Aristolochia Clematitis

On the Misuses of Aristolochia Clematitis

Aristolochia clematitis, or birthwort, is a plant that was once used widely to treat a number of conditions.  As more information came out about the harmful effects of this growth however, doctors and the medical community helped to eradicate it from official use.  The effects of this herb are so bad, in fact that it has been banned from use in the United States.  Unfortunately, however, aristolochia clematitis is beginning to rise up again to do more harm as a hidden ingredient in some imported homeopathic medicines.  Here’s what you should know about it.

Warning:  Before we begin, however, we should make it clear that nothing said here should be constituted as medical advice about a specific condition or a specific set of problems.  If you have any questions about aristolochia clematitis and its possible uses in helping a condition you may have, you should take that up with your physician.  Every individual case is different and has its particular problems.

That said, here are the counter indications to using this most dangerous herb:

Liver and Kidney Failure

The most toxic aspect of aristolochia clematitis is that it acts as a poison for the kidneys and liver.  If taken over the course of a month or two, this can lead to outright kidney failure and death.  In a recent example from what used to be the Iron Curtain, people in a community were accidentally poisoned when the herb got mixed up with their breads and several ended up falling ill and dieing before the source of the problem was discovered.


This herb causes a series of problems for women, one of which is that it makes women’s menstruation particularly acute, increasing the flow of menstrual blood and making cramps much more intense as well as making the woman’s moon time last two to three days longer than normal.  In addition, studies show an increase in insomnia during PMS, an increase in weight, a tendency to experience nausea and hunger pains simultaneously, increased feeling of fatigue or states of excitement, dizziness, and unusual temperature regulation (the “chills”).

Miscarriage and Infertility

In pregnant women, studies have shown that taking this herb is likely to increase the chances of miscarriage significantly.  Ironically, this is also one of the reasons why people used this herb in traditional forms of medicine as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Studies have shown that aristolochia clematitis also contributes to infertility because one of it chemicals irritates the uterus and prevents the ovum from implanting.

Put simply women should avoid this herb at all times and should especially avoid it if they are pregnant or would like to get pregnant.


Studies have shown that the use of aristolochia clematitis increases the onset and severity of joint problems like arthritis in older patients.


Mental Problems

Studies have also reported connections between feelings of isolation and this drug.  Users felt increasingly isolated, paranoid, and depressed.  They also had difficulty concentrating and doing other sorts of mental work.

This herb has been put to a series of traditional uses, though many of the claims for it are dubious at best.  Consider these:

Diuretic Effects

Studies also show that this herb can be used as diuretic to increase the amount of times that you go to the bathroom.  This is indeed the case, but the reason for this increase has to do with the herb’s attack on the liver and kidney.

As a Cure for Blindness

Another use that the unscientific community has sought to put this herb to is as a cure for blindness.  No evidence has surfaced indicating that this herb does anything positive for eyes or eyesight.

Overall, the cons of taking this herb far outweigh the pros.  One should avoid using it unless otherwise advised by a medical professional, and even then, you should consider getting a second opinion.