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Bhumiamalaki

Bhumiamalaki photo

Phyllanthus amarus/niruri (erroneously) – Folium (Euphorbiacea)

Common Name: Phyllanthus (E), Stone breaker (E)

Sanskrit: Bhumiamalaki

Bhumiamalaki means ‘the Amalaki of the earth’ as this very low lying shrub’s leaves resemble the pattern and shape of her somewhat grander celestial namesake. Bhumiamalaki is a wonderful liver remedy effective for clearing gall and bladder stones.

Botanical Description

Bhumiamalaki is an erect tropical annual herb, growing 40 -70cm height. It is glabrous and stems often branch from the base. It is commonly found in coastal areas and edges of cultivated fields.

The leaves are small green, elliptic oblong shaped, obtuse and they are arranged alternatively on each side of the stem. They resemble those of Amalaki.

The flowers are yellowish, small and axillary. These are unisexual and the male flowers are one to three in number while the female flowers are solitary in nature.

The fruit is a smooth capsule, very small (2 – 3mm in diameter) depressed globose, smooth and scarcely lobed.

How it Works

Ayurveda considers the plant astringent, sour and cooling in action.

Bhumiamalaki is a small herb, having wide range of medicinal properties thanks to its good range of bioactive molecules such as lignans, flavonoids, triterpenes and tannins.

Traditionally this plant is used for treating liver related diseases, such as chronic hepatitis. But, it can be used for treating kidney stones, gallbladder stones or as a diuretic, correcting any obstructions in the urinary flow and reducing urinary infections or any burning sensations[1] [2].

The whole plant is used in gonorrhoea, menorrhagia and other genital affections.

Extracts of Bhumiamalaki can encourage a good inflammation response, particularly within the digestive system and it is used as a stomachic, anti-spasmodic, laxative and carminative, reducing constipation or dysentery. 

Into the Heart of Bhumiamalaki

Bhumiamalaki it is a hypotensive and hepato protective and it has antiviral activities against hepatitis B. It has been reported to exhibit marked antihepatitis B virus surface antigen activity in vivo and in vitro studies. Its protein fractions protect liver tissues against oxidative stress by improving ant oxidative defence.[4][5]

Bhumiamalaki is an excellent remedy for stones interfering in the growth and aggregation of calcium oxalate crystals and preventing the growth of calculi.

It can also decrease the urinary calcium levels and the excess uric acid thanks to the action of the lignans.

  • The leaves contain an alkaloid (phyllanthoside) which has a strong antispasmodic activity, helping to relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract and to reduce hyperacidity and inflammations. Bhumiamalaki is used also to increase appetite and produce laxative effects or reducing dysentery symptoms, thanks to its bitter, sweet and astringent properties. It’s bitter taste but sweet post digestive effect (vipaka) also make it an effective astringent.
  • Bhumiamalaki demostrates lipid-lowering activities in those with high cholesterol levels.

Indications

Liver: Its affinity for balancing ranjaka pitta treats viral hepatitis, chronic hepatitis and it acts as a cholagogue. It is also indicated for clearing and preventing gallstones. Human clinical trials attest to the improvement in liver function and alleviation of hepatitis symptoms.[7]

GIT: Its ability to clear aggravated pachaka pitta benefits digestive tract disorders with hyperacidity, inflammation and dysentery.[8]

Skin: Indicated where the liver is the root of the skin inflammation.[9] It is also applied externally for skin heat, swelling and itching.

Immunity: Indicated in impaired immune disorders; especially viral conditions such as ME, HIV, flu, herpes.

Gynaecology: Indicated in menorrhagia from high pitta. It clears inflammatory heat from the lower abdomen and this reduces congestion, leucorrhoea and painful urination.

Urine: It effectively clears stones and gravel for the urinary system. It may have a use in managing diabetes and reducing blood sugar levels.

References

[1] Phyllanthus niruri: A Review on its Ethno Botanical,Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile 2012

[2] Phyllanthus Niruri: A magic Herb

[3] Bagchi 1992 cited in Bone 1996

[4] Phyllanthus niruri: A Review on its Ethno Botanical,Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile 2012

[5] Phyllanthus Niruri: A magic Herb

[6] Bone 1996 and Williamson

[7] Thyagarajan 1988 cited in Bone 1996

[8] Paranjape

[9] Bhavaprakasha

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