Phyllanthus niruri 101

Phyllanthus Frequently Asked Questions

Do you sell Phyllanthus niruri?

Yes! You can order Phyllanthus niruri looseleaf tea, powder, and extract from our online store.

What are some Phyllanthus health benefits?

Phyllanthus niruri (also called Chanca Piedra and Stone Breaker) tea, extract, and powder offer tremendous health benefits. Native to the Amazon region of Peru, Chanca Piedra is a nootropic, an adaptogen, and an antioxidant. With 100+ identified bioactive compounds, no other plant in the world offers as many health benefits.

Phytochemically rich Chanca Piedra has the potential to help many body systems. It has been traditionally used to support the renal system, help the immune and lymphatic systems combat viruses and bacteria, support the digestive system, and reduce stress on the pancreatic system. You can read more here.

Phyllanthus niruri may offer significant immune support and relief of cold and flu symptoms. Studies show it has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and biofilm-breaking qualities.

What does “Chanca Piedra” mean?

Chanca Piedra is Spanish for “Stone Breaker.” Phyllanthus niruri is best known as a kidney stone breaker. People throughout South American drink tea made from this marvelous Peruvian plant.

Is Phyllanthus niruri the world’s healthiest tea?

We think Phyllanthus niruri may be the healthiest tea in the world. Members of our team drink it every day. It has 100+ bioactive compounds. It’s a powerful antioxidant and a nootropic. Best known for helping to eliminate kidney stones and gall stones, it is also traditionally used in South America and around the world to address a variety of chronic illnesses.

Phyllanthus niruri has been traditionally used to help the immune and lymphatic systems combat viruses and bacteria, support the digestive system and renal system, and reduce stress on the pancreatic system.

The important thing to remember is that the same actions that help with chronic illness can help your body stave off the flu or a cold. Phyllanthus niruri blocks the RNA and DNA transferase, slowing or even stopping bacteria and viruses from multiplying and allowing a more balanced immune system to handle the remaining invaders.

For these reasons, we’ve included Phyllanthus niruri as one of the six super-botanicals in our proprietary Immune Support Kit.

Can Phyllanthus help me if I have kidney stones?

Phyllanthus niruri is known throughout South America as Chanca Piedra, which means stone breaker. Interestingly, Phyllanthus niruri doesn’t technically break the kidney stone. Instead, it stops the accretion of calcium in the kidney, smooths the stone’s spiky surface, stops spasms and eases pain while passing stones, and reduces the size of the stone so it can pass easily through your urine stream. Learn more here.

Can Phyllanthus help someone with Lyme?

Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden had Lyme Disease for almost 4 years, and he drank Chanca Piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) tea to help treat kidney stones. Over a three-month period, he ended up clearing Lyme Disease from his body. You can learn more about how Chanca Piedra works to inhibit Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) here. You can read more about how Chanca Piedra helped me rid my body of Lyme Disease here and here.

Can Phyllanthus niruri help me deal with stress?

Phyllanthus niruri is a member of a rare and remarkable group of plants called adaptogens, which help the body adapt to physical, chemical, biological, emotional, and environmental stress. As the world’s best synergistic adaptogen, Phyllanthus can help the body deal with inflammation, hypertension, and oxidative stress, which is essential for a balanced immune system and good health.

Can it help with a liver detox cleanse?

Everything you put in your body eventually goes through the liver’s security checkpoint. Rather than start a new fad diet, consider ways to support efficient liver filtration. A cup of Phyllanthus niruri tea a day can go a long way toward protecting your liver and supporting digestive health.

Does it matter where Phyllanthus is sourced?

Yes! Our high-quality Chanca Piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) is sourced from the Amazon region of Peru. It’s grown in its natural environment through a process of wildcrafting. We work with our supplier to ensure proper species identification. Members of our team have spent time in Peru and have met with both the collectors and processors personally.

Since many plants look alike, it’s not uncommon for some suppliers to sell Phyllanthus urinaria, Phyllanthus amarus, and other plants, which they call Phyllanthus niruri. These different plants – sourced from China, India, and other parts of the world – do not share the same health benefits as Phyllanthus niruri. Terroir (geography, landscape, sun, seasons, and rain) matters.

How did you choose your supplier?

For each of the products we sell, members of our team do substantial research and then visit the source and meet with both the collectors and processors personally.

