phyllanthus niruri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So today I'd like to share my experience with a herb that is a natural gift for people with metabolic syndrome. Since my recent telephone appointment with Dr Vasant Lad, I've been taking bhumyamlaki daily. Also known as Chanca Piedra, bhumyamlaki is an important herb in both the Ayurvedic and Western pharmacopoeia, growing both in India and in the Brazilian rainforest. Its Latin name is phyllanthus niruri.
Bumyamlaki is famous for its hepato-protective actions, meaning that it helps keep the liver safe from internal and external enemies. People with hepatitis B or C should use this herb to protect the liver. It is also antiviral for hepatitis and HIV. But those of us with obesity or metabolic syndrome face danger to the liver too, in the form of our increased incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. So we too can use this herbal superhero to defend our liver cells.
And that's by no means all bhumyamlaki does for metabolic syndrome. In fact, bhumyamlaki is well established to lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure (1). Remember those markers of metabolic syndrome we discussed in a previous blog? Raised blood sugar (above 100mg/dl), hypertension, high triglycerides and low HDL (good cholesterol) were among the markers, along with abdominal obesity. So how amazing is it that one herb can help you out so much, stepping into the place of metformin plus statins plus ACE inhibitors? No wonder I called bhumyamlaki a superhero!
Many of my patients take bhumyamlaki at bedtime and claim it helps their sleep. I've been taking mine in the morning an hour after my thyroid medicine and actually along with blood pressure medication (hydrochlorthiazide). In due course I hope to take only the bhumyamlaki and not the blood pressure medication, but herbs do act more slowly than drugs. Bhumyamlaki is an energizer and I'm finding it helps me feel energized in the morning. In either case, you can take a teaspoon of bhumyamlaki, steep for ten minutes or more (I do an hour) in boiling water, strain and drink. The first sip tastes bitter and then it's OK, I just gulp it down knowing I'll feel good afterwards!
As I'm getting clearer about why I'm writing this blog, I can see that it could be extremely helpful to a lot of people. So spread the word, subscribe to the blog, share on Facebook, tell your friends with PCOS, metabolic syndrome or thyroid problems etc. about the blog, so we can help as many people as possible.
1. G. Bagalkotkar, S. R. Sagineedu, M. S. Saad, J. StanslasPhytochemicals from Phyllanthus niruri Linn. and their pharmacological properties: a review. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Volume 58, Issue 12, pages 1559-1570, December 2006