Category: Digestive Health

What are the health benefits of Chanca Piedra?-Phyllanthus Niruri

Introduction

Chanca Piedra or Phyllanthus Niruri is also known as ‘Stonebreaker’ or ‘Seed under leaf’ is a tropical plant or herb found in Amazon rain forests and along the coasts. It spreads like common weeds. It is a naturally occurring herb and was first called Quebra Pedra in Brazil where the people made its tea or added it to the juices. It is considered as a biologically active plant which has excellent antioxidant and antibacterial activity.

Chanca Piedra or Phyllanthus Niruri

The whole plant is used to make medicines. Chanca Piedra has numerous health benefits as it is rich in different types of chemicals which helps in relieving fever and spasms. The herb also acts as a powerful pain killer/ pain reliever. It is considered as an anti-inflammatory and a pain blocker similar to morphine but without side effects.

Modern sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have led to various diseases like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. These ailments strain the liver and kidney further leading to deficiency of minerals like magnesium from the body. Chanca Piedra helps in tackling all these problems naturally.

What are the Health Benefits of Chanca Piedra?-(Phyllanthus Niruri)

  • The herb Chanca Piedra has been used by people of Amazon since ages, to treat and remove gallstones and kidney stones. That is why it is given the name ‘Stone Breaker/Stone Crusher’ because of its lithotriptic(stone breaking and expelling) properties.

Herbal Remedy for Kidney Stone

Useful in Kidney Stones

  • It reduces the levels of urinary calcium that leads to stone formation in the kidneys or bladder. The herb when consumed in the form of medicine helps to soften (gelatinize) the kidney and gallstones allowing them to change shape so that it can come out of the ureter smoothly and painlessly.
  • These stones can be extremely painful for the patient. Just by increasing the intake of water and consuming Chanca Piedra on regular basis, the patient can find relief in it. The herb relaxes the ureter for easier and less painful passing of stones. The alkaloid present in the leaves and stem of Chanca Piedra herb has antispasmodic property.Thus, the herb serves as a relaxing agent for smooth muscles and also helps in expelling stones out of the system.

Urinary Tract infections

Useful in Urinary Tract infections

  • It is mainly used to treat Urinary Tract infections that causes pain and swellings inflammation, and discharge from urethra or vagina. The herb helps to increase the volume of urine and acts as a deterrent against different types of viruses and bacteria. The herb is known for its diuretic qualities and is very effective in relieving edema and urine retention.

Useful in Digestive Disorders

  • The plant is used for treating digestive tract disorders including gas or bloating, loss of appetite, stomach pain, intestinal infections, constipation, and dysentery. It works as a mild laxative.

How to Take

  • Consuming a cup of Chanca Piedra daily helps in stimulating the appetite and get rid of infections in the digestive tract. Good digestion improves nutrient absorption in the intestines and also leads to efficient excretion of wastes. It also helps to expel worms (anti-parasitic) out of a body. The herb in a way boosts the overall immunity of the body.

Herbal Remedies for liver disorders

Useful in Liver Disorders

  • The herb is known to be used as a liver tonic to manage liver problems like jaundice. The herb has strong hepatoprotective properties. Consuming the herb helps to stimulate bile production in the liver, which in turn, speeds up the elimination of all harmful substances in the body. Thus, it aids the liver in its proper functioning and eliminating toxins out of the body.
  • The herb has the ability to protect the liver due to the presence of phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin in it. It helps to treat fatty liver. The herb is widely used in preparing medicines for treating the deadly disease called Hepatitis B especially for children. It is the most effective, natural, non-toxic remedy for HBV (Hepatitis B Virus).

diabetes herbal remedies

Useful for Diabetic Patients

  • Chanca Piedra is very useful for diabetic patients as it helps in reducing insulin resistance and also reduces the risk of heart diseases. It plays an important role in keeping the blood sugar level under control by inhibiting glucose absorption and enhancing glucose storage. The herb also keeps the blood pressure normal. Chanca Piedra is a natural choice for people who do not want to take pills for hypertension.

Useful in Respiratory Problems

  • Chanca Piedra is a natural treatment for cough, sore throat and treats breathing problems caused by diseases like tuberculosis, bronchitis, and asthma. The Chanca Piedra tea is a very effective remedy for a persistent cough as it fights against the viruses and bacteria causing cough. It is also recommended to treat swollen tonsils, colic, flu, swine flu, malaria etc. It helps in reducing fever effectively. It is also being used for other conditions like treating tremors, itching, typhoid, dizziness.

Useful in Joint Pain

  • Chanca Piedra is very useful in treating joint soreness. It is also known to stop abnormal gene mutations and could possibly be used to prevent cancer from spreading.

Useful in Weight loss

Chanca Piedra is an excellent herb for weight loss. The stone-breaker herb also has the capabilities of lowering cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is one of the major reasons for getting gallstones.
To prepare Chanca Piedra tea, one needs to boil 2 heaped spoons of the herb or 5 g of dried herb in 500 ml water for 10 minutes. The tea can be taken 2 to 3 times a day (125 ml at a time) to cleanse kidneys and liver.

How Chanca Piedra Works?

  • The herb is available as a dried herb in stores. Tea can be prepared from it. The herb is also available in tincture form, as water extracts and encapsulated at some outlets. The best one is 50% methanol extract of Chanca Piedra due to its high potency.Chanca Piedra is a powerhouse herb that could improve the health and quality of life naturally. It should be included in the diet regardless of any ailments. It has curative and preventive abilities and is very beneficial in maintaining normal liver, digestive, and kidney function

Note

  • The herb should not be used if one is planning to undergo surgery as it might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. It might also interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid consuming Chanca Piedra in large quantities.

