Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri
) is a powerful medicinal herb from the Amazon rainforest. It has been used to treat kidney stones for generations in the Amazon and in traditional herbal medicine systems in South America. Clinical studies now validate this rainforest plant’s ability to treat as well as prevent the reoccurrence of several types of kidney stones. In fact, the name chanca piedra
is Spanish and translates to “stone breaker” based on this long-standing effective use. If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you need to know about chanca piedra!
This book will teach you how to use chanca piedra safely and effectively for kidney stones and gout and, just as important, the strategy and dosages required to prevent them in the future. As a naturopathic practitioner, I have used this remarkable rainforest herbal remedy as my “go-to herb” for kidney stones, gallstones, and gout for more than 20 years. I was overjoyed to see (and share in this book) all the new research conducted on the plant, scientifically explaining the many ways chanca piedra works to expel and prevent stones and treat and prevent gout. In the past, it was hard to explain to my clients how a single herb could reduce the pain of a kidney stone, gallstone, or gout attack with the first couple of capsules or cup of herbal tea so immediately and effectively, and this new research finally explains why.
Like most rainforest medicinal plants, chanca piedra is a storehouse of highly active natural chemical compounds that provide many health benefits. Chanca piedra’s ability to treat kidney stones only scratches the surface of its many effective uses. Over the last 10 years, scientists have confirmed that this small but powerful herb is quite effective for treating viral and bacterial infections, malaria and other tropical parasitic diseases, and diabetes, and provides strong liver-protective, heart-protective, immune-modulating, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of these benefits are a result of more than 70 natural plant compounds called polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions—a number of which are found only in chanca piedra.
Some of the research on chanca piedra revealed in this book is quite timely—the ability of chanca piedra to treat viral infections. As I am writing this book, the world has been turned upside down by a new pandemic virus, COVID-19. After I reviewed all the new research on chanca piedra in preparation of writing this book, it had me reaching for the phone to order chanca piedra for my family and myself just in case we were faced with fighting this new virus.
I’ve used chanca piedra for many years as an effective herbal antiviral, so that wasn’t a surprise. It’s been the subject of clinical research in humans over many years to treat hepatitis B and C. It’s also been confirmed to be effective against several herpes viruses, HIV, influenza and flu viruses, dengue virus, and others. The accumulation of a great deal of research over the years confirms that chanca piedra can kill viruses in people, animals, and plants.
Scientists have reported several different mechanisms of actions for how this powerful little herb kills viruses. One significant mechanism is by inhibiting enzymes and other substances viruses need to divide and multiply (transcriptase and protease), while also providing a direct toxic effect to some viruses (as well as bacteria). Researchers have confirmed the presence of at least eight natural plant chemicals with antiviral actions in the plant. It has not been scientifically tested against this particular coronavirus yet, but it certainly has potential since it’s been shown to kill other flu viruses. But that’s not the only reason I ordered chanca piedra for my family and myself.
In addition to being a good antiviral, significant new research on chanca piedra confirms it is an effective immune modulator. This is highly important information in regard to this particular coronavirus. Unlike other flu viruses, COVID-19 causes a radical immune system reaction that sends pro-inflammatory chemicals (called cytokines) to the lungs, resulting in severe lung inflammation, which can cause immediate lung tissue damage and cell death. This phenomenon has been termed a “cytokine storm,” and when this storm occurs in some people with the virus, hospitalization for breathing assistance becomes necessary. Research shows that chanca piedra has the potential ability to prevent or interrupt this cytokine storm with proven immunomodulatory actions, which I find quite compelling.
Remarkably, research on chanca piedra reveals that it can significantly increase the production and activation of specific immune cells responsible for killing foreign invaders (like viruses and bacteria), while lowering the production of immune cells and cytokines that cause inflammation—the very same cytokines implicated in a COVID-19 cytokine storm. This ability has been confirmed in human research. In patients with pneumonia, asthma, and tuberculosis who were given chanca piedra, a significant reduction in lung inflammation was noted with significantly lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which cause lung inflammation, oxidative stress, cellular damage, and cell death. In addition, adults and children with pneumonia, tuberculosis, hepatitis, chicken pox, and Hanson’s disease (leprosy) mounted a much stronger immune response to fight these infections, which sped healing and viral/bacterial clearance, when using chanca piedra. It was also noted in these clinical studies that immune cells responsible for immunity were also increased, and those taking chanca piedra for their infections had no relapses or secondary infections and had higher levels of antigens (cells responsible for immunity).
Chanca piedra’s many strong antioxidant plant chemicals were probably one reason for this reduction of lung inflammation and lung damage; however, other research has been published on chanca piedra’s effective anti-inflammatory actions delivered by other novel anti-inflammatory chemicals. At this juncture, I don’t know if or how chanca piedra might treat this new emerging virus, but the research I read was promising enough that I would certainly try it if I were to become infected. In fact, it would be the first natural remedy I would reach for. I know well the safety of chanca piedra—no toxicity, side effects, or other ill effects have been reported in any of the human and animal studies thus far, so it certainly would be worth a try.
