Traditional medicine is a widespread treatment method in the world. Despite the WHO’s confirmation of the progressive spread of national policies responsible for controlling the production and distribution of phytotherapy, the risk of toxic side effects is high even if the real incidence is not known. These risks largely result from the self-prescription supported by the assumption that what is natural is not dangerous to health. The phytotherapic industry turnover is progressively increasing, favored by the ease with which products can be purchased without prescription in pharmacies in some countries or online.
In particular, Chinese herbs can be nephrotoxic and clinicians should consider the possibility of their role in some cases of AKI or CKD with unknown etiology. Furthermore, in the collection of the pharmacological history of patients with CKD or kidney transplantation it is necessary to exclude the use of some phytotherapics of common use that may be contraindicated for possible interactions with drugs of conventional medicine.
Keywords: Traditional Medicine, Phytotherapy, Chinese herbs, Aristolochic acid, nephrotoxicity.