Herbs Profile

Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri)

phyllanthus niruriThis is a very bitter-tasting small shrub that literally 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. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) is referred to in some books as Phyllanthus emblica. Bhumiamalaki is a wonderful liver remedy that is also effective for clearing gall and bladder stones.

Common name Phyllanthus (E), Stone breaker (E) Sanskrit Bhumyamalakı- Latin Phyllanthus amarus/niruri (erroneously)–Folium (Euphorbiaceae)


  • Rasa (taste) Bitter, astringent, sweet
  • Vırya (energy) Cooling
  • Vipa-ka (post-digestive effect) Sweet
  • Guna (quality) Dry, light
  • Dosa effect PK−, V+
  • Dhatu (tissue) Plasma, blood, fat, reproductive
  • Srotas (channel) Digestive, reproductive, urinary


  • Lignans Phyllanthin, hypophyllanthin
  • Flavonoids Astragalin, rutin, quercetin
  • Triterpenes Lupeol, sitosterol
  • Alkaloids
  • Tannin Geraniin (Bone 1996, Williamson 2002)


  • Yakrduttejaka Increases the strength of the liver
  • Kusthaghna Destroys skin diseases
  • Kanduhara Alleviates itching
  • Kasahara Stops coughing


Antiviral, hepatoprotective, cholagogue, diuretic, lithagogue, alterative, immunoregulator,antitussive, haemostatic


Liver Its affinity for balancing ran˜jaka pitta treats viral hepatitis, chronic hepatitis and it acts as a cholagogue. It is also useful for clearing and preventing gallstones. Human clinical trials attest to the improvement in liver function and alleviation of hepatitis symptoms (Thyagarajan et al 1982).

Digestion Its ability to clear aggravated pacaka pitta benefits digestive tract disorders with hyperacidity, inflammation and dysentery (Paranjape 2001).

Skin Used where the liver is the root of the skin inflammation (Bhavapraka´sa). It is also applied externally for skin heat, swelling and itching.

Immunity May be of use in impaired immune disorders; especially viral conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), HIV, flu, herpes (Mehrotra et al 1991).

Gynaecology Used 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 from the urinary system. It may have a use in managing diabetes and reducing blood sugar levels.


* Manjishtha bhringaraja, kutki, chiretta in liver disorders.

* Gurmar, amalaki, cardamom as part of a diabetic regime.

* Neem, manjishtha, bakuchi, turmeric for skin inflammations.

* Chiretta and guduchi in conditions where the immune system is compromised.

* Manjishtha, gokshura in pelvic inflammatory disorders.




No drug–herb interactions are known


1–6g per day dried or 5–15ml of a 1:5 @ 25% tincture.


  • This small shrub grows to a height of 60cm. Its leaves resemble those of amalaki.
  • Numerous studies indicate that bhumiamalaki from India should be used. The species found in India is actually Phyllanthus amarus but it is often erroneously named as Phyllanthus niruri. This variety is actually native to the West Indies and is not found in India (Bagchi 1992).

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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