The health benefits of chanca piedra, also known as phyllanthus niruri, are many. Chanca piedra is a common tropical plant found in areas along the coast as well as the Amazon rainforest. It is usually found in abundance, with spreading tendencies much like common weeds. Phyllanthus niruri is also known by the more common names of “stonebreaker” or “seed-under-leaf”.
Clinical Studies Involving Health Benefits of Chanca Piedra
Clinical studies have indicated the health benefits of chanca piedra include reducing levels of urinary calcium. A later study of 150 patients over a 6-month period indicated that an extract of the herb, phyllanthus niruri, reduced the incidence of stone formation, and concluded, “Regular self-administration of P. niruri after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones results in an increased stone-free rate that appears statistically significant for lower caliceal location. Its efficacy and the absolute lack of side effects make this therapy suitable to improve overall outcomes after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for lower pole stones.”
A more recent rat study found that Phyllanthus niruri (chanca piedra) has been shown to interfere with many stages of stone formation, reducing crystals aggregation, modifying their structure and composition as well as altering the interaction of the crystals with tubular cells leading to reduced subsequent endocytosis.” 
Even though the literal translation of chanca piedra is “stone breaker”, it effectively softens both kidney stones and gallstones for easy passage out of the body. Research done in Brazil at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in 1984 on Chanca Piedra revealed an alkaloid (phyllanthoside) in the leaves and stem with strong antispasmodic activity. It served as a relaxing agent for smooth muscles. It was concluded that its spasmolytic action accounted for the efficacy of chanca piedra in expelling stones. Brazilian researchers have also discovered powerful, long-lasting pain-blocking activity in the roots.
Chanca piedra is also known to help with liver issues. The Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research conducted a study which suggests compounds in chanca piedra may be a valuable component to a multiple herb, liver-protection formulation.
Chanca piedra is also known to effectively protect the liver which has been established with clinical research in animals and humans. This ability to protect the liver has been attributed to (at least) two novel plant chemicals in chanca piedra named phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin. Researchers who also reported cholesterol-lowering effects also reported that chanca piedra protected rats from liver damage induced by alcohol, and normalized a “fatty liver.” One in vitro study and four in vivo studies (with rats and mice) document that extracts of chanca piedra effectively protect against liver damage from various chemical liver toxins.[5-12]
Other Health Benefits of Chanca Piedra
- elimination of gallstones
- elimination of kidney stones
- protects liver
- supports kidneys
- increases urination
- detoxifies liver
- reduces spasms
- reduces inflammation
- aids in digestion
- kills bacteria
- acts as mild laxative
- anti-viral activity
- may lower blood sugar
- may lower cholesterol
- may lower blood pressure
- anti-parasitic | expels worms
- helps with pain relief
- has a diuretic effect
- may help with Hepatitis B virus
- inhibits cells from mutating
- helps with bronchitis
- always supplement diet with extra magnesium & vitamin B6 when using chanca piedra
Chanca Piedra Liver Cleansing Tea Recipe
(Always use organic or wild-crafted ingredients)
Livatrex herbal tincture or chanca piedra powder
Hot purified water
May add your choice of raw vanilla bean powder (1 tsp), goji berries, mangosteen, raw honey
Bring purified water to a boil. Allow to cool just a bit.
Pour 8 oz into glass cup.
Add 2 dropperfulls Livatrex OR 1 tsp of chanca piedra powder.
Add other ingredient choices according to preferred taste.
Drink one cup daily or according to practitioner. Livatrex can be found at here.
CAUTION: Do not use chanca piedra if pregnant. Always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner before using herbs.
- May potentiate insulin and antidiabetic drugs.
- This plant contains a naturally-occurring phytochemical called geraniin. This chemical has been documented with negative chronotropic, negative inotropic, hypotensive and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor effects in animal studies with frogs, mice and rats. As such, this plant may potentiate antihypertensive drugs, beta-blocker drugs and other heart medications (including chronotropic and inotropic drugs). Consult a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner before using herbs.
References & Resources
(1) Nishiura JL, Campos AH, Boim MA, Heilberg IP, Schor N (October 2004). “Phyllanthus niruri normalizes elevated urinary calcium levels in calcium stone forming (CSF) patients”. Urological Research 32 (5): 362–6. doi:10.1007/s00240-004-0432-8. PMID 15221244.
(2) Jump up ^ Micali S, Sighinolfi MC, Celia A, De Stefani S, Grande M, Cicero AF, Bianchi G (September 2006). “Can Phyllanthus niruri affect the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones? A randomized, prospective, long-term study.”. J Urol. 176 (3): 1020–2. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2006.04.010. PMID 16890682.
(3) Jump up ^ Boim MA, Heilberg IP, Schor N. (December 2010). “Phyllanthus niruri as a promising alternative treatment for nephrolithiasis”. Int Braz J Urol. 36 (6): 657–64. doi:10.1590/S1677-55382010000600002. PMID 21176271.
(4) Tatiya AU, Surana SJ, Sutar MP, Gamit NH. Hepatoprotective effect of poly herbal formulation against various hepatotoxic agents in rats. Pharmacognosy Res. 2012 Jan;4(1):50-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.91040.
(5) Wong, V., et al. “Treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with Phyllanthus urinaria – A randomized trial.” J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Oct 4.
(6) Londhe, J., et al. “Geraniin and amariin, ellagitannins from Phyllanthus amarus, protect liver cells against ethanol induced cytotoxicity.” Fitoterapia. 2012 Dec;83(8):1562-8.
(7) Amin, Z., et al. “Protective Role of Phyllanthus niruri Extract against Thioacetamide-Induced Liver Cirrhosis in Rat Model.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:241583.
(8) Srirama, R., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of Indian Phyllanthus.” Pharm Biol. 2012 Aug;50(8):948-53.
(9) Thakur, J., et al. “Enhancing hepatoprotective bioactives of phyllanthus amarus through immobilization by growth promoters and media changes.” Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May;73(3):271-5.
(10) Sharma, S., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of the Phyllanthus species on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BH)-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells.” Pharmacogn Mag. 2011 Jul;7(27):229-33.
(11) Surya Narayanan, B., et al. “Protective effects of Phyllanthus amarus on fibrotic markers during alcohol and polyunsaturated fatty acid-induced toxicity.” Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Jan;21(1):48-52.
(12) Chirdchupunseree, H., et al. “Protective activity of phyllanthin in ethanol-treated primary culture of rat hepatocytes.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 11.