Other names: Stonebreaker, seed-under leaf

Scientific name: Phyllanthus niruri

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Yu gan zi

Bangladesh names: Bhui-amla,  Hazarmani.

Arabic names:    الأملج (al amlaj)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Phyllanthaceae

Approximate number of species known: over 600 annual or biennial

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts


Annual/Perennial: Annual

Height: Up to 50-70cm


Known Constituents: alkaloids, astragalin, brevifolin, carboxylic acids, corilagin, cymene, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, gallocatechins, geraniin, hypophyllanthin, lignans, lintetralins, lupeols, methyl salicylate, niranthin, nirtetralin, niruretin, nirurin, nirurine, niruriside, norsecurinines, phyllanthin, phyllanthine, phyllanthenol, phyllochrysine, phyltetralin, repandusinic acids, quercetin, quercetol, quercitrin, rutin, saponins, triacontanal, and tricontanol. 

Constituents Explained:


Considered a weed.  A small, erect herb commonly grown in South America, South India and China.  The related species P. sellowianus and P amarus are commonly found in India, brazil, texas and florisa.

The name stone breaker comes from the Spanish word ‘chanca piedra’ which means to ‘shatter stone’ or ‘stone breaker.’  In South America it has been used for kidney stones and gall stones. In brazil it has been called ‘quebra-pedra or arranca-pedras which also translates to ‘break stone.’

It has also been used for the liver, colds, flus, as an analgesic, antispasmodic and as a hypoglycemic.  It’s action on the kidneys see it’s use for high blood pressure.

The smooth bark is light green.  

The flowers are pale green sometimes with shades of red.

The tiny fruits contain numerous seeds.

Traditional Use:

Has long since been used in South America for kidney stones.

Clinical Studies:

Phyllanthus niruri is a plant used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of urolithiasis. A study assessed the efficacy of P. niruri after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones.

150 patients with renal stones that were as large as 25 mm and composed of calcium oxalate were prospectively evaluated. All patients received 1 to 3 extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy sessions by Dornier Lithotriptor S. 

After treatment 78 of 150 patients (52%) underwent therapy with Uriston, a P. niruri extract (2 gm daily) for at least 3 months (group 1). Otherwise 72 of 150 patients (48%) were used as a control group (group 2).

No significant difference in stone size between the 2 groups was found. Stone clearance was assessed after 30, 60, 90 and 180 days by abdominal x-ray and ultrasound scan. 

Stone-free rate (stone-free defined as the absence of any stone or residual fragments less than 3 mm) was 93.5% in group 1 and 83.3% in group 2 at the end point of the followup (180 days). For lower caliceal stones (56 patients) the stone-free rate was 93.7% in the treatment group and 70.8% in the control group.

Re-treatment need for group 1 was 39.7% and for group 2 it was 43.3%. No side effects were recorded with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or P. niruri therapy. 

Regular self-administration of P. niruri after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones results in an increased stone-free rate that appears statistically significant for lower caliceal location. Its efficacy and the absolute lack of side effects make this therapy suitable to improve overall outcomes after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for lower pole stones.


Micali S, Sighinolfi MC, Celia A, De Stefani S, Grande M, Cicero AF, Bianchi G. “Can Phyllanthus Nirurii Affect The Efficacy Of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy For Renal Stones? A Randomized, Prospective, Long-Term Study.” 2006 September