Aristolochia fangchi: A Chinese herb that is injurious to the kidney and is also associated with an increased risk of cancer of the urinary system.
Aristolochia can cause kidney failure requiring renal dialysis or a kidney transplant. The tumors reported have included urothelial carcinoma, carcinoma of the ureter, renal pelvis, or both and papillary bladder tumor.
Aristolochic acid, the harmful ingredient in Aristolochia fangchi, is also toxic to the kidney and carcinogenic (causes cancer) in laboratory animals.
Last Editorial Review: 7/1/2016