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Gale of the wind – Stonebraker from the Amazon Rainforest

February 3, 2020

In Amazonian folk medicine there are thousands of medications that are used to cure severe illnesses and ailments. One of the best known, not only in the Amazon basin , if not outside of it, it is the chancapiedra herb, whose cultivation and use has spread throughout the world as the most effective antilithic, that is, a drug used to dissolve kidney and gallstones.

Or rather, according to recent scientific research, rather than breaking (chancar in Quechua), what its infusion does is relax the urinary system, which, with the diuretic effect it causes, helps to expel the stones that cause so much pain. .

The medicinal uses of stonebreaker are not applied exclusively in the Amazon, but have been extended to popular Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

For this reason we find the plant widespread in the Caribbean islands, and even much further, in China, India and in countries of Southeast Asia.


What is the stonebreaker?

The chancapiedra , cachón de piedra or quebranta piedra, common names with which it is also known is the species Phyllanthus niruri, from the Euphorbiaceae family, although botanists have managed to identify three more species: P. acutifolius, P. amarus, P. tenellus , all known by the same name stonebreaker, and which have similar efficacy in eliminating or stimulating the expulsion of stones.

It is, at least in the case of P. niruri, the best known species, a small, annual, wild bush, whose height ranges from 30 cm to 60 cm, with an erect stem and abundant alternate leaves, from 7 to 12 cm. long. Its fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous seeds 2 to 3 mm in diameter.

The plant has a great capacity to adapt to different soils and ecological levels, and is highly valued by healers and popular medicine, which explains its current wide distribution in the world. The parts of the plant contain lignans and flavonoids, whose medical applications are under investigation.

uses or applications

It is a plant widely studied in the laboratories of the world pharmaceutical industry to verify its many pharmacological properties, which are not only limited to its effectiveness as an antilytic, to stimulate the expulsion of calcium oxalate and uric acid stones, but also It is used to control many other pathologies: to calm urinary infections, cystitis, gonorrhea and other venereal diseases, anemia, tuberculosis, tumors, diabetes, digestive system problems, hypocholesterolemic, etc.

Its greatest applications are as a diuretic and antilytic (or urolithiasis) and as a liver protector, since its effectiveness in combating hepatitis B has been demonstrated in several studies, by blocking DNA polymerase, the enzyme that the hepatitis B virus needs to reproduce according to Serruto (Sf).

Stonebreaker appears to act as a powerful antiviral. Research is being conducted in this pathway to investigate its effects for the control of herpes and HIV.

How is it used?

To expel the “stones”, in popular medicine it is recommended to prepare an infusion, composed of 20 g of dry leaves for each cup of water. Then it is boiled. Let it rest, and drink this infusion three times a day, until the pain has subsided and the stones have been expelled. For the same purpose tincture is used. It is diluted from 10 to 20 ml of tincture, or a tablespoon in a liter of water. Another formula is to ingest the root water in a decoction.

An infusion can be taken as a liver protector. In this case, a tablespoon of dried herb is used for every cup of water. Let it boil for five minutes, and take it once it has cooled down a bit.

Stonebreaker products are marketed in casings with dried leaves, capsules, and extracts, which are prepared using the leaves and root of the plant.

People with blood clotting problems are not recommended to take preparations containing stonebreaker.


  • Bagalkotkar G, Sareendu Sr, Saad MS, Stanslas J (2006). Phytochemicals from Phyllanthus niruri Linn. and their pharmacological properties: a review. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Vol. 58(12), 1559-1570. PDF
  • Barros ME, Schor N., Boim MA (2003). Effects of an aqueous extract from Phyllanthus niruri on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro. Urological Research , 30, 374-379. Source
  • Harish R., Shivanandappa T. (2006). Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective potential of Phyllanthus niruri. FoodChemistry, Vol 95(2), 180-185. Sawtooth JSf Stonebreaker. National University of the Altiplano. Alternative medicine. Source

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