encyclopedia

Rupturewort Herb

Scientific Names:
Herniaria glabra L. and H. hirsuta L. [Fam. Caryophyllaceae]

Forms:
Rupturewort herb tea; Herniaria glabra and H. hirsuta saponin extract

Traditional Usage:
– Blood Purification

– Bone and Joint Conditions

– Breathing Disorders

– Circulatory Disorders

– Diuretic

– High Blood Pressure

– Hypertension

– Neuritis

– Neural Catarrh

– Respiratory Conditions

– Urinary Tract Conditions and Gravel

– Vascular Disorders

Overview:
The German Commission E recommends using rupturewort herb, Herniaria glabra L. and H. hirsuta L. [Fam. Caryophyllaceae], for alleviating conditions and disorders relating to the kidneys and urinary tract, for treating mild respiratory conditions, for treating neuritis and neural catarrh, in bone and joint conditions and for purifying the blood. A study to evaluate the benefits of rupturewort tea for treating high blood pressure found that rupturewort was significantly active. The antihypertension action of Herniaria glabra saponins were studied and compared to the effect of the common antihypertensive drug, furosemide. Spontaneously hypertensive rats that were treated with H. glabra saponins at a dosage of 200mg/Kg of body weight showed a progressive decline in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. After one month of therapy, pressures were: 141/90 mmHg versus 187/119mmHg (p<0,001). Researchers note that they did not observe any change in heart rate. Researchers concluded that H. glabra saponins were able to lower blood pressure by a multifactorial mechanism. In another study with rats given the same dosage of rupturewort saponin extract, it was found that Herniaria glabra saponins decreased the arterial blood pressure and affected salt and water transport in kidney tubules. In a test-tube study to evaluate the benefits of rupturewort for preventing urinary tract gravel, an extract of H. hirsuta was shown to promote the nucleation of calcium oxalate crystals, increasing their number but decreasing their size. Researchers concluded that the extract might be beneficial in preventing kidney gravel formation. The benefits of rupturewort (Herniaria hirsuta L.), in herb infusion form, for preventing urinary tract gravel in rats was also studied with calcium oxalate risk factors combined with different diets (standard, high glucidic, high protein). Researchers found that the anti-gravel effects were only seen when the rupturewort infusion was combined with a high protein diet. Active Ingredients: The leaves rupturewort contain: Approximately 3-9% saponins including several medicagenic acid derivatives, gypsogenic acid, and 16-alpha-hydroxymedicagenic acid; 0.2-1.2% flavonoids including isorhamnetin and quercitrin derivatives; 0.1-0.4% coumarins (umbelliferone and herniarin, etc.); tannic acid; and other common plant substances. Two new monodesmosidic saponins, herniaria saponins E and F, were recently isolated from the aerial parts of Herniaria hirsuta. Their structures were established to be 2-O-acetyl medicagenic acid 28-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl- (1-->4)-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1–>2)-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1–>6)]-beta-D-glucopyranoside (herniaria saponin E, 1) and medicagenic acid 28-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl(1–>4)-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1–>2)-[alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1–>4)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1–>6)]-beta-D-glucopyranoside (herniaria saponin F, compound 2). A new acetylated triterpene saponin was also recently isolated from Herniaria glabra and has the structure: 28-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1–>3)-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1–>2)- [beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1–>3)]-4-acetyl-beta-D-fucopyranosyl(1–>))- medicagenic acid-3-O-beta-D-glucuronide.

Suggested Amount:
Unless otherwise prescribed, cold water is poured over 1.5 grams (approximately 1 teaspoonful = 1.4g) of finely chopped rupturewort herb and brought to a boil and after five minutes strained. As a diuretic, rupturewort herb tea is taken 2-3 times per day.

Drug Interactions:
None known.

Contraindications:
None known.

Side Effects:
None known.

References:

Atmani F, Khan SR. 2000. Effects of an extract from Herniaria hirsuta on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro. BJU Int. 2000 Apr; 85(6): 621-5.

Grases F, Ramis M, Costa-Bauza A, March JG. 1995. Effect of Herniaria hirsuta and Agropyron repens on calcium oxalate urolithiasis risk in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Mar; 45(3): 211-4.

Rhiouani H, Lyoussi B, Settaf A, Cherrah Y, Hassar M. 2001. Antihypertensive effect of Herniaria glabra saponins in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Ann Pharm Fr. 2001 May; 59(3): 211-4. French.

Rhiouani H, Settaf A, Lyoussi B, Cherrah Y, Lacaille-Dubois MA, Hassar M. 1999. Effects of saponins from Herniaria glabra on blood pressure and renal function in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Therapie. 1999 Nov-Dec; 54(6): 735-9.

Wichtl M (ed). 1994. Herniaria herba – Rupturewort. In Herbal Drugs and Phyto-pharmaceuticals. (English translation by Norman Grainger Bisset). CRC Press, Stuttgart, pp. 263-265.