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Phyllanthus

Plant Part Used

Whole plant (excluding root)

Introduction

Phyllanthus has a long tradition of use in the Hindu Ayurvedic system of medicine and it has long been used as a medicinal agent in cultures around the world. It is usually found in central and southern India, where it can grow from one to two feet in height and have blooms with many yellow flowers. Phyllanthus can also be found in many other countries including the Philippines, Cuba, Nigeria and Guam.

Traditionally, phyllanthus has been used to treat jaundice, gonorrhea, frequent menstruation, dysentery and diabetes. It has also been used topically as a treatment for skin ulcers, sores, swelling, and itchiness. Modern research with phyllanthus focuses on its potential for fighting viruses, specifically the hepatitis B virus. Presented at the 3rd International Congress on Phytomedicine in Munich, a laboratory study reported that phyllanthus seems to have the ability to inhibit two of the pro-inflammatory enzymes (COX-2 and iNOS), making it potentially useful in the fight against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. (1)

One important note: There is another species of phyllanthus, Phyllanthus emblica, that is also commonly used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and should not be confused with the varieties we’re discussing here.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

200mg, 2-4 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

200mg, 3 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 3% bitter principles.

Reported Uses

Current research has focused on phyllanthus’ potential for the treatment of hepatitis B. Indeed, studies suggest that it may suppress the growth and replication of the virus. (2) , (3) , (4) It is important to note that scientists believe that two particular varieties of phyllanthus, Phyllanthus niruri and Phyllanthus urinaria, may be more effective in the treatment of hepatitis B than Phyllanthus amarus. What’s more, while phyllanthus may help decrease the amount of hepatitis B virus found in the blood stream, it has not been reported to remove all of the virus and should not be considered a cure. Medical assistance should always be sought in hepatitis infections.

In addition to helping the body fight hepatitis B, phyllanthus may also support the overall health of the liver. Other studies have looked at the potential use of phyllanthus in protecting against liver injuries, as well as cancerous tumors of the liver. (5) , (6)

Finally, some research suggests that phyllanthus may help fight the malaria parasite. (7)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (8)

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. Discontinue the use of this dietary supplement if any side effects occurs.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

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  1) Cultivation

References

  1. Keimer AK, Huber C, Baron A, et al. Anti-inflammatory potential of Phyllanthus amarus inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 in murine macrophages and in isolated rat Kupffer cells. In: Farnsworth NR, Wagner H, Asakama Y, eds. Supplement II: 3rd International Congress on Phytomedicine, October 11 - 13, 2000. Munich: Nature Publishing Group; 2000.
  2. View Abstract: Lee CD, Ott M, Thyagarajan SP, et al. Phyllanthus amarus Down-regulates Hepatitis B Virus mRNA Transcription and Replication. Eur J Clin Invest. Dec1996;26(12):1069-76.
  3. View Abstract: Yeh SF, Hong CY, Huang YL, et al. Effect of an Extract from Phyllanthus amarus on Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Gene Expression in Human Hepatoma Cells. Antiviral Res. Mar1993;20(3):185-92.
  4. View Abstract: Jayaram S, Thyagarajan SP. Inhibition of HBsAg Secretion from Alexander Cell Line by Phyllanthus amarus. Indian J Pathol Microbiol. Jul1996;39(3):211-5.
  5. View Abstract: Rajeshkumar NV, Kuttan R. Phyllanthus amarus Extract Administration Increases the Life Span of Rats with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. J Ethnopharmacol. Nov2000;73(1-2):215-9.
  6. View Abstract: Zhou S, Xu C, Zhou N, et al. Mechanism of Protective Action of Phyllanthus urinaria L. Against Injuries of Liver Cells. Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih. Feb1997;22(2):109-11.
  7. View Abstract: Tona L, Ngimbi NP, Tsakala M, et al. Antimalarial Activity of 20 Crude Extracts from Nine African Medicinal Plants Used in Kinshasa, Congo. J Ethnopharmacol. Dec1999;68(1-3):193-203.
  8. View Abstract: Calixto JB, Santos AR, Cechinel Filho V, et al. A Review of the Plants of the Genus Phyllanthus: Their Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Therapeutic Potential. Med Res Rev. Jul1998;18(4):225-58.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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