“Regular using Punarnava delays aging and oxidative stress and a fellow become young again with full of vigour and vitality”
Literally, Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa L.) means the ‘Renewer’ i.e. Punar means once again and nava means becoming new. This means that the plant rejuvenates the body. It increases libido, erection, quality and quantity of semen, and is used in Vajikarana preparations in Ayurveda. It clears the lungs and reduces cough, asthma and cleanses the kidneys and helps to get rid of renal calculi (kidney stones). Punarnava is one of the best herbs used for diseases of liver and kidney. It detoxifies liver, kidney and skin and clears them from infections. According to texts of Ayurveda it is a Rasayana herb and alleviates all three doshas, the Vat, Pitta, and Kapha, and renews the body or restores youth. Punarnava is very effective in treatment of dengue fever and very good for curing jaundice and hepatitis B and C.
In Ayurveda Punarnava is commonly used for jaundice, liver diseases, diabetes, oedema, oliguria, anaemia, inflammatory oedema, diseases of the eye. Enthralled by its medicinal uses described in Ayurveda, recently scientists investigated Punarnava for all these activities and validated the claims mentioned in Ayurvedic literature. They concluded that Punarnava does possess anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immunomodulatory, adaptogenic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, antifungal, insecticidal, anti-leishmanial, anticonvulsant, anti-stress, analgesic, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer, diuretic and anti-fertility activities.
Recent pharmacological studies further demonstrated that Punarnava also possesses anti-allergic, anthelmintic, febrifuge, diuretic, anti-urolithiatic, nephroprotective, and anti-metastatic activities. These activities are attributed to the bioactive chemical ingredients like alkaloids (punarnavine), rotenoids (boeravinones A to J), flavones and ursolic acid that Punarnava contains.
Major Medicinal Uses of Punarnava
Renal diseases – It possesses diuretic property, which is useful in the treatment of kidney stones, cystitis, and nephritis. It cleanses the kidneys and gets rid of kidney stones. It protects nephrons of a kidney from damage.
Anaemia – In improves digestion and works on plasma & blood, thus helpful in the treatment of anaemia. It cures anaemia and nourishes every tissue and cell of the body.
Arthritis – Its anti-inflammatory property helps to reduce inflammation and pain in joints.
Indigestion - It acts as a carminative, boosts appetite, lower abdominal pain and intestinal colic, and relieves constipation. It has laxative property that helps the body to get rid of waste products.
Cough - It reduces cough and asthma.
Impotence – As per Ayurveda, it works on six out of the seven dhatus including rejuvenation of male reproductive system and increases the quantity and quality of semen.
Skin diseases – It is helpful in skin conditions like scabies and is an excellent remedy for guinea worms.
Menorrhagia – It regularize menstrual flow in women. And it gives relief in menstrual disorders like pain, cramps, excessive bleeding, uterine spasms, and water retention.
Immune function - It improvise immune system.
Blood glucose control - It significantly decreases blood glucose and increase plasma insulin levels, this helps better blood sugar control.
Nerve Tonic - It is a good nerve rejuvenator and helps in sciatica, nervous weakness, and paralysis.
Jaundice : Punarnava is very good for curing jaundice and hepatitis B and C.
Wound healing: Recent studies exhibited that whole plant promote artificial wound healing and protection against oxidation in vitro.
Eye diseases: A decoction of the roots is applied to corneal ulcers and to treat night blindness. Also an alcoholic extract of roots delay the process of cataract genesis in galactose induced cataract. In conjunctivitis, root decoction (50g) is taken orally once a day.
Radio protective: Whole plant’s extract showed radio protective effect against gamma radiation.
Hypertension - It has significant antihypertensive activity through a decrease in sympathetic activity, release of nitric oxide, and it diuretic property.