Diasperus capillaris (Schumach. & Thonn.) Kuntze
Diasperus nummulariifolius (Poir.) Kuntze
Menarda capillaris (Schumach. & Thonn.) Baill.
Menarda nummulariifolia (Poir.) Baill.
Phyllanthus capillaris Schumach. & Thonn.
Phyllanthus maderaspatensis Thouars ex Baill.
Phyllanthus peduncularis Boivin ex Baill.
Phyllanthus stuhlmanii Pax
Phyllanthus tenellus nossibeensis Müll.Arg.
Phyllanthus nummulariifolius is an erect perennial plant with more or less woody stems that persist; it can grow up to 1.7 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Tropical Africa - Guinea to Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, south to Angola, Botswana, S. Africa, also in Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion.
Dense riverine forest, woodland, forest edges and grassland, often in seasonally wet and disturbed localities, but also in shallow pockets of soil on granite inselbergs in Acacia- Commiphora vegetation, at elevations up to 2,100 metres[
Plants are usually monoecious, but dioecious forms also exist, in which case both male and female forms would need to be grown if fruit and seed were required[
A decoction of the plant is taken as an emetic[
]. It is used as an anti-emetic[
]. A decoction of the whole plant is drunk against high blood pressure in pregnant woman and oedema[
The crushed roots are taken against stomach-ache[
The boiled fruits are eaten as a treatment against intestinal worms[
The leaves are used to treat asthma. An infusion of the leaves is given to babies against colic[
]. The powdered leaves, diluted with water, are taken against chest problems.
The leaves are applied to suppurative swellings on the legs and to other inflammations[
]. The powdered leaves are sprinkled on wounds[
]. Leafy stems are applied against haemorrhoids[
A mixture of leaf sap of several plants, including Phyllanthus nummulariifolius, is used as eye drops, or a decoction of the leafy stems of a similar selection of plants is applied as an enema against eye diseases including cataract[
The leaves are also used in mixture with other plants to treat general weakness, especially in pregnant women, diarrhoea and cough[
An infusion of leaves and bark is taken against premature ejaculation and to treat morning sickness in early pregnancy[
Aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Phyllanthus nummulariifolius showed strong activity against the snails Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis, both intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis parasites[
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