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Euphorbiaceae, Phyllanthus niruri (amarus), Stonebreaker, Chanca Piedra

August 26, 2008

This is one of many plants found growing wild all around Panama City which are of particular interest to me. Many people assume that plants such as these are useless “weeds” based purely on the fact that they are prolific and do not rely on human cultivation in order to propagate. As it turns out (and not surprisingly), many of these plants have a wide range of medicinal properties and were probably much more commonly used in the past for such attributes. Stonebreaker is a small, low growing herb that volunteers itself at the base of potted plants in my nurseries, and basically in any other area where soil has been disturbed or remains bare.

The plant is called Stonebreaker because it is used to remove kidney stones and gall stones. Additionally it is used against viruses, bacteria, fever, and as a diuretic. It is also used as a pain reliever and to treat stomachache, constipation, diabetes, dysentery, flu, venereal problems, jaundice, malaria, and tumors.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    August 27, 2008 10:08:10 am

    it grows wild around here as well and looked it up go figure it’s a great medicinal. have you found desmodium ascendens it’s another great find and mostly considered a weed.

    • February 22, 2010 10:08:25 am

      Interesting. I wasn’t aware that it had beneficial properties. What is it used for?

      • Rani permalink
        May 20, 2011 10:08:11 pm

        This plant is called ‘keelkai nelli’ in Tamil. It is a weed and grows along sewers and bare land in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the whole plant is crushed and the juice is taken with milk to treat jaundice. The ratio is one to two teaspoons of plant juice to one cup of milk.

        • May 21, 2011 10:08:02 am

          Very interesting. Thank you for visiting the site and offering some additional information.

  2. avi permalink
    January 5, 2012 10:08:31 am

    This is not Phyllanthus niruri…this is Phyllanthus urinaria

  3. January 20, 2012 10:08:27 pm

    in Indonesia we called it Meniran. usually in traditional medicine plant juice use for diabetes

  4. pulitana permalink
    September 1, 2012 10:08:46 pm

    in manila we called it sampa sampalukan

  5. daniel Luy permalink
    January 27, 2013 10:08:20 pm

    davao. we call it seeds under leaves. i tried using this to remove galstone . using about 100 grams of the plants without roots. then boil it for 2 to 3 hrs in a liter of water at a very slow boiling rate and drinked it for 3 hrs per liter. stone started to lower down everytime i urinate until finally out/removed in less than 24 hrs.

    • Laura permalink
      December 30, 2013 10:08:21 pm

      Can You tell me where you purchased your plants from? I am looking to try and grow my own plants or seeds. Thank you, Laura

  6. sangle Brahmanand permalink
    August 27, 2013 10:08:12 pm

    very useful plant for kidneystone

  7. Anonymous permalink
    September 26, 2013 10:08:56 am


  8. September 15, 2014 10:08:25 pm

    It is highly medicinal

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