Ayurvedic Herbs: Arjuna

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Ayurvedic Herbs

Ayurvedic herbs are one of the many chikitsas or treatments used in Ayurvedic medicine. These herbs are used as part of an herbal protocol recommended by an Ayurvedic professional. Thusly, all the Ayurvedic herbs should not be self-administered and Ayurvedic herbs should only be taken under-advisement of your Ayurvedic Counselor/Practitioner/Doctor and approved by your Primary Care Physician. The information on the Ayurvedic herb of Arjuna is only meant to educate you on the ways in which it is traditionally used in Ayurveda and is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional. The facts presented are offered as information only, not medical advice, and in no way should anyone infer that we are practicing medicine. Seek the advice of a medical professional for proper application of this material to any specific situation. Do not use the information found within this post to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice. If you have or suspect that you have a medical condition please contact your health care provider immediately.

The essence of all beings is Earth. The essence of Earth is Water. The essence of Water is plants. The essence of plants is the human being.

Esam bhutanam prthivi rasha, prthivya apo raso-pam osadhayo rasa, osadhinam puruso rasah.
— Chandogya Upanishad I.1.2
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Arjuna

  • Latin Name: Terminalia arjuna

  • Plant Family: Combretaceae

  • English Name: Arjuna myrobalan; Arjun

  • Sanskrit Name: Arjuna - means “white” or “shining” because of it’s white and shiny bark; it also refers to Arjuna one of the heroes in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita

  • Part Used: bark

  • Botanical Description: a large tree of about 20-26 meters; the trunk is pale white and smooth on the outside; the leaves have 10-15 pairs of leaflets at the ends and the leaflets are tongue shaped and are 10-15 centimeters in length and 8-10 centimeters in width; the flowers have a white or yellow stalk

  • Taste (Rasa): bitter, astringent

  • Energetics (Virya): cooling

  • Post-Digestive Effect (Vipaka): pungent

  • Quality (Guna): light, dry

  • Dosha: PK-, V+ (in excess)

  • Tissues (Dhatu): plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa), bone (asthi), nerve (majja), reproductive tissue (shukra [male]/artava [female])

  • Systems (Srotamsi): circulatory (rakta vaha srotas), digestive (anna vaha srotas), nervous (majja vaha srotas), reproductive (shukra/artava vaha srotas)

  • Constituents: tannins; triterpenoid saponins (arjungenin, arjunglycocides); flavonoids (arjunone, arjunolone); phytosterols

  • Actions: heart tonic, circulatory stimulant, astringent, alterative, hemostatic

  • Ayurvedic Actions: heart tonic (hridaya); ulcer healing (varnya); urinary disorders, diabetic problems (pramehaghna); reduces fat tissue (medas-hara); diuretic (mutravirechana); aphrodisiac (vajikarana); purifies excess pitta from the blood (raktasodhana); vulnerary (raktastambhaka); mends bones (sandhaniya); constipative (purishasamgrahaniya); alleviates cough and breathing disorders (kasasvasahara); conquers kapha and pitta (kaphapittajit); alleviates urticaria (udardaprasarana)

  • Biomedical Actions: cardioprotective, cardiotonic, hypolipidaemic, hepatoprtective, alterative, diuretic, vulnerary

  • Indications: heart, lungs, liver, skin, tissue, reproductive tissues

  • Precautions: pregnancy, uterine bleeding, constipation

  • Preparations: decoction, powder, herbal wine

  • Formulations: kakubhadi churna, parthadyarishta (arjunarishta), arjunaghrita, pushyanuga churna, ashwagandharishta, arvindasava, devadarvyarishta

Arjuna has a special affinity for the heart. It is especially beneficial for Kapha and Pitta prakruti (constitution) and vikruti (imbalances). Arjuna increases prana and vyana vayu or the expanding energy that starts at the heart and expands outward through the rest of the body and being.

References

Frawley D. Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization. Twin Lakes, Wisconsin: Lotus Press; 1999.

Frawley D, Lad V. The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. Twin Lakes, Wisconsin: Lotus Press; 2001.

Gogte VM. Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants: Dravyagunavignyam. New Delhi, India: Chaukhambha Publications; 2016.

Pole S. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Singing Dragon; 2013.