Crataeva (Crataeva nurvala)

Traditional indications

Crataeva is anti-inflammatory and antilithic i.e. an agent which reduces or suppresses urinary calculi (stones) and dissolves those already present. Crataeva nurvala is used for genitourinary conditions such as an atonic bladder (lack of normal tone), benign prostatic hyperplasia (increase in volume of a tissue or organ caused by the formation of and growth of new cells) bladder tonic, chronic urinary tract infections, hypotonic bladder (reduced tone or tension) and incontinence and possibly enuresis, prevention and treatment of kidney stones. In Ayurvedic MedicineCrataeva nurvala is known as Varuna.


Crataeva nurvala is effective in the management of urolithiasis. (1, 2) In calcium oxalate lithiasis in rats the elevation of the oxalate-synthesizing liver enzyme, glycolate oxidase, produced by feeding glycollic acid was remarkably reduced with the decoction, showing a regulatory action on endogenous oxalate synthesis. (3)

Data from in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials reveal that phytotherapeutic agents including crataeva would be useful as either an alternative or an adjunctive therapy in the management of urolithiasis. (4)

Crataeva nurvala is an effective anti-inflammatory. A study aimed to explore the anti-inflammatory effects of Crataeva nurvala extract concluded crateavea significantly reduced the production of NO and IL-6. These results indicate that Crataeva nurvala extract inhibits inflammatory responses via negative regulation of ERK, suggesting that Crataeva nurvala extract is a candidate for alleviating severe inflammation. In molecular biology, extracellular signal–regulated kinases (ERKs) or classical MAP kinases are widely expressed protein kinase intracellular signalling molecules that are involved in functions including the regulation of meiosis, mitosis, and postmitotic functions in differentiated cells. Many different stimuli, including growth factors, cytokines, virus infection, ligands for heterotrimeric G protein-coupled receptors, transforming agents, and carcinogens, activate the ERK pathway.

1. Agarwal S, Gupta SJ, Saxena AK, Gupta N, Agarwal S. Urolithic property of Varuna (Crataeva nurvala): An experimental study. Ayu. 2010;31(3):361-6.
2. Agarwal S, Gupta S, Saxena A, Gupta N, Agarwal S. Urolithic property of Varuna (Crataeva nurvala): An experimental study. 2010;31(3):361-6.
3. Varalakshmi P, Shamila Y, Latha E. Effect of Crataeva nurvala in experimental urolithiasis. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 1990;28(3):313-21.
4. Butterweck V, Khan SR. Herbal medicines in the management of urolithiasis: alternative or complementary? Planta medica. 2009;75(10):1095-103.


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