( Phyllanthus niuri )
Anodyne, aperitif, carminative,
diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge
Chanca piedra is a member of the
Phyllanthus genus which has hundreds of related shrubs and trees
growing in tropical South American forests. This particular variety grows in
areas of Peru and is a branchy shrub with broad leaves.
Traditional rain forest use
Societies located in the south of
India used the Phyllanthus species in a great number of folk
remedies. Traditional medicinal uses targeted jaundice and other liver
diseases. In the Iquitos region, chanca piedra is prepared as a tea to
remedy kidney ailments. Leaves of plants closely related to chanca piedra
have also been used in the western Amazon as n external insect repellant and
to prevent hair loss. In the same area of the Amazonian rain forest, chanca
piedra is used in tea form to treat kidney ailments. The leaves and twigs of
the Phyllanthus family are also pounded and made into fish poisons.
Modern medicinal applications
Currently, a handful of health
supplement distributors are using this herb in specific combinations
designed to augment the immune system and fight infection.
Glycosides which have been
isolated from this species of plant have been found to have antineoplastic
activity, suggesting that this may be an herb which could prevent or treat
cancerous tumors. Chanca piedra has proven antihepatotoxic, antispasmodic,
antiviral, bacteriocidal, and hypoglycemic activity.