Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri) – Herb garden

Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri) - Herb garden

Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri) is an erect, annual herb plant. It grows up to 15cm – 50cm tall in height and bears ascending herbaceous branches. The bark is smooth and light green. It produces numerous pale green blossoms which are often flushed with red. The fruits are very small, smooth capsules containing seeds.

Scientific classification:

Family: Phyllanthaceae
Genus: Phyllanthus
Species: P. niruri

Scientific Name: Phyllanthus niruri
Synonyms: Diasperus chlorophaeus, Phyllanthus carolinianus, Phyllanthus chlorophaeus.
Common Names: Gale of the wind, Stonebreaker, Seed-under-leaf, Tamil: Keezhanelli, Malayalam: Bhumyamalaki, Hindi: Jaramla Niruri.

Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri)

How to grow and maintain Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri):

Light:
It thrives best in bright light to shade.

Soil:
It grows well in well-drained soils at pH ranging from alkaline to neutral and acidic.

Water:
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.

Fertilizer:
Organic fertilizers are preferred. The crop does not have any specific requirement for N, P, and K. However FYM or nitrogenous fertilizers applied in appropriate quantities result in better growth and higher herb yield.

Propagation:
It can be easily propagated by seed. The seeds are collected when the plants are matured. The whole plant is collected and allowed to dry and fruits to dehisce on paper. The seeds are very small so they should be mixed with sand before sowing. The seeds are sown between the months of late April and late May.

Harvesting:
Plants should be harvested in September after the completion of the rainy season when they are still green in color and herbaceous. At this time the concentration of active constituents in the leaves, as well as the number of leaves, are at highest. The leaves are dried in the sun.

Pests and Diseases:
It has is no serious pest or disease problems.

Benefits of Stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri):

  • It has been utilized to treat kidney stones in traditional herbal medicine systems.
  • A paste of plant leaves mixed in buttermilk is prescribed for jaundice. Alternatively, the paste is also mixed in goat’s milk and given for the ailment. It shows anti-viral actions against the Hepatitis B virus. This will tone up your liver. You must take this when you are down with jaundice.
  • The entire plant is very useful and it is considered to be acrid, cooling, diuretic, and alexipharmic. It is considered to be useful in the treatment of thirst, bronchitis, leprosy, anemia, urinary discharge, anuria, biliousness, asthma, hiccups.
  • An infusion of the tender fresh roots is valuable in the treatment of chronic dysentery.
  • An infusion of the leaves is used as a treatment for dysentery.
  • The milky juice is a good application to treat offensive sores.
  • The leaves are ground and applied externally of bone fractures.
  • The fruits are useful in the treatment of tubercular ulcers, wounds, sores, scabies, and ringworm.
  • The seeds are cholagogue and febrifuge. An infusion is given to a woman after giving birth.
  • It is utilized for urine genital disorders.
  • The plant is useful as a bitter tonic astringent and febrifuge.
  • A decoction of the leaves and stems are used for dyeing cotton black.

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