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Carry Mi Seed

Carry mi seed is a small erect herb, which is native to tropical parts of the world from the Amazon and Caribbean to India and China. It grows wild as a weed and is noticeable by the seeds which grow on the underside of the compound leaves. The male plant is greener in appearance than the female which has a reddish tinge in the stems. The female plant is said to be stronger than the male.

Traditional Uses

Carry mi seed: Used for detox, fever, gout, kidney problems, liver disordrs and more

Scientific Name:
(Phyllanthus niruri - Euphorbiaceae)
Other names: 
Pickney-pon-back, Seed-under-leaf, Quinine Weed,Stonebreaker, Chanca Piedra, Arranca-pedras, Punarnava, Grain en bas,Quinine Creole, Hurricane Weed.
Parts Used:
Roots, Whole plant

In the past, in Jamaica, carry mi seed was mainly used for fevers, diabetes, genito-urinary infections, dysentery and jaundice. It was also used with milk weed to treat gonorrhoea. In the Eastern Caribbean, carry mi seed was used traditionally for fevers and diarrhoea.

Carry mi seed has a long history in herbal medicine world wide and is still used for many varied complaints in India and China. Carry mi seed is used in those healing systems to treat liver disorders, including jaundice, urinary and viral illnesses, such as colds and flu. It is also applied to sores and snake bites. In India it is also reputed to be effective in treating inflammatory disorders such as prostatitis and cystitis.

In South and Central America the herb is known as 'chanca piedra' or 'stone-breaker', due to its reputation for treating kidney stones.

Modern Research & Uses

Recent research has confirmed traditional use of the plant for liver and urinary disorders. Carry mi seed has hepato-protective properties, and is useful for treating viral Hepatitis B. A decoction of the roots is reportedly effective for jaundice, urinary problems and biliousness.

Carry mi seed is also reputed to be effective in treating kidney and gallbladder stones, colds, flu, and other viral infections. Dr Vogel recommends using carry mi seed to break up kidney stones, although he is less confident in the herb's ability to break gall stones. There are some early indications that the plant might offer potential treatment for liver cancer.


One study of Ghanaian plants, found that carry mi seed had significant anti-bacterial activity against staphylococcus aureus and MRSA. Carry mi seed also demonstrated strong anti-candidal activity.

Some developing research suggests that there are also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in the plant that could treat conditions such as cystitis, prostatitis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) urinary tract infections and even tuberculosis. Carry mi seed may also be effective in treating diabetes and hypertension.

The traditional use of carry mi seed to treat malaria seems to have had a good scientific basis as a recent study showed a 72% reduction in malaria in lab tests.

A university in Brazil has undertaken research into properties in carry mi seed which can relieve pain and the results to date have been impressive. Geranin, one of the plant chemicals in carry mi seed was identified as being seven times more potent as a pain reliever than aspirin and acetaminophen. Although these studies were done on mice it confirms empirical evidence that the herb relieved pain in people using it to treat painful kidney stones.

In one published study, an alkaloidal extract of carry mi seed was found in lab tests, to have inhibitory effects on HIV in human cell lines. Further research will hopefully provide more clues as to how this could be used to develop preventative medicines.

Plant Chemicals

The plant chemicals in carry mi seed include: phyllanthin, nirtretralin, phyltetralin astragalin, brevifolin, carboxylic acids, geranin, ellagitannins, lignansniranthin, methyl salicylate, niranthin, nirurine, niruriside, quercetin, rutin, saponins, cymene and lupeols.

Other Uses

A strong decoction of the leaves and stems is used in India to dye cotton fabric black.

This plant offers a number of benefits for people suffering from a variety of diseases. However, it is important that care is taken when using carry mi seed, as it can interact with other medication. People with diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems should check with a health professional if using this herb.

Carry mi seed should not to be used in pregnancy!


  • Asprey, GF & Thornton, P - Medicinal Plants of Jamaica Parts 1-4 - West Indian Journal of Medicine vol. 2-4 (1953-1955)
  • Chandra, R – Lipid Lowering Activity of Phyllanthus niruri - (2000) – Journal of Medicinal & Aromatic Plant Sciences. 22(1): 29-30
  • Mitchell & Ahmad - A Review of Medicinal Plant Research at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica 1948-2001 - WI Med J (2006);55(4):243
  • Naik, AD, Juvekar AR. Effects of alkaloidal extract of Phyllanthus Niruri on HIV replication. Indian J Med Sci 2003;57:387-93
  • Taylor, L - The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs - (2005) - Square One Publishers
  • Vogel, A - Nature - Your Guide to Healthy Living - (1986) - Verlag A Vogel
  • Oudhia, P @ www.celestine-india.com -Plant Chemicals in Phyllanthus Niruri
  • www.herbs.sakthifoundation.org/niruri
  • www.pharmainfonet/review/phyllanthus-niruri -- (Feb 2010)