Aristolochic Acids are herbal remedies that belong to a family of mutagenic, nephrotoxic and carcinogenic compounds. They are common in Aristolochiaceae plants family. Such plants include Asarum and Aristolochia. These plants are very popular among the expert of traditional Chinese medicine.
For many years, Aristolochic acids have been used in the manufacture of Chinese medicine. Among the mostly used acid in the manufacture of Chinese medicine is the Aristolochic acid I. This is because it is available in plenty and present in virtually all plants. Due to its usage in the manufacture of herbal medicine, this acid has become very popular. The number of people seeking information about it has also increased at a very fast rate.
Apart from being used in the manufacture of Chinese medicines, these acids have also been used in different weight loss products. They are also used in the manufacture of immune and cough stimulation products. There are also gastrointestinal symptoms treatments that are made from this products. In the past, these acids were used in a wide range of treatments as natural herbal remedies until when further research was done on them.
Aristolochic acids have also been used as natural remedies during child birth in different cultures. There have also been cases when these acids have been used in treating joint pain. These acids when used as herbal remedies have strong nephrotoxin impacts on the user.
Research Findings and Side Effects
Although Aristolochic acids are used as herbal remedies in china and some other parts of the world, side effects have been reported on their continued usage. In 2001, there were issues raised against the use of this acid. Drug and food administration issued a warning against the use of these acids or drugs containing it. This is because there were findings that this herbal product has side effects on the consumer.
There have been several cases where illnesses associated with the use of these acids have been reported. For instance, there are cases of urothelial cancer that have been reported in Taiwan. According to researchers, these acids react with DNA forming aristolactum. These are lesions that concentrate themselves in the human renal cortex. In this region, these lesions serve as specific biomarker and sensitive exposures found on urothelium.
Although herbal remedies containing Aristolochic Acids have been used for many years, research indicates that there are so many people who have used these remedies in the past and now using carcinomas as a control for their condition. In the past, this condition was thought of an environmental disease until further studies were carried out on the products made of these acids.
Although some people believe that all herbal remedies may not induce negative effects when ingested (since they are like foods), this is not the case. Some remedies have chemicals such as Aristolochic acids which when used in large doses or even in small amounts for a long time can lead to negative effects on the user.