Successful treatment of sodium oxalate induced urolithiasis with Helichrysum flowers

J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jun 20;186:322-328. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Helichrysum (Asteraceae) flowers, known as "altın otu, yayla çiçeği, kudama çiçeği" , are widely used to remove kidney stones and for their diuretic properties in Turkey.

Aim of the study: To determine the curative effect of infusions prepared from capitulums of Helichrysum graveolens (M. Bieb.) Sweet (HG) and H. stoechas ssp. barellieri (Ten.) Nyman (HS) on sodium oxalate induced kidney stones.

Materials and methods: Infusions prepared from the capitulums of HG and HS were tested for their curative effect on calcium oxalate deposition induced by sodium oxalate (70mg/kg i.p.). Following the injection of sodium oxalate for 5 days, plant extracts were administered to rats at two different doses. Potassium citrate was used as positive control. Water intake, urine volume, body, liver and kidney weights were measured; biochemical and hematological analyses were conducted on urine and blood samples. Additionally, histopathological examinations were done on kidney samples.

Results: H. stoechas extract showed prominent effect at 156mg/kg dose (stone formation score: 0.33), whereas number of kidney stones was maximum in sodium oxalate group (stone formation score: 2.33). The reduction in the uric acid and oxalate levels of urine samples and the elevation in the urine citrate levels are significant and promising in extract groups. Some hematological, biochemical and enzymatic markers are also ameliorated by the extracts.

Conclusions: This is the first report on the curative effect of immortal flowers. Our preliminary study indicated that Helichrysum extracts may be used for treatment of urolithiasis and Helichrysum extracts are an alternative therapy to potassium citrate for patients suffering from kidney stones.

Keywords: Calcium oxalate deposition; Curative effect; Helichrysum; Kidney stone; Urolithiasis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Citric Acid / urine
  • Flowers
  • Helichrysum*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Oxalates / urine
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Uric Acid / urine
  • Urolithiasis / chemically induced
  • Urolithiasis / drug therapy*
  • Urolithiasis / pathology
  • Urolithiasis / urine


  • Oxalates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Uric Acid
  • Citric Acid
  • Oxalic Acid