaOx monohydrate and CaOx dihydrate particles in untreated rats. However, crystalluria was mainly dominated by the presence of CaOx dihydrate particles with reduced size. The most apparent beneficial effect of Cynodon extract was seen in kidney tissues where reduced levels of CaOx deposition have been noticed especially in medullary and papillary sections from treated rats. We concluded that C. dactylon extract has beneficial effect in preventing and eliminating CaOx deposition into kidneys. Such findings provide a scientific explanation for its use in the treatment of kidneys stones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / chemistry
  • Calcium Oxalate / metabolism
  • Calcium Oxalate / urine
  • Crystallization
  • Cynodon*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethylene Glycol / toxicity
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephrolithiasis / chemically induced
  • Nephrolithiasis / drug therapy*
  • Nephrolithiasis / metabolism
  • Nephrolithiasis / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Plant Extracts
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Ethylene Glycol