Stone Breaker scientifically known as Phyllanthus niruri with many common names including Stonebreaker, Phyllanthus Plant, Child Pick-a-back, Gulf Leafflower, Black Catnip, Meniran, Chanca Piedra, Shatterstone, Quebra Pedra, Gale Of Wind, Carry Me Seed, Creole Senna and Daun Marisan is a widespread tropical plant commonly found in coastal areas of China, India and South/Central America. It is a relative of the spurges, belonging to the Phyllanthus genus of Family Phyllanthaceae. It has been a traditional mainstay in Ayurvedic medicine for more than two millennia, where it is used for ailments ranging from hiccups to leprosy. It is also a noticeable herb in the Unani system of medicine, which applies it to wounds and sores and uses it for symptoms like jaundice. It gets its common name, stone breaker as well as the Spanish and Portuguese equivalents from its use in treating kidney stones.
Stone breaker has a long history in traditional herbal medicine in every tropical country it is found in. For hundreds of years Stone Breaker has been used as an herbal remedy to kidney stones, viral infections, liver disorders, bacterial infections, and many other ailments. In more recent years, however, Stone Breaker has been shown in modern medicine to cure or treat multiple disorders. Listed below are few of the health benefits of using Stone Breaker herb:
1. Help Eliminate Gallstones and Kidney Stones
Stone Breaker also known as Bhumi Amla has been used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon for generations to support the elimination of gallstones and kidney stones. In Ayurvedic medicine, Stone Breaker is thought to hold the most promise against kidney stone formation. Although long-term randomized clinical trials are essential to confirm therapeutic properties, some preliminary studies suggest Stone Breaker may discourage in the gallbladder and kidneys and, indeed, have potential to provide defense against kidney stones.
According to research conducted by International Brazilian Journal of Urology suggest the preventive effect of Stone Breaker herb in stone formation or elimination. The plant Stone Breaker (Phyllanthus niruri) contains potential agent to prevent and/or to treat Urolithiasis. The review is based on data from the literature and on the results obtained by our group from either in vivo/in vitro experiments or clinical studies. Stone Breaker 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. Other beneficial effects of Stone Breaker may be related to ureteral relaxation, helping to eliminate calculi or to clear fragments following lithotripsy, or also to a putative reduction of the excretion of urinary crystallization promoters such as calcium. No side effects of renal, cardiovascular, neurological or toxic effects have been detected during these studies. (1)
2. Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal
Stone Breaker (Chanca piedra) is also known for its traditional use against parasites, bacterial, viral and fungal infection. This Stone Breaker use was also supported by a few medical publications. Research found this herb is beneficial in treating chickenpox, vaginal yeast infections and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Another study that tested Stone Breaker antibacterial activity, found it to be effective against H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacteria, without affecting beneficial lactic acid bacteria. The significance of this finding is that unlike antibiotics that kill both good and bad bacteria, this herb was able to selectively fight H. pylori without killing the good bacteria.
Store Breaker also showed significant antibacterial activity against the pathogenic bacteria Bacillus pumilus, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia as well as antifungal activity against candida albicans. (1), (2), (3)
3. Diabetes treatment
Stone Breaker (Phyllanthus niruri) displays evidence of anti-diabetic activity. Research conducted by Dr. Charles Okoli and his associates, used lab rats for test. Diabetic rats were treated with aerial extracts of Stone Breaker and as a result the rats’ blood glucose levels decreased, as well as their glucose absorption and storage. While it’s not know for sure if Stone Breaker caused these results, these findings suggest the lowered blood glucose levels were caused by the aerial extracts of Store Breaker. As a result, Stone Breaker is known to be anti-diabetic.
Phyllanthus niruri (Stone Breaker) and other phyllanthus species help prevent the metastasis of some lung and breast cancers. Research showed that the polyphenols in this herb help prevent the invasion, migration, and adhesion of cancer cells.
A 2012 research on human colorectal and liver cancer cell lines also found that Stone Breaker helped slow cancer cell growth and encouraged cancer cell death.
Stone Breaker has a known traditional use for inflammation and pain. Multiple published research have shown Stone Breaker contains anti-inflammatory effect for ulcer protection, ulcerative colitis and relieving sore throat pain due to tonsil inflammation. (4), (5), (6)
6. Action against Harmful Organisms
Water extracts of Stone Breaker are selectively toxic to some types of harmful organisms, without affecting beneficial organisms. The Universidad de la República researched 28 plant and algae species for activity against harmful organisms. Researchers noted that the most interesting activity was observed in Stone Breaker. This observation and conclusion was duplicated by researchers at the University of Malaysia.
7. Treat acute hepatitis B
Phyllanthus niruri help treat acute hepatitis B infections due to its anti-viral and liver-protecting abilities.
In a 2010 study, 60 people with the condition received either a placebo or a product made of seven herbal medicines including 100 milligrams of Stone Breaker (phyllanthus niruri). The herbal medicine group experienced faster recovery than the placebo group. However, they reported side effects like upper abdominal pain and diarrhea. Stone Breaker herb may not help chronic hepatitis B, though.
8. Antioxidant Activity
Stone Breaker has been evaluated for antioxidant activity and its response to high blood pressure and high blood sugar. The high phenolic content of Stone Breaker has shown antioxidant activity, which has been found to support balanced blood sugar and normal blood pressure This has created excitement about the potential of Stone Breaker during times of distress. In one study researchers noted that Stone Breaker engages an enhanced antioxidant defense system.
9. Liver Health
Traditional Chinese medicine has always mentioned Stone Breaker (Xiao Fan Hun) as an herb that supports liver health. The Department of Chemistry at Bose Institute in India conducted an animal research that investigated the liver protecting action of Stone Breaker against acetaminophen toxicity. Results showed that a protein in Stone Breaker protects liver tissues against oxidative stress, probably by increasing antioxidant defenses. Study results from the Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research suggest compounds in Stone Breaker may be a valuable component to a multi-herb, liver-support formulation.
Traditional uses and benefits of Stone breaker
Ayurvedic Health benefits of Stonebreaker