urinaria; Phyllanthus niruri
weed; Shatter stone
niruri is a bitter herb and reported to possess astringent, deobstruent,
stomachic, diuretic, febrifugal and antiseptic properties. It is used in
stomach troubles such as dyspepsia, colic, diarrhea and dysentery, and
is also employed in urino-genital system.
extract of the plant Phyllanthus niruri inhibits endogenous DNA polymerase
of hepatitis B virus and binds to the surface antigen of hepatitis B virus
in vitro. The extract also inhibits woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) DNA
polymerase and binds to the surface antigen of WHV in vitro.
niruri is a plant that has been shown to interfere in the growth and
aggregation of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals. In the present study we
evaluated the effect of Phyllanthus niruri on the preformed calculus
induced by introduction of a CaOx seed into the bladder of male Wistar
rats. Phyllanthus niruri treatment (5 mg/ rat/day) was initiated
immediately or 30 days after CaOx seeding and thus in the presence of a
preformed calculus. The resulting calculi were weighed and analyzed by
X-ray diffraction, stereomicroscopy and scanning electronic microscopy.
Precocious Phyllanthus niruri treatment reduced the number (75%, P < 0.05)
and the weight (65%, P < 0.05) of calculi that frequently exhibited a
matrix-like material on its surface, compared to the untreated CaOx group.
In contrast, Phyllanthus niruri treatment in the presence of a preformed
calculus did not prevent further calculus growth; rather, it caused an
impressive modification in its appearance and texture.
Calculi from Phyllanthus
niruri-treated animals had a smoother, homogeneous surface compared to the
spicule shape of calculi found in the untreated CaOx group. Results
suggest that Phyllanthus niruri may have a therapeutic potential, since it
was able to modify the shape and texture of calculi to a smoother and
probably more fragile form, which could contribute to elimination and/or
dissolution of calculi.