Due to its health benefits, Ayurvedic practitioners and herbalists have revered the Phyllanthus plant genus for many years. Phyllanthus varieties are commonly used in Ayurveda—particularly Phyllanthus niruri. In addition, Phyllanthus amarus is an Amazonian variety that is used in South America. This article will specifically focus on Phyllanthus niruri health benefits.
Phyllanthus Niruri Health Benefits
Phyllanthus has traditionally been used to address a number of conditions that affect body systems ranging from digestive, immune, to genito-urinary. More scientific research is need to confirm some of the traditional usages for this plant. However, anecdotal reports suggest that phyllanthus can ease conditions such as ulcers, kidney stones, UTIs, and diabetes. These are just a few of the potential Phyllanthus niruri health benefits.
Here are some of the most well-known benefits of phyllanthus.
Enhanced Liver Health
One of the most prominent and well-researched Phyllanthus niruri health benefits is its role in supporting liver health. To illustrate this fact, one study revealed that phyllanthus is impressive as a hepatoprotective, or liver-protecting agent.
This means that phyllanthus could be useful for helping to mitigate or prevent a damaged liver.
Fighting Kidney Stones
Phyllanthus niruri also shows promise in the treatment of kidney stones, though the only studies done to date in this regard were done on animals.
Nonetheless, the study’s results are encouraging. To refresh your understanding, a buildup of mineral sediment in the kidneys causes kidney stones. Kidney stones then solidify and become incredibly painful and difficult to pass. Phyllanthus was shown to reduce the amount of calcium present in the subjects’ urine, which could help prevent kidney stones from forming.
Further research indicates that phyllanthus could even be useful for helping to fight cancer.
The study, which was published in Phytotherapy Research in 2010, demonstrated that phyllanthus plant extract can help prevent tumors from growing, as well as encourage the die-ff off of cancer cells. (Researchers used Phyllanthus emblica in this study.)
Phyllanthus Essential Facts
- Botanical: Phyllanthus niruri
- Sanskrit: Bahupatra, tamalaki
- Ayurveda: Bhumyamalaki
- Hindi: Bhumi amla
- English: Phyllanthus
- Other: Chanca piedra, stonebreaker (due to its ability to crush kidney and gall bladder stones), seed under leaves, and gale of the wind
- Rasa (taste): Bitter, astringent, and sweet
- Guna (qualities): Light, dry
- Virya (action): Cooling
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Sweet
- Dosha (constitution): Pacifies Vata and Pitta
The phyllanthus plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical areas.
The plant itself grows to be between 20-28 inches tall, with smooth, light green bark and pale green flora. True to its nickname “seed under leaves,” phyllanthus produces small seed-filled fruits.
The whole plant
The high amount of antioxidants and tannins present in its plant matter may account for Phyllanthus niruri ‘s health benefits.
Phyllanthus: Usage and Dosage
There are many ways to benefit from phyllanthus. Capsules, teas, and extracts are common ways to administer this benefical plant ally. Furthermore, herbalists often mix phyllanthus with other ingredients to enhance its benefical properties. For example, it is included in the ancient rasayana, Chyawanprash.
Is Phyllanthus for You?
From kidney to liver support and more, there are no shortage of Phyllanthus niruri health benefits. Phyllanthus is used in herbal traditions to support liver, digestive, and genito-urinary health. Furthermore, those with impaired immune systems may want to consider phyllanthus. If you think that phyllanthus could be useful for you, contact a local Ayurvedic practitioner or herbalist to learn more.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)