More about Chanca Piedra (Phyllanthus Niruri)
Chanca Piedra is a small, erect, annual herb that grows 30-40 cm in height. It belongs to the Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family) and is indigenous to the rainforests. Rainforests such as the Amazon and other tropical areas throughout the world, including the Bahamas, southern India, and China. P. niruri is quite prevalent in the Amazon and other wet rainforests, growing and spreading freely (much like a weed). P. amarus and P. sellowianus are closely related to P. niruri in appearance, phytochemical structure, and history of use. The diference is that they typically grow in the drier tropical climates of India, Brazil, and even Florida and Texas.
The Phyllanthus genus contains over 600 species of shrubs, trees, and annual or biennial herbs distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Unfortunately, there remains a great deal of confusion among scientists regarding plant identification. In many cases, plant misidentification makes evaluation of published information difficult. P. amarus (Thonn. & Schum) and P. sellowianus are often considered a variety of P. niruri, or no distinction is made among these three species in published clinical research. Oftentimes one name is synonymous with another. Sometimes people use both names interchangeably as if referring to one plant. It became so confusing that, in the 1990s, a major reorganisation of the Phyllanthus genus was conducted. They classified P. amarusas a type of P. niruri.
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