Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Danshen), a common medicinal plant in traditional Chinese medicine, has been tested effectively to prevent urolithiasis in animals; nevertheless, the clinical application for urolithiasis remains unclear. We thus investigated the clinical effect of Danshen by analyzing the database from the Taiwan National Institute of Health. The cohort "Danshen-users" was prescribed Chinese herb medicine Danshen after the initial diagnosis of calculus. The control group (non-Danshen-users) was not given Danshen after the initial diagnosis of calculus. The date of first using Danshen after new diagnosis date of calculus was considered as index date. The outcome variables were categorized into two categories: the first category included calculus surgical treatment, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrostomy with fragmentation, and ureterolithotomy; the second category included any bleeding disorders, including gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial hemorrhage, and blood transfusions. The incidence of calculus surgical treatment in the Danshen-users was less than that in the non-Danshen-users: 1.071% in 1,000 person-years (200 people followed up for 5 years) and 3.142% in 1,000 person-years, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio for calculus surgical treatment in the Danshen-users was 0.34 (95% confidence intervals: 0.31-0.38) as compared to the non-Danshen-users. When stratified by sex, the incidence of calculus surgical treatment in Danshen-users was 0.685% in 1,000 person-years and 1.575% in 1,000 person-years for women and men, respectively, which was lower than that in non-Danshen-users. Danshen decreased the ratio of subsequent stone treatment after the first treatment in the study population; there was no increased bleeding risk due to long-term Danshen use.
Chen, W. C., Wu, S. Y., Liao, P. C., Chou, T. Y., Chen, H. Y., Chiang, J. H., … Chen, Y. H. (2018). Treatment of Urolithiasis with Medicinal Plant Salvia miltiorrhiza: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8403648