Open Access
Article
Medical management of urolithiasis, what opportunity for phytotherapy?
Fouad Atmani1
1
Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology, University Mohammed 1, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, Oujda 60000, Morocco. atmani@sciences.univ-oujda.ac.ma
DOI: 10.2741/1081 Volume 8 Issue 6, pp.507-514
Published: 01 May 2003
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kidney stones; their formation, removal and prevention)
Abstract

Urolithiasis is the formation of stones in the urinary tract, causing pain and bleeding, and may lead to secondary infection. It is the third most common affliction of the urinary tract. Of many types of stones that are formed, the most common are calcium oxalate. The formation of such concretion encompasses several physico-chemical events beginning with crystal nucleation, growth, aggregation, and ending by retention within urinary tract. The mechanisms governing the induction of all these processes remain speculative. One of the important phenomena that characterizes urolithiasis is its high recurrence. Thus, a protective system is required including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy and medicament treatment. Unfortunately, these means remain costly and in most cases are invasive and with side effects. Therefore, it is worthwhile to look for an alternative to these conventional methods by using medicinal plants or phytotherapy. In fact, many developing countries including China use herbal medicines which have gained popularity in Europe and are becoming increasingly in the United States as well. As far as urolithiasis is concerned, several herbal treatments seem to cure lithiasis patients. Nevertheless, the effectiveness and the mechanism by which these plants work has not been fully undertaken by using scientific and objective methods. Therefore, it is highly recommended to explore new drugs coming from medicinal plants to treat and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Ideally, conventional and phytotherapy should supplement one another and have all the need available for lithiasis patients.

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Fouad Atmani. Medical management of urolithiasis, what opportunity for phytotherapy?. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2003. 8(6); 507-514.