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Punarnava

Ayurvedic Pharmacodynamic properties:

Rasa : Tikta (Bitter)
Guna : Laghu (Light), Hima (Cool)
Virya :Sheeta (Cool)
Vipaka : Katu (Pungent)

Home remedies of punarnava:

  • In dyspnoea and pnumonitis, 5gm Punarnava should be used with 1 gm Shunthi and 250 mg Vacha.
  • It is so effective in any type of oedema, in any form like its Swarasa – 5-10 ml., its powder 5 gms.
  • It is a potent diuretic, so its formulations like powder 5 gm etc. should be used in dysurea, calculus and also in suppression of urine.

Trailing herb found throughout India and collected after rainy season, herb is diffusely branched with stout root stock and many long slender, prostrate or ascending branches

Medicinal uses : Punarnava helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions with its diuretic, laxative, stomachic, diaphoretic, anthelminthic anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory action.

Sanskrit : Raktapunarnava,Raktapushpa,Shilatika,Shothaghni, Kathillaka,Kshudravarshabhoo,
English : Spreading hog-weed
Latin name : Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.
Family : Nyctaginaceae
Habitat : Trailing herb found throughout India and collected after rainy season, herb is diffusely branched with stout root stock and many long slender, prostrate or ascending branches.
Part Used : Whole Plant, roots and leaves.
Botanical Description : Plant

Macroscopic :

Stem – Greenishpurple, stiff, slender, cylindrical, swollen at nodes, minutely cylindrical, swollen at nodes, minutely pubescent or n early glabrous, prostrate pubescent or n early glabrous, prostrate divericately branched, branches from stalk often more than a metre long.
Root – Wel developed, fairly long, somewhat tortuous, cylindrical, 0.2-1.5 cm in diameter,yellowish brown to brown coloured, surface soft to touch but rough due to minute longitudinal striations and root scars, fracture, short, no distinct odour, taste, slightly bitter.
Leaves – Opposite in unequal pairs, larger ones 25-37 mm long ovate-oblong and smaller ones 12-18 mm long or suborbicular, apex roundedor slightly pointed, base subcordate or rounded, green and glabrous above, whitish below, margin entire or sub-undulate, dorsal side pinkish in certai cases,thick in texture, petioles nearly as long as the blade, slender.

Flowers-very small, pink coloured, nearly sessile or shortly stalked, 10-25 cm, in small umbells, arranged on slender long stalks, 4-10 corymb, axillary and in terminal panicles, bracteoles, small, acute, perianth tube constricted above the ovary, lower part greenish, ovoid, ribbed, upper part pink, funnel-shaped, 3 mm long,tube 5 lobed, stamen 2-3.

Fruit – one seeded nut, 6 mm long clavate, rounded, broadly and bluntly 5 ribbed, viscidly glandular.
Ayurvedic Pharmacodynamic properties:

Rasa : Tikta (Bitter)
Guna : Laghu (Light), Hima (Cool)
Virya :Sheeta (Cool)
Vipaka : Katu (Pungent)

Properties of punarnava : Shleshmapittavinashini (Pitta-Kapha pacifier) Vatala (Vata-aggravator) Grahini (Stool binder)

Indications of punarnava : Raktavinashini (