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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2019, Article ID 1408979, 5 pages
Research Article

Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Danshen) for Treatment and Prevention of Urolithiasis: A Drosophila Animal Study

1Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Departments of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
3Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Gangshan Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
4Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Applications, Da Yeh University, Changhua, Taiwan
5Department of Anesthesiology, China Medical University Hsinchu Hospital, Hsinchu, Taiwan
6Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
7Department of Psychology, College of Medical and Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Wen-Chi Chen; wt.ude.umc.liam@nehcgw and Yung-Hsiang Chen; wt.ude.umc.liam@nehchy

Received 30 August 2018; Revised 5 December 2018; Accepted 3 January 2019; Published 20 January 2019

Academic Editor: Almir Gonçalves Wanderley

Copyright © 2019 Wen-Chi Chen 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.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been prescribed for the treatment of stone disease for thousands of years. Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) was previously shown to have potential for treatment of stone disease in animal and clinical studies. In this study, we further studied the antiurolithiasis effect of Danshen in a fly model. Wild-type male Drosophila melanogaster CS flies were used in this study, with 0.25% ethylene glycol (EG) as a lithogenic agent. 2% potassium citrate (K-citrate) was the positive control agent for prevention (all agents added at the start of experiment) and treatment (drugs added after 2-week addition of lithogenic agent) studies compared with 15, 30, and 60 μg/ml of Danshen extract. In the prevention study, both 2% K-citrate and Danshen (30 and 60 μg/ml) significantly inhibited EG-induced calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal formation. In the treatment study, only 2% K-citrate and high-dose of Danshen (60 μg/ml) significantly inhibited EG-induced CaOx crystal formation. Survival analysis for EG with Danshen was compared with that for EG with K-citrate. The mean lifespan was significantly reduced by administration of EG, and the results in the Danshen group were similar to those in the control group. In conclusion, Danshen revealed both preventive and treatment effects on CaOx crystal formation in a fly model.