An annual weed 2ft high, leaves small, alternate, arranged in two rows, membranous, usually thin and glaucous under surface, elliptic, narrow at the base, stipules two. Flowers very small, monoecious, in pairs in the axils of leaves capsule, globose, slightly depressed at the top with six ridges.
Alkaloids, bitter, lignans, flavours, Amariin, a novel hydrolysable tannin together with geraniin, corilagin, 1,6-digalloyl-glucopyranoside as well as a rutin and quercetin-3-O-glucopyranoside have been isolated from the plant.
The main use of the plant Phyllanthus is in liver and kidney problems. Particularly in hepatitis A and all other types. It is a very good diuretic. The fresh juice is very effective. Herb powder is also useful in these conditions.
It is also diuretic, astringent, cooling, laxative and bitter tonic. Liver and related diseases, gonorrhoea, constipation, stomachache, dyspepsia, juice is useful in opthalmia; leaves are useful in urinary problems. The plant is often used in flu, dropsy, diabetes, jaundice, viral hepatitis, asthma, bronchial infections, and diseases of the liver. In the ayurvedic system of medicine it is used in problems of the stomach, genitourinary system, liver, and kidney.