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What foods to avoid if you have Ulcerative Colitis

Overview

Ulcerative colitis is referred to as the inflammation of the colon that includes characteristic of ulcers, or open sores. The inflammation affects the whole area.

It affects both males and females and of any age group can have ulcerative colitis. 15-30 years is the age group when people are more prone to ulcerative colitis because of their life style.

It is considered as an intermittent disease with periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods that are relatively symptoms free.

ulcerative colitis treatment

The ulceration and inflammation starts in the rectum and in the lower section of the colon, but as the disease progresses, it spreads through the entire colon.

If not treated and diagnosed early, it may result in various complications that can affect the daily life of an individual.

In modern medicine, there is no satisfactory treatment available till date but according to Ayurveda, it is managed naturally by avoiding certain foods in the diet.

What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis according to Ayurveda?

Ulcerative Colitis is known as Grahni dosha in Ayurveda. It was mentioned in Sushruta Samhita 3000 years ago that ulcerative colitis affects Pitta dominant people.

Intake of foods that imbalance the Pitta dosha in the body further aggravates the condition.

Excessive intake of food such as:

  • Processed food
  • Intake of fried, hot and spicy food
  • Artificially flavored foods such as artificial sweeteners, colors etc.
  • Intake of food made of refined flour
  • Junk food.

Ulcerative colitis treatment in Ayurveda

What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The symptoms usually begin in the lower part of the colon and then spread upwards.

Symptoms are:

  • Increased urgency to move the bowel
  • Cramping pain in the abdomen
  • Blood and mucus in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Distended abdomen
  • Lesions in the skin
  • Rectal Pain
  • Rectal bleeding

What Diet Should Be Followed in Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Diet plays an important role in the treatment of ulcerative colitis because it is caused due to wrong eating habits. People who eat non-vegetarian food and tend to draw most of their protein need from meat are more prone to ulcerative colitis.
  • The diet which is rich in astringent principles should be followed. The ulcerative colitis may vary from person to person depending on the patient’s Prakriti.
  • Proper diet and nutrition play an important role in the management of ulcerative colitis so as to prevent weight loss.

What Foods to be avoided in Ulcerative Colitis

1.Pitta Aggravating Food

Avoid Pitta aggravating food such as red chilies, tea, coffee, alcohol as they can aggravate the symptoms.

  • During an active flare, it is best to avoid spices and stick to plain foods to heal the colon as well as to minimize the symptoms.
  • Use of only mild spices is recommended to avoid the irritation of the digestive tract.
  • Certain Pitta aggravating foods such as- cold drinks, fried foods, alcohol, ghee, and sweets should be avoided.
  • Tomatoes should be avoided as they aggravate Pitta dosha in the body.
  • Foods such as soy protein, onions should be avoided as they tend to cause excessive acid formation and irritate the gut.

2.Dairy Products:

Certain dairy products such as- milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese should be avoided as people with ulcerative colitis are generally lactose intolerant.

  • The sugar present in milk and dairy products is known as lactose.
  • In some patients of ulcerative colitis, the small intestine lacks the digestive enzyme known as lactase.
  • Lactose intolerance causes symptoms such as- abdominal pain and diarrhea. So, avoid dairy products to reduce these symptoms.
  • Moreover, dairy products contain a lot of saturated fat which cannot be digested properly.

3.Carbonated Beverages:

The carbonated beverages are rich in carbonic acid which causes gas formation and abdominal discomfort.

  • These beverages also contain caffeine which can worsen diarrhea.
  • So, carbonated drinks should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

4.Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are hard to digest so these should be avoided by ulcerative colitis patients.

  • In ulcerative colitis, there are active flare-ups. So, it is best to eat foods that are easily digestible and those foods which don’t irritate the further lining of the intestines.
  • So, avoid foods which are high in fiber such as- nuts, seeds, raw vegetables.

5.Alcohol

  • Alcohol may affect different parts of the body but in ulcerative colitis, it stimulates the intestines and causes diarrhea.
  • So, consumption of alcohol should be avoided as it damages the liver too.

6.High-Fat Foods:

  • High-fat foods such as- butter, cream, fried or greasy food should be avoided as body’s digestive fire is not balanced, so these foods are not digested properly and act as a load on the system.

7.Vata dosha aggravating food:

The foods which form more gas formation or causes Vata imbalance should be avoided.

  • Certain foods such as- sprouts, cabbage, sweet corns, broccoli should be avoided.
  • These foods cause excessive wind formation in the gut.

8.Whole Grains:

High-fiber foods are hard to digest and are the cause of bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

  • Fiber rich food should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis as the body is not able to digest whole grains during flare-ups.
  • So, avoid food products which are rich in fibre.
  • Limit the intake of fibre rich vegetables such as- broccoli and cabbage which can cause excessive gas formation.

9.Processed Foods:

Processed foods contain refined carbohydrates and excessive amounts of sugar.

  • Sugars may cause the over-growth of yeast infections and can trigger ulcerative colitis.
  • So, processed foods should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

It is important to know that ulcerative colitis patient has different food intolerance because of their parkriti. The intolerance to milk while and sensitive to high fibre food again depends on Prakriti of one.

In addition to diet, stress is also a causative factor of ulcerative colitis. Stress also triggers a flare-up of the disease as chronic stress weakens the immune system making system more susceptible to ulcerative colitis.