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Pashanbhed: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more


Pashanbhed or stone breaker is a popular Indian drug. It is also called stonebreaker as it can dissolve kidney stones. Pashanbhed is derived from the plant Bergenia ligulata and is used in the indigenous system of medicine.

Bergenia ligulata is a climbing plant that is distributed in moist areas of the Himalayas, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and south Tibet.

Pashanbhed flowers ayurvedic herbs

The flowers of Bergenia ligulata are pink, purple, or white. According to the Ayurvedic system of medicine, Pashanbhed is used for various medicinal purposes. The rhizome, root, and leaves of Bergenia ligulata are used to treat a variety of ailments.1 

Chemical Constituents of Pashanbhed: 

The rhizome of Pashanbhed contains many chemical constituents like arbutin, paashaanolactone, afzelechin, bergenin, norbergenin, catechin, minerals, glucose, albumin, vitamins, mucilage, ash, starch, and gallic acid.  

The constituents present in seeds of pashanbhed include tannic acid, coumarin, minerals, wax, coumarin, and gallic acid.  

The root of pashanbhed showed the presence of tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, carbohydrates, saponins, and glycosides.1 

Did you know?

  • Pashanbhed has been traditionally used to treat kidney stones in the United States. source: ncbi
  • Pashanbhed may help in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones in the United States. source: ncbi
  • Pashanbhed has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit individuals with kidney stones in the United States. source: ncbi
  • Pashanbhed has diuretic properties that can promote urine flow and help flush out kidney stones in the United States. source: ncbi

Therapeutic Uses of Pashanbhed: 

Pashanbhed is used in the management of kidney and bladder stones, urinary problems, and other diseases due to its medicinal properties like: 

  • Anti-inflammatory activity 
  • Antilithic activity (preventing the formation of stones) 
  • Antiviral activity 
  • Anti-bradykinin activity 
  • Antibacterial activity 
  • Diuretic activity
  • Liver protective activity 
  • Antipyretic activity 
  • Laxative  
  • Analgesic 
  • Aphrodisiac  
  • Abortifacient1,2  

Also Read: Does Boric Acid Kill Sperm? Unraveling the Facts and Myths

Benefits of Pashanbhed: 

Benefits of Pashanbhed for Preventing Stone Formation: 

  • Antiurolithic is the property of preventing or dissolving stones in the ureters, bladders, or kidneys.
  • Pashanbhed inhibits the growth of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals, which is responsible for the formation of kidney or urinary stones.
  • Hot water extract of the Pashanbhed plant is taken orally for treating urinary or renal stones. Pashanbhed powder is also recommended to manage painful urination.2, 2 

Benefits of Pashanbhed as an Antidiabetic Medicine: 

  • The alcoholic extract of roots of Pashanbhed contains hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) properties.
  • It might reduce elevated blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
  • The antidiabetic effect might be due to the stimulation of insulin release or the stimulation of cells of pancreatic islets.
  • Due to its anti-diabetic properties, Pashanbhed can be used as a component of medicines or nutraceutical foods for managing diabetes and associated symptoms.2 

Benefits of Pashanbhed for the Liver: 

  • The alcoholic extract of Pashanbhed showed a reduction in the levels of serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin.
  • This confirmed the hepatoprotective (liver protecting) effect of Pashanbhed.
  • Pashanbhed powder is also helpful for managing liver and spleen diseases, particularly enlarged spleen.2 

Benefits of Pashanbhed as a Diuretic: 

  • Diuresis refers to an increased passage of urine.
  • Alcoholic extracts of roots of Bergenia ligulata proved to increase urinary electrolyte concentration of sodium, potassium, and chloride, which shows that it has diuretic properties.
  • The diuretic property of the roots of Bergenia ligulata might be due to the presence of compounds like saponins and flavonoids.2 

Benefits of Pashanbhed for the Reproductive System: 

  • Pashanbhed powder helps nourish and correct the functioning of the reproductive system.
  • Pashanbhed is also used for treating gynaecological problems.3 

Benefits of Pashanbhed for the Skin: 

  • In India, dried roots of Pashanbhed have been used topically for treating boils, wounds, cuts, and burns.
  • The hot water extract of Pashanbhed has been used externally for the treatment of boils.2 

Did you know that Pashanbhed (Bergenia ligulata) contains a significant phenolic compound called ‘bergenin’ comprising approximately 0.9% of its composition? Along with bergenin, it also contains other phenolic compounds in smaller quantities. These compounds contribute to the potential health benefits and therapeutic properties associated with Pashanbhed.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Isabgol – Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

How to Use Pashanbhed? 

Pashanbhed is available in two forms: 

  • Powder 
  • Decoction 

Some important formulations of Pashanbhed include Asmarihara kasaya churna, Mutravircaniya kasaya churna. The main preparations of Pashanbhed include Pashanbhed ghrit and Pashanbhed kwath.4,5  

Your Ayurvedic physician will prescribe you the dose and form according to your medical condition. 

