PUNARNAVA, Boerhavia diffusa


Latin name: Boerhavia diffusa

English name: Red hogweed, Spreading Hogweed, Spiderlings

Sanskrit name: Punarnava

Medicinal parts used: Leaves, Roots and Flowers

Punarnava, the spiderlings, is a genus of about 40 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the four o’clock flower family, Nyctaginaceae. The common name refers to the appearance of a spider or spider’s web given by the numerous long, slender and interlocking stems of the inflorescences.

Punarnava is found in India and is a valuable medicinal plant.

Therapeutic use:

  • Punarnava is beneficial in treating obesity.
  • Punarnava is effective in treating a disease called dropsy, a condition wherein excess of watery fluid gets accumulated in the tissues and body cavities. A liquid extract of this plant stimulates urine secretion and discharge.
  • It is also useful in treating Ascities, a condition caused by fluid accumulation in the abdominal lining and is particularly useful in treating specific types of Ascities caused by certain liver diseases.
  • The roots of the plant help in killing intestinal worms.
  • It promotes mucous removal from bronchial tubes and hence beneficial in treating Asthma. When the paste made out of the roots of this plant, is applied externally on the skin, it forms a beneficial dressing for edematous swellings, ulcers and skin diseases.
  • Other benefits include treatment of anemia, nervous weakness, paralysis, constipation and cough.
  • Ā· Studies have revealed that punarnava is an excellent diuretic, anti-inflammatory, mild laxative and is a heart tonic.
  • Punarnava is also used in treating obesity, improving appetite, jaundice, and general fever.

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