Punarnava Medicinal Benefits
Botanical Name—Boerhavia diffusa
Family—Nyctaginaceae (Punarnava Kul)
Habit—A perennial diffuse herb
Taste- Sweety, bitter, fragrant
- Panduhar (Checks Anemia)
Parts Used—Root, Seed, whole plant
Description—Punarnava or Red Spiderling is a prostrate herb with very diffuse inflorescences. It is a weed found throughout India. Inflorescences occur at the end of branches, are forked about 3-6 times, occasionally with sticky internodal bands. Branches are divergent, terminating in compact subumbellate or capitate, 2-5-flowered clusters. Flowers have stalk shorter than 0.5 mm. Bract at base of the flower tube quickly deciduous lancelike, 0.8-1 mm. Flowers are purplish red to reddish pink or nearly white, bell-shaped beyond the constriction, 1-1.5 mm. Stamens 2-3, are inside the flower or barely protruding out. Tender young leaves and shoots are cooked and used as a vegetable.
The root of this plant is a powerful Rasayana (longevity enhancer). It is good for the kidneys, especially the nephron cells which are damaged by long-term hyperglycemia (diabetes). And it pacifies two of the main laws of physiology (Vata and Kapha).
Punarnava enhances the quality of 6 of the 7 categories of bodily tissues, including nutrient plasma (Rasa Dhatu), blood (Rakta Dhatu), muscle (Manisa Dhatu), fat (Meda Dhatu), bone marrow and nerves (Majja Dhatu), and reproductive fluids (Shukra Dhatu).
According to Ayurveda, Punarnava is diuretic by increasing renal blood flow. It is bitter, cooling, astringent to bowels, useful in biliousness, leucorrhoea, inflammations, asthma etc. The leaves are useful in dyspepsia, tumors, and abdominal pains. According to Unani system of medicine, the leaves are appetizer, alexiteric, useful in opthalmia, in joint pains. Seeds are tonic expectorant, carminative, useful in lumbago, scabies. The seeds are considered as promising blood purifier.It is excellent natural diuretic.
Powder -3-6 grns.
Expressed juice -5-10 ml.
- In Oedema—Paste of punarnaVa, sunthi and Mustak should be taken in a dose of 10 gm with milk.
- Used in Acute hapatic disorders & Ascites due to chronic peritonitis.
- In Heart diseases—It should be taken with kuthi, chirayata & Sunthi.
- In Jaundice—Punarnava is very effective.
- In Conjuctivitis—Fresh root powder of punarnava mixed with honey should be used as eye application.
- As Rasayana—One who takes pastes of fresh punarnava 20 mg with milk.