Vol.2, No.5, 511-512 (2010)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/HEALTH/
Openly accessible at
Diuretic activity of Phyllanthus niruri (Linn.) in rats
A. L. Udupa1*, Sanjeeva2, Adarsh Benegal2, Vinay Prusty2, G. Prabhath Kodancha2,
M. C. Satish Kumar2, Vinutha Bhat3, U. P. Ratnakar4
1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados; *Corresponding Author:
2Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba medical college, Manipal, India
3Department of Biochemistry, Kasturba medical college, Manipal, India
4Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba medical college, Mangalore, India
Received 10 December 2009; revised 1 February 2010; accepted 3 February 2010.
Aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri (200 mg/kg
and 400 mg/kg. p.o. single dose) was tested for
its diuretic activity and compared with the stan-
dard drug hydrochlorothiazide (10 mg/ kg p.o.;
single dose). Significant increase in the volume
of urine and excretion of sodium, potassium
and chloride was recorded when aqueous ex-
tract of Phyllanthus niruri was administered to
hydrated albino rats.
Keywords: Phyllanthus niruri; Diuretic action
Phyllanthus niruri [1] is claimed to have diuretic and
antilithiatic activity in indigenous system of medicine. A
survey of the literature revealed the absence of any sys-
tematic study on diuretic activity of the plant. Hence a
study has been taken up to verify the claims made in the
indigenous Ayurvedic system of medicine.
The plant material—phyllanthus niruri was collected
locally during the month of July to December. The bota-
nical identity was confirmed by the Department of Bot-
any Sri Poornaprajna college Udupi. Institutional Ethical
Committee clearance was obtained for the experiment.
The shade dried plant (2 kg) was boiled with water in
batches of 600 gm each. The aqueous extract was con-
centrated and dried on water bath (yield = 10%).
Aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri was administered
orally in varying doses of 1, 2, 4 and 8 g/kg to Wister
strain albino rats of either sex (n = 6/group. 180-250 g).
Animals were observed for acute toxic effect initially
continuously for two hours and thereafter at frequent
intervals for 24 hours and thereafter once daily for 14
Albino rats of either sex (180-250 g) fasted over night
were used, each group consisting of 10 animals. The
animals were orally hydrated with 5 mL water, immedi-
ately before starting the procedures. Rats were placed
individually in a metabolic cage and the urine was col-
lected in tubes containing two drops of liquid paraffin to
prevent evaporation. The urine collected over a period of
24 hours was measured, pH was noted and sodium, po-
tassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate and uric acid
concentrations were determined.
Each animal was given three trials at biweekly inter-
vals and the average was taken as the reading for calcu-
lation. The tests were done with single oral dose of
aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri (200 mg and 400
mg/kg p.o.) and hydrochlorothiazide (10 mg/kg p.o.).
These results were then compared with the diuretic ac-
tivity of the orally administered vehicle as control. This
was repeated with single oral dose of aqueous extract of
Phyllanthus niruri (200 mg and 400 mg/kg p.o.) and hy-
drochlorothiazide (10 mg/kg p.o.) and compared with
that of the orally administered vehicle as control.
Student ‘t’ test was used for statistical analysis.
Acute toxicity studies did not show any toxic effect up to
4 g/kg p.o. in a single dose p to 14 days. In 8 g/kg p.o. u
A. L. Udupa et al. / HEALTH 2 (2010) 511-512
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Openly accessible at
Table 1. Urine volume and concentration of electrolytes (mEq/L).
Electrolytes mEq/L
Drug & pH of urine Dosage mg/kg Urine volume
ml/24hr Na+ K
+ Cl-
pH – 8.24 ± 0.26
5 ml water
5.2 ± 0.12
35.5 ± 3.70
56.19 ± 5.88
50.3 ± 2.73
pH – 8.02 ± 0.08
5 ml water +
200 mg/kg p.o.
8.9 ± 0.01c
46.2 ± 2.13a
87.3 ± 3.81c
69.14 ± 6.4a
pH – 8.06 ± 0.12
5 ml water +
400 mg/kg p.o.
9.74 ± 0.08c
49.2 ± 4.54a
94.5 ± 10.74b
74.4 ± 9.31a
pH – 8.5 ± 0.21
5 ml water +
10 mg/kg p.o.
10.2 ± 0.13c
51 ± 3.9b
79.10 ± 4.97b
79.0 ± 2.87c
n = 10; a = P < 0.05; b = p < 0.01; c = p < 0.001; AEPN = Aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri.
dose some animals showed drowsiness and reduced
spontaneous activities. So one tenth of the highest toler-
ated dose (i.e. 400 mg/kg and one lower dose i.e. 200
mg/kg) was used for diuretic activity studies. The pH of
the urine was not significantly altered with the drug and
it varied between 8.2 in control to 8.5 with hydro-
chlorothizide. The results (Table 1) show that aqueous
extract of Phyllanthus niruri has significant diuretic ac-
tivity and it has significantly increased the excretion of
sodium, potassium and chloride as compared to that of
the vehicle control and the volume of urine and electro-
lyte excretion pattern was comparable to that of the
standard drug chosen i.e. hydrochlorothiazide.
These results substantiate the claims made in indige-
nous system of medicine.
The authors are thankful to the Dean of Kasturba Medical college-
Manipal and K.M.C.Trust, Manipal for the financial support rendered
for this study.
[1] Nadkarni, A.K. (2002) Indian Materia Medica. Popular
Prakashan Private Limited, 1, 947.
[2] Crosland, J. (1980) Lewis Pharmacology Churchill Liv-
ingstone Inc. New York, 137-146.
[3] Hwang, K. and Goldberg, M.E. (1959) Federation pro-
ceedings, 18, 405.
[4] Schaumann, O. (1960), Archaic experimental Pathology
Pharmaceutical, 238, 219.