Basic Information



Species                       : Phyllanthus niruri Linn.

Local Name                 :

Synonym                     : Phyllanthus amarus

Family                          : Euphorbiaceae

Habitat                        : A herb up to 60 cm in height occurring as a winter weed throughout the hotter parts of India.

Distribution                : Distributed in tropical areas.

Sikkim                          : Singtam, Rhenock, Rongli, Legshep, Dikchu.

Outside                       : West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bhutan. Pakistan, Africa, West Indies.

Morphological information

Erect annual herb, 10- 60 cm tall, and stem terete. Leaves elliptic oblong, obovate-oblong or even obovate, obtuse or minutely apiculate at apex, obtuse or slightly in equilateral at base; petioles 0.30.5 mm long. Flowers in axillary unisexual and bisexual cymes on decidous branchlets; calyx lobes 5 (very rarely 6), subequal, 0.6x 0.25mm, 1.0x0.3mm in fruits, capsules 1.8mm across, oblate, rounded. Seeds 0.9 mm long, triangular with 6-7 longitudinal ribs and numerous minute transverse striate on the back.

Flowering             :

Fruiting                :

History                : P. niruri is native probably to West Pakistan and Western India and has been introduced into Africa and the West Indies.

Parts                   : Whole plant.

Status                 : Vulnerable.

It is one of the plants on which significant research studies have been undertaken.


Structure of hypophyllanthin revised on basis of 13C-NMR spectroscopy; new lignan- linetralin-isolated; lintetralin and phytetralin synthesized; new alkaloid- 4 methoxynorsecurinine-isolated together with 4-methoxysecurinine (=phyllanthine ) and characterized.


Ayurvedic               : Plant is used for Leprosy, Anaernia, Menorrhagia and as di-uretic.

Unani                       : It is used in tubercular ulcer's, in sores, scabies, bruises, ringworm.


The fresh root is said to be excellent remedy for jaundice. A decoction of the leaves is used as cooling medicine for the scalp. It is used in case of diarrhoea and dysentery and also useful for patients suffering from diabetes.



1. Anonymous (1992). The Useful Plants of India. Publication and Information Directorate, CSIR, New Delhi. 450.

2. Anonymous (1969). The Wealth of India (Vol. 8). National Institute of Science communication, CSIR, New Delhi. 34, 35.

3. Kirtikar, K.R. & B.D. Basu (19,94), Indian Medicinal Plants. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun. 2225- 2227.

4. Progress Report of the Project "Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim" (1998- 2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.

5. Thakur, R.S.; H.S. Puri; Hussain, Akhtar (1989). Major Medicinal Plants of India. Central Institute of Medicinal &Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. 398.