Health Benefits of Chanca piedra

Chanca pieadra plant

Chanca piedra long remained a well-kept secret, though it was widely used in both Amazonian and Ayurvedic medicine. While its name translates to “stone breaker”, this herb may also protect the liver, lower inflammation, help with diabetes, and combat infections. Chanca piedra is part of a big plant genus known as Phyllanthus. These plants grow in tropical regions all over the world – from China to India to the vast and largely unexplored rainforests of the Amazon.

The “Stone Breaker”

Chanca piedra is well-known for its use to dissolve kidney stones. Research suggests it may also protect the liver, fight infections, and lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Plus, it contains some potential cancer-fighting compounds that have yet to be further explored.

In Brazil, people call it “Quebra Pedra,” which means “stone breaker” in Portuguese. Some consider it an excellent remedy for a range of kidney disorders.

Its use in Ayurvedic traditional medicine is well-documented. In Ayurveda, chanca piedra has been used for

  • Jaundice and fever
  • Malaria
  • Diabetes
  • Skin diseases
  • Digestive complaints (such as constipation, pain, IBD, and indigestion)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis, gonorrhea)
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Menstrual problems

1) Dissolving Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are deposits of minerals and salts that build up in the kidneys or urinary tract. In clinical studies with over 200 people with kidney stones, chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) reduced their kidney stones, helping to clear the minerals and salt deposits

Chanca piedra may truly act as a “stone crusher.” According to rat and cell-based studies, it might dissolve kidney stones by:

  • Blocking the growth and the clustering of salts that form kidney stones
  • Dissolving already-formed kidney stones
  • Clearing this dissolved mixture of salts and minerals from kidney stones (uric acid, oxalate, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) and helping eliminate them by promoting urination

Overall, the available evidence is limited but suggests it works. More clinical studies are desperately needed, but chanca piedra appears to be a promising herbal remedy for clearing kidney stones naturally.

2) Protecting the Liver

In clinical studies with over 3.5k people, chanca piedra blocked the growth and division of the hepatitis B virus, reduced virus levels in the blood (HBsAg), and recovered liver function.

However, in several studies with over 1K people with hepatitis B, antiviral drugs worked better than chanca piedra.

In a clinical study on 100 people with hepatitis C, chanca piedra increased multiple important antioxidant compounds (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin E). It also decreased oxidative stress and prevented liver damage.

In animal and cellular studies, chanca piedra prevented liver injury caused by toxins, drugs, or alcohol and protected liver function by lowering oxidative stress and blocking harmful compounds.

Traditionally, chanca piedra has been used for reducing jaundice, a yellowing of the skin related to liver problems.

What does chanca piedra do to enhance liver function and reduce damage?

Overall, it may protect the liver by:

  • Decreasing enzymes linked to liver damage (ALT, AST)
  • Reducing bilirubin levels, high levels of which indicate liver disease
  • “De-blocking” liver detox pathways; it blocks an enzyme that reverses the detoxifying process of glucuronidation (beta-glucuronidase)
  • Increasing antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione)
  • Lowering oxidative stress and inflammation

To sum it up, chanca piedra may help combat viral hepatitis, but it’s probably not superior to conventional antivirals. It may also help clear toxins and support healthy liver function.

3) Protecting the Heart

Chanca piedra lowered high blood pressure in clinical studies with over 1K people.

This benefit was explored in detail in animal studies. In rats and mice, chanca piedra had powerful lipid-balancing effects; it reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol. Balanced blood lipid levels are key to preventing heart disease.

In other studies on rabbits, rats, and cells, chanca piedra reduced blood pressure, prevented excessive platelet clumping, relaxed blood vessels, and improved heart function .

It might also keep the heart healthy by decreasing enzymes that signal oxidative stress, heart or tissue damage (such as dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase, and alkaline phosphatase).

All in all, chanca piedra seems to be good for the heart. It may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart damage while relaxing and protecting your blood vessels. Clinical studies are still limited, though.

Chanca Piedra Side Effects & Precautions

One species of chanca piedra – Phyllanthus niruri – is safe and non-toxic. Common side effects are mild and include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache or dizziness

However, the other species – Phyllanthus amarus – could be toxic in high doses. It enlarged blood vessels and caused kidney damage in rats and mice .

Pregnant women and women taking fertility-enhancing drugs should avoid taking chanca piedra. Traditionally, this plant was used for abortions and may cause abnormalities with the fetus. It should also not be taken while breastfeeding or by children due to the lack of safety data in these two populations. Although there is no clinical evidence, chanca piedra lowered both male and female fertility in mice.

Drug Interactions

Consult your doctor before supplementing with chanca piedra if you are on medication.

 
 
  Chanca piedra bottle  
90 capsules
$21.00
Suggested dosage:
Take one three times daily
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