Top Chanca Piedra Benefits To Improve Your Health
Chanca Piedra (scientific name: Phyllanthus niruri) is a powerhouse herb. There is a reason why it has been used for thousands of years starting in the Amazon, moving into Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and now being supported by modern science: it works.
The medicinal uses of Chanca Piedra can solve not just one problem, but for a whole array of health issues that you may have. It is a very good alternative to other medicine, which can be costly.
I want to take you through the top ways Chanca Piedra can benefit your health. We will take a minute and really dig deep on its main functions, and then I’ll leave you with a surprisingly long list of other ways this traditional herb can be your go-to medicinal.
Does Chanca Piedra work?
Chanca Piedra has gotten attention from the medical community in recent years, resulting in a collection of pharmaceutical and medical studies. While the targeted effects of Chanca Piedra vary throughout these studies, the research shows similar results.
Essentially, when researchers conducted controlled studies to determine the herb’s effectiveness, they showed positive results. Illnesses and health issues were shown to be either eased or remediated. In short: yes, Chanca Piedra does work, and is known to help with certain health issues.
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Kidney Stones + Gallstones
We should start out with one of Chanca Piedra’s main functions: getting rid of those kidney stones and gallstones. In fact, Chanca Piedra’s translation is actually “stone breaker.”
Though this herb has been traditionally been used to break down kidney stones in many different cultures, modern science is now backing up its effectiveness too.
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One study, by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of the Republic of Uruguay, 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)
Another study by Wolfram Wiemann, a German physician,looked at 100 patients with a current kidney stone. They were given Chanca Piedra. The success rate? 94%. And not one patient had any negative side effect from the herb.
Just to top of all this wonderful information – Chanca Piedra also works as a mild diuretic, which is known to help in the process of passing a stone.
This same “stone breaking” quality also helps with gallstones. In fact, Chanca Piedra also has the capabilities of lowering cholesterolaccording to the 1984 studies and research produced by the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. Abnormal cholesterol levels are a reason you are getting gallstones in the first place, by the way.
If you want to have a fuller understanding of how Chanca Piedra has been used to combat kidney stones, check out Herbalist Training’s YouTube video on the topic. To watch the full video, click the link provided here
Now I want to move on over to a different part of your body: your liver. Chanca Piedra is also a great protector of the liver.
Aside from proper lifestyle changes, few methods exist when it comes to taking care of the liver. Here is some evidence that shows that Chanca Piedra may actually be a fantastic method for taking care of your liver as well as your kidneys.
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- One 2006 study from the Department of Chemistry at the Bose Institute in Indiashowed that Chanca Piedra “protected liver tissues against oxidative stress”
- Another study of traditional Chinese medicine by BE Chang of the Beijing Friendship Hospital and Capital University of Medical Sciences in China showed 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 according to a study conducted by MA Boin from the Renal Division of the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil. 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.
Diabetes is far and wide one of the most troubling epidemics of our time. It seems that nearly everything we consume causes it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something that could assist in preventing it or micromanaging it that doesn’t entail going to dozens of specialists and giving yourself insulin shots twice a day?
When you see an herb that is so helpful for similar health problems like kidney stones and gallstones, it can be surprising when it also acts as a big help to something so seemingly unrelated. Who would have thought that the “stone breaker” would be a great support to diabetics?
- Chanca Piedra is high in phenolic and antioxidant properties – which were two things looked at in in a study of Latin American herbs in the Department of Medicine at the Pontificia Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile (one of which they studied 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 by Srividya and Periwal from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning 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 from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Nigeria 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.”
Not only will Chanca Piedra help improve the specific conditions above, it has also been shown to be a great overall boost for the body. This includes being antibacterial and antiviral.
- One studyfrom the Faculty of Science at the University of the Republic of Uruguay endeavored to research 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 completed by the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Malaya 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?
So far, we have looked at some of the top ways Chanca Piedra can improve your health. Each of these uses has plenty of science backing them up. But that does not mean they are the only ways Chanca Piedra can be beneficial. It has been prescribed for many uses beyond what our modern science has yet examined.
