Family • Euphorbiaceae - Phyllanthus urinaria - CHAMBER BITTER

Common names

Ibaiba-an (Sub.) Takum-takum (P. Bis.)
Apoy-apoyan (Sub.) Talindaon (Pamp.)
Iba-ibaan (Tag.) Turutalikod (Bik.)
Layolayon (Bik,) Chamber bitter (Engl.)
Minuh-minuh (Sul.) Leafflowwer (Engl.)
Payog (Mbo.) Shatterstone (Engl.)
Suru-sampalok (Bik.) Stonebreaker (Engl.)
Tabi (Mag.)

Gen info and etymology
The species name – urinaria – refers to the urinary system and to its long history of folkloric use and benefit in the treatment of kidney and gallbladder stones; and hence, its common names of shatterstoneor stonebreaker.


· Erect, branched, slender, glabrous or nearly glabrous herb, 10 to 40 cm high, the branches angled.
· Leaves: distichous, imbricate, alternate, pale beneath, sessile, elliptic-oblong to oblong, thin, 5 to 10 mm long, obtuse or apiculate, base slightly oblique, stipules lanceolate.
· Flowers: unisexual, very small, 5-merous, axillary, about 1 mm in diameter, sessile or very shortly pedicelled. Sepal greenish, stamens 3, filaments united below; anthers erect, the slit vertical.
· Fruits: capsules about 2 mm in diameter, muricate or smooth, of 3 dehiscent.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Hippomanin A from Acetone Extract of Phyllanthus urinaria inhibited HSV-2 but not HSV-1 Infection In Vitro / Chien-Min Yang et al / Phytotherapy Research Volume 21 Issue 12, Pages 1182 – 1186 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.2232

(2) Antioxidative and Cardioprotective Effects of Phyllanthus urinaria L. on Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity/ Chularojmontri, Linda et al / Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin 28(7) pp.1165-1171 20050701

(3) Phenolic Antioxidants from the Whole Plant of Phyllanthus urinaria / Min Xu et al / Chemistry & Biodiversity
Volume 4 Issue 9, Pages 2246 – 2252 / Published Online: 21 Sep 2007

(4) Phyllanthus urinaria Increases Apoptosis and Reduces Telomerase Activity in Human Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells / Sheng-Teng Huang et al / Forsch Komplementmed 2009;16:34-40 (DOI: 10.1159/000194154)

(5) Phyllanthus – an antiviral “penicillin” / Phyllanthus Net

(6) Excoecarianin, Isolated from Phyllanthus urinaria Linnea, Inhibits Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection through Inactivation of Viral Particles / Hua-Yew Cheng et al / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep157

(7) Ellagic Acid, the Active Compound of Phyllanthus urinaria, Exerts In Vivo Anti-angiogenic Effect and Inhibits MMP-2 Activity / Sheng-Teng Huang et al / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep207

(8) Phyllanthus urinaria extract attenuates acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity: involvement of cytochrome P450 CYP2E1 / FreeLibrary.com


A weed in open spaces at low and medium altitude.
In waste places throughout the Philippines.

Chemical constituents and properties
Considered abortifacient, ecbolic, febrifuge, antihepatotoxic, antiviral, antibacterial and hypoglycemic.
Contains alkaloids, tannins.
Study isolated 14 compounds, seven were identified as: corilagin, rutin, brevifolincarboxylic acid, isostrictiniin, geraniin, gallic acid and ellagic acid.


Parts utilized
· Part utilized: entire plant.
· Collect from May to October.
· Rinse, half-dry under the sunlight, compress, then continue drying under shade.

· Infantile convulsions, hepatitis, jaundice.
· Nephritic edema, urinary infection and lithiasis.
· Enteritis-diarrhea, dysentery,
· Reddening and swelling pains of the eye.
· Dosage: use 15 to 30 gms of dried material or 30 to 60 gms of fresh material in decoction.
· In Ayurveda, used to treat jaundice, dysentery, diabetes, skin ulcers, itching.
· In China, used to eliminate gallstones and kidney stones; for liver disease and as immune stimulation.


Study Findings
• Ellagic Acid / Anti-Angiogenic Activity: Study concludes that Ellagic Acid is the active component of P urinaria to exhibit anti-angiogenic activity and inhibition of the secretion of MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase-2) protein from HUVECs (human vascular endothelial cells).
• Antiinflammatory: study reports that Phyllanthus may inhibit some pro-inflammatory enzymes with a potential use as antiinflammatory for rheumatic ailments.
• Study suggests that P. urinaria and P. niruri may be helpful in Hepatitis B and in malaria.
• Anti-viral / Anti-HSV2: Acetone, ethanol and methanol extracts of Phyllanthus urinaria inhibit HSV-2 infection in vitro: Study showed the extracts likely inhibited HSV-2 infection by decreasing virus infectivity and disturbing the early stage of infection. Study yielded excoecarianin with possible entry-inhibitor activity against HSV2 and presents a potential for combinational drug treatment in the management of HSV-2 infection.
• Chronic Hepatitis B: Study of aqueous extracts of dried herbs of PU did not show cytotoxicity in uninfected normal cells while protecting MDBK cells froms viral infection. Results support other clinical studies that suggests the herbal supplement may be beneficial for chronic hepatitis B patients.
• Hippomanin / Anti-Herpes: Hippomanin A from Acetone Extract of Phyllanthus urinaria inhibited HSV-2 but not HSV-1 Infection In Vitro: Results shows hippomanin A impeded HSV-2 but not HSV1..
• Antioxidant / Cardioprotective: Antioxidative and Cardioprotective Effects of Phyllanthus urinaria L. on Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Study showed the PU’s cardioprotection was mediated through multiple pathways, and suggests this plant may be an alternative source of antioxidants for the prevention of DOX cardiotoxicity.
• Antioxidants: Study isolated a series of 15 phenolic compounds, including ellagitannins 1-7, flavonoids 8-10, and simple hydoxylated aromatic acides 11-15. Results demonstrated considerable radical-scavenging activity.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of alcohol extract of Phyllanthus urinaria showed hepatoprotective effects by inducing the activity of the liver enzyme system. Study concludes that P urinaria is effective in attenuating the acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. The therapeutic mechanism may involve the inhibition of cytochrome P450 CYP2E1 enzyme.
• Anti-Telomerase Activity / Anti-Cancer: Study investigated the effect of P urinaria on telomerase activity and apoptotic pathways in the human nasopharyngeal carcinoma lines. Study yielded 5 major compounds: gallic acid, brevifolin carboxylic acid, corilagin, phyllanthusiin C and ellagic acid. Results showed PU induces death of NPC-BM1 cells in vitro through apoptosis induction and telomerase inhibition.
• Anticancer: Water extract of P urinaria was tested for anticancer effect on human myeloid leukemia cells. P urinaria induced apoptosis of HL-60 cells probably mediated through a ceramide-related pathway.

• Wild-crafted.
• Capsules and extracts in the cybermarket.