Herbal drug formulation for kidney stones
National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants (NIRPROMP)
University of the Philippines
Project Lead: Nelia P. Cortes-Maramba, MD
Urolithiasis, or formation of kidney stones, is a clinical condition experienced by many Filipinos. In fact, 25% of all admissions in the Philippine General Hospital Division of Urology are urolithiasis cases. This condition, if not treated early, may lead to complete blockage of urinary flow and edema or fluid retention. Available treatments for urolithiasis and edema include potassium citrate medication and shock wave lithotripsy (SWL); and thiazide diuretics, respectively. These treatments, however, are expensive and SWL in particular is only available in tertiary hospitals.
NIRPROMP developed an herbal drug formulation mainly composed of sambong leaves to treat kidney stones and edema. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera L.) is an aromatic shrub long used in Philippine traditional medicine as a treatment for fever, cough, headache, boils, abdominal pain and gaseous distention.
Results of clinical studies conducted by NIRPROMP show that their sambong formulation effectively reduced the size and number of kidney stones among urolithiasis patients. Also, the effects induced by sambong formulation are comparable with the effects induced by potassium citrate medication. Clinical studies also showed that the sambong formulation effectively increased the volume of urine excretion among patients experiencing edema. This diuretic effect of the sambong formulation is also comparable to effects of other thiazide diuretics but without causing urinary potassium loss.
This antiurolithic and diuretic drug formulation derived from sambong leaves is included in the Philippine National Formulary. It provides a clinically-proven effective yet affordable, safe, and non-invasive alternative to expensive treatments for kidney stones and edema.
Product Development Stage
Sambong tablet is a patented technology. It has existing licensees and is already available in the market. NIPROMP is looking for other pharmaceutical companies willing to produce, manufacture and distribute the product.
Lourdes Marie S. Tejero, RN, MAN, MTM, PhD
UPM Technology Transfer and Business Development Office
- Written by Julie Anne Balangat
- Published: 05 May 2020