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STONEBREAKER

In a well-organized garden, plants grow healthily and harmoniously, showcasing their beauty and splendor. For this to happen, careful planning is essential. First, it's necessary to understand the needs of each plant to provide optimal growing conditions. Considering the size of each plant, choose the most appropriate placement—taller plants at the back and shorter ones at the front—so they do not overshadow each other. Depending on their light requirements, place them in sunny spots or shadier corners of the garden. Many of these principles are learned through experience. When done correctly, the plants thrive, rewarding us with an abundance of flowers and lush foliage. This is the reward every gardener desires!


Weeds are plants that grow in the garden uninvited. They organize themselves, grow wherever they want, and have no intention of relocating, even when they're not welcome. In a word, they are STUBBORN plants.

One of the many 'stubborn' plants that grow in my garden is the stonebreaker, Phyllanthus niruri, which appears as if by magic in the most unlikely places—between paving stones or in any tiny gap it finds in a garden wall. It almost seems like it does this on purpose to make eradication more difficult. Only those who know the medicinal virtues of this plant are happy to find the stonebreaker growing spontaneously in their garden.


Among the variety of phytochemicals found in stonebreaker, gallic acid and quercetin stand out as likely contributors to the plant's medicinal properties. In Ayurvedic medicine, stonebreaker is a favored remedy for liver and kidney problems, as well as Hepatitis B. In Madeira, tea made from its leaves has long been used to treat kidney stones and reduce fat concentration in the liver. The common name 'stonebreaker' reflects the herb's powerful action in eliminating kidney stones, as quercetin reduces uric acid levels. Additionally, quercetin helps alleviate allergy symptoms by reducing the release of histamines. Gallic acid, on the other hand, acts on liver enzymes to reduce fat accumulation in this organ.


When we are not fortunate enough to have stonebreaker in the garden, or simply prefer other options, we can choose foods that also contain these beneficial phytochemicals. Quercetin can be found in red onions, peppers, cherries, apples, and grapes, while gallic acid is present in red wine, watercress, blueberries, apples, and walnuts.

There is no doubt that among the wide variety of foods available to us, we can find healthy ways to treat some of the problems that afflict us daily, while also avoiding excessive use of medications.

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