|Phyllanthus in the garden, God's own Pharmacy|
For long I have held the belief that every plant except for a few that are poisonous have some medicinal or food value, at times for humans and at other times for animals or insects. Mother earth takes care of all her children, human or animal. Plants that come to grow around your home and living area on their own are likely to have a special medicinal value for you personally, especially if you love nature. Some of the plants that come up in our garden are regarded as irritating weeds and we tend to pull them out. One such comes up often in my garden and I have been pulling it out for years although at the back of my mind has been the feeling that it is most likely a very useful medicinal one but not knowing its name it was hard to find that out.
So today morning finding time on my hands, I began searching google images for common garden weeds and it was not long before I discovered that this was a weed known as Phyllanthus. There are several varieties of it quite similar to each other such as Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus urinaria and it seems from my initial search that the one in my garden is Phyllanthus amarus or P. Fraternus. I immediately snapped a picture of one growing in a rockery in a corner to attach to this note as shown. Further research showed that in Ayurveda system of medicine it is called Bhumiamalaki and it has been used as a very effective liver remedy that has also been used for clearing gall and bladder stones for centuries.
A further quick search, to my amazement revealed that this plant is one of the finest of medicinal herbs there is on the planet, a virtual pharmacy curing simultaneously a host of conditions from liver, kidney diseases, cancer and innumerable other diseases that are hard to cure with modern medicines, while being a strong anti viral. If you find this unbelievable I shall list some of the scientific references before I wind up this article. It seems this weed grows in warmer parts of the world and would be found in southern parts of USA and Europe but not central and northern ones.
Phyllanthus urinaria is commonly called chamber bitter, gripe weed, shatter stone, stonebreaker or leaf flower, and is herb species in the family Phyllanthaceae. Some species i.e. P. Fraternus, P. amarus and P. urinaria, are closely related in appearance and appear to have similar medicinal value with some variations as regards specific diseases. In Thailand, they have the same local name (Look Tai Bai). All of them traditionally have been used for the treatment of many ailments such as gonorrhea, jaundice, diabetes and liver diseases. The anticancer activity of Phyllanthus species has also been documented. Similarly, P. urinaria has also been shown to possess cytotoxic activity against several cancer cells.
Check out the following reference if you are scientifically minded for that,
To quote another reference, that has labeled this plant as anti viral penicillin
“The antiviral effects of Phyllanthus urinaria go hand in hand with a protective effect Phyllanthus urinaria has on liver cells. In Chinese and Indian traditional medicine, Phyllanthus urinaria has been used in the treatment of liver problems long before it has been known that hepatitis is a liver disease caused by viruses. The plant compounds that are responsible for the liver-protective benefits of Phyllanthus urinaria have since been identified. Hepatitis B is one of the major diseases inflicting the human population. Conventional treatment with interferon-alpha is very expensive and has many serious side effects. Alternative herbal medicine using extracts of Phyllanthus niruri (amarus) and Phyllanthus urinaria has been reported to be effective against hepatitis B and other viral infections. Aqueous extracts of P. niruri and P. urinaria protect cells from viral infection. In addition, they are not toxic to uninfected normal cells. These findings support clinical studies by others that regular intake of these herbal supplements may be beneficial for chronic hepatitis B patients."
Well, after reading all this all I can say is that my garden is a virtual pharmacy of the gods. From now on, I shall not pull out this weed from reserved parts of the garden and from the parts I do, it shall be one by one, to chew up every morning.
Praise Mother Earth whose love overflows but her children often disregard it or out of their unending greed often try to hide it, even as cannabis another immensely beneficial herb for conditions that inflict the human mind was hidden under schedule I for years.
Praise the Lord