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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 760683, 8 pages
Research Article

Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial to Assess the Acute Diuretic Effect of Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail) in Healthy Volunteers

1Group of Toxicopharmacological Studies and Research, School of Pharmacy, Federal University of Goias, Avenida Universitária, Q. 62, Setor Universitário, 74605-220 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
2Hospital of Alternative Medicine, State Health Secretary of Goiás, Unified Health System, Rodovia BR-153, Km 8, Bairro Santo Antônio, 74853-040 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
3Romulo Rocha Center of Clinical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, UFG, Avenida Universitária c/1a Avenida, Q. 62, Setor Universitário,74605-220 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
4Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Rua João de Abreu Esquina c/Rua 09 No. 192 Qd. F-8, Lt. 24E, Sala A-141 a A-147, Setor Oeste, 74175-100 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
5Arterial Hypertension League of Federal University of Goias, School of Medicine of the Federal University of Goias (UFG), Rua 235 c/1a Avenida s/n, Setor Universitário, 74605-220 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
6School of Nursing of the Federal University of Goias (UFG), Rua 235 c/1a Avenida, s/n, Setor Universitário, 74605-220 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
7School of Medicine of the Federal University of Goias (UFG), Rua 235 c/1a Avenida, s/n, Setor Universitário, 74605-220 Goiânia, GO, Brazil

Received 22 August 2013; Revised 19 December 2013; Accepted 26 December 2013; Published 4 March 2014

Academic Editor: Wagner Vilegas

Copyright © 2014 Danilo Maciel Carneiro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this double-blind, randomized clinical trial, 36 healthy male volunteers were randomly distributed into three groups () that underwent a three-step treatment. For four consecutive days, we alternately administered a standardized dried extract of Equisetum arvense (EADE, 900 mg/day), placebo (corn starch, 900 mg/day), or hydrochlorothiazide (25 mg/day), separated by a 10-day washout period. Each volunteer served as his own control, and the groups’ results were compared. We repeated the same evaluation after each stage of treatment to evaluate the safety of the drug. The diuretic effect of EADE was assessed by monitoring the volunteers’ water balance over a 24 h period. The E. arvense extract produced a diuretic effect that was stronger than that of the negative control and was equivalent to that of hydrochlorothiazide without causing significant changes in the elimination of electrolytes. There was no significant increase in the urinary elimination of catabolites. Rare minor adverse events were reported. The clinical examinations and laboratory tests showed no changes before or after the experiment, suggesting that the drug is safe for acute use. Further research is needed to better clarify the mechanism of diuretic action and the other possible pharmacological actions of this phytomedicine.