Reprinted from The Health Sciences Institute Newsletter September 2000

Amazon “stone breaker” stops kidney stones…..For good

The pain associated with passing a kidney stone can be excruciating (as you may know if you or someone close to you has ever passed one). It’s said to be almost as painful as childbirth, if not worse.

While not everyone with kidney stones experiences that level of pain, five and a half million Americans this year will be faced with the serious health threat associated with them and the difficulty of managing this health risk for a lifetime. Recently, however, HSI researchers uncovered a time-tested solution that can finally manage your kidney stones.

From the depths of the Amazon rain forest comes an herb that not only helps expel stones, but actually blocks them from forming. The locals know it as chanca piedra, the “stone breaker,” and have been using it for generations.1

Don’t get stuck in the dangerous stone cycle !

As you may already know, kidney stones are formed when urine becomes too concentrated–usually due to chronic dehydration, infection, various kidney disorders, deficiencies in magnesium, and excess purines or oxalates in the diet (see sidebar on page 3).

Calcium in the urine, often mixed with oxalate (a salt) or uric acid, gradually forms deposits in the kidneys. Eventually, the small sand-like particles will make their way into the urinary tract, to be painfully passed during urination.

When symptoms occur, they usually begin with a dull throb in the back and side. As the stone makes its way further down the urethra, the dull throb becomes a sharp pain, which continues, and sometimes worsens, until the stone has passed. There may also be blood in the urine, at this point.

The risk comes when the stone gets too large to pass. If left untreated, it can shift and block the urine flow, possibly injuring the kidney. If the stone isn’t removed immediately, it could result in kidney failure. Once they grow too large, the stones will have to be either crushed into smaller pieces via lithotripsy (see the sidebar on page 3) or removed surgically. You’re much better off if they’re expelled before they get too big. Chanca piedra can help you do that.

94 percent successful in eliminating stones

Chanca piedra has proven to be a potent antispasmodic. In other words, it prevents muscle spasms while at the same time, facilitates the expulsion of kidney stones by helping to relax the smooth muscle tissue in the ureter and bladder walls.2

(According to HSI medical editor, Dr. Martin Milner, this also makes chanca piedra a possible treatment for menstrual cramping and hypertension.)

The urinary tract is a tight, narrow tube. Chanca piedra relaxes that tube, opening it up and letting the stones move down with much greater ease. And greater ease means less pain. How successful is chanca piedra in expelling stones?

Dr. Wolfram Wiemann of Nuremburg, Germany, an advocate of the herb, investigated the question. After carefully reviewing over 100 case studies, he found the herb 94 percent successful in eliminating stones.3 But the stone breaker’s benefit doesn’t end there.

Chanca piedra prevents stones from forming

Kidney stones are tough to live with. Not only do you have to deal with the pain and the fear of serious kidney damage, but your life ends up revolving around your stone-formation cycle. You don’t want to be on a two-week trip when your stones start acting up…if one of them blocks off a kidney, where would you find an emergency room? And what if you’re driving on a crowded highway and are suddenly hit with the blinding pain of passing a stone? These are very real, and very dangerous possibilities.

And the problem doesn’t end with just one stone. If you have one occurrence of kidney stones, you’re almost assured a repeat visit. It’s a lifelong disorder.

But now, you don’t need to twist your schedule around a possible kidney-stone crisis or live in fear of one. Chanca piedra, by inhibiting stone formation, can give you back your freedom.

In a 1999 study, researchers confirmed that chanca piedra has a “potent and effective” inhibitory effect on the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals (the building blocks of most kidney stones). Not only that, but this effect was found even at very high levels of calcium oxalate.4 There’s something in the chemical makeup of the herb that prevents stone formation, though the researchers were unable to determine precisely what it is.

How to get relief–now

Raintree Nutrition, a company dedicated to getting little-known rain forest cures into the U.S & UK market, carries a potent chanca piedra extract. It comes in capsule form and the suggested use is take 2-3 capsules twice daily or as directed by a health care professional, or in a 2-ounce bottle (roughly a month’s supply each). They recommend taking 30 drops, once or twice daily.

If you’re suffering from the fear and agony of kidney stones, you need to give chanca piedra a try. Apart from occasional cramping from stone expulsion, it has no side effects. And the herb has proven itself, both in clinical practice and in the laboratory.

See your Member Source directory for ordering information.

1. Monograph, “Royal Break-Stone,” found at

2. Braz J Med Biol Res 17(3-4):313-321, 1984

3. “Chanca Piedra,” referenced quote 17, found at

4. Nephron 81(4):393-397, 1999

5. “Kidney Stone in Adults,” National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

6. Family Practice News 21:35021B, 2000


Kidney stones 101–causes and treatments

Kidney stones are in many ways a mystery. In the past 20 years, the number of occurrences has been growing in the U.S. (up to five and a half million episodes this year alone). The cause of the increase is unknown.On average, men are more likely than women to develop stones, though the numbers of afflicted women have been increasing.5 And if your family has a history of stones, you have an increased chance of developing them yourself.

Diet plays a role in the cause and prevention of kidney stones. If your stones are composed of calcium oxalate, you should avoid dairy products, chocolate, tea, dark-green leafy vegetables, antacids, and anything else high in oxalate. On the other hand, if your stones are formed from uric acid, you need to significantly reduce the amount of red meat you eat.

You should also drink more water (at least 2 liters a day–see the article on water in last month’s issue). Water helps dilute the urine and prevent the formation of stones. It also helps flush out the smaller stones that may already be present in your kidneys.

A recent study has also revealed that vitamin B6 acts to prevent stones as well, and should be part of your regimin.6

If, however, you feel an excruciating pain around the area of your kidneys, that neither moves (indicating a stone passing) or relents and you’re unable to pass urine, you’ll need to go to the hospital immediately. This could be an indication that a stone has gotten lodged, and it’ll need to be dealt with quickly.

If you have stones too large to expel (generally revealed through an X-ray), you’ll have to look at other options. The most common is extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL). This procedure uses shockwaves to travel through the tissue and crush the stones. The smaller, sand-like particles are then passed out through the urinary tract.

ESWL isn’t generally dangerous, but it does have some side effects you should be aware of. Abdominal or back bruising can occur, and most patients have blood in their urine for a few days after treatment. Occasionally, the offending stones aren’t crushed finely enough to be expelled; in that case, additional ESWL treatments may be necessary.

Another alternative is IV chelation therapy with EDTA, magnesium, and B vitamins. This is especially effective in stones that are calcium oxalate rather than pure urate. The EDTA extracts the calcium and gradually dissolves the larger stones.

The American College for Advancement in Medicine is one prominent organization that trains doctors in IV chelation and can provide a list of physicians in your local area. Send a #10 self-addressed envelope, plus $1 postage to: American College for Advancement in Medicine, P.O. Box 3427, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.

This article appeared in the monthly publication of the Health Sciences Institute © Copyrighted, 2000 by: Institute for Health Sciences. L.L.C., 819 N. Charles Street. Baltimore, MD 21201.

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