Stonebreaker Infusion: Does It Help Dissolve Kidney Stones?

The Lepidium latifolium, also known as wild cress or Solomon's candlestick It is an herb that is associated with the dissolution of kidney stones. In general, its seeds are often added to food, while the dried plant is used to prepare an infusion of stone breakers.

Similarly, it is attributed diuretic, cytotoxic, and antifungal properties. It is even believed that it can play a fundamental role in the treatment of leishmaniasis. Find out what stonebreaker is, what its benefits are, and what science says about it.

What is the stonebreaker?

Although there are several plants that share the names stonebreaker Y chancapiedras, we will focus on Lepidium latifolium. It is an endemic herb of the Mediterranean and some regions of Asia which has been introduced in North America.

It can be differentiated by its large number of woody branches in which leaves and bouquets of small white flowers alternate. Another feature to highlight is that although it can measure up to two meters, it usually reaches between 30 and 100 centimeters.

In addition, the stem, leaves and flowers can be ingested. In traditional medicine it has been used to treat sciatica pain, given its supposed anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, it is believed to help dissolve stones present in the urinary tract.

The stonebreaker can be added to meals or used dry to prepare an infusion.

Read also: Foods to avoid the formation of kidney stones

Benefits of the infusion of stonebreakers

In popular medicine this herb is known for its supposed effectiveness in eliminating kidney stones. Although, as we will see later, a more in-depth investigation is needed than the constant, other possible advantages of its use have also been studied. We share them here:

  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory: according to a study published in PLoS One, the stonebreaker can act as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, since it participates in the elimination of free radicals and in the protection of DNA. Free radicals are substances that appear as metabolic waste and damage cell function, leading to aging.
  • Antimicrobial and cytotoxic: a study published in Chemistry & Biodiversity suggested that the infusion of stonebreakers has antimicrobial properties by eliminating the bacteria and fungi present in the food tested. On the other hand, in a controlled and laboratory environment, it improved cytotoxic activity by destroying bladder cancer cell lines. It is worth clarifying that this effect was only verified under study conditions, so it is not used in the oncological chemotherapeutic approach in any way.
  • Diuretic: a study in rats published by Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that ingesting aqueous extract of Lepidium latifolium can significantly improve urinary excretion. This would be associated with its link with the elimination of kidney stones, due to the increased flow of urine.
  • Leishmaniasis: the infusion of stone breakers is also traditionally used as an option in the treatment of leishmaniasis, an infectious disease transmitted by a protozoan parasite named Leishmania. In any case, there are no scientific studies in this regard.

The infusion of stone breakers: a treatment against kidney stones?

The stonebreaker is used in the Canary Islands as a natural remedy to treat kidney stones, a disease caused by the presence of stones in the kidneys or urinary tract (ureters and bladder). The symptoms of this disorder have to do with intense lumbar or lower abdominal pain due to the displacement of stones within the vesico-renal system.

Now, why do these stones or stones appear? The reason is that the pathology-prone urine contains a greater amount of substances that form crystals (calcium, oxalate and uric acid). Their union and accumulation lead to larger structures that interrupt normal urinary flow.

Can the Lepidium latifolium be a treatment for kidney stones? Although there are studies that verify its diuretic and hypotensive effects (related to a decrease in blood pressure), more research is still needed to be considered a first-line approach in this case. Although it is possible that increasing the amount of urine helps to expel a stone from the urinary tract, it is far from being a specific therapy.

Renal lithiasis cannot be treated first with a stonebreaker infusion, but a medical approach is needed.

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What is there to remember about the infusion of stonebreakers?

Stonebreaker is an herb that can be easily added to meals and can be enjoyed in an infusion. Although its main benefit is linked, in popular belief, with the dissolution of stones in the kidneys, there is insufficient evidence to serve as a base treatment for the pathology.

It does have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties. But the ideal is to combine it as an adjunct to medical approaches, as long as the doctor determines that there are no contraindications for its consumption.