“Blue Pea Flower and Banana Stem Extract” Beverage to Reduce the Risk of Urinary Stone Formation  — A Medical Innovation from MED – CU

Drinking too little water increases the risk of urinary stones. Recently, the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University has successfully developed a concentrated beverage from blue pea (also known as Asian pigeonwings, bluebellvine, butterfly pea, cordofan pea, Darwin pea) flowers, and banana stems to reduce the risk of urinary stones formation.

The innovation to prevent urinary stones in the form of HydroZitLa beverage was developed to address the major risk factors of urinary stones. The research and development of the innovation to prevent urinary stones in the form of HydroZitLa drinks was accomplished by a team consisting of Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai Boonla, Asst. Prof. Dr. Nattida Chotechuang, Mr. Bundit Prachapiban, Ms. Natcha Madared, and Masters and Doctoral Students, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University.

Getting to Know Urinary Stones

Urinary tract stone or urinary stone is an old disease found since ancient Egyptian times.  Today it is still common, especially among the population of tropical countries such as Thailand.   A survey shows that this disease is found in approximately 16-17 percent of the population, most of whom are residents of the Northeast and the North. In 2020, surveys in these regions found up to 12 percent of patients with asymptomatic urinary stone disease.  Most urinary stones occur in the kidneys, so they are often called kidney stones.  There are many different types of stones depending on the minerals, but the most common is calcium oxalate stone.

“People with the early urinary stone disease are often unaware of it because the stones are small and cause no abnormalities.  They would know when the stones are larger and cause urinary obstructions, pain, difficulty urinating, and blood in the urine in some people. Some patients even said that urinary stone pain is even worse than pain during labor. The problem is that urinary stone disease can recur, and if it happens frequently, the kidneys deteriorate faster, leading to chronic kidney failure,” said Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai Boonla, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University while revealing the silent threat of urinary stones.  He further explained that the most commonly known treatments are medications, ultrasound shockwave therapy (Shock wave lithotripsy – SWL), and surgery.  The medications are used to reduce the size of the stones and prevent them from growing bigger and can be passed (in urine) more easily.  If the stones are big, ultrasound shock waves are used to break the stones into smaller pieces, or if they are extra-large, then surgery is needed.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai Boonla, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai Boonla,
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai emphasized that most people are unaware of the danger of urinary stone disease, thinking that it’s not relevant to them and that it’s not life-threatening.  So, they neglect to prevent it.  Recently, MED-CU has promoted the latest medical innovation that can prevent urinary stone formation that is tasty and nutritious –  HydroZitLa – a concentrated herbal dink with “blue pea flower” and “banana stem”.

HydroZitLa, a concentrated beverage from blue pea flowers and banana stems to reduce the risk of urinary stones formation

Causes of urinary stones

Not drinking enough water

“Normally, people should drink at least 2 liters of water per day, but Thai people drink less on average — only 1-1.5 liters per day — not enough for the body’s needs, especially when we live in the tropics and are more dehydrated than those in other parts of the world.  This results in concentrated urine that has a deep yellow color, hence more chances of crystal-forming substances hardening into urinary stones. 

Eating food containing urinary-stone-forming substances

Eating a lot of local foods and vegetables high in oxalate, such as betel leaves increases the likelihood of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine that can lead to urinary stones as well.  Even eating too many vitamin C supplements and xylitol sweeteners can cause high oxalates in the urine and cause stones as well. 

Having low antioxidants in the body

Another major reason why most Thai people have urinary stones is the low amount of citrate inhibitors in the urine. While the amount of antioxidants in the body is not enough, causing oxidative stress, kidney cells are easily destroyed and become the anchors for crystalization leading to the formation of urinary stones.

“The urinary stone inhibitor is citrate, which is found in citrus fruits, such as lemon, oranges, pomelo, bergamot, or more commonly found in tart cranberries and melons, which Thai people tend not to prefer as much as sweet fruits, making it easy for the body to get less citrate. Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables.  Moreover, consuming food high in sodium and protein also increases the chance of urinary stone formation,” said Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai. 

HydroZitLa drink reduces the risk of urinary stone formation

The high occurrence of chronic urinary stone problems among Thai people, and the side effects of potassium citrate medication in some patients led to the research and development of HydroZitla Citrate Plus drink, which is a combination of modern and traditional medicine that can solve the three abovementioned causes of the disease.  Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai explained the properties of the main herbs used to produce HydroZitla.

Banana stems

are the core stems after all the hands of bananas are removed.  They are easy to find and cheap if we need to buy them.  The substance in the banana stem has a diuretic effect and it can reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine.

Banana stems

Blue pea flowers

are high in antioxidants and give out a beautiful natural color.  When being extracted together with banana stems under appropriate temperature, time and in the proper ratio, the resulting mixture has the property to reduce the risk of urinary stone formation.

Blue pea flowers

HydroZitla concentrated herbal drink

HydroZitla concentrated herbal drink has already been certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the beverage in sealed containers category. It has passed the preclinical test and is now in the process of a clinical trial.  HydroZitLa is currently available at the automatic vending machines selling Chula medical innovations in various locations: the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, and Siam Innovation District (SID), Siam Square One Building. 

“Every time you drink water, you are preventing urinary stones, and when you drink HydroZitla, which contains both citrate and antioxidants, it will help boost the fight against urinary stones even further.  Drink HydroZitla every day and discover for yourself how peeing well is a piece of cake,” Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanchai continued. 

Automatic vending machines selling Chula medical innovations
Automatic vending machines selling Chula medical innovations

In the past, we have been the recipients and users of foreign technologies for so long. It’s time for Thai people to create technologies for their own use and sell products abroad so that we can become part of the driving forces to push more Thai innovations to the market.  In so doing, our country can compete in technology and get out of the middle-income trap like the developed countries. 

The sense of kinship and warmth found in the Chula community is priceless and a treasure worth keeping.

Prof. Dr. Pornanong Aramwit Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University

This website uses cookies to personalize content, provide the best user experience, and improve Chula website services.

Privacy Preferences

ท่านสามารถเลือกการตั้งค่าคุกกี้โดยเปิด/ปิด คุกกี้ในแต่ละประเภทได้ตามความต้องการ ยกเว้น คุกกี้ที่จำเป็น

Accept All
Manage Consent Preferences
  • คุกกี้ที่จำเป็น
    Always Active

    ประเภทของคุกกี้ที่มีความจำเป็นสำหรับการทำงานของเว็บไซต์ เพื่อให้คุณสามารถใช้เว็บไซต์ได้อย่างเป็นปกติ ท่านไม่สามารถปิดการทำงานของคุกกี้นี้ในระบบเว็บไซต์ของเราได้

  • คุกกี้เพื่อการวิเคราะห์

    คุกกี้ประเภทนี้จะทำการเก็บข้อมูลพฤติกรรมการใช้งานเว็บไซต์ของคุณ โดยมีจุดประสงค์คือนำข้อมูลมาวิเคราะห์เพื่อปรับปรุงและพัฒนาเว็บไซต์ให้มีคุณภาพ และสร้างประสบการณ์ที่ดีกับผู้ใช้งาน เพื่อให้เกิดประโยชน์สูงสุด หากท่านไม่ยินยอมให้เราใช้คุกกี้นี้ เราอาจไม่สามารถวัดผลเพื่อการปรับปรุงและพัฒนาเว็บไซต์ให้ดีขึ้นได้
    Cookies Details