Phyllanthus niruri or chanca piedra is a small annual plant which originates from the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas. The indigenous people of Amazon used this herb for eliminating kidney stones and gallstones.
This herb also has a long history in folk medicine for bladder and kidney problems, diabetes, hepatitis B and intestinal infections.
- Benefits of chanca piedra
When translated, this herbs means ‘shatter stone’ or ‘stone breaker’. Phyllis Balch says that this herb is abundant in phytochemicals like lupeol, limonene, methyl salicylate, quercitrin, quercetin, saponins and rutin. Phytochemicals are compounds which are found in plants and which have antioxidant properties. These compounds help fight diseases.
This herb can also fight viral and bacterial infections and inflammation. It is also beneficial for bronchitis, asthma, digestion, colds, fever, diarrhea, pain relief and muscle spasms.
There are various studies about the health benefits of this plant. Namely, this plant can prevent the calcium oxalate crystals from being formed. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones. Its compounds decrease the spasms of muscles in the ureter, kidney and bladder, thus allowing the kidney stones to pass smoothly.
Types of Kidney Stones
Around 1 in 11 Americans are afflicted with kidney stones. There are a number of kidney stones types and the type can be determined by testing the kidney stone.
Calcium kidney stones are the most usual. Most of them have the form of calcium oxalate, which is a natural substance present in various foods.
This is a rare type of stone, as cystine stones form in people who have the genetic disorder cystinuria.
These stones can form following an infection. They can become large very quickly and women are at bigger risk because of bigger prevalence of infections of the urinary tract.
Uric acid stones
This type of stones form from uric acid, which is a waste product that is eliminated from the body through the urine. People who are at bigger risk of developing this are those who don’t drink enough water, have inflammatory bowel disease, eat diet high in protein or have gout.
Common symptoms of kidney stones
– Constant need for urinating
– Pain whilst urinating
– Sharp pain in the lower abdomen or lower back
– Blood in your urine
– Vomiting or nausea
– Sharp pain which stretches from the back and side and continues ti the groin
Forms of chanca piedra
This plant can be found in various forms. In capsules, as liquid extract, tea and tablets.
This herb is a diuretic. Chronic long-term use of any diuretic can cause electrolyte and mineral imbalances.
Consult your doctor prior to taking this herb if you are taking heart medications or are afflicted with a heart condition.
There is a chance this herb might interact with hypertensive and diabetic drugs or diuretics.
Pregnant women must not take this herb.