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Useful Tropical Plants

Phyllanthus niruri

L.

Phyllanthaceae


This species has often been confused with the closely related Phyllanthus amarus Schum. & Thonn., in the past, and it is quite probable that the uses for each species are more or less interchangeable[
421
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 54
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1967
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent botanical publication, available for download from the Internet. This volume contains parts of the Flora of Panama.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Diasperus niruri (L.) Kuntze

Niruris annua Raf.

Niruris indica Raf.

Nymphanthus niruri (L.) Lour.

Phyllanthus carolinianus Blanco

Phyllanthus ellipticus Buckley

Phyllanthus filiformis Pav. ex Baill.

Phyllanthus humilis Salisb.

Phyllanthus kirganelia Blanco

Phyllanthus moeroris Oken

Urinaria erecta Medik.

Common Name:

Phyllanthus niruri
A young plant, but already flowering
Photograph by: Toro Muco
Public domain
Phyllanthus niruri Phyllanthus niruri Phyllanthus niruri

General Information

Phyllanthus niruri is an erect, annual plant, often branched from the base, growing 15 - 50cm tall.
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, and is also the source of a dye

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

342
Title
Flora of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Fawcett. W. & Rendle. A. B.
Publisher
British Museum
Year
1910
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, so many name changes. Nevertheless, a very good guide to the plants of the Caribbean. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from various websites.
,
369
Title
Flora of Costa Rica
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1938
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but an excellent treatment of the area. Available for download from the internet.

Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico and Texas.

Habitat

Open sites in lower montane evergreen forest areas, at elevations of 1,000 - 2,500 metres[
369
Title
Flora of Costa Rica
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1938
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but an excellent treatment of the area. Available for download from the internet.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in most soils in a position in full sun or partial shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant is often used medicinally in India, where the root, leaves, fruits, milky juice, and whole plants can be used. It is considered to be acrid, cooling, diuretic and alexipharmic. It is considered to be useful in the treatment of thirst, bronchitis, leprosy, anaemia, urinary discharge, anuria, biliousness, asthma, hiccups[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
]. The plant is used to treat syphilitic blennorrhoea[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The root is diuretic[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is used to remove bladder stones, and is a remedy for jaundice[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
342
Title
Flora of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Fawcett. W. & Rendle. A. B.
Publisher
British Museum
Year
1910
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, so many name changes. Nevertheless, a very good guide to the plants of the Caribbean. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from various websites.
]. An infusion of the
tender fresh roots is valuable in the treatment of chronic dysentery[
342
Title
Flora of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Fawcett. W. & Rendle. A. B.
Publisher
British Museum
Year
1910
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, so many name changes. Nevertheless, a very good guide to the plants of the Caribbean. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from various websites.
,
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

An infusion of the leaves is used as a treatment for dysentery[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. The herb is stomachic and useful in the treatment of sores and chronic dysentery[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].
A poultice of the leaves, combined with salt, is used to treat scabby affection, used without salt it is applied on bruises and wounds[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

An infusion of the root and leaves is a good tonic and diuretic when taken cold in repeated doses[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

The milky juice is a good application to treat offensive sores[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

The fruits are useful in the treatment of tubercular ulcers, wounds, sores, scabies and ring worm[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

The seeds are cholagogue and febrifuge[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. An infusion is given to a woman after giving birth[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]..

The plant contains the alkaloid norsecurinine, numerous lignans and leucodelphinidine alkaloids, and antihepatoxic principles[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The bark and leaves yield a bitter principle, phyllanthin[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

Other Uses

A decoction of the leaves and stem is used for dyeing cotton black[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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