The herb in question is called 叶下珠 (translated as ‘Pearls under the leaves’) or its scientific name Phyllanthus urinaria that is claimed to be able to cure end stage liver cirrhosis. I decided to write this article after hearing from 2 separate persons (who do not know each other) who each one had a relative/friend who had end stage liver cirrhosis.
Both these persons do not know each other and the case involved different individuals. They shared with me this as my mom also had liver cirrhosis from chronic, then turned acute and how chronic hepatitis B.
What happens was that both the individuals were told by their doctors that their liver cirrhosis were too advanced. The doctors could not do anything to help them as they said no medication can do anything to control the liver which was hardening and failing. One of the patient was a guy who was a contractor and drank alcohol heavily- that was why he developed liver cirrhosis.
Both of them were desperate to live. So when they heard about recommendation of taking this herb, they try it after the doctors in conventional medicine was not able to help them. Warning though, this plant tastes horrible so usually people would not take it unless they have no choice. My mom refused to even consider taking it therefore I had to place her on Entercavir medication which is expensive and once started, must be taken for life.
The herb 叶下珠, pronounced in Cantonese as something like “Yip Har Choo” or “Yip Har Chu/Zhu”
I have a picture below taken from a friend’s garden who have this plant because his family has a history of liver disease so he planted this plant, amongst other herbs in his garden:
The plant is rounded in red. It look very much like the mimosa pudica plant (where the leaves closes when you touch or step on it) but the difference is that this plant (叶下珠) have seeds located below the leaves. If you wish to have a clearer picture, you can search under Google Image using the keyword 叶下珠 as this plant is well documented in the Chinese healing and herbs. There is also a Wikipedia page on this plant.
Basically, this plant literally grow like weeds in Malaysia. I never even planted this plant and yet my garden would have lots of them. And if you decide to plant this plant in your garden and if you do not look after it, the next thing it would grow like weeds all over your garden.
How to consume Yip Har Choo 叶下珠
This advice was provided by my friend whose friend took the herb in that manner.
Source of the plant- ensure no pesticides
You need to ensure that the plant had not been treated with pesticides before plucking it. For example in Malaysia, this plant can be found in fields and roadsides. In some places, municipal workers do spray pesticides to control the population of the weeds around the area. So do your best to ensure the place you are obtaining it from is not been treated by pesticides.
Pluck together with the roots. Wash the herb/plant clean together with its roots.
There are 2 ways of cooking the plant.
1. After washing the plant clean, boil it with water. After boiling, put a little brown sugar or rock sugar as the drink would be very bitter. However, some patient with end stage liver cirrhosis are suffering from bloating (acitis) and they are usually told to reduce their intake of fluids. In that case, the second option:
2. Pound the plant using a pestle or blend
After pounding or blending, squeeze out the juice. Put a little Manuka or normal honey. Warning… bitter bitter BITTER because the juice would be super concentrated.
That is why usually no one would want to try this remedy unless there is no other choice.
Finally, the emotions
In traditional Chinese medicine, liver imbalances in the liver could be tied down to the imbalances of emotion of anger. If the person suffering from the liver disease have anger issues- either expressed or suppressed, it is really time to learn to deal and manage the anger.
Transform the energy of anger into acceptance and forgiveness. Come to this stage, one have to because managing the emotions play a huge role in restoring balance within the body. Excessive anger is stored in the liver.
My mom used to have a lot of anger in her but she also kind and generous. Just that she had gone through a terrible childhood of abuse, neglect and constant hunger (her stepmom always wanted to starve her and instigate his son to beat her). The hardship and emotional trauma she had endured made her create a coping mechanism to survive that horrible childhood.
But when that coping mechanism is developed into a character trait, it starts to work against us. For my mom, whenever people let her down or hurt her, she gets very upset and took it personally. We need to undo all these negative conditioning and tell ourselves that what we went through in our childhood does not define us. Eventually that rigidity contributed to my mom’s development of Alzheimer’s. But as her dementia progresses, she started to grow childlike and develop a cheerful, almost innocent childlike happiness. She was seldom angry because she was well treated and loved by us. As the result, her liver condition went from acute to chronic. During the last checkup with the gastrologist, I was told the level of Hepatitis B virus is now negligible (but she still have to take Entercavir every day for life).
To the person having liver cirrhosis and it is not yet terminal, continue to let the doctor treat your body. Your role is to heal your emotions and mind. Learn to forgive people who hurt or let you down in life. Be happy and cherish the present, the now… the previous time you have with your family. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the past anymore.
Even, even if healing your emotions eventually cannot heal your physical illness, at least when it is time to leave, you could be at peace.