Arjuna is a large deciduous tree, commonly found throughout India. Arjuna tree has been used as a medicine in Ayurveda for many thousands of years. This tree is cone-shaped with white bark and elliptic leaves placed in opposite directions. The sap of Arjuna tree is milky white in colour. The flowers are yellowish and fruits are fibrous woody and smooth.
Quick Facts about Arjuna or Terminalia Arjuna
- Common name: Arjuna
- Sanskrit name: Kakubha, Partha, Shwetavaaha
- English name: Arjuna
- Scientific name: Terminalia Arjuna
- Rasa: Kasaya
- Guna: Ruksa
- Virya: Sita
- Vipaka: Katu
- Dosha: Decreases Pitta and Kapha and increases Vata
- Karma: Bhagnasandhankara, Hridya, Kaphahara, Pittahara, Vrananasana, Vyanga Hara
Arjuna tree originated from India. It can be found in various different climatic conditions ranging from sub-Himalayan regions to far south in Deccan region, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It can be generally found along flowing water and marshy areas. This tree grows to about 20 – 25 m in length.
The bark of Arjuna tree is used for medicinal purposes and it has been found to contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, aluminium, and tannins, flavonoids, saponin glycosides and phytosterols. The bark also contains crystalline compounds such as arjunine, arjunetin, essential oils and reducing sugars.
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- Anti-inflammatory properties: Arjuna bark has anti-inflammatory properties which act as COX inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and displayed both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Controls cholesterol: Studies have shown that Arjuna tree is effective in bringing down LDL cholesterol levels. The hypocholesterolaemic effect was comparable to vitamin E.
- Cardiac protection: Arjuna bark has been traditionally prescribed for heart problems. Recent studies have shown that Arjuna was very effective in controlling refractory chronic congestive heart failure.
- Keeps diabetes in check: Studies have shown that the extracts from Arjuna bark were very effective in controlling diabetes. The research concluded Arjuna to be a potent diabetes reducing agent.
- Liver protection: The antioxidants present in Arjuna bark acted as nullifying agents against fluoride damage caused to the liver. Arjuna bark extracts were so effective that fluoride levels had come down to almost normal after just 10 days.
- Reduces gastric ulcers: Studies on Arjuna bark’s gastric protection abilities showed that it was very effective in controlling ulcers, lesions, regulating the gastric juice and pH level of gastric acid, etc. The anti-oxidants play in Arjuna bark play a major role in scavenging free radicals and minimizing their damage.
- Treats asthma: According to Ayurveda, Arjuna bark can be very effective in the treatment of asthma. Fine powder of the dried bark must be taken with kheer or rice and milk pudding.
- Diarrhoea and dysentery: Arjuna bark powder can also be effective in reducing both diarrhoea and dysentery. Not more than 20 to 30 g of powder should be taken.
- Fractures and contusions: According to Ayurveda, Arjuna bark is effective in restoring strength to the bones which have been fractured. Powdered dry bark of Arjuna can be taken along with honey for this.
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- Bakhru H K, Herbs That Heal, pp 25, Orient Paperbacks,New Delhi,
- Arjuna, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia OfIndia, pp 17, Part 1, Vol 2.
- Khalsa S K P, Tierra M, 2008, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs, LotusPress,USA. Biswas, Biswas, Karan, Bhattacharya, Ghosh , Haldar, 2011, Evaluation of Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Terminalia Arjuna Leaf, Journal of Phytology Phytopharmacology, Vol 3, Iss 1, pp 33-38.
- Gupta, Singhal, Goyle, Sharma, 2001, Antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic effects of Terminalia arjuna tree-bark powder: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of the Association of Physicians ofIndia, Vol 49, pp 231-235.
- Bharani, Ganguly, Bhargava, 1995, Salutary effect of Terminalia Arjuna in patients with severe refractory heart failure, International Journal of Cardiology, Vol 49, Iss 3, pp 191–199
- Ragavan, Krishnakumari, 2006, Antidiabetic effect of T. arjuna bark extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, Vol 21, Iss 2, pp 123-128.
- Sinha, Manna, Sil, 2007, Aqueous extract of the bark of Terminalia arjuna plays a protective role against sodium-fluoride-induced hepatic and renal oxidative stress, Journal of Natural Medicines, Vol 61, Iss 3, pp 251-260.
- Devi, Narayan, Vani, Devi, 2007, Gastroprotective effect of Terminaliaarjuna bark on diclofenac sodium induced gastric ulcer, Chemico-Biological Interactions, Vol 167, Iss 1, pp 71–83.