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Re: Herbal liver cleanse - Chanca Piedra ("Royal Stone Breaker")
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Published: 21 years ago
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Re: Herbal liver cleanse - Chanca Piedra ("Royal Stone Breaker")

Chanca Piedra ("Royal Stone Breaker")

Chanca piedra is a small erect annual herb growing up to 30 to 40 centimeters in height and is indigenous to the rainforests in the Amazon and other tropical areas including the Bahamas, southern India and China. The Phyllanthus genus contains over 600 species of shrubs, trees, and annual or biennial herbs distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Phyllanthus niruri is quite prevalent in the Amazon and other wet rainforests, growing and spreading freely much like a weed. Phyllanthus amarus and P. sellowianus are closely related to P. niruri in appearance, phytochemical structure and history of use but are found in drier tropical climates in India, Brazil and even Florida where P. amarus it is a common weed.

Chanca Piedra is the Spanish name for Phyllanthus niruri and translated, it means "Stone Breaker" or "shatter stone." It has been called Stone Breaker because it has used for generations by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon as an effective remedy to eliminate Gallstones and kidney stones and for other kidney problems. The plant is employed for numerous other conditions including blennorrhagia, colic, diabetes, dysentery, fever, flu, tumors, jaundice, vaginitis, and dyspepsia. It is of little wonder that Chanca Piedra is used for so many things since the plant has proven antihepatotoxic, antispasmodic, antiviral, antibacterial, diuretic, febrifugal and hypoglycemic activities.

It is also considered anodyne, apertif, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, laxative, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge based on its long documented history of uses.
Chanca Piedra is still widely used in herbal medicine in South America, remaining the most popular remedy for Gallstones and kidney stones throughout the continent. In Peruvian herbal medicine, it is also used for hepatitis, urinary infections, and as a diuretic. In Brazilian herbal medicine it is called Quebra Pedra and is considered an excellent remedy to remove uric acid from the urine and to eliminate stones. It is also used in Brazil for hydropsy, urinary and bladder infections and blockages, liver ailments, painful joints, cystitis, prostate disorders, kidney disorders, hepatitis, diabetes and as a antispasmodic and muscle relaxant specific to the urinary tract system. Chanca Piedra, indigenous to India where it is called Pitirishi or Budhatri, is a common household remedy for asthma, bronchitis and to cure coughing, extreme thirst, anemia, jaundice and tuberculosis. Also indigenous to the Bahamas where it is called hurricane weed or gale-wind grass. It is used in local herbal medicine there for poor appetite, constipation, typhoid fever, flu and colds.

Chanca Piedra has been the subject of much research to determine the active constituents and their pharmacological activities beginning in the mid-1960's. Indian and Brazilian research groups were the first to conduct these studies since the plant was indigenous to their areas with a long history of use by its inhabitants. In some of the published research, scientists make little or no distinction between P. niruri and P. amarus because of the very similar phytochemical make up of both plants. In fact, some references are found in which scientists believe that it is one species of plant with two botanical names, but of course there are botanists who would argue this point.

Chanca piedra's traditional uses for kidney stones and Gallstones have been validated by clinical research. In a 1999 clinical study (Campos, A.H., a chanca piedra extract extract exhibited a potent and effective non-concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the calcium oxalate crystal formation (the building blocks of most kidney stones). This response was present even at very high (pathologic) concentrations. This may explain why it has long been used in traditional medicine as a preventative to kidney stone formation. The antispasmodic activity of alkaloids in Chanca Piedra were documented by Brazilian researchers in the mid 1980's which explained the popular use of the plant for existing kidney and bladder stones. The alkaloid extract demonstrated smooth muscle relaxation specific to the urinary and biliary tract which the researchers surmised facilitates the expulsion of kidney or bladder calculi. Dr. Wolfram Wiemann of Nuremburg, Germany review over 100 case studies and found chanca piedra to be 94% successful in eleminating stones.(Maxwell, N. 1990)

The antihepatotoxic (liver protecting) activity of Chanca Piedra was attributed to two compounds in the plant called phyllanthin, and hypophyllanthin in a 1985 study by Indian researchers. Glycosides found in Chanca Piedra demonstrated Aldose reductase (AR) inhibitory activity in studies conducted by a Japanese research group in 1988 and 1989. The analgesic activity of Chanca Piedra was demonstrated in 1994 and 1995 by another research group in Brazil. The diuretic, hypotensive and hypoglycemic effects of Chanca Piedra were documented in a 1995 human study which showed a significant diuretic effect, a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure in non-diabetic hypertensives and female subjects and blood glucose was also significantly reduced in diabetic patients taking Chanca Piedra for 10 days.

Of particular note, Chanca Piedra gained world-wide attention in the late 1980's due to the plant's antiviral activity against Hepatitis B. Preliminary clinical trials with P. niruri on children with infective hepatitis using an Indian drug containing Phyllanthus niruri as the main ingredient showed promising results which fueled the subsequent in vitro and in vivo studies. The in vitro inactivation of Hepatitis B by Chanca Piedra was reported in India in 1982. A study that followed indicated that in vivo, Chanca Piedra eliminated hepatitis B in mammals within 3-6 weeks. The subsequent clinical results concerning the use of Chanca Piedra for hepatitis has been conflicting and this may have much to do with the extract standardization, species used and location harvested and resulting levels of active constituents in samples used. Several subsequent studies in the late 1980's and early 1990's failed to produce any effect against hepatitis but other research conducted from 1990 to 1995 has indicated that Chanca Piedra does demonstrate antiviral activity against Hepatitis B.

The most recent research on Chanca Piedra reveals that it's antiviral activity extends to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A Japanese research group discovered Phyllanthus niruri's HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibition properties in 1992 with a simple water extract of the plant. Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute isolated at least one of the constituents in the plant responsible for this activity - a novel compound which they named "niruriside" and described in a 1996 study.
Certainly much more research is needed before a new AIDS or hepatitis drug is developed from Chanca Piedra - if at all. In the meantime, Chanca Piedra, with its many effective uses for a wide range of indications, is one of the more important remedies coming from the rainforests and is gaining in popularity with herbalists and natural health practitioners worldwide. More importantly, there have been no side effects or toxicity reported in any of the clinical studies or in its many years of reported use in herbal medicine.


Amazonia Gallstones, Kidney, Kidney stones
Bahamas Ache(Stomach), Aperitif, Cold, Constipation, Fever, Flu, Laxative, Typhoid
Brazil Ache(Joint), Antispasmodic, Bladder, Cystitis, Diabetes, Diuretic, Fever, Gallbladder, Gallstones, Hepatitis, Hydropsy, Kidney, Kidney Stones, Liver, Prostate, Urinary
Elsewhere Blennorrhagia, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Diuretic, Dropsy, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Emmenagogue, Fever, Gallstones, Gonorrhea, Kidney stones, Malaria, Medicine, Poultice, Tonic
Haiti Ache(Stomach), Carminative, Colic, Digestive, Diuretic, Fever, Malaria, Stomachic, Tenesmus
India Anemia, Asthma, Bronchitis, Cough, Diuretic, Dysentery, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Jaundice, Thirst, Tuberculosis, Tumor(Abdomen)
Java Cough, Gonorrhea, Stomachache
Malaya Caterpillarsting, Dermatosis, Diarrhea, Diuretic, Itch, Miscarriage, Piscicide, Renosis, Syphilis, Vertigo
Marianas Dysentery, Itch, Rectitis, Vaginitis
Peru Calculus, Diuretic, Hepatitis, Stone(Gall), Stone(Kidney)

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