10 Top Medicinal Uses & Benefits Of Keelanelli | Keezhanelli For Hair, Skin & Health


also called as keelanelli in Tamil is an amazing plant with wonderful
medicinal uses and health benefits. It is such a joy to write about
herbs that are treasured and used for centuries and keelanelli is one
such herb that has been used in home remedies for centuries. The
botanical name of keelanelli is Phyllanthus Niruri and it belongs to the
family Phyllanthaceae and genus Phyllanthus.
It is a small plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions in Central and South American countries, India and East Asian Countries. I
am sure many would have heard about keelanalli for it’s amazing use in
treating hepatitis. This herb has been so synonymous with hepatitis that
many tend to forget that this wonderful plant has other medicinal uses
too. Usually the root of this keelanelli plant is used more than the
leaves in home remedies.
Keelanelli plant is
found everywhere in Tamil Nadu. If you can identify this plant, you can easily find it and some times you can even spot it in wastelands in cities and towns.
It is called Gale Of The Wind and Stonebreaker (because it removes
kidney stones) in English, Bhumyamalaki in Sanskrit, Nela Usiri in
Telugu, Nelanelli in Kannada, Bhumi Amla in Hindi, Kizharnelli in
Malayalam and Bhanya Amli in Gujarati. 
Constituents: Some of the constituents isolated from the plant are
lignans, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, phthalic acid, gallic acid and
Uses: It has been widely used in Ayurveda and traditionally has been
used for treating jaundice, hepatitis, kidney stones, hair problems,
asthma and fever. Here are the medicinal uses: 
Anti Microbial Properties: Keezhanelli has amazing antimicrobial
properties and traditionally it has been used for treating various skin
problems from small wounds, itching, cracked heels, rashes, etc. You can
read the study that proves it’s anti microbial properties here. 
For Liver (Hepato Protective Properties): Keezhanelli has a protective
effect on our liver and greatly protects us from getting non alcoholic
fatty liver disease. Non alcoholic fatty disease is getting more
common, thanks to the increasing availability of highly attractive
packaged foods. It is the leading cause of insulin resistance, weight
gain and oxidative stress. Keezhanelli extract greatly prevents liver
diseases, you can read the study that proves it here. 3.
For Hair Growth: Keezhanelli hair oil is very popularly used to promote
hair growth in Tamil Nadu. The plant extract has amazing hair growth
promoting properties and is especially helpful for people those who are suffering from
male pattern baldness. You can read the study that proves it here.
Anti Inflammatory Properties: Keezhanelli has amazing anti inflammatory
properties and can be used both externally and internally to treat
inflammations. Traditionally in our place, the fresh paste of the whole
plant is applied as a poultice to treat inflammations very effectively.
Anti Ulcer Properties: Keezhanelli has anti ulcer properties too, the
fresh juice leaf when taken internally helps in regeneration of mucosal
layer and greatly helps treat ulcers. You can read the study that proves
here. 6.
Anti Diabetic Properties: keezhanelli is wonderful for diabetic
patients as it reduces serum glucose levels and it improves the lipid
profile too. You can take keezhanelli powder sold in the markets or you
can take the fresh extract of the plant for reducing blood sugar
For Treating Hepatitis B & Jaundice: Traditionally keelanelli has
been used for treating hepatitis B. Hepatitis B caused by the infection
of hepatitis B virus can lead to liver damage and hyperbilirubinemia
(excess of bilirubin the blood) which in turn leads to jaundice (skin
and eyes take on a yellow tinge and urine also takes on yellow color).
In our village, for treating jaundice, we grind the keezhanelli root in
buttermilk and give to the patient for 48 days. You can read the study
that proves this traditional use
here. 8.
For Kidney Stones: Keelanelli has long been used for treating kidney
stones from ancient times and this traditional use also has been backed
by research. Keezhanelli juice can be taken for removing kidney stones
very effectively. You can read the study that proves it
here.  9. Antioxidant
Properties: Keelanelli has amazing antioxidant properties and it
greatly helps reduce oxidative stress. It’s antioxidant levels is
only slightly lower than ascrobic acid which is very amazing. Due it’s
antioxidant properties, it has a protective effect on kidney and liver.
10. For One Sided Headache: One
of our long time farm workers was telling me about her experience with
this amazing plant which happened before she came to work for us. Her
husband is no more but a few years before he passed away he had suffered
from one sided headache | otrai thalai vali in Tamil. Just imagine a
daily worker who has to go to work daily to feed his family getting one
sided headache often. She had 2 young daughters and her husbands
headache problem was taking a toll on the family as he was the sole
worker and was often not be able to go to work. After a few months of
going to different doctors her elder sister had suggested keelanelli
plant oil. Here in Tamil Nadu, especially in the village side, oil baths
are a must and a tradition that everyone follows. She asked her to
collect keelanelli roots and make an oil with it and make him have oil
bath with this keelanelli oil. He had oil bath with it weekly once as
suggested and within 2 to 3 months the one sided headache was completely
gone. When I heard her say this experience, I was very touched because
of the faith they had in in these herbs that made them patiently
practice the remedy for 2 to 3 months all the while suffering from
intense headache. Many of us loose faith in home remedies because we
want instant results. Having faith in these amazing herbs and being
patient by allowing these plants to work their magic is the key to
practicing home remedies. 
insisted that this oil should be made fresh at the time of having the
oil bath and should not be stored. This oil works best for one sided
headache, not for regular headache due to cold or fever. After narrating
her experience, she said very sweetly to record it so others will not
suffer like her husband, so this post is dedicated to her and her late
husband 🙂 How
Consume Keelanelli? The best way to consume keelanelli is in the form
of fresh leaf, whole plant decoction and as keelanelli powder. 
If you are using kelanelli leaf juice, take around 3 to 4 teaspoons and
the general dosage for keelanelli powder is around 1 teaspoon. 
Effects: Usually, if had in the suggested dosage keelanelli will not cause any
side effects at all but if consumed in excess might cause diarrhea…..


1. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli Hair Oil: 

For making hair oil, take equal quantities of keelanelli leaves, curry leaves and henna leaves in a mixer and grind to get a thick paste. Now heat 1 cup coconut oil and add the ground paste, boil till the water content evaporates and the sizzling sound stops fully. Switch off and strain. Use this hair oil regularly to treat dandruff and hair loss very quickly.

2. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli For Jaundice:

 For treating jaundice, take 1 very small piece of keelanelli root and grind it in buttermilk and have everyday for 48 days. This treatment is best done under expert guidance as food restrictions are also crucial.

3. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli Powder For Reducing Blood Sugar Levels:

 For reducing blood sugar levels,the powder can be taken mixed in water. But if you are already on diabetic medications, please monitor your blood sugar levels closely as it might lower blood sugar levels drastically.  

4. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli For Kidney Stones:

For treating kidney stones, the fresh juice of the plant got by the grinding the leaves along with little water is very effective for treating kidney stones. 

5. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli Root Oil For Migraine:

Take a keelanelli root and clean well until no trace of dirt remains. If the roots are long, cut into small pieces. Heat unrefined sesame oil in a small pan, preferably an iron pan but
please don’t use non stick pans. Once hot add the cut roots. Boil till the sizzling sound stops and then take a spoon and press the roots to release the essence. Let the oil cool to lukewarm temperature. Now take the oil and
massage it well into the scalp and wait for half an hour. We
traditionally use arappu powder to have hair wash, but you can use a
mild shampoo. This oil also has a cooling effect and is said to be very good for the eyes too…

 6. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli For Skin Problems: 

Since it has anti microbial properties, it is very effective for treating all minor skin problems like wounds, scrapes insect bites, etc. The whole plant decoction got by boiling the whole plant in a cup water till it reduces in half can be used for washing the affected area. The whole plant can also be pounded and applied as a poultice too…



  1. Anonymous
    December 14, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Hi Ramya, thanks for the post. its very informative.

  2. Aparna Roy
    December 14, 2014 / 5:36 pm

    Ramya this is one herb that grows abundantly in my place. Now I know a use and will pass on this information. Are leaves/roots/flowers of mimosa pudica used for any medicinal purpose?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 16, 2014 / 5:42 am

      Aparna, We call it thota chinungi in Tamil, touch me not plant in English. It has medicinal uses too, which I will post very soon….

    • Priya Ganesan
      March 10, 2015 / 4:52 am

      Ms Ramya, it's not the same. Pls do not mistake mimosa pudica ie touch me not and keela nelli. They are 2 different plants. Keela nelli has tender stem compared to touch me not which is spiky.

    • Priya Ganesan
      March 10, 2015 / 4:56 am

      Sorry, not Ms Ramya but Ms Aparna…

    • Unknown
      April 15, 2016 / 8:20 am

      Thotta Chinungi is different.Keela Nelli name itself describes the plant. Below the leaf, you find series of small Nelli grown in the stem. That is Keela Nelli. (Nelli in the bottom)

    • Anonymous
      November 1, 2017 / 10:58 am

      yes.thatta chinunki is very different from keelanelli.keelanelli is very effective for hepatitis B.

  3. Rayetta P
    December 15, 2014 / 2:15 pm

    I did not know thanks so much for the wonderful information

  4. Anonymous
    December 25, 2014 / 6:59 am

    thanksfull to information

  5. senblog
    January 23, 2015 / 2:29 am

    Thanks for the useful information … I shall try it..

  6. Rama Krishnan
    January 30, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    Very useful info.. Thanks sister.. Good and easy remedy without wasting money:)

    July 15, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Is this plant is useful for the patients who are suffering from Joindice i.e. Hepatatis 'A' & 'B' ?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 22, 2015 / 3:39 pm

      Yes, keelanelli plant is very useful for hepatitis, the root is ground with buttermilk and given to the patients to cure it..

