There is a tendency to rank players on a basketball team by their size when they emerge from the locker room. Like the smallest kid in the lineup, stonebreaker’s statistics as a green healer prove that you don’t have to be super tall to be a superstar. No bench warmer, diminutive stonebreaker rises 20 inches above the ground, but it is a proven playmaker when coping with a wide variety of medical conditions.
What does it do?
The entire plant yields medicinal treasures, with certain parts employed for specific ailments. The fresh root, for example, provides a splendid remedy for jaundice, while the young leaves are summoned to address feverish conditions. Fresh leaves are also chewed to banish hiccups, and the bitter fruit brings its healing skills to the table when ringworm, wounds or scabies become a menace to our well-being. Spanish explorers gave this herb one of its popular common names—chanca piedra (stone breaker)—after witnessing indigenous peoples of the Amazon using it on sufferers of both kidney stones and gallstones. Aside from many healthful successes down the corridors of time in the hands of native healers, stonebreaker has survived scientific scrutiny in the lab as a proven liver protective, diuretic and pain reliever. Notably, it hinders the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, the building blocks of most kidney stones.
About the herb
Hailing from the large genus, Phyllanthus, stonebreaker’s botanical family spans the globe primarily in the tropical regions. Much prized in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, stonebreaker has been used in India for problems of the stomach, spleen and urinary system. Dainty flowers painted light green to white grace the plant during blooming season. The leaves have been used to dye cotton black.
Some pharmacies in Brazil offer concentrated fluid extracts of stonebreaker to prevent the formation of kidney stones, increasing the frequency of using this healthy beverage when the goal is the expulsion of existing stones. Water soluble tablets and capsules also stand at the ready to combat painful stones found in the kidney or gall bladder. Several cups of stonebreaker tea consumed weekly can serve as a maintenance dose for preventing the formation of stones. Avoid using stonebreaker during pregnancy.