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Phyllanthus niruri


Phyllanthus niruri


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Phyllanthus, stonebreaker, chanca piedra, quebra pedra, meniran


Phyllanthus niruri is also known by the name Chanca piedra which means ‘stone-breaker’. This refers to the plant’s traditional use for treating kidney and gall stones. This use is common in all areas of the world where the plant is found and where traditional medicine is practiced.

P. niruri is an annual herb that grows up to 50cm tall. There is confusion in the identification of each specific species though most are similar. It has a smooth bark on the ascending branches, produces small flowers and tiny smooth fruits that are filled with seeds. The plant is considered a weed and is very prolific.

Origin / Habitat

P. niruri grows like a weed in most tropical areas of the world. It is native to China, India and South/Central America. It thrives in wet rainforest conditions and spreads rapidly.

Chemical Constituents

Lignans, glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids, ellagitannins, phenylpropanoids, arabinogalactan.[1],[2]

Plant Part Used

Whole Plant

Medicinal Uses


Kidney stones





Most Frequently Reported Uses

Kidney stones



Dosage Range

500mg to one gram powdered herb one to two times daily.

Most Common Dosage

Powdered herb: 900-1000mg, 2 times daily

Liquid extract (1:4w/v): 2-6ml, 2-3 times daily

Tea: use 5-10gm dried herb steeped for 10 minutes in 120mL (1 cup) hot water; drink 2-3 times daily.


Standardization Dosage 

No documentation



To support its traditional uses for kidney stones, P. niruri has been found to decrease calcium oxalate crystallization in human and laboratory studies.[3],[4],[5] A laboratory study reported that the antihyperuricemic effect of P. niruri extract may be mainly due to its uricosuric action and partly through xanthine oxidase inhibition.[6] A human study of 150 patients undergoing lithotripsy for renal stones found that administration of P. niruri extract (2gm daily for 3 months) resulted in an increased stone-free rate that appears statistically significant for lower caliceal location.[7] The authors concluded that administration of P. niruri after after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for lower pole stones significantly improved overall outcomes.

The laboratory studies of P. niruri have been found the extract to have antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity.[8],[9] An animal study found an extract of P. niruri was more effective than vitamin E as an antioxidant and more effective at suppressing oxidative damage to the liver.[10] Another laboratory study found that P. niruri increased the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) levels in acetaminophen induced hepatic disorders.[11]


In laboratory studies, extracts of P. niruri was found to decrease the replication and binding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).[12],[13] Teas made from P. niruri are reported to improve immune function, mainly due to the arabinogalactan component in aqueous extracts.[14]

A laboratory animal study found that an extract of P. niruri had lipid lowering activity, mediated through inhibition of hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis, increased faecal bile acids excretion and enhanced plasma lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase activity.[15]

The extracts of P. niruri have been reported to have antimalarial activity in laboratory studies, supporting its traditional uses for malaria.[16]


There are no human clinical studies available on this herb at this time.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals taking anticoagulant medications, including aspirin and warfarin (Coumadin).

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Discontinue if allergy occurs.

Based on laboratory studies, P. niruri has been reported to inhibit platelet aggregation. Chanca peidra should be used with caution in individuals with bleeding disorders.[18]


Other species of P. niruri have been reported to have uterine relaxing properties in laboratory studies, so use in pregnancy should be with caution.[17]

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

   1)  South Central America Herbs


  1. Colombo R, de L Batista AN, Teles HL, et al. Validated HPLC method for the standardization of Phyllanthus niruri (herb and commercial extracts) using corilagins a phytochemical marker. Biomed Chromatogr. Jun 2009;23(6):573-580.
  2. Bagalkotkar G. Phytochemicals from Phyllanthus niruri Linn. and their pharmacological properties: a review. J Pharm Pharmacol. Dec 2006;58(12):1559-1570.
  3. Kieley S. Ayurvedic medicine and renal calculi. J Endourol. Aug 2008;22(8):1613-1616.
  4. Barros ME. Effects of an aqueous extract from Phyllantus niruri on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro. Urol Res. Feb 2003;30(6):374-379.
  5. Nishiura JL. Phyllanthus niruri normalizes elevated urinary calcium levels in calcium stone forming (CSF) patients. Urol Res. Oct 2004;32(5):362-366.
  6. Murugaiyah V. Mechanisms of antihyperuricemic effect of Phyllanthus niruri and its lignan constituents. J Ethnopharmacol. 15 Jul 2009;124(2):233-239.
  7. Micali S. Can Phyllanthus niruri affect the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones? A randomized, prospective, long-term study. J Urol. Sep 2006;176(3):1020-1022.
  8. Syamasundar KV. Antihepatotoxic principles of Phyllanthus niruri herbs. J Ethnopharmacol. Sep 1985;14(1):41-44.
  9. Manjrekar AP. Effect of Phyllanthus niruri Linn. treatment on liver, kidney and testes in CCl4 induced hepatotoxic rats. Indian J Exp Biol. Jul 2008;46(7):514-520.
  10. Chatterjee M. Hepatoprotective effect of aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri on nimesulide-induced oxidative stress in vivo. Indian J Biochem Biophys. Oct 2006;43(5):299-305.
  11. Bhattacharjee R. The protein fraction of Phyllanthus niruri plays a protective role against acetaminophen induced hepatic disorder via its antioxidant properties. Phytother Res. Jul 2006;20(7):595-601.
  12. Naik AD. Effects of alkaloidal extract of Phyllanthus niruri on HIV replication. Indian J Med Sci. Sep 2003;57(9):387-393.
  13. Qian-Cutrone J. Niruriside, a new HIV REV/RRE binding inhibitor from Phyllanthus niruri. J Nat Prod. Feb 1996;59(2):196-199.
  14. Mellinger CG. Chemical and biological properties of an arabinogalactan from Phyllanthus niruri. J Nat Prod. Oct 2005;68(10):1479-1483.
  15. Khanna AK. Lipid lowering activity of Phyllanthus niruri in hyperlipemic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. Sep 2002;82(1):19-22.
  16. Tona L, Mesia K, Ngimbi NP, Chrimwami B, et al. In-vivo antimalarial activity of Cassia occidentalis, Morinda morindoides and Phyllanthus niruri. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. Jan 2001;95(1):47-57.
  17. Calixto JB, Yunes RA, Neto AS, Valle RM, Rae GA. Antispasmodic effects of an alkaloid extracted from Phyllanthus sellowianus: a comparative study with papaverine. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1984;17(3-4):313-321.
  18. Iizuka T. Inhibitory effects of methyl brevifolincarboxylate isolated from Phyllanthus niruri L. on platelet aggregation. Biol Pharm Bull. Feb 2007;30(2):382-384.

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