Pashanbhed, also known as a stone breaker, is a popular Indian herb used extensively in the treatment of kidney stones. It goes with the botanical name Bergenia Ligulata which is a perennial herb imbued with numerous therapeutic and medicinal qualities. Pashanbhed has been used both in modern and ayurvedic systems of medicine for treating various health maladies. The roots and rhizomes of this herb are used extensively for traditional treatments. The potent antilithic trait of Pashanbhed supports breaking kidney stones and offers a great respite from pain. This medicinal herb can be used both internally and externally for healing wounds, ulcers, and swelling. Additionally, regular intake of Pashanbhed powder increases the urine output which aids in the elimination of renal stones as well.

Pashanbhed Plant

Pashanbhed is a rhizomatic herb with fleshy leaves that grows up to 30 cm tall, with a stout creeping rootstock enclosed with scars and intermittent axillary buds. It is a small shrub distributed in the plains and mountain region of the Himalayas growing at an altitude of 900-3000 metres. The plant typically grows in between the wedges of the stones of the mountains The plant is naturally hard and can withstand frost during the winter season turning reddish in hue. While its stem is short, the rhizome comes out from the crevices of rocks and falls out in the air in wet regions. Leaves are huge 5- 30 cm long, lightly hairy in margins, with broad obovate or shallow sinuate. The florals are bisexual, white, pink, or purple tinge with elongated cymose panicles 4-10 cm long. The fruit is a capsule form and rounded in shape with greyish seeds and numerous in the capsule. This medicinal herb is a natural lithotrophic and diuretic medicine used commercially for treating renal problems. Pashanbhed is spread widely in the Himalayas and the Khasi Hills of Assam.

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How Did The Word Pashanbhed Originate?

According to the Ayurvedic manuscript, the word Pashanbhed means stone breaker. This herbal plant is known by different names in different regions of the world including Pasanaberu, Pakhanabhed, Alepgaya, and Hittulaka. Other common names in vernacular languages include:

  • Sanskrit-Ashmagna, Sailobheda, Upalabhedaka, Shilabheda
  • Hindi-Pakhanbheda, Patharchoor
  • Gujarati-Pakhanbheda
  • Bengali-Patharkuchi
  • Assamese -Patharkuchi
  • Tamil-Sirupilai
  • Punjabi-Kondapindi
  • Malayalam-Kalluvranchi,Kallurvanni

Uses Of Pashanbhed

In the holistic system of ayurvedic medicine, pashanbhed is used to cure ulcers, ear pain, teething issues in kids, constipation, cough, fever etc. Pashanbhed has been used in the Unani system of medicine as well. Aside from these, it also reduces high blood pressure and shields the liver from getting infected. This powerful herb is highly valuable in treating several diseases and serves as a panacea for all health woes.

Also Read: Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Kidney Stones

Chemical Composition of Pashanbhed

The rhizome of this medicinal herb contains bergenin, gallic acid, starch, glucose, tannins, mucilage and wax, a c-glycoside and beta-sitosterol. While its leaves are endowed with tannic acid, gallic acid and calcium oxalate. The bioactive compounds present in seeds include tannic acid, coumarin, minerals, and gallic acid.

Incredible Medicinal Traits

Pashanbhed is attributed to have several therapeutic properties that are beneficial in treating health anomalies, these include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antilithic
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-bradykinin
  • Antibacterial
  • Diuretic
  • Liver protective
  • Antipyretic
  • Laxative
  • Analgesic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Abortifacient

Ayurvedic Indications

Pashanbhed denoted as “Stone Breaker” since the Vedic time and its root and rhizomes have been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures for various ayurvedic indications, which include:

  • Bastishodhana- cleanses bladder
  • Bhedaha- piercing
  • Arsha- haemorrhoids
  • Gulma- abdominal tumour, distention
  • Mutrakrichra- dysuria
  • Hrudruja- treats cardiac problems
  • Yoniroga - treats gynaecological problems
  • Prameha- regulates diabetes and urinary tract issues
  • Pleeha- splenomegaly
  • Shoola- abdominal cramps
  • Vrana- speeds up the wound healing process

Also Read: Ayurveda For Kidney Stones: Spectacular Herbs To Treat Nephrolithiasis And Promote Renal Health

Health Benefits of Pashanbhed

Remedies Kidney Stone

Kidney stone (mutrashmari in Ayurveda) is a condition that develops due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha and this causes Sanga (obstruction in the urinary bladder) leading to problems in micturition. The natural antiurolithic action of Pashanbhed is helpful in dissolving stones in the kidneys, and urinary system. This formulation treats urolithiasis owing to its Vata-Kapha pacifying and mutral actions. It averts the formation of calculi and aids in eliminating stones via urine by increasing the urine output.

Manages Diabetes

The root extract of Pashanbhed is imbued with hypoglycaemic traits and this help to regularise blood sugar surge. The potent antidiabetic effect of pashanbhed stimulates insulin secretion and promotes the functioning of the pancreas, thereby managing uncontrolled diabetes and associated symptoms.

Prevents Dysuria

The diuretic action of the pashanbehda may be due to the richness of bioactive compounds saponins and flavonoids. Dysuria is a condition that develops due to an imbalance of doshas. Taking this herbal extract improves urine output and offers respite from painful micturition owing to its Tridosha pacifying and mutral (diuretic) actions.

Augments Liver Health

The incredible liver healing actions of Pashanbhed play a key role in treating liver anomalies. The alcoholic extract of this herbal medicine showed a remarkable reduction in liver enzymes -serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin. Thus, the hepatoprotective nature of Pashanbhed is beneficial in managing liver and spleen diseases.

Heals Wounds

The roots of pashanbhed have strong astringent and cooling actions, that cure bleeding, and inflammation and speed up the wound healing process. Dried root extracts of this medicinal herb are applied topically for treating boils, wounds, cuts and burns.

Effects On Dosha

This magical herbal medicine has astringent (kashaya) and bitter (tikta) Rasa. Pashanbhed is blessed with Snigdha (oiliness), and laghu (lightness) gunas. It has Vipaka-katu (which undergoes pungent taste changes after digestion) and Veerya -Sheeta (coolant) properties. It helps in balancing tridoshara (all three doshas) and mootravirecaniya (that aids in easy micturition). Additionally, prabhava action of this herb aids in getting rid of Ashmari bhedana (renal stones).


Pashanbhed is readily available in the form of root powder, paste, kwath or decoctions. This herbal formulation has a bitter taste, one can consume it along with honey, milk, or water to mask the taste. The appropriate dosage of Pashanbhed may vary from person to person depending upon the age, health condition and severity of the patient. It is best to consult an ayurvedic practitioner, as he or she will completely assess the patient's indications and recommend the right dosage.

Side Effects Of Pashanbhed

Pashanbhed is a key ingredient in several ayurvedic formulations used for regulating kidney problems. When taken in prescribed amounts it is unlikely to cause any side effects. But the acetone extract of rhizomes is known to be cardiotoxic when taken in excess amounts and may have a depressing effect on the central nervous system. Also, a large dose may cause antidiuretic effects too. Some of the other side effects of using pashanbhed include diarrhoea, edema, depression, and erythema.


Pashanbhed may cause allergic reactions in a few people when taken externally. So, it is always ideal to consult a physician before using this herbal medicine in case you have hypersensitive skin.

Though it is safe for pregnant women, it is best to get advice from your doctor before consuming pashanbhed in any form during pregnancy.

People with a cardiac ailment should avoid this in any form, as there is no adequate scientific evidence to prove its safety.