Phyllanthus niruri is an herb used in Brazil to treat kidney stones (urolithiasis.) The herb is known as “quebra pedra” or “stone breaker.” It has been previously shown to cause smooth muscle relaxation for easier passing of kidney stones. It has a pain relieving effect. It has been shown to prevent the growth of calcium oxalate crystals and prevent the growth of bladder stones. The herb has been demonstrated to be safe for human use.
The authors tested a series of patients who were given either P. niruri or a placebo treatment, for comparison. The extract used included alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenes, lignans, tannins and coumarins. P. niruri contains rutin, amylin, -sitosterol and caffeic acid (which are anti-inflammatory and/or analgesic,) geranin, quercetin (which inhibits phosphodiesterase,) niruside (which inhibits HIV reverse transcriptase,) and repandusinic acid A (which may protect the liver.)
The testing included blood and urine calcium, magnesium, uric acid, oxalates, sodium and potassium levels before and after treatment with P. niguri. Patients whose blood levels of the above assays were either elevated or low were evaluated as subgroups. The only finding in that portion of the study was that patients who had high calcium urine levels (hypercalciuria) at the onset showed a lowering of their calcium levels with P. niruri treatment. Some patients had a reduction in their magnesium levels after P. niguri treatment; but, their magnesium levels were still in the normal range.
No significant differences in the clinical courses of patients who received P. niruri vs. those who received placebo were noted. There was no significant difference in the number of stones passed or the amount of pain in this study. The authors point out that this study of 69 patients was too small for a clinical study and a much larger study should be done to determine benefits in the clinical progress for patients.
CONCLUSION: Patients who were given treatment for kidney stones with Phyllanthus niruri and who had high calcium blood levels showed a reduction in blood calcium levels as compared to patients who received placebo therapy. This reduction in calcium is important for people who form calcium stones.
NOTE: Read about Phyllanthus niruri and hyperuricemia.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the NCBI link above.