Chanca piedra: Unlocking the Benefits Chanca piedra powder
What is chanca piedra?
Chanca piedra is an herb that grows in tropical areas, like the rainforests of South America. Its scientific name is Phyllanthus niruri.
It also goes by a number of other names, such as:
- stone breaker
- quebra pedra
- shatter stone
- chance pierre
The plant has thin, leaf-covered branches and can grow up to about 2 feet (61 cm) tall. It gets the name “seed-under-leaf” because its seed pods, which bloom into small green flowers, grow beneath the leaves.
The entire plant — including the leaves, stems, and flowers — is used to make chanca piedra supplements.
As a supplement, chanca piedra is reported to help with a variety of conditions related to the digestive system, liver, and kidneys.
Supposedly, it contains phytochemicals — or plant compounds — that can increase urine flow, kill harmful bacteria and viruses, and relieve inflammation .
However, there’s little evidence that it’s effective.
Chanca piedra is available in teas, liquid extracts, capsules, or tablets.
Benefits and uses
According to some claims, chanca piedra may have several beneficial effects on different body systems. However, there’s little research to support these claims.
- Kidney stones
Chanca piedra is best known as a potential kidney stone cure — which is how it earned the name “stone breaker.”
The herb is alkaline, so it may help prevent acidic kidney stones. It’s a less expensive, over-the-counter alternative to prescription potassium citrate, an alkalizing agent that’s commonly used to prevent acidic kidney stones. It may also help you urinate more .
In one study of 56 people with kidney stones who took 1 cup of hot water infused with an herbal sachet containing 4.5 grams of chanca piedra twice daily, researchers found that the kidney stones decreased in size and number in about two-thirds of participants .
What’s more, other small human studies have observed some benefit to taking chanca piedra for kidney stones.
- Stomach ulcers
Chanca piedra extract can kill the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers from Helicobacter pylori in test-tube studies. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to an oral supplement being effective against stomach ulcers in humans .
Test-tube studies like these typically involve highly concentrated extracts being applied directly to bacterial cells, which isn’t how oral chanca piedra supplements would work.
- High blood sugar
In animal studies, the antioxidants in chanca piedra have been able to improve fasting blood sugar levels, which can help with blood sugar management .
Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean that chanca piedra would have the same effect in humans.
More research is needed to understand the effect of chanca piedra on blood sugar levels in humans.
For the same reason it may help with kidney stones, the alkalizing properties of chanca piedra may help prevent gallstones as well. It’s used in some traditional medicine practices as a gallstone treatment
Yet, there’s no scientific evidence to support the use of chanca piedra specifically for gallstones.
Gout flare-ups can occur when high levels of uric acid build up in the blood. Chanca piedra may help balance out these levels and prevent gout attacks.
Some animal studies have shown a decrease in uric acid levels in animals receiving chanca piedra supplements.
- Liver disease
Due to its antioxidant content, chanca piedra may improve liver function and help protect the liver from cellular damage caused by free radicals — unstable compounds that can cause damage when they build up in your body in high levels .
The herb also appears to be helpful for treating hepatitis B, an inflammatory viral infection of the liver — at least in animal and test-tube studies .
Because some other herbs in the Phyllanthus genus exhibit strong antiviral activity against hepatitis B — potentially rivaling that of the antiviral medication interferon — researchers theorize that chanca piedra may have similar effects.
Still, most of this research has been done in animal or test-tube studies. More human studies are needed to assess the effects of chanca piedra on liver health.
- High blood pressure
Some animal research indicates that chanca piedra may help relax the blood vessels, which could lead to reductions in blood pressure.
Yet, one human study noted a slight, but not clinically significant, increase in blood pressure in participants while taking chanca piedra for 12 weeks. However, these participants saw a significant reduction in blood pressure over the 12 weeks after they stopped taking the chanca piedra .
It’s important to note that most of the existing research on chanca piedra has been done in animals or test tubes, using highly concentrated extracts.
Although there’s a small amount of evidence to support the use of chanca piedra for kidney stones in humans, larger and more rigorous human studies are needed to determine if chanca piedra truly has any benefits.
Dosage and how to take
In one human study that showed improvements in kidney stones, the daily dosage was 4.5 grams of chanca piedra infused in one cup of hot water twice daily for 12 weeks .
Chanca piedra pills or capsules contain anywhere from 500 to 1,600 mg of the herb per dose, and liquid extracts contain a similar amount.
It’s difficult to tell how much of the herb you would consume from tea, as the amount of the herb that infuses into the tea depends on the temperature of the water and how long the tea steeps.
Chanca piedra can be taken with or without food.
There’s no research on the long-term effects of chanca piedra, so it may be wise to limit the time you take the supplement to 12 weeks or less — a duration that has been studied in humans .
At Julyherb, we specialize in the production and distribution of pharmacologically active substances, raw materials, plant extracts, and nutraceuticals. Our focus lies in creating high-quality supplements for human use, catering to the pharmaceutical, food, nutritional, and cosmetic industries.