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

keelanelli health benefits

Keezhanelli also called Keelanelli in Tamil is an amazing plant with wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. From treating liver diseases and kidney stones to aiding hair growth, this plant has wide uses. I am sure many of you would have heard about keelanalli for it’s amazing use in treating hepatitis. Keelanelli is so popular for treating jaundice 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.

What Is Keelanelli | Chanca Piedra?

It is a small plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions in Central and South American countries, India and East Asian Countries. 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.

Keelanelli Botanical Name:

The botanical name of keelanelli plant is Phyllanthus Niruri and it belongs to the family Phyllanthaceae and genus Phyllanthus.

Keelanelli Plant Description:

Keelanelli plant grows to a height of 20 to 25 inches and has ascending branches with small tiny leaves. The fruits are tiny and are found in a line underneath the leaf. Keelanelli 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.

bhumyamalaki plant benefitsKeelanelli Common Names:

Phyllanthus Niruri is popularly called Chanca Piedra in Spanish and most of the keelanelli products sold online are sold under the name Chanca Piedra. Keelanelli is the Tamil name and it is commonly 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, Kizhanelli in Malayalam and Bhanya Amli in Gujarati.

Keelanelli Chemical Constituents & Nutritional Value:

Some of the chemical constituents isolated from the plant are glycosides, alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, lignans, polyphenols, tannins, coumarins and saponins. Some of the essential elements found in keelanelli plant are calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, ferrous and copper.

Keelanelli Traditional Uses:

It has been widely used in Ayurveda and Homeopathy. You can find it in various ayurvedic formulations. Traditionally, it has been used for treating jaundice, hepatitis, kidney stones, hair problems, asthma and fever.

chanca piedra health benefitsPhyllanthus Niruri (Keelanelli) Medicinal Uses:

1. 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.

2. 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. 

4. 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.

5. 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 it 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 levels.

7. 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 Treating 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. She 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 🙂

phyllanthus niruri health benefitsHow To Consume Keelanelli?

The best way to consume keelanelli is in the form of fresh leaf, whole plant decoction and as keelanelli powder. If you have access to fresh herb, I would suggest using it. Wash it well to get rid of any dirt and use like mentioned below.

Keelanelli Dosage:

If you are using kelanelli leaf juice, take around 3 to 4 teaspoons and the general dosage for keelanelli powder is around 1 teaspoon.

Keelanelli Side Effects:

Keelanelli has very low toxicity. Usually, if had in the suggested dosage keelanelli will not cause any side effects at all but if consumed in excess might cause diarrhea…..

Where To Buy Keelanelli?

You can buy keelanelli plant easily in herb shops and nattu marunthu kadai if you are living in Tamil Nadu. You can also easily order it through online shops.

We also get keelanelli tablets but usually it is sold under the Spanish name Chanca Piedra or as Phyllanthu Niruri Capsules. Chanca Piedra extract is also available online.  We also get lab grade chanca piedra tablets ideal for consuming for dissolving kidney stones.

What Is Chanca Piedra Tea?

Keelanelli is dried, crushed coarsely and sold in small sachets, perfect for making tea and it is sold under the Spanish name Chanca Piedra tea. Chanca piedra tea is usually drunk for dissolving kidney stones.

How To Make Keelanelli Powder?

To make keelanelli powder, collect fresh keelanelli plants, wash well to get rid of any dirt and cut into small pieces using a sharp knife. Now sun dry the ingredients till crisp and powder in a dry mixer while still crisp from sun drying, sieve and store.

6 Ways To Use Keezhanelli (Phyllanthus Niruri) For Hair, Skin & Health:

1. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli Hair Oil: 

keelanelli hair growth oil

For making keelanelli hair oil, take equal quantities of keelanelli leaves, curry leaves and henna leaves in a mixer and grind to get a thick paste without adding any water.

Now heat 1 cup of unrefined coconut oil in an iron pan. Add the ground keelanelli mixture paste to it and 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:

keezhanelli for liver

 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.

Though this remedy is well known and widely used in our village if someone gets jaundice, usually it is done under the watchful eye of a experienced herbalists and I would suggest the same too.

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

phyllanthus niruri side effects

 For reducing blood sugar levels, keelanelli powder can be taken mixed in water and consumed. Since it has anti diabetic properties it reduces blood sugar levels very effectively.

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:

keelanelli for kidney stones

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

If you don’t have access to fresh keelanelli plant, keelanelli extract or keelanelli tea can also be consumed. It will help get rid of the pain and the stones effectively.

5. Keelanelli | Keezhanelli Root Oil For Migraine:

bhumi amla health benefits

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:

keelanelli health benefits

Since keelanelli 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…

keelanelli medicinal uses


  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.

  24. James
    August 23, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Can it cure cataract please. Any

    • Ramya (Wildturmeric)
      August 27, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      I am so sorry for the late reply, I am redoing my site and it is taking way long for me to answer to comments :(. Yes, keelanelli has anti cataract properties and has been proven through research too….

  25. Ritu Jindal
    August 31, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Hello mam, i m 30 yrs old with dull,dry,uneven skin tone and have so many moles on my face can u plz tell m the remedy for dis prblm.

  26. workingwoman5
    October 19, 2020 / 11:26 am

    Hello, I wonder if Phyllanthus urinaria has the same healing properties as neruri? We have lots of wildly grown urinaria instead of neruri, and I’d love to try it if it is safe for consumption. Kindly advise, thank you so much for all your posts. They’re very helpful. – Noni

  27. Top5Listicle
    July 3, 2021 / 8:06 pm

    Wow! Never knew this plant has so many benefits! I stay at Singapore. Need to find out a way to buy this.

  28. Interested
    July 22, 2021 / 7:14 am

    Do you have any information about how to effectively use Chanca Piedra to dissolve gallstones? I have it in tea form which I have been drinking, but have not seen any results though,I keep hearing people say they have experienced great visible results using Chanca Piedra for gallstones.

  29. Ramanemah
    April 3, 2022 / 1:11 am

    Is it good for stomach bloating n foot swelling

  30. Venkatalakshmi
    December 13, 2022 / 3:57 pm

    Yes, keera nalli plant dissolves the gallstones but in taking in buttermilk weekly once plant with root has to be grinded in a grinding stone for more details refer link below :-

  31. கந்தராஜன்
    July 25, 2023 / 9:44 pm

    கீலா நெல்லியை சிறுநீரக கல் உள்ள கர்ப்பிணி பெண்கள் சாப்பிடலாமா?

  32. v s perumal
    October 1, 2023 / 10:54 am

    This is a god’s gift to the human community. but who was posted this summary to the human community , he are also very gifted child to this earth. How ever god is great. thanks

  33. stella
    December 9, 2023 / 12:57 pm

    can alcholic patients can take keelanelli leaves for the liver and jaundice

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