Chanca piedra is a remarkable medicinal plant that has long been used in Central and South America to treat kidney stones. liver issues and gallstones painlessly. Its scientific classification is Phyllanthus niruri, while "Stone breaker" is the literal translation of the plant's common name, given to it by Spanish settlers who recognized its medical value, a value increasingly recognized in the modem world of complementary medicine.
A much studied herb, chanca piedra has repeatedly been found to inhibit the formation of calcium oxalate crystals (the principle component of kidney stones) and even help to break up established stones. It also contains organic compounds that reduce the spasmodic activity of smooth muscles in the kidneys, bladder, and ureter so that kidney stones can pass more smoothly. Further, it has been shown to inhibit the expression of h. pylori, the bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers.2
Chanca Piedra: Kidney Stones and More!
In addition to its benefits for those with kidney stones and gallstones, chanca piedra is well-regarded as a potential remedy for hepatitis B, for reducing cholesterol in the bloodstream, and in modulating blood sugar levels.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
02/14/2013: Jo from Surrey, England: "I was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder 3 years ago. X-ray showed a build-up of calcium around my shoulder joint. Cortisone injection did absolutely nothing, same with painkillers. Eventually got rid of the raw, tearing pain with acupuncture.
However, 3 years later I still have a lot of stiffness in that shoulder. I was wondering if Chanca Piedra might be worth trying to dissolve the calcium. Any views or advice would be appreciated.
02/14/2013: Ruth from Harlingen, Texas replies: "You might want to look into vitamin K2. There's a book called Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. The way I remember it, K2 moves calcium to the places it needs to go and away from the places it shouldn't be."
02/14/2013: Ed2010 from Oakville, Canada replies: "Chanca Piedra is a stone breaker. It can help. In addition you need to take foods rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K makes sure that your body's calcium is evenly distributed. It prevents deposit of calcium in one particular area.
First you can opt for food rich in Vitamin K. Natto, (japanese fermented soy) is the ideal food to supply Vitamin K. It is rich in vitamin K than any other food. But the taste of Natto is quite different. you have to acquire it. You can have a cup of natto with bread or rice daily.
Also do at least 20 mins of full body exercise daily.
02/14/2013: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines replies: "Hi Jo... I also had calcium deposits in the tendons in my shoulder joint that caused me great pain problems -- especially in the morning. In the early 1990s I also went to see a tissue specialist in UK about this problem because it had become such a painful problem. I spent two hours waiting to see the tissue specialist only for him to tell me that he could do nothing to help me. He also told me that his own wife had the same problem as me --for over 15 years!! This from aso-called specialist!! This did not engender much confidence on my part. He did offer to operate on my tendon and individually remove calcium particles but I thought this was a ridiculous solution that would never gaurantee an actual cure to the problem -- so I said no to the op. In the end I cured myself by deliberately and physically damaging my calcified shoulder(I did aikido at the time) -- figuring that if I deliberatey damaged this shoulder area then this would attract the immune system to the area and the calcium particles would be removed. It worked but I wouldn't recommend it!!
Your problem is essentially caused by a high calcium low magnesium diet as well as by lack of other nutrients in the diet.
A better way to deal with the calcified tendon problem would be to supplement the following:
Chanca Piedra - This is a wonderful herb which has a diuretic action that specifically helps to remove excess calcium from tissue and bone sites as well as from the blood. CP is also hypoglycemic (lowers excess blood sugar), and hypolipidemic (lowers excess blood fats). It has many beneficial characteristics:
Dose: Capsules -- 1000 mgs at every meal or drink the tea form 3 times a day. Avoid the the alcoholic extract form - not as good as the aqueous form.
Magnesium -- In the form of magnesium chloride (best form to take), magnesium citrate or mag gluconate. Essentially magnesium helps to regulate calcium in the body. Dose: 250 mgs twice a day.
Vitamin K2, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. This combination also helps to regulate calcium in bone and teeth. Weston Price determined through his own research that in all healthy primitive cultures which had perfect bone and teeth -- this particular combination of healthy vitamins was perhaps the main characteristic reason. These primitive cultures used fats like palm oil(high in vitamin A), coconut oil, butter oil(as clarified butter or ghee) and real grass fed butter -- which all contained healthy amounts of vitamin K2. The Japanese eat natto(acquired taste!! ) which also contains large amounts of Vitamin K2. The human gut flora also produces small amounts of vitamin k2. Weston Price, in his research, also noticed that these healthy primitive cultures had perfect teeth and bone structure right up to and beyong the age of 70 y o. No cavities in the teeth and no bone thinning or bone wasting at old age.
