Chanca piedra information
April 3 2015

Chanca piedra has tiny pale green flowers tinged with red and whitish or yellowish sepals that grow in the angle of its leaves' undersides. These tiny flowers mature into fruits resembling smooth capsules containing seeds. It is the plant's aerial or above ground parts which are used in herbal medicine as a standard infusion or weak decoction. Tea made from Chanca Piedra leaves and stems has been used for generations in Central and South America to promote urinary tract and kidney health. In Ayurvedic medicine, the use of Chanca Piedra is recommended for kidney stone prevention. Chanca Piedra is a much-studied herb which has been found to promote kidney health by preventing the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, the principle components of kidney stones. The organic compounds contained in Chanca Piedra help relax the smooth muscles in the kidneys, bladder and ureter[4].In addition to the beneficial effects on the kidney and gall bladder Chanca Piedra is also known to promote healthy liver function due to the lignan phytochemicals, phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin. The herb also helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, Chanca Piedra may improve digestion by helping to increase the secretion of bile. The high phenolic content gives this plant its antioxidant properties and helps promote healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Stomach ulcer protection?
Phytother Res. 2012. Antimicrobial activity of an Amazon medicinal plant Chancapiedra (Phyllanthus niruri) against Helicobacter pylori and lactic acid bacteria. The potential of water extracts of the Amazon medicinal plant Chancapiedra (Phyllanthus niruri L.) from Ecuador and Peru for antimicrobial activity against Helicobacter pylori and different strains of lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum was investigated. H. pylori was inhibited by both water extracts in a dose dependent manner, whereas lactic acid bacterial growth was not affected. Both extracts contained ellagic acid and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and exhibited high free radical scavenging linked-antioxidant activities (89%). However, gallic acid was detected only in the Ecuadorian extract. Preliminary studies on the mode of action of Chancapiedra against H. pylori revealed that inhibition may not involve proline dehydrogenase-based oxidative phosphorylation inhibition associated with simple mono-phenolics and could involve ellagitannins or other non-phenolic compounds through a yet unknown mechanism. This study provides evidence about the potential of Chancapiedra for H. pylori inhibition without affecting beneficial lactic acid bacteria.

Chanca Piedra is a remarkable medicinal plant native to the tropical rainforests of the Amazon and growing in other similar climatic regions across the globe including the Bahamas, China and India. The name Chanca Piedra was given to this plant by the indigenous people of the Amazon.