  8. Jeevitha
    October 6, 2015 / 11:38 am

    Hi All, As Ramya stated Mimosa pudica – Thotta chinungi is also enriched with various Medicinal properties. The leaves along with its stem needs to be boiled in water till the water becomes half of its portion. Then allow it to cool. Consume the water once in 2 days. This will remove the Kidney stones naturally.

  9. karthik g
    November 25, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    How to buy the root..Am staying in arumbakkam(chennai)…pls anyone tell the way to my email. ..karthiikg2015@gmail.com

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 6, 2015 / 11:40 am

      I would suggest trying for keelanelli root in any nattu marundhu kadai in Chennai. You can also easily spot the plant if you look out for it in nearby waste lands (it grows abundantly everywhere)….

    • redsun
      March 22, 2016 / 1:45 am

      Daily useing for keelanelli daily morning drinking for keelaneli with butter milk mix. my body Hepatatis 'B'here but daily drinking keelaneli with buttermilkhow many month cure madam ?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 17, 2016 / 3:34 pm

      Usually it is advised to take keelanelli for 48 days for treating hepatitis….

  10. ramesh romesh.b
    May 25, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    pl send vetligo tirtment for keeelan nelli

  11. ramesh romesh.b
    May 25, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    vetligo use for keelannelli pl

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 7, 2016 / 6:41 am

      I am sorry, I am not aware of the use of keelanelli | phyllanthus niruri for vitiligo

  12. Sudhir Menon
    September 17, 2016 / 6:05 am

    Does the root have the benefits of treating liver conditions as the leaf?

  13. Sudhir Menon
    September 17, 2016 / 6:06 am

    Does the root have the benefits of treating liver conditions like the leaves?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 28, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      keelanelli roots ground in buttermilk is used for treating hepatitis….

  14. AR Gaming
    June 16, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Shall we use keelanelli for eye problems?

  15. Ramya Venkateshwaran
    August 21, 2017 / 1:03 am

    Yes, you can use keelanelli for eye problems. You can use keelanelli hair oil regularly, it will greatly help….

  16. murali krish
    September 13, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Hi..can we consume keelanelli everyday

  17. murali krish
    September 13, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Hi..can we consume keelanelli everyday

  18. murali krish
    September 13, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Hi..can we consume keelanelli everyday

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 14, 2017 / 8:06 am

      Here in our place we consume keezhanelli as a medicine and consume it only for the required period and dosage. Though you can consume keezhanelli plant daily either in the form of keelanelli juice or keelanelli powder in the correct dosage, I would suggest taking it only for the time required to treat the disease…

  19. Anonymous
    September 25, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    Hello. I am 22 years old. I live in Bengaluru, India. I bought Keezhanelli powder from Nattu Marundhu kadai in Tamil Nadu and I consume 2-3 teaspoons of it mixed with a glass of water in empty stomach in the morning for few days in a week. The sclera of my eyes is a little brownish in color (not jaundice). I work in computers a lot. Even when I stay away from them for days, the general color of my sclera is a little yellow. Can consuming this powder like I said above bring back the sclera of my eyes to pure white? My skin color is dark. If yes, how long should I continue and what precautions should I take if any. Can you please tell me where I can get Keelanelli plant in Blr?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 26, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      Usually keezhanelli is good for eye health and will greatly help with eye problems. I would suggest making hair oil with keezhanelli and using that oil for oil bath weekly twice. It will greatly help relax the eye muscles. Also consuming 2 to 3 teaspoons is a bit too much, consume around 1 teaspoon. Usually keelanelli has low toxicity and generally has very little side effects but it is best not to over consume it. I am not so familiar with Bangalore but you can try for keelanelli in herb nurseries there…

    • Anonymous
      September 28, 2017 / 4:54 am

      I thank you for your reply. I will try oil bath with Keezhanelli as you said. I will post again if I see any changes. Thanks a lot.

  20. Anonymous
    October 8, 2017 / 7:00 am

    Hello. I bathed once using keezhaneeli root oil as said above in your blog. I request you to make a video on how to make this oil. Should I bath using Keezhanelli hair oil or root oil for my above said eye color?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 10, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Bathe with keezhanelli hair oil regularly…

  21. Unknown
    October 9, 2017 / 3:59 am

    Hi. Is it good to take this for treating post dengue liver impact? It would great if you could post something on post dengue weakness too.

  22. Cheezz Make up
    February 11, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Can keekanelli keerai made masiyal with?

  23. Ramesh Janakan
    February 23, 2018 / 10:57 am

    The write up was very informative. Thank you very much.

    • Ramesh Janakan
      February 23, 2018 / 11:16 am

      I live in Trivandrum, Kerala. I feel very sorry to note here that many people are searching for a place to get Keezhaneeli plant where as this plant is abundant in my lawn. 30 yrs back my sister's jaundice was treated with this plant by my grandma. But I did not know it has other properties too. I pluck and throw away at least 25 plants from my lawn daily not knowing its other medicinal properties. Thank you for your write up. I will try using hair oil and post the results. Please inform if the roots can be dried and stored for later use.

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