The collectors and processors of our Phyllanthus niruri know their plants and appreciate the difference between wild-grown herbs and greenhouse-cultivated crops. We back up our faith in our source and our processors with testing.

Should Phyllanthus be wild grown?

Wild grown Phyllanthus niruri is preferable. We sell only wild grown, nature-crafted Phyllanthus niruri. (If your Phyllanthus was cultivated, it’s probably not Phyllanthus niruri.)

How can I find a reputable Phyllanthus source?

Start by asking these questions:

  1. Have they themselves tried Phyllanthus niruri tea and extract?
  2. Are they sourcing their Phyllanthus niruri from the Amazon regions of Peru?
  3. Have they visited the Amazon regions of Peru and met in person with their Peruvian supplier?
  4. Are they choosing Phyllanthus niruri plants grown in their natural environment through a process of wildcrafting?
  5. Are they managing cultivation and using organic farming methods to minimize environmental impacts and maximize health benefits?
  6. Are they ensuring proper species identification (especially since many plants look alike)? Phyllanthus niruri, for example, has tiny fruit capsules containing seeds (see the picture).

It’s easy for suppliers to cultivate and sell the wrong plant, even accidentally. So choose your Phyllanthus niruri source wisely.

What does the tea taste like?

Phyllanthus niruri makes a pleasant-tasting loose tea that some people think tastes like the Lipton tea they drank growing up.

Does the tea have caffeine?

Some people feel an energy boost when they drink Phyllanthus niriri. However, it does not contain stimulants. It has no caffeine and no cardiac glycosides. There are no reported adverse side effects of drinking the tea regularly. That said, everybody’s body chemistry is different. Trust what your body tells you.

Should I choose looseleaf, powder, or extract?

When you order Phyllanthus niruri, you have a choice of looseleaf, powder, or extract (concentrate). Why choose one over the other? Generally it comes down to lifestyle and how you want to ingest the nutrients. All three choices are potentially good ones depending on your needs and lifestyle.

Looseleaf is the whole plant cut to a loose “tea” cut. Looseleaf is the most traditional form, and it’s a great way to enjoy a full tea experience. Some ancient healing traditions (Ayurveda, for example) believe strongly in the whole experiential process of smelling and tasting the decoction as part of the healing. Science agrees with the concept that the nose can prime the immune system.

Powder is the raw plant material ground to a coarse powder and used to make a tea. The best way to make tea with the powder is with a drip-style coffee maker. The powder is just as good as the looseleaf; however, it’s a bit too fine to put in a tea ball or even a French press — hence the drip coffee suggestion. The powder is a slightly faster way to make the tea, and it’s also available in a smaller 250g size.

Phyllanthus niruri concentrate is an extract. Ours uses a dual-process extraction that gets the most nutritional value out of the plant. (Imagine a combination of a tincture and a tea that has been both professionally prepared and dried to a powder in a sealed system that doesn’t lose any beneficial components.) The concentrate is great if you’re adding Phyllanthus niruri to a smoothie or if you’re traveling and want to be able to make “instant” batches easily.

Do you have Phyllanthus smoothie recipes?

Of course! Try an immune support smoothie, a digestive health smoothie, a memory and focus smoothie, or a stress relief smoothie.

How much tea should I drink?

We like Phyllanthus as a tea. Technically, it’s a decoction, which for simplicity’s sake is a long-brewed tea. Normally, we suggest drinking three cups a day as a support and then drinking less when you reach the maintenance stage, which occurs when your symptoms are gone for a month or so. The rule of thumb in herbalism is that it will take one month of herbal support for every year your system has been imbalanced, stressed, or dealing with a chronic issue.

How do I brew tea from Phyllanthus powder?

Add 8oz of near boiling, filtered water to 1/2 tablespoon of powdered herb. Let steep for 25 minutes. Drink two to three glasses a day.

Basically, the powdered plant is meant to be brewed like any tea. If you do not filter out the plant material, you’ll get extra fiber in your diet. We leave it up to you to decide whether this is a good thing or not.

If you don’t enjoy the overall experience of drinking the tea with the plant matter, then you may want to filter out the powder after steeping and before drinking. One way to do this is to put the tea in a fillable teabag, a fine-mesh tea ball, or a French press.

How do I brew Phyllanthus niruri looseleaf tea?

