Euphorbiaceae, Phyllanthus niruri (amarus), Stonebreaker, Chanca Piedra
This is one of many plants found growing wild all around Panama City which are of particular interest to me. Many people assume that plants such as these are useless “weeds” based purely on the fact that they are prolific and do not rely on human cultivation in order to propagate. As it turns out (and not surprisingly), many of these plants have a wide range of medicinal properties and were probably much more commonly used in the past for such attributes. Stonebreaker is a small, low growing herb that volunteers itself at the base of potted plants in my nurseries, and basically in any other area where soil has been disturbed or remains bare.
The plant is called Stonebreaker because it is used to remove kidney stones and gall stones. Additionally it is used against viruses, bacteria, fever, and as a diuretic. It is also used as a pain reliever and to treat stomachache, constipation, diabetes, dysentery, flu, venereal problems, jaundice, malaria, and tumors.