What Are the Side Effects of Chanca Piedra?

There are not yet any known side effects of chanca piedra, an herb used to treat urinary and digestive tract infections, according to WebMD. There is evidence suggesting that chanca piedra may affect blood glucose levels. As it is unknown if chanca piedra is safe to take, WebMD warns women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid it until more is known about the substance.

WebMD warns that lithium and antidiabetes drugs should not be taken in conjunction with chanca piedra, as it may affect their absorption or cause low blood sugar. Because of the possible effect on blood glucose levels, WebMD advises patients to stop using it two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Chanca piedra may contain chemicals that fight against bacteria and viruses, increase urine production, lower blood pressure and relieve spasms and fever, according to WebMD. People commonly use chanca piedra to treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, inflammation, digestive tract disorders, loss of appetite, stomach ache, intestinal infections, constipation, dysentery and discharge from the urethra or vagina. Chanca piedra also is used as a liver tonic, and additional uses include treatment of hepatitis B, diabetes, gallstones, colic, flu, swine flu, jaundice, abdominal tumors, rectal pain, fever, malaria, tumors, caterpillar stings, cough, fluid retention, itching, miscarriage, tremors, typhoid, anemia, asthma, bronchitis, thirst, tuberculosis, dizziness and sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea. WebMD reports no existing scientific evidence to substantiate any of these claims.