Chanca Piedra – Top Benefits To Improve Your Health
Chanca Piedra (scientific name: Phyllanthus niruri) is a herb used since ancient times. There is a reason why it has been used starting in the Amazon, moving into Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
After giving chanca piedra to more than 200 people with kidney stones, German physician, Wolfram Wiemann found that 92 percent of them eliminated their stones within 3 weeks. Other than cramping during the passage of the stones, chanca piedra caused no side effects, according to the research. Based on these results, dr. Weimann concluded that the plant offers a cure for kidney stones. Additional studies in Brazil and India found that chemicals in chanca piedra keep calcium crystals and crystals of calcium oxalate from entering kidney cells.
Traditional Chinese medicine has always cited chanca piedra as an herb for kidney and liver problems. In a test on mice, The Department of Chemistry at Bose Institute investigated the liver protecting action of chanca piedra against acetaminophen toxicity and their results showed that a protein in chanca piedra protected liver tissues against oxidative stress, probably by increasing antioxidative defenses. [Study results also suggest compounds in chanca piedra may be a valuable component to a multiple herb, liver-protection formulation. 
A more recent rat study found that 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.
In a nutshell, most important benefits of using Chanca Piedra are:
Kidney Stones + Gallstones
One study has shown the many ways Chanca Piedra works to break those stones, including:
- Reducing the joining of crystals (those stone-forming substances in your urine)
- Reducing the substances that produce those crystals in the first place (like calcium oxalate)
- Modifying the structure of the kidney stone
- Interfering with the kidney stone as it forms
- Relaxing the ureter (for an easier, less painful passing)
This same “stone breaking” quality also helps with gallstones. In fact, Chanca Piedra also has the capabilities of lowering cholesterol (a big reason you’re getting those gallstones).
Now, a different part of your body: your liver. Chanca Piedra is also a great protector of the liver.
- One study in 2006showed that the use of Chanca Piedra (along with other traditional herbs) could be successful as treatment of chronic liver diseases.
- Chanca Piedra has also been shown to increase the liver’s bile secretion. As unpleasant as that may sound, it is actually really important for your digestion, elimination, and absorption of nutrients.
If you have any trouble with your liver, ask your naturopath or doctor if Chanca Piedra could be an excellent support to improving your condition.
- Chanca Piedra is high in phenolic and antioxidant properties – which were two things looked at in in a study of Latin American herbs (one of which was, of course, Chanca Piedra). Herbs high in those two substances were shown to be the best in an “anti-hyperglycemia” function. Hyperglycemia, being high blood sugar, is the base issue with diabetics.
- Another study confirmed the effectiveness of Chanca Piedra’s hypoglycemic quality by noting a significant reduction in blood glucose in a group receiving Chanca Piedra for 10 days.
- And yet another study looked at the “why” behind Chanca Piedra’s help for diabetes. They discovered that Chanca Piedra lowers blood sugar by inhibiting “glucose absorption” and enhancing “glucose storage.”
- One study wanted to study the antiviral compounds of natural herbs, especially against the Herpes simplex virus type 1. Out of all the plant species they studied, only three were mentioned as “most interesting” – one was – you guessed it – Chanca Piedra.
- Another study looked at Chanca Piedra specifically as a “biologically active” plant. They discovered it has an excellent antioxidant power and antibacterial activity.
Of course, Chanca Piedra has been used in these ways for ages in natural, traditional medicine. But it is nice to see science confirming what was already known.
What Else Does Chanca Piedra Do?
Of course, you should always do your own research and double check with your doctor/naturopath before starting a new supplement.
But at least you will be aware of the wide array of help this herb has given people throughout time:
- Prevent syphilis and HIV
- Limits spasms
- Lessens inflammation
- Works as a mild laxative
- Could lower blood pressure
- Helps expel worms (anti-parasitic)
- Could help with Hepatitis B
- Stops cells from mutation
- Helps bronchitis
- Manages urinary tract infections
- Limits colic
- Improves indigestion
- Helps with intestinal infections
Taking Chanca Piedra
As I have already mentioned, there have been studies where Chanca Piedra does not have any negative side effects for patients. And even WebMD does not have any known side effects for this herb.
But if you have any special health conditions – maybe you are pregnant/breastfeeding – it is always a good idea to run it by your healthcare professional first. And, of course, anytime you see a new doctor or have an operation/surgery, make sure you let them know you are taking Chanca Piedra first.
Then you can be free to benefit from this incredible herb.
Source: eunatural.com, oawhealth.com, dreddmyd.com, livestrong.com