Identification of medicinal plants used for chronic kidney disease : an update of reported literature in South Africa.
Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a debilitating condition that is becoming more common around the world, as well as a financial and social burden on healthcare systems. If not treated with kidney replacement therapies, kidney failure, the final stage of CKD, can be fatal. Chronic kidney disease patients are now seeking the use of alternative remedies, including medicinal plants, as the primary source of healthcare. Aim: This review aimed to evaluate the use of medicinal plants in the treatment of CKD and other associated kidney diseases in South Africa. Method: This article summarises previous research (2010–2021) on the impact of traditional plant-based medicine in CKD treatment and identifies the context between traditional and conventional medicines. Various scientific databases were used to source key literature. Results: The findings of this study revealed 10 medicinal plant species from nine different botanical families that are commonly used for the treatment of CKD and other kidney-related diseases in South Africa. In addition, the study demonstrated that despite medicinal plants having toxic impacts, they were still the preferred choice of medication for CKD, especially in developing countries. Conclusion: It is crucial to validate the balance between the risks and benefits of medicinal plants in CKD treatment to further enhance the credibility of medical plants in drug development. Contribution: This study contributes to the existing knowledge of medicinal plants used in CKD treatment primarily in South Africa.