I want to share a long list of ways Chanca Piedra has been known to help the body. Of course, you should always do your own research and double check with your doctor or naturopath before starting a new supplement.
- Limits spasms
- Lessens inflammation
- Works as a mild laxative
- Could lower blood pressure
- Helps expel worms (antiparasitic)
- Aids in pain relief
- Could help with Hepatitis B
- Stops cells from mutation
- Helps bronchitis
- Manages urinary tract infections
- Increases appetite
- Limits colic
- Aids a stomachache
- Improves indigestion
- Helps with intestinal infections
- Improves constipation
- Helps with asthma
- Lessens dizziness
Taking Chanca Piedra -
Dosage and Instructions
The appropriate dosage of Chanca Piedra will vary depending on not only the condition you intend to treat, but also your age, weight, and overall health. As a general rule you can safely consume up to 1200 mg daily. Unless your condition requires a different length of treatment, it’s better to avoid taking the supplements longer than a month.
If you're consuming a full 1200 mg throughout your day, it's best done in three separate doses of 400 mg each, although the health issues you treat may require a different variation.
With the regimen of 1200 mg, it's best to use it for a month or less. In the case that you're treating difficult kidney stones, you can continue treatment for up to 3 months.
If you’re going to use Chanca Piedra to help with treating your hypertension, it’s best to takes doses of 800 mg (depending on the severity of your condition neither one or two doses will be taken at once), three times daily. For this regimen it’s recommended that you take the Chanca Piedra after eating meals, or directly before. This treatment should be continued for 10 days only.
To use Chanca Piedra as a general additional to your health regimen, it's suggested to use the herb to brew a mild tea. The infused tea (one cup) can be consumed up to 3 times daily.
To treat Hepatitis B, the dosage varies but ranges from 200 mg to 1,100 mg up to 3 times daily. To treat this condition, the species of Chanca Piedra that is most effective is Phyllanthus amarus. Like the treatment for kidney stones, this treatment may be continued for up to three months when needed.
As with any supplement or medication, the choice to include them into your health regimen should be made judiciously. As always, consult with your medical practitioner, and ask them to check for potential interactions with any other supplements or medications you currently take.
When taking Chanca Piedra, you should stick with the prescribed dosage, as well as the prescribed frequency. The duration of treatment should also be appropriate for the conditions you're treating. Most conditions need only a month or less of treatment, with the exception being when you're treating kidney stones.
Extended use beyond the intended duration can have adverse health effects, so be sure to talk to a health professional if you feel that you need to continue treatment with Chanca Piedra longer than one to three months.
Special attention should be paid if you're going to undergo surgery. During surgery, Chanca Piedra may cause complications if your doctor is unaware, namely hypoglycemia.
The other caution with using Chanca Piedra is to women of childbearing age. The use of this supplement is discouraged for women that are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as women that may become pregnant. This is because Chanca Piedra may have contraceptive effects and properties, and can lead to complications including malformations and low birth rate.
If you currently take anticoagulant medications, refrain from starting Chanca Piedra treatments until consulting with your doctor. This herb may have negative interactions with this class of drugs, and may result in bleeding problems.
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.
While the aforementioned studies didn't have any reports of negative side effects, there is still potential for these symptoms to occur. Possible side effects to be aware of include: changes in energy level (including fatigue or insomnia), bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or headache.
If you have any special health conditions – such as if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding – it is always a good idea to run it by your healthcare professional first (Chanca Piedra is widely considered an inappropriate treatment for women that breastfeeding or pregnant). Of course, anytime you see a new doctor or have an operation or surgery, make sure you let them know you are taking Chanca Piedra first.
Then you can be free to benefit from this incredible herb.
Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Antacids: An Experiment Performed by Santa Monica College. https://chem.libretexts.org/Ancillary_Materials/Laboratory_Experiments/Wet_Lab_Experiments/Online_Chemistry_Lab_Manual/Chem_11_Experiments/09%3A_Evaluating_the_Cost-Effectiveness_of_Antacids_(Experiment)
Berardi,Rosemary R. and Stuart Rockefellow. Self Treatment Tips for Heartburn. Pharmacy Times, 15 May 2009.