Crataeva Bark – also known as Varuna – is an essential herb for problems affecting the kidneys and bladder, especially kidney and bladder stones. In Ayurvedic medicine, it has been used for around 3,000 years to treat these problems, and recent scientific research is confirming its traditional usage, demonstrating that it prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Varuna, Baranaa, Maranlingan.
Texts dating back to 8BC document Crataeva’s use in Ayurvedic medicine for kidney and bladder problems. From around AD 1100, Crataeva became the main Indian herbal medicine for kidney stones.
Crataeva grows throughout India and is often found along riverbanks. Grown from seed in spring, the leaves are harvested in spring, and the bark is collected throughout the year.
Antilithic, bladder tonic, anti-inflammatory
BPH, Bladder and Kidney Stones, Cystitis, Weak Bladder, Urethritis, Incontinence, Enuresis
Weak Bladder and Kidney Stones
Clinical research in India from the 1980s onward indicates that Crataeva increases bladder tone and inhibits the formation of bladder stones. It reduces the production within the body of oxalates, substances that can precipitate in the kidneys and bladder to form stones. Crataeva also seems to reduce the rate at which stone-forming constituents within the urine are deposited in the kidneys.
Urinary Tract Infections
Indian research in the I980s and 1990s points to Crataeva being valuable in the treatment of urinary tract infections and bladder problems caused by an enlarged prostate gland. In one clinical trial, 85% of patients with chronic urinary tract infections were symptom-free after undergoing 4 weeks of treatment with Crataeva.
A decoction of Crataeva was tested on 30 patients with hypotonic bladder due to benign prostatic hyperplasia.’ There was marked relief of frequency, incontinence, pain and retention of urine. Urine flow improved and there was an increase in bladder tone after therapy.
Urinary Tract Stones
A clinical study of the effects of Crataeva decoction on 46 patients with kidney, ureter or bladder stones not requiring surgery found 26 patients passed the stones within 10 weeks of treatment. The majority of the remaining patients experienced symptom relief.
Urinary Tract Infections
A majority (85%) of patients with proven chronic urinary tract infections were symptom-free after 4 weeks of treatment with Crataeva decoction.’ There was no data for controls.
Dosage (Divided Daily)
• Dried Powder: 3,000 – 6,000mg
• Decoction: 5,000 – 15,000mg
Interactions with other drugs
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- Bone, K. (2007). The ultimate herbal compendium: a desktop guide for herbal prescribers. Warwick, Qld.: Phytotherapy Press.
- Chevallier, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of herbal medicine (2nd American ed.). New York: DK Pub.
- Khare, C. P. (2004). Indian herbal remedies: rational Western therapy, ayurvedic, and other traditional usages, botany. Berlin; New York: Springer.
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