Arjuna is a unique herb that helps in maintenence of a healthy heart and reduction of nervousness, stress and anxiety. It is credited with several therapeutic properties, both in Ayurvedic and Unani Systems. It has been considered by the Ayurvedic physicians as well as by the modern practitioners as a cardiac tonic. Vagbhatta was the first to prescribe use of arjuna’s treating cardio vascular diseases the bark in heart diseases. Later Chakradatta described it as a tonic in heart disease. Bhava Mishra, a Nighantukara recognized the bark as possessing some cooling, cardio tonic, wound healing and intoxicating effects. The bark and preparations made from it are reputed to have a marked stimulant action on the heart even today.
Sanskrit : Arjuna, Dhanvi, Indradrurma, Kakubha, Karvirak
English : Arjuna myrobalans
Latin name : Terminalia arjuna
Family : Combretaceae
Arjuna is an unique herb that helps in maintenance of a healthy heart and reduction of nervousness , stressand anxiety. Vagbhatta was the first acharya to prescribe the use of arjuna bark in treating cardio vascular diseases. Later Chakradutta described it as a heart tonic.Bhava Mishra Nighantukara recognised the bark as possessing some cooling, cardiotonic, wound healing and intoxicating effects.
Arjuna is a large size deciduous tree. The height of the Arjuna tree reaches upto 60 -85 feet. It is an evergreen tree with the yellow flowers and conical leaves. It has a smooth gray bark. Fruit is 2.5 -3.5 cm long, fibrous woody, glabrous with 5 hard wings, striated with numerous curved veins. It has a buttressed trunk and a vast spreading crown from which the branches drop downwards. Its leaves are dull green above and pale brown beneath oblong or elliptic oblong in shape. At the base of the lamina two glands are present .Arjuna flowers between March to June and fruits between September to November. Flowers are green with star like spikes and smooth calyces .Fruits are truncate fibrous and woody.
Ayurvedic Pharmacodynamic properties:
Rasa : Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna : Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)
Virya : Shita (Cold)
Vipaka : Katu (Pungent)
Doshakarma : Kapha-Pittashamak (Alleviate K and P Dosha)
Useful parts: Stem, Bark
The bark is rich in saponnins, natural anti-oxidants (flavonoids-arjunone, arjunolone, leteilin) gallic acid, ellagic acid, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, phytosterols, rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium,zinc and copper.
It also contains triterpine glycosides such as arjunetosides I, II, III, IV, arjunine and arjunetein.
Hypolipidemic action – reduces LDL-cholesterol levels and helps in recovering HDL components in hyperlipidemia.
It has salutary effect in cases of liver cirrhosis.
Hypotensive- Due to diuretic property and hypolipidemic activity, it helps in reducing hypertension.
It is astringent, cooling and used as a cardiac tonic.
It has Prostaglandin enhancing & Coronary risk modulating properties.
It also has Aphrodisiac property.
Cardiomyopathy like Myocardial infraction, Angina ,Coronary artery disease, Heart failure, Hypercholesterolemia , Hypertension.
Used as an Ischemic & Cardioprotective agent in Hypertension & Ischemic heart disease (IHD).
Bark powder of Arjuna has diuretic properties that cures cirrhosis.
Juice of leaves is used in ear ache (Otalgia)
Arjuna leaves are used to cover Ulcers & Sores externally.
The powder of bark works well in Acne when applied as a paste mixed with honey.
Arjuna bark ash is used in Scorpian sting.
Hot infusion of powder of bark treats Asthma.
The decoction of bark helps in treating Diarrhoea, Dysentry
Dose: Powder 3 – 6 gm, Ksheerpaka 50- 100 ml
Important formulations: Arjunarishta , Arjuna churna, Arjuna ghrita
Arjuna supplements must not be consumed by obese people as it adds fats content to the body. This may make the cardiovascular condition even more severe.
Internal use of stem bark powder of Arjuna provides cardioprotective effects. It is described in Ayurveda as a tonic in heart disease.
Its Ksheerpaka is highly effective to normalize high blood pressure and also acts as a cardioprotective.
In fracture and ulcers of the bones, bandage with its paste is appliedin rural areas.
Arjuna is the best herb that helps maintaining healthy heart and in relieving mental stress and nervousness. Arjuna also improves pumping activity and the strength of the cardiac muscles. Researchers also favor that Arjuna plays key role in decreasing the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
It also has a tonic effect in cirrhosis of the liver. It induces a drug-dependent decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. The herb has been used as lipids controlling agent since many years in Ayurveda.