The dosages for these vitamins should be in the proper orthomolecular dosages(not RDA -- way too low) :
Vitamin K2: 1000 mcg per day. You can also get adequate amounts of K2 buy just eating grass fed butter everyday and not margarine.
Vitamin D3: 5,000 iu per day. If you live in a sunny tropical climate -- you wont need to take Vitamin D because your skin plus sun is abe to manufacture up to 20, 000 iu of vitamin D in your skin per day.
Vitamin A: 2,000 iu per day
Perhaps an easier way to take the Vitamin D and Vitamin A together is just to supplement good quality fish oil -- which contains both vitamins in the correct proprotions."
02/14/2013: Sue from Fairfax, Va Usa replies: "Question for Bill: I'm interested in chanca piedra for kidney stones (passed one 2 weeks ago, there are 3 small ones, 1-2mm, in rt. Kidney). But you mention it can remove (excess) calcium from bones, and I have severe osteoporosis... Also, though I am not on blood pressure meds, mine is normally low, about 110/60, with occasional atrial ectopic heartbeats and tachycardia. So I'd be concerned if the herb lowers it further. Do you have any experience with these issues? So very grateful for your thoughts, and all your enormously informative posts!"
02/15/2013: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines replies: "Hi Sue... I don't think that your low blood pressure is related or caused by just calcium problems. Osteoporosis is partly caused by a combination of high calcium in the diet and low magnesium intake. Magnesium is what helps to regulate calcium in the blood and cells. This lack of magnesium causes high amounts of calcium to be present in the blood while, because of poor blood calcium and bone regulation, there is constant bone loss and deterioration of the body's bone structure. This loss of bone also occurs for reasons of lack of nutrients needed to help properly regulate bone formation in the body.
Bone formation and bone removal are two separate ongoing processes in the body. The calcitonin hormone from the thyroid is involved in bone formation and the parathyroid governs bone removal. If your body lacks iodine then bone formation will be affected and boron or borax is very important to the parathyroid for normal bone removal. Other nutritional factors -- such as Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 are also essential for bone formation.
It is quite apparent to me that because you have kidney stone problems, this must mean that you have excess calcium in your blood -- so your excess blood calcium needs to be reduced so you can avoid kidney stone problems in the future. The other half of this problem is caused by eating to much vegetable oils in your diet.
The following protocol will help your osteoporosis problems:
Magnesium Chloride (or Magnesium Oil) -- Ten drops twice a day. You can also use mag citrate -- 250 mgs twice a day.
Borax Water -- 1/8 tspn borax in a litre of water. Drink this mixture throughout the day. Take this remedy for 5 consecutive days then take 2 days off.
Kelp tablets - regular dosages to help thyroid support (calcitonin support).
Vitamin K -- 1000 mcgs once a day.
A Good quality fish oil (Vit A & D).
I also think that it would be safe enough for you to take the Chanca Piedra -- 1000 mgs three times a day with meals -- or drink the tea form three times a day. This will help to gently dissolve and remove the stones in your kidney.
To help with your low blood pressure -- magnesium chloride and sea salt supplementation will help you here. Chlorides (not sodium) are well known to help safely raise blood pressure to normal levels. Dosage for sea salt is 1/2 tspn with water outside mealtimes once a day.
Supplementing both magnesium and iodine from the kelp will also help to resolve your tachycardia heart problems. I also had racing heart problems when I had candida and the iodine plus magnesium resolved this problem quite quickly.
Alot of your problems seem to be linked to lack of magnesium and lack of iodine in your diet."
02/15/2013: Sue from Fairfax, Va Usa replies: "Thank you so much, Bill. While I rarely consume vegetable oil (I use coconut oil) and am already taking many of the supplements you mention (kelp tablets, Iodoral, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, K2 and minerals including boron and silica have been part of my regimen for years), obviously it's not working. What you say about calcium/magnesium proportions makes a lot of sense, as well as the chemical forms. I will try the things you suggest, and I really appreciate your time and thoughts! -- Sue"
12/09/2012: Sanjay from Bangalore, India: "Hello. I'd come across knowing about 'Chanca Piedra', a natural remedy for Kidney stones. I'm one among those millions suffer from kidney stones. Recently I had expelled one thro' urine and got to know it was Calcium Oxalate.
