GRAINE EN BAS FEUILLE
SEED UNDER LEAF
TI TAMARIN BLANC
Phyllanthus are numerous, more than 700 species, they are mostly tropical plants; for a long time they were classified as euphorbiaceae.
Phyllanthus niruri and Phyllanthus amarus are probably the same species, Phyllanthus urinaria is very similar.
These phyllanthus are small herbaceous plants, often annual, commonly found in the tropical regions of the world (except the zones too dry), they are very often considered as invasive species or "vegatal pests" in the fields and the gardens ( crop weeds).
These two phyllanthus are very similar: see this description extracted from the illustrated flora of the phanerogams of Guadeloupe and Martinique
Jacques Fournet INRA 1978:
"low-growing annual or perennial herbs, helicoidal shootlets on the main axis, primary leaves only on the early deciduous main axis, pedicels of female flowers less than 4 mm and not ascending,
Phyllanthus urinaria: seeds with coarse transverse ribs on the back, leaves of the apex of the ramules often falciform stems and ramules often red;
Phyllanthus niruri: warty or smooth seeds on the back, non-sickle leaves, green or whitish stems and ramules, subspecies stained or unstained seeds >>
Phyllanthus niruri (= amarus) is the " (green) seed under leaf" or in the West Indies, "ti tamarin blanc" in Reunion.
Phyllanthus urinaria is the "(red) seed under leaf" in the West Indies.
In Spanish-speaking countries they are called CHANCA PIEDRA, QUEBRA PEDRA in Brazil and "graine en bas feuilles" in French speaking countries
These two species are the most used as medicinal plants but as it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate the small phyllanthus one from each other, other phyllantus sp. are also used in traditional medicine in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
All parts of these medicinal herbs are used : root, stem, leaf and flowering twigs, latex (sap).
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Phyllanthus niruri and urinaria, used for a very long time in traditional medicine (especially in India), have been studied recently in many countries (except Europe).
They contain many substances that are not very toxic and pharmacologically active, phyllanthus species are not included in the French Pharmacopoeia.
MAIN COMPONENTS OF PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI AND PHYLLANTHUS URINARIA
- Flavonoids and flavonol: anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants, tissue protector.
- Tannins: anti-viral, action on various cancerous cells lines, analgesics, protectors of the gastric mucosa, slightly hypotensive.
- lignans (phenolic compounds precursors of lignin): phyllanthine and hypo-phyllantine, phyto-estrogen, protector of liver cells (hepatoprotective).
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI AND PHYLLANTHUS URINARIA EXTRACTS
As it is often the case in herbal medicine, one cannot always link the medicinal properties of these small plants to specific compounds.
ACTION ON URINARY STONES (KIDNEY, BLADDER) OR URINARY LITHIASISPhyllanthus niruri and urinaria are traditionally used to promote the elimination of urinary stones and prevent their formation hence their name "stone breaker" in some countries.
ANTI-VIRAL ACTION and LIVER PROTECTIONHepatitis A, B and C are the cause of serious liver problems especially when the viral infection persists a long time , a progressive fibrosis of the liver (cirrhosis) is then to be feared and in some cases it promote carcinogenesis of the liver.
ACTION ON VARIOUS CANCERSFew in vitro studies and more rarely in vivo studies show that some phyllanthus extracts described may delay cancer development (anti-angiogenic effect) and could accelerate the death of cancer cells (by apoptosis).
ANTI-DIABETES ACTIONThere are compounds in the aerial parts of Phyllanthus niruri that limit intestinal glucose uptake and increase cellular penetration (storage) of blood glucose. These two combined effects help to improve type 2 diabetes.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTION, ANTALGICThe extracts of phyllanthus described act probably in the manner of aspirin whose effects they increase, in addition they limit the migration of neutrophils partially responsible for inflammatory reactions (but also necessary to contain infections).
ACTION ON BLOOD PRESSUREPhyllanthus allow a small decrease in systolic pressure (thus blood pressure), and a decrease in blood cholesterol levels (similar to te effects of olive tree leaf extracts).
Phyllantus niruri and urinaria are good examples of medicinal plants that have been widely used for a long time (particularly in India and Southeast Asia), easy to harvest or cultivate, which contain many active substances but are completely neglected by pharmaceutical companies for essentially economic reasons (not enough return on investment research and difficulty to have exclusivity on phytomedicine).
In our current state of knowledge we can use Phyllanthus niruri and urinaria:
- In case of urinary stones (lithiasis) , especially in combination with lithotripsy treatment, or when the stones are very small and in the absence of infectious complications.
- In case of uncomplicated urinary tract infection (cystitis).
- To accompany dieting : diuretic effect, limitation of carbohydrate absorption.
- In case of type 2 diabetes : effect on carbohydrates, blood pressure, effect on blood lipids and anti-inflammatory.
- In cases of hepatitis A, B and even C to delay the progression of the disease pending specific antiviral treatment.
- In case of infection by dengue or chikungunya virus : these two viral infections are rapidly expanding in all tropical countries and even sub-tropical countries, there is no specific treatment or vaccine at present .
Papaya leaf juice has already been successfully used for dengue fever and phyllanthus has also been used in India.
- As a plant "depurative" by its action on liver cells, blood lipids, its diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect.
- In addition to conventional cancer treatment when the kidneys are functioning well.
EXEMPLES OF DOSAGE:
Infusion : a small handful of aerial parts in 1/2 liter of very hot water, 10 minutes of infusion
2 to 3 cups a day (it's very bitter).
Decoction : two complete plants (with the roots) of phyllanthus niruri or urinaria in 1/2 or 1 liter of water, boil 5 minutes and infuse 10 minutes, the decoction is more concentrated especially in tannins (the root is richer)
1 to 3 cups a day (very bitter too).
Alcoholic tincture of Phyllanthus niruri or urinaria : one can make an alcoholic tincture (domestic) at 1/5, proportions: 200 g of dry plant or 500 g of fresh plant in 1 liter of alcohol at 50 ° for the dry plant and 70 ° for the fresh plant.
50 to 100 drops 3 times a day
homeopathic tincture of Phyllanthus niruri (in pharmacy) :
50 drops 3 to 4 times a day in maintenance treatment
100 drops 3 to 4 times a day in attack treatment during one to two weeks
Phyllanthus niruri or urinaria powder : 1 to 2 g, 2 to 3 times a day.
To my knowledge, there are no Phyllanthus niruri or urinaria phytomedicines on sale in France but it can be found in Italy (uriston) and on the internet (mainly in England) from South America.
- Caution should be exercised in case of cardiac disorders and hypotensive treatment as there may be an increase in the effects of the drug.
- Phyllanthus niruri or urinaria is contraindicated in pregnancy.
- Phyllanthus in Diabetes treatment should be used with caution because the combined effects of both treatments(conventional and medicinal herb) may cause hypoglycaemia.
CULTURE OF PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI AND URINARIAThese small herbaceous plants can be grown in all warm regions (tropical and subtropical).
Phyllanthus niruri and Phyllanthus urinaria two medicinal plants of the tropics
These two phyllanthus are useful in cases of urinary tract stones (urolithiasis) hence their local name of "stone breaker". They can protect the liver and limit the effects of viral hepatitis A, B, and C, reduce type 2 diabetes, help fight cancer and detoxify the body.
These plants are present in all hot climate countries and very easy to cultivate, they are part of traditional Asian, African and South American medicines.
Copyright 2018 : Dr Jean-Michel Hurtel