Chanca Piedra: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, and More
A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in Chicago. My presentation was titled “The Truth About Chancia Piedra” ((LINK REMOVED) ((LINK REMOVED) At the time I had no idea what the purpose of my speech would be, but after reading other blogs about chancia piedra, I knew that I wanted to share with everyone else what I learned from my experience with chancia piedra.
So here goes…
What Is Chancia Piedra?
Chancia piedra is a plant native to Mexico and Central America. It’s known as the “cactus fruit tree”. It grows up to 5 feet tall and produces small greenish red berries called chancias. These are used in many different ways including teas, drinks, desserts, medicines, food additives etc.
How Does Chancia Piedra Work?
The chancia berries contain a variety of different chemical compounds including sugars, amino acids, and organic acids. One of the major ingredients in chancia piedra’s is called charantin, which has been shown to have potent anti-fungal and antibiotic effects.
How Do You Take Chanca Piedra?
The most traditional way to take chancia piedra is as a tea. The berries are dried and then steeped in hot water. You can also purchase the dried berries online and make it yourself. I don’t think most people like the taste as it has a very sour, somewhat citrusy flavor to it. For this reason it’s also sometimes found in energy drinks for that added kick.
What Are The Benefits Of Chanca Piedra?
1. Treating Yeast Infections
The most common use of chanca piedra is as a folk remedy for yeast infections. It’s often referred to as “the herbal clyndamycin” due to its anti-fungal nature.
It’s thought that the charantin in chanca piedra works by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria that are necessary for yeast infections to thrive.
2. Digestive Disorders
A lot of people use chanca piedra in conjunction with other herbs for digestive disorders such as gas, indigestion and diarrhea.
There is some evidence that chanca piedra can help lower blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. This makes sense given that it contains charantin, which has anti-diabetic properties.
Not only is chanca piedra good for fighting fungal and yeast infections, but it also has been shown to fight off other types of bacterial infections as well.
5. Immune System
Some people have claimed that taking chanca piedra helps their overall immune system. I’m guessing this is due to the anti-fungal and antibacterial effects.
What Are The Side-Effects Of Chanca Piedra?
There are very few side effects associated with taking chanca piedra. The only downsides that I could find were:
1. It can be hard on your stomach, so take it with food.
2. Some people get an allergic reaction.
Usually rashes or hives.
3. Women – don’t take chanca piedra if you’re pregnant.
4. Some people experience stomach cramps, due to the anti-fungal nature of the herb.
If this happens to you, just reduce your dosage.
Is Chanca Piedra Safe?
In general, yes it is safe if you do not have any medical conditions that would prevent you from using it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Antimicrobial Activity of an Amazon Medicinal Plant (Chancapiedra) (Phyllanthus niruri L.) against Helicobacter pylori and Lactic Acid Bacteria by LG Ranilla, E Apostolidis, K Shetty – Phytotherapy research, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and in vitro inhibitory potential against key enzymes relevant for hyperglycemia and hypertension of commonly used … by LG Ranilla, YI Kwon, E Apostolidis, K Shetty – Bioresource technology, 2010 – Elsevier
Alkalinizing agents: A review of prescription, over-the-counter, and medical food supplements by KL Stern, N Canvasser, M Borofsky… – Journal of …, 2020 – liebertpub.com
Cystine Kidney Stones-The Nastiest of All by W Weichmann – stone-relief.com
Antidiabetic herbal drugs a review by P Patel, P Harde, J Pillai, N Darji… – …, 2012 – pharmacophorejournal.com