Chanca Piedra: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, and More

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
Chanca Piedra
Chanca piedra extracts can be blended with water, and mild tea can be brewed and consumed two to three times per day.

The plant chanca piedra (cactus fruit tree) is indigenous to Mexico and Central America.

  • It grows to a height of 5 feet and bears tiny, greenish-red fruits.
  • These are utilized in a variety of products, such as teas, beverages, sweets, medications, and food additives.
  • These fruits contain a wide range of chemical substances, such as sugars, amino acids, and organic acids. 

Charantin, one of the main constituents in chanca piedra, has been demonstrated to have strong antifungal and antibacterial effects.

The fruits are first dried, and then, they are soaked in boiling water to make tea. You can buy the dried berries online and cook them. It has a very sour, almost lemon-like flavor, and most people cannot have them regularly. These berries are occasionally found in energy drinks to give them an extra boost.

6 benefits of chanca piedra

  1. Kidney stones: Chanca piedra is also called a "stone breaker” because it can treat kidney stones. The herb possesses alkalizing qualities that could help prevent kidney stones and gallstones from developing.
    • According to Ayurvedic medicine, chanca piedra is the most promising treatment for kidney stone production. In a 2018 study, 4.5 grams of chanca piedra was administered daily for 12 weeks to 56 individuals who had kidney stones.
    • About two-thirds of the subjects experienced a reduction in kidney stone size and quantity.
  2. Protecting the liver: According to traditional Chinese medicine, chanca piedra is an herb that enhances liver function.
    • An investigation to understand chanca piedra’s protective effects on the liver against paracetamol toxicity was done using animal subjects by the Department of Chemistry at the Bose Institute in India.
    • According to the findings, a protein in chanca piedra protects liver tissues from oxidative stress, most likely by boosting antioxidant defenses.
    • In small-scale clinical investigations, involving over 3,500 participants, chanca piedra prevented the spread and growth of the hepatitis B virus, decreased blood levels of the virus (HBsAg), and restored liver function.
  3. High blood sugar: Antioxidants included in chanca piedra helped some animal subjects’ fasting blood sugar levels. However, further human studies are required.
  4. Stomach ulcers: Chanca piedra extract killed the Helicobacter pylori bacterium in test-tube tests, which is responsible for stomach ulcers. To determine whether an oral supplement containing chanca piedra might be useful to treat stomach ulcers in people, more research is required. The way oral chanca piedra supplements would function is different from the extremely concentrated extracts used in test-tube research, which are administered directly to bacterial cells.
  5. General body detoxication: Chanca piedra contains a surprising number of toxic substances that can be effective at eliminating certain types of harmful dependencies without impairing or harming beneficial organisms.
    • The University of the Republic examined 28 species of plants and algae for their ability to combat hazardous organisms. The researchers reported that chanca piedra displayed the most intriguing activity.
    • Researchers from the University of Malaysia replicated this finding and its conclusion.
  6. Treat yeast infections: Chanca piedra is most frequently used as a traditional treatment against yeast infections. It is also called “the herbal clindamycin” due to its antifungal properties. The charantin in chanca piedra is hypothesized to function by preventing the growth of certain bacteria needed for the establishment of yeast infections.


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What dose of chanca piedra should be taken?

It is important to use chanca piedra at the right dosage to prevent undesirable and sometimes harmful side effects. Although there is little formal research on the dose for specific ailments, there are some recommendations for using this supplement.

You should not take chanca piedra routinely for longer than a month. However, you can safely take up to 400 mg of it, three times a day. You could take a little bit more for a longer time to cure kidney stones (three months, instead of one).

Chanca piedra extracts can be blended with water, and mild tea can be brewed and consumed two to three times per day.

For the treatment of acute viral hepatitis or hepatitis B, consume 400 to 1,100 mg of chanca piedra three times a day.

Consult a qualified herbalist or your doctor about your specific ailment because the dosage varies greatly.

What are the side effects of chanca piedra?

Despite being an herb, chanca piedra may possess some risks. In one human trial involving chanca piedra consumption, the following side effects were noted:

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