In my experience, I have observed that Pashanbhed (Bergenia ligulata) has a distinctive aromatic odour and astringent taste. These sensory properties can be attributed to its chemical constituents, which interact with our taste receptors and olfactory receptors.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Ragi – Uses, Nutrition, Benefits & Side Effects

Side Effects of Pashanbhed: 

Pashanbhed is an important constituent of many formulations used for managing kidney diseases. However, the acetone extract of rhizomes of Pashanbhed is known to be cardiotoxic in large doses and produces a depressing effect on the central nervous system. A large dose of Pashanbhed is known to produce antidiuretic effects too. However, it is unlikely that these effects will be observed with doses in the normal range.2 

Also Read: Gokshura – Uses, Benefits & Precautions

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is Pashanbhed? 

Pashanbhed, also known as stone breaker, is a well-known Indian drug obtained from the plant Bergenia ligulata. This drug is known for its role in dissolving kidney stones.1 

2) What are the other names of Pashanbhed? 

The common names of Pashanbhed include Pashana, Pashanbheda, Zakhmehayat, Asmaribheda, Ashmabhid, Ashmabhed, Shilabhed, Upalbhedak, Parwatbhed, and Nagabhid.1 

3) What are the benefits of the leaf juice of Pashanbhed? 

The leaf juice of Pashanbhed is used for treating urinary troubles, haemorrhagic diseases, colds, epilepsy, and distension of the stomach.1 

4) What are the traditional uses of Pashanbhed? 

The roots of B.ligulata are used by tribes of Dharchula in Uttar Pradesh for the treatment of cuts, boils, ophthalmia, wounds, urinary complaints, and kidney stones. The root is also used by people in Johari (Jaipur) for the treatment of urinary problems and asthma. The rhizome of Pashanbhed is used by the Kumaoni tribes for managing fever. The root of Pashanbhed is used for the treatment of liver problems and tuberculosis. Pashanbhed plant is used by the tribes of the central Himalayan region for the management of dizziness, vertigo, and headache.1 

5) What are the medicinal properties of Pashanbhed? 

The medicinal properties of Pashanbhed include antiviral, antiurolithic, free radical scavenging, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antipyretic, antitumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and cardioprotective activities.2 

6) What is the botanical name of Pashanbhed? 

The botanical name of pashanbhed is Bergenia ligulata. Some synonyms of Bergenia ligulata include Bergenia ciliata, Saxifraga ciliate, Saxifrage ligulata wall, and Saxifraga thysanodes lindl.2 

7) Is Pashanbhed found only in India? 

No, Pashanbhed is also found in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and China at greater altitudes.3 

8) What kind of habitats is Pashanbhed found in? 

Pashanbhed grows well in temperate, humid climates, where the temperature is usually below 20 °C.5 

9) What are the Ayurvedic properties of Pashanbhed? 

Pashanbhed is cold in potency, bitter in taste, and helps cure prameha (urinary problems), dysuria, diseases of the female genital tract, and ulcers. In Ayurveda, the roots of Pashanbhed are known for their bitter, acid, laxative, and cooling properties, which are effective in the management of tridosha in tumours, calculi, urinary discharges, enlargement of spleen, dysentery, stones, and heart diseases.3  

Also Read: Gulvel – Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


  1. KM Ruby, Jaya Dwivedi, Rajani Chauhan; Pashanbheda A golden herb of Himalaya: A review. International journal of pharmacy review and research. 2012;2(2):97-105 Available from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/PASHANBHEDA-A-GOLDEN-HERB-OF-HIMALAYA%3A-A-REVIEW-Ruby-Dwivedi/1c589e6f7fd1b2ba2ade0c752ec2135276d91784?p2df 
  1. S.S Gurav and N.S Gurav; A comprehensive review: Bergenia ligulata wall- A controversial clinical candidate. International journal of pharmaceutical sciences and research. 2014;5(5): 630-1642 Available from: https://ijpsr.com/bft-article/a-comprehensive-review-bergenia-ligulata-wall-a-controversial-clinical-candidate/ 
  1. Preeti choudhary, Parshant Bakshi and Rafiq Ahmad; Prospects of Bergenia: A medicinal herb (Pashanbhed). 2016. Available from: https://www.biotecharticles.com/Healthcare-Article/Prospects-of-Bergenia-A-medicinal-herb-Pashanbhed-3627.html 
  1. The Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India. Part-1 Volume-1. Page no: 90. Available from: http://www.ayurveda.hu/api/API-Vol-1.pdf 
  1. Vikaspedia. Bergenia Ciliata [Internet]. Available from: https://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/crop-production/package-of-practices/medicinal-and-aromatic-plants/bergenia-ciliata 

Also Read: Pink Himalayan Salt – Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


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