Could you help me provide a consultation about "Chanca Piedra" to know if it would be a real permanent remedy for kidney stones. Can I know how can I get it (pills) in Bangalore, India.
Thanks in advance. Sanjay"Replies
12/10/2012: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines replies: "Hi Sanjay... Chanca piedra is well known in India. It is known and used widely in Ayurvedic medicines and is called bhumyamalaki. There are also many Indian herbal formulations such as Chayawanprash that contain Chanca piedra and these are fairly cheap. So you might be able to actually buy the Chanca piedra or bhumyamalaki from an Ayurvedic herbal vendor where you live.
You might also be able to buy the Chanca piedra at the malls where you live. But this, I think might be expensive.
What you really need to get rid of kidney stones is to take the tea form of Chanca piedra. You can buy one pound bags organic Chanca piedra powder at this internet site reasonably cheaply:
Failing this, Chanca piedra grows all over the lowlands of India, so you might be able to find it locally and even grow your own CP and make the tea or decoction for no cost. The plant grows about one meter high and looks like this: http://www.stuartxchange.org/SampaSampalukan.html"
01/07/2013: Mae from Mandaue City, Cebu replies: "hi, I'm hepa B positive.. I just read about chanca piedra that can help heal hepa B.. I search it and I saw plants same as the picture of chanca piedra but my problem is how will I know that this is really the one.. I have no one here to ask and will aproved it if this the one im looking for... And the 2nd problem is there is no store to buy it.. im already asking healthy option and herbal stall in the but to no avail.. please help"
[YEA] 10/07/2011: Big Pygmy from New York City, New York: "Chanca Piedra is a MIRACLE! I recently had my fourth kidney stone (I'm 53, vegetarian, very healthy). I toughed it out but after HOURS of agonizing pain and realizing I had two at once, which might mean hours more pain I finally went to the emergency room at 3 a.m. They gave me some strong painkiller (tylenol w/codeine previously was worthless). They do an MRI and find three more stones in my left kidney, just sitting there waiting to torture me. I go home, scour the web, scour my herb books. I discover Chanca Piedra here at Earth Clinic. Local herb shop has it (Herb Pharm product called Stone Breaker, it also contains hydrangea root, celery seed and Burdock seed). Herbalist recommends I also take marshmallow for good mucous membrane health. I take them for two weeks. I feel three stones pass PAINLESSLY. I find last two of them in toilet, they look ENORMOUS. I bow down to the Chanca Piedra. Get some and keep it on hand- it is also an analgesic, you can take it during an attack.
I found out that a lot of studies have been done on this herb. They all agree- Chanca Piedra is the rill dilly-o even from a western perspective. Also clears gallstones and heals your liver. Just an AMAZING herb! It should be much better known."
[YEA] 03/06/2011: Bill from San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines: "I've been living in the Philippines for over five years now. As an uprooted Englishman, my own adjustment to the tropical climate was necessarily swift. For some years I've had a fascination for and have used herbs, but I was astounded at the proliferation and variety of fresh tropical herbs that I am now able to grow in my garden so easily. These range from simple well known herbs like Thyme and Oregano to more oblique herbs like Chanca Piedra, Heart Vine, Aloe Vera, Tumeric root and Neem. So, over a period of time, I experimented and used many of these herbs very successfully for my own systemic candida and other problems, which are now all gone. I have also used both Heart Vine and Chanca Piedra over the years to successfully help people with diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, arthritis and candida problems.
There was one old Filipino who was quite badly constipated -- in a serious condition -- he hadn't been able to go to the toilet for over a month!! His family had tried all the usual laxatives with no success at all. I figured it must have been a blockage caused by a lack of liver bile, so I gave him the Chanca Piedra and Heart Vine remedy. He had a rather large evacuation after about 3 days of taking this decoction and he is now fine.
But I have had more recent success with my old and favourite Chanca Piedra and Heart Vine decoction remedy. I live behind a large but poor Filipino shanty where I have a friendly relationship with the community. They are lovely, happy people. Recently, an uncle of a Filipino friend said he went to the doctor complaining of abdominal shooting pains and bloating. The doctors diagnosed gallstones and insisted that they would have to operate to remove the gallbladder (gallbladder removal rarely, if ever, cures gallstones in the long run).
