Herb of the Month
Botanical Name :- Boerhaavia diffusa
This Ayurvedic herb is found throughout India.
It is a creeping and spreading perennial herb, with a stout
root-stock and many erect or spreading branches. It grows up to 2
meters in length. The leaves of the plant are simple, broad,
somewhat rough, thick and brittle. The flowers are pink or red in
color. The fruits are oval in shape, dull green or brownish in
color and about the size of caraway bean.
Ancient ayurvedic texts describe Punarnava as of two types, white
and red. Both of them have identical medicinal value.
Punarnava is slightly bitter in taste and is considered hot, light
in effect. It balances all Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in the
body. Besides potassium nitrate, it contains an alkaloid, which is
known as punarnavine. Experimental studies have confirmed the
diuretic properties of Punarnava. It is useful in obesity, anemia
cases, loss of appetite, jaundice and chronic but non-specific
febrile conditions. It is also anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative
and also a heart tonic. Punarnava is also known to possess
properties to cure skin and soft tissue infections.
The whole plant, particularly leaves, roots and
Healing power and curative properties:
Obesity click here for
The herb has been used in indigenous medicine from time
immemorial. Punarnava is highly beneficial in the treatment of
obesity as almost all anti-obesity herbal preparations contain it
in one or the other form. It is beneficial in the treatment of
several common ailments.
Punarnava increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is
effective in the treatment of dropsy, a disease marked by an
excessive collection of a watery fluid in the tissues and cavities
or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be
given in the treatment of this disease. A liquid extract of the
fresh or dry plant can also be given in doses of 4 to 6 gms.
The herb is useful in the treatment of ascities, a disease
characterised by accumulation of fluid inside the peritoneal
cavity of the abdomen. Much more powerful effect on certain types
of ascities that is caused due to the cirrhosis of the liver and
The herb is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting
its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of several stomach
disorders, particularly intestinal colic. A powder of the root is
given in doses of 5 gms thrice a day. It is also useful in killing
or expelling intestinal worms.
Punarnava promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm
from the bronchial tubes. It is, therefore, beneficial in the
treatment of asthma. A powder of the root can be taken in small
doses three times a day.
Punarnava is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. It brings
down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.
The root of the plant is an effective remedy for several skin
diseases. A paste of the root can be applied beneficially as a
dressing for oedematous swellings. A hot poultice of the root can
be applied with gratifying results to ulcers, abscesses and
similar skin diseases.
The root of the plant is useful in the treatment of several
diseases - particularly of the kidney and heart as well as
gonorrhea. It is also valuable in oedema, anemia, cough, pluerisy,
nervous weakness, constipation and paralysis.
Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Punarnava :