Scientists and doctors around world have been concerned about new emerging infectious diseases for quite a few years now. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even the parasites like those that cause malaria have been mutating and creating drug resistance to most of our gold-standard drugs that are used to kill them. These “superbugs” may well be a much more common problem in our future, and it is certainly impacting us right now. The rainforests of the world are, and will continue to be, of the most utmost importance and one of the main areas where the search for new antimicrobial drugs is taking place. Rainforests hold the highest biodiversity and sheer number of novel chemicals on the planet. Acre for acre, there are more species of plants, animals, insects, and even microbial species such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the rainforests than anywhere else on earth.
In the species-rich rainforest, there are many different types of fungi, mold, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, as well as hordes of insects that attack and kill plants. It is of little wonder that rainforest plants contain so many potent, active, and defensive plant chemicals—they are in a constant battle for survival in an environment literally teeming with life that is constantly evolving. From the soil-borne root rot (a virus) that attacks tender herbaceous plants, to the fungi and mold smothering the life out of huge canopy trees, or even the incredible number of insects devouring any defenseless leaf in the forest . . . rainforest plants have learned to adapt, create chemical defenses against attack, and to survive.
Within this rich arsenal of defensive chemicals, many rainforest plants like chanca piedra have been tested with antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-mold, and insecticidal chemicals with potent actions. In fact, you’ll learn in this book that chanca piedra has also been reported to kill multidrug-resistant bacteria and drug-resistant malaria in test-tube studies and/or in animal studies. It is likely that within these diverse chemicals created to protect the plants from disease, at least a handful of highly active chemicals can and will be harvested and put to the use of protecting humans and animals from the same types of disease-causing organisms. Chanca piedra has been targeted within this search for active chemicals capable of killing microorganisms, and research is ongoing on several active natural compounds in chanca piedra.
This is important information to know! My goal in writing this book is to share the information on what the new research reveals about chanca piedra and how to use it effectively and safely for kidney stones, viral and bacterial infections, liver and gallbladder problems, and other conditions. I’ll share my naturopathic protocols I’ve used for more than 20 years on effective dosages in the upcoming chapters, as well as other important information on how to choose a good product and how to use chanca piedra as an effective herbal remedy. Chanca piedra has long been in my personal arsenal of effective rainforest herbal remedies and will continue to be long into the future. I am excited to share with you everything I’ve learned recently and over many years using this powerful and especially important rainforest herbal remedy.
1. What Is Chanca Piedra?
Traditional Uses in Herbal Medicine
Current Uses as an Herbal Remedy
Natural Compounds and Chemicals
2. The Power of Polyphenols
What is a Polyphenol?
How Polyphenols are Unique
Polyphenol Profiles Results in Different Actions
How Polyphenols Fight Free Radicals
The Main Actions of Polyphenols
The Polyphenols in Chanca Piedra
3. Chanca Piedra’s Actions on the Kidneys
The Different Types of Kidney Stones
How Chanca Piedra Treats Kidney Stones
A Naturopathic Protocol for Kidney Stones
Treatment and Prevention of Gout
Urinary Tract Infections
4. Chanca Piedra and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Are Rainforest Plants the Answer?
Immune Modulation Actions
Chanca piedra and Evolving Flu Viruses
5. The Many Other Benefits of Chanca Piedra
Cellular Protective Antioxidant Actions
Anti-Inflammatory & Pain-Relieving Actions
Liver Protective Actions
Cancer Prevention & Anticancer Actions
Anti-Aging & AGE-Inhibitor Actions
Antidiabetic & Anti-Cholesterol Actions
Benefits and Actions for the Heart
Benefits for Hair Loss
6. A Consumer Guide for Chanca Piedra
The Safety of Chanca Piedra
Finding a Good Chanca Piedra Product
Whole Herb Supplements versus Herbal Extract Products
Where to Purchase Chanca Piedra
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leslie Taylor is one of the world’s leading experts on rainforest medicinal plants and a leader in creating a worldwide market for the important medicinal plants of the Amazon rainforest. Previously, as a product manufacturer and bulk supplier, she was bound by the rules and regulations of the industry, which limited her ability to share vital information on the research that validated the effective uses of these powerful plants to positively affect our health. She closed her company and naturopathic practice to focus on sharing her extensive knowledge of these medicinal plants she’s used and studied for almost twenty years and to reveal the secrets of how to use these remarkable rainforest plants effectively. Leslie lives in Texas and is the best-selling author of The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs.
Books in the Rainforest Medicinal Plant Guide series provide factual, scientific, and vital information on how to use these powerful medicinal plants effectively to improve your health.