But the uncle was far too poor and couldn't afford the operation anyway. So a family member mentioned this problem to me and I taught him how to recognize and find the herbs, which all grow in the area, and I showed him how to make the standard decoction -- which consists of just two herbs -- Heart Vine (Tinospora cordifolia) and Chanca Piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) with daily dosages. In the Philippines, both these plants are regarded as useless weeds believe it or not. But in Indian Ayurvedic medicine these two herbs are revered for their rejuvenating and tonic properties.
Anyway, two months went by and word was eventually passed to me that the uncle with the gallbladder problem had successfully passed out all his gallstones naturally while taking the decoction and he was healthy once again. I really love it when I get feedback like this. To me it is simply the best sort of confirmation whether a remedy works or not."
EC: Bill's above feedback on Chanca Piedra and Heart Vine was originally published in our recent 02/28/2011 newsletter. Read the newsletter in entirety here.
03/04/2011: Isabelle from Cotonou, Benin replies: "Bill, would you have the name of these plants in french? I even searched with the botanical names you gave, but couldn't find them. Are they plants only growing in Phillipines? Do we have the equivalance in France or better, in West Africa? as many people around me suffer from chronic constipation.
Thanks again, and God bless your work."
03/04/2011: Bill from San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines replies: "Hi Isabelle, Chanca Piedra (Phylanthus niruri) and Heart Vine (Tinospora cordifolia) are easily found using Google Search or Google Images. Here are some pictures and herbal descriptions for each plant which should help you.
This plant is unique because it bears all its small seeds underneath and along the very center of its leaf stem. This plant stands about 30 - 50 cms high
This vine herb has a unique pimply stem. Here is a description with some photos of the plant.
I'm afraid I was unable to locate any French equivalent names -- but even using French sites on the web you should be to find them using their Latin equivalent names. Both these plants are lowland tropical plants which should exist in similar areas of West Africa.
Also, both using virgin coconut oil and Neem leaf tea (Azadirachta indica) would also be highly protective for the intestines against infection, constipation, parasites etc. These plants are also widely found in the tropics.
Where to Buy
05/06/2012: Mnb from Philippines: "Bill could you please tell me where I can buy chanka piedra capsule or tea or plant here in philippines, I'm from cavite and positive of hep B virus"Replies
05/18/2012: Bill from Philippines replies: "Regarding purchasing Chanca piedra in the Philippines, you can get it from Healthy Options stores which are normally located in SM malls throughout the Philippines. Here is a link that shows which SM stores have Healthy Options health shops in the Philippines:
You can also buy the fresh chanca piedra from Quiapo Market in Manila (probably much cheaper) near Quiapo Church in Quezon City.
I'm afraid I haven't much of a clue about India. But here's what I would do. Visit an Ayurvedic or Unani healer -- they will almost certainly have chanca piedra -- and purchase chanca piedra from then. I would also think that the health shops in the Indian malls would definitely sell it too.
In both the hot lowlands of India and the Philippines, Chanca piedra grows wild as a profuse weed. So if you can recognize the plant, you can get it for free. Just make a decoction or a tea from the whole plant (including the roots) and drink this several times a day everyday. Chanca piedra has one unique feature that no other plant has -- it's flowers and seeds are situated along and under the leaf petiole. That's why CP is also called "Seed-Under-Leaf". Here is a picture of the CP plant.
Best regards, Bill :)"
07/16/2012: Mary Ann from Pasig, Philippines replies: "Hi , I've tried contacting Healthy Options (manila branches) and it seems they haven't heard it nor do they have stocks for these herbs. They even had a hard time understanding its name. Can you suggest where else can I find it as a tincture? Or has anyone bought it in other stores? It really means a lot. Many thanks!"
10/30/2012: Anne from Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte replies: "I ordered 3 boxes of chanca piedra tea the other week I will try but I know a lot of the study shows that it really helps. Please contact this number 09162464635"
12/20/2012: Marie from Olongapo, Philippines replies: "I order 3 bottles Chanca Piedra capsules in Cainta Rizal Philippines. I drink it 1 capsule 3 times a day after 5 days I feel good all my pains are all gone. I urinate a crush crystal. That's why in USA it iss called a Stone breaker. I also recommend it to my cousin who has a Hepa B. I really thank the lady who sell the chanca piedra in the philippines. Anybody who wants to buy , may contact them at 0916. 246. 46. 35, I highly recommend them. They are not SCAM."