Evaluation of salvia miltiorrhiza radix (Danshen) in the treatment of chronic kidney disease: A literature review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, 2017, 29, (3), pp. 96-106
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© NHAA 2017. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant global public health issue with few treatments currently available that effectively reverse the disease or prevent its progression. Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and acute kidney disease are the major contributors to CKD. These co-morbidities cause the destruction of glomeruli resulting in blood flow changes, activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, systemic hypertension, proteinuria, inflammation and oxidative stress. Pharmaceutical interventions, including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics, are used as mono- or combination therapies to achieve blood pressure control and improve the condition. However, combinations of pharmaceuticals increase the risk of adverse events and in many patients does not prevent progression to renal failure. Salvia miltiorrhiza radix (Danshen) is a traditional Chinese herb that shows considerable potential in ameliorating the effects of CKD. A computer-based search of Cinahl, The Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline and TRIP databases was performed to appraise the scientific literature on this herb. While there is little evidence for the use of Danshen in CKD and no human studies have been located, this review provides a summary of the research to date that may reveal a novel treatment for this disease.
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