Parts used and where grown
Phyllanthus is an herb found in central and southern India. It can grow from 30-60 centimeters in height and blooms with many yellow flowers. Phyllanthus species are also found in other countries, including China (e.g., Phyllanthus urinaria), the Philippines, Cuba, Nigeria, and Guam. All parts of the plant are used medicinally.
Historical or traditional use
Phyllanthus has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,000 years and has a wide number of traditional uses including internal use for jaundice, gonorrhea, frequent menstruation, and diabetes and topical use as a poultice for skin ulcers, sores, swelling, and itchiness. The young shoots of the plant are administered in the form of a mixture for the treatment of chronic dysentery.
Phyllanthus primarily contain lignans, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Phyllanthus blocks DNA polymerase, the enzyme needed for the hepatitis B virus to reproduce. While clinical trials on the effectiveness of phyllanthus for HBV have been mixed, the species P. urinaria and P. niruri seem to work better than P. amarus. Clinical trials with hepatitis B patients have used 900-2,700 mg of phyllanthus per day.
No side effects have been reported using phyllanthus as recommended in the amounts above.