Alternative Names: Bahupatra or Bhuiamla.
Phyllanthus is an herb common to central and southern India; it can grow to 30-60cm in height and blooms with many yellow flowers. All parts of the plant are employed therapeutically. Phyllanthus species are also found in other countries, including China (e.g., Phyllanthus urinaria), the Philippines, Cuba, Nigeria, and Guam.
Phyllanthus blocks DNA polymerase, the enzyme needed for the hepatitis B virus to reproduce. In one study, 59% of those infected with chronic viral hepatitis B lost one of the major blood markers of HBV infection (e.g. hepatitis B surface antigen) after using phyllanthus for 30 days. While clinical studies on the outcome of phyllanthus and HBV have been mixed, the species P. urinaria and P. niruri seem to work better than P. amarus.
Phyllanthus has a wide number of traditional uses: employing the whole plant for jaundice, gonorrhea, frequent menstruation, and diabetes and using it topically as a poultice for skin ulcers, sores, swelling, and itchiness.
The young shoots of the plant are administered in the form of an infusion for the treatment of chronic dysentery.
Phyllanthus (use 200mg three times per day) has been studied primarily in carriers of the hepatitis B virus, as opposed to those with chronic active hepatitis. In one study, administering this herb for 30 days appeared to eliminate the hepatitis B virus in 22 of 37 cases (59%). However, other studies have failed to confirm a beneficial effect of Phyllanthus amarus against hepatitis B.  A West Indian species, Phyllanthus urinaria (not widely available in the United States or Europe), has achieved much better results than Indian Phyllanthus amarus. Thus, the specific plant species used may have a significant impact on the results.
 Thyagarajan SP, Subramian S, Thirunalasundari T, et al. Effects of Phyllanthus amarus on chronic carriers of hepatitis B virus. Lancet 1988;2: pp.764-6
 Doshi JC, Vaidya AB, Antarkar DS, et al. A two-stage clinical trial of Phyllanthus amarus in hepatitis B carriers: Failure to eradicate the surface antigen. Indian J Gastroenterol 1994;13: pp.7-8
 Leelarasamee A, Trakulsomboon S, Maunwongyathi P, et al. Failure of Phyllanthus amarus to eradicate hepatitis B surface antigen from symptomless carriers. Lancet 1990;335: pp.1600-1
 Wang M, Cheng H, Li Y, et al. Herbs of the genus Phyllanthus in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B: observations with three preparations from different geographical sites. J Lab Clin Med 1995;126: pp.350-2