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Kalanchoe pinnata
Kalanchoe pinnata

Miracle Leaf: Remarkable benefits of Kalanchoe pinnata for kidney wellness

What is Kalanchoe Pinnata?

Kalanchoe Pinnata is a plant native to Madagascar. It is also known as the ‘miracle leaf,’ air plant,’ ‘cathedral bells,’ and ‘love bush’. [1]

The succulent herb has been a significant component of traditional medicine used to treat various health issues, particularly disorders associated with kidneys. The plant is a member of the Crassulaceae family [1] and is naturally found in Madagascar; however, it has been introduced in subtropical and tropical regions worldwide. [2]

Traditional Background:

A variety of cultures including Indian, African, and Brazilian have been using Kalanchoe Pinnata in their traditional medicinal practices. The phytochemical composition is believed to be rich in significant elements contributing to its medicinal practices. [3] [4] Due to the strong cultural beliefs in societies the plant is widely grown in home gardens for traditional healing advantages. 

Stigmasterol, quercitrin, bufadienolides, kaempferol, and, campesterol are a few important bioactive compounds that have been studied since ages for their therapeutic benefits. [4]

Significance of Kalanchoe Pinnata for Kidney Health:

Research has been going on to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of Kalanchoe Pinnata for kidney health and a few key findings include:

  1. Renal Protection: Kalanchoe Pinnata has shown remarkable benefits for kidney health, especially in treating and preventing kidney stones. The extracts from the herb reduce calcium oxalate stone size and protect kidneys from nephrotoxicity caused by gentamicin. [5]
  2. Diuretic Properties: The extracts of Kalanchoe Pinnata have shown increased urine production, which reduces the risk of developing stones by lowering urine excretion of calcium further reducing the recurrence of stones. Also, this aids in flushing out toxins from the body. [5]

3. Antioxidant properties: Some in-vitro studies have shown the oxidative radical scavenging activities and antioxidant effects of Kalanchoe pinnata extracts. Antioxidant properties offer protective benefits as oxidative stress is the major contributor to chronic kidney diseases. [5] [6]

Kalanchoe pinnata [Image source: Wikimedia Commons]

4. Anti-inflammatory properties: Bioactive compounds including flavonoids present in Kalanchoe pinnata possess antioxidant, immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that Kalanchoe pinnata extracts significantly improved tissue structure in kidneys while reducing proteinuria levels. [6]

5. Important bioactive compounds of Kalanchoe pinnata include:


  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids that are of therapeutic importance including quercetin 3-O-α-L-arabinopyranosyl (1→2) α-L-rhamnopyranoside (QAR) reduce anti-inflammatory processes. Apart from from kidney health, these also significantly improve cardiovascular, and neurological functions. [7]
  • Steroids, phenolic acid, caffeic acid, syringic acid, oxalic, malic acid, etc from the Kalanchoe pinnata are a few components contributing to improving overall health. [7]

Using Kalanchoe pinnata for Kidney health and safety considerations:

There are various ways to consume Kalanchoe pinnata including fresh leaves, extracts, teas, and juices for optimal kidney health. However, the potentially health-improving compounds of Kalanchoe pinnata can be toxic if not used properly. Compounds such as bufadienolides, campesterol, etc. can be toxic at high concentrations.Also,  there is only limited evidence available regarding the safety considerations specifically for breastfeeding or pregnant women and individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Hence it is highly important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage according to the individual health condition.

Author: Sanika Pande

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