In a preliminary study, carriers of hepatitis B virus were treated with a preparation of the plant Phyllanthus amarus for 30 days. 22 of 37 (59%) treated patients had lost hepatitis B surface antigen when tested 15-20 days after the end of the treatment compared with only 1 of 23 (4%) placebo-treated controls. Some subjects have been followed for up to 9 months. In no case has the surface antigen returned. Clinical observation revealed few or no toxic effects. The encouraging results of this preliminary study recommend continued evaluation of this plant and the active principles isolated from it.