To make the brewing process easier, you may find it easiest to make all three cups in the morning and then drink the tea throughout the day. Measure 13 grams (about 2/3 of a cup) of plant to 30 ounces of water. For a single cup, the measure would be a heaping tablespoon of the loose-cut dried plant to 8 ounces of water.

If you have a decoction pot, set the temperature to 90c and the timer for 30 minutes. If you’re going low tech, simply bring the water to boil and then let it cool one minute before pouring over the plant material. You can also use a regular teapot or a French press. Using a French press allows you to keep an eye on the tea color. Watching for when all the plant matter has hydrated and sunk to the base of the press works as a great rough timer for when the decoction is ready.

If you use a teapot, let the mixture steep for about 35 minutes. If you brew it longer, you may find the taste more bitter. However, a longer brew won’t subtract anything from its beneficial value.

How do I use Phyllanthus niruri extract?

Add 8-10oz of hot, filtered water to 1/2 teaspoon of extract. Stir until dissolved. Drink two to three glasses a day. You can also put your extract in an immune support smoothie, a digestive health smoothie, a memory and focus smoothie, or a stress relief smoothie.

How can I make the perfect brew?

Perfection matters less than you may think. Perfection can be the enemy of the good, especially if your goal is to optimize your health.

Over the long haul, it won’t matter if a brew here or there is less than perfect. Continued usage is far more helpful than any single serving. Most of the herbal bioactives will build to a level in the body after which excess is excreted within a few daily servings.

The upshot: If the brewing process is too complicated, then people will stop brewing. Relax and drink a good cup of Phyllanthus niruri. Don’t stress about the perfect brew.

Can I brew Phyllanthus and Cistus incanus together?

Yes, many people like to blend Phyllanthus and Cistus incanus in a single pot. Doing so will result in an effective brew of both. We like a 50/50 (by weight) blend, but you might want to experiment with different ratios.

Some people are strong adherents of the three brew method for Cistus. In this case, would recommend separate brewing, but it would be perfectly fine to combine the final brews. The reason for separate brewing is that a triple brew of Phyllanthus would over-express the tannin content, which could make the tea overly bitter and unbalance the flavonoid ratio of the extraction.

Can I add sugar, lemon, or honey to my tea?

Yes, you can add a bit of lemon or honey to the tea. Doing so won’t diminish the benefits. If desired, you can also add a small amount of any herbal, such as oregano or mint. this is up to your personal preferences.

As a general rule, sugar is not a healthy supplement. “No added sugar” is probably the first recommendation for anyone trying to improve their health. Honey is sugar. However, if a small amount increases the likelihood of your drinking the tea, the benefits will outweigh the downside, particularly if it’s the only added sugar in your diet.

What if the flavor of the tea is too strong?

It’s possible that you’re making a too strong a cup of tea. Brewing Phyllanthus on the stronger side (either by increasing the brew time or increasing the material-to-water ratio) can make the tea tannic, which some people experience as bitter.

Can I make or warm my tea in the microwave?

Personally, we don’t like to make tea in a microwave. However, we run our company based on science, not on personal opinion. A survey of the scientific literature suggests that using a microwave will at worst present only a minimal loss of bioactive ingredients. If making or warming your tea a microwave is convenient for you, go ahead.

What is the best way to store the brewed tea?

Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Are Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus urinaria the same as Phyllanthus niruri?

No. Phyllanthus niruri is a different plant with similar but different bioactive ingredients. Many suppliers call all Phyllanthus plants “Phyllanthus niruri.” Be sure you know what you’re getting.

Can I drink the tea all day?

Yes, it is safe to drink Phyllanthus all day. You can keep drinking it for a month or more.

Can you advise me on my medical condition?

Every day, we hear personal stories about the unfortunate health struggles people face when dealing with Lyme disease and other chronic diseases and chronic illnesses. We hear how people have spent thousands of dollars chasing this cure or that and how they’ve received little help from doctors. Every day, these stories inspire us to want to do everything we can to help people optimize their health.

We have found that Phyllanthus niruri can be highly effective, and science helps to explain why. (To familiarize yourself with medical research, visit the NIH site and search on “Phyllanthus niruri” or “Chanca Piedra.”) However, to be clear, we cannot offer medical advice or recommendations on treatment for any specific health issue. If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you see an integrative health professional.

What if I have more questions?

Contact us!