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Adverse effects of medicinal herbs on the human kidney

Matheus Santana Figueredo, Fernanda Moraes Schroeder, Rodrigo Vieira Soares, Claudia Maria de Barros Helou


More than half of world’s population rely on medicinal herbs (MH) as a source of self care, which is often associated with traditions or misconceptions regarding natural products. However, MH contain many active principles that can induce adverse effects on the kidney, most of which underestimated. This manuscript, part of a Medicine graduate school subject, aims to study the adverse effects of MH on the human kidneys. Using the keywords “medicinal herbs”, “kidney” and “adverse effects” on PubMed, LILACS and Scopus, 11 scientific publications were selected in order to provide a better understanding of this matter. Most of these publications consisted of case-report, whereas only one consisted of a more scientifically strict study, a randomized controlled trial in this case, corroborating with the scientific literature regarding it. There was also no scientific paper that reflected more the subject’s reality in Brazil. Hence, health public policies should be directed to provide health professionals with scientific knowledge about the subject’s relevance, thus allowing them to guide the population on how to take MH in a safer and more efficient way.


Kidney; Plants, medicinal/adverse effects; Medicine, traditional/adverse effects; Acute kidney injury; Calcineurin inhibitors/drugs effects; Phytotherapy/adverse effects.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11606/issn.1679-9836.v97i1p51-58

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