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Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 1,2-Benzendicarboxylic acid, 1-galloyl-2,3-dehydrohexahydroxydiphenyl (DHHDP)-glucose, 1-O-galloyl-2,4-dehydrohexahydroxydiphenoyl-glucopyranose, 1-O-galloyl-6-O-luteoyl-a-D-glucose, 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-8-(3-methyl-but-2-enyl)-chroman-4-one, 2Z,6Z,10Z,14E,18E-farnesyl farnesol, 3-(3,4-dimethoxy-benzyl)-4-(7-methoxy-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yl-methyl)-dihydrofuran-2-one, 4-(3,4-dimethoxy-phenyl)-1-(7-methoxy-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yl)-2,3-bis-methoxymethyl-butan-1-ol, 4,4,8-trimethoxy chroman, 4',4?'di-O-methyl cupressuflavone, 4-methoxy-nor-securinine, 6,10,14-trimethyl-2-pentadecanone, 8-(3-methyl-but-2-enyl)-2-phenyl chroman-4-one, 35kDa protein molecule, acyclic triterpene, alkaloids, amariin (1-galloyl-2,4:3,6-bis-dehydrohexahydroxydiphenoyl-glucopyranosid), amariinic acid, arabinogalactan, arranca-pedras, beta-sitosterol, bhumyamalaki, biflavonoid, bis (2-ethyl hexyl) ester, brevifolin carboxylic acid, (+)-catechin, Cim-Jeevan, CIM/NPA24, CIM/PA 117, CIM/PAG-1, corilagin, coumarins, cubebin dimethyl ether, dibenzylbutyrolactone, diterpenes, dotriacontanyl docosanoate, elaeocarpusin, ellagic acid, ent-norsecurinine, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epicatechin 3-O-gallate, (-)-epigallocatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate, ethyl 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate, ethyl brevifolin carboxylate, ethyl oleate, Euphorbiaceae (family), flavonoids, gallic acid, (+)-gallocatechin, galloylglucose, geraniin, geraniinic acid B, glycoflavones, glycoside, hexahydrofarnesyl acetone, hydroxy-lignans, hypophyllanthin, isoquercetin, isocorilagin, isolintetralin, lactones, lignan, linalool, meniran, methyl brevifolin carboxylate, methyl brevifolincarboxylate, methyl dehydrochebulate, minerals, naphthalene, neolignan, niranthin, nirphyllin, nirtetralin, niruriflavone, niruriside, norsecurinine, Nymphanthus niruri, oleanolic acid, orthosiphol G, orthosiphol I, oxalates, Phyllanthus amarus [Phyllanthus niruri] cv. Navyakrit, para-parai mí, pentacosane, p-glucogallin, phyllanthin, phyllanthine (4-methoxy-securinine), Phyllanthus amarus Linn., Phyllanthus amarus Sch. et Thonn., Phyllanthus amarus Schum. and Thonn., Phyllanthus amarus Schumach., Phyllanthus carolinianus, Phyllanthus fraternus, Phyllanthus kirganella, Phyllanthus lathyroides, Phyllanthus lonphali, Phyllanthus niruri Hook.f., Phyllanthus sellowianus, Phyllanthus sellowianus Muller Arg., phyllanthusiin D, phyllnirurin, phyltetralin, phytol, quebra-pedra, quercetin, quercetin 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(2-->1)-O-beta-D-xylopyranoside, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1->4)-alpha-rhamnopyranoside, repandusinic acid, repandusinic acid A, rutin, saponins, sarandi blanco, seco-lignan, securinega-type alkaloids (isobubbialine and epibubbialine), securinine, steroids, tannins, taung-ze-phyu, terpenoids, trans-phytol, triacontanal, triacontanol, urinatetralin, ursolic acid, volatile oil.
  • Note: Although there are over 600 species in the Phyllanthus genus, three are considered to be chanca piedra: Phyllanthus sellowianus, Phyllanthus amarus, and Phyllanthus niruri. These species are very similar, and the terms are often used interchangeably.


  • Chanca piedra is a plant found in the Amazon rainforests and other tropical areas. It can grow to a height of 30-40 centimeters.
  • Chanca piedra has a history in herbal medicine. It has been used to treat bacterial infections, diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure, liver diseases, and viral infections, as well as bile duct, intestine, liver, stomach, and urinary conditions.
  • At this time, there is a lack of studies to support chanca piedra for any use. Early research suggests its abilities to fight viruses, prevent formation of calculi (mineral stones in organs), protect the liver, and reduce blood sugar and blood pressure. Additional information is needed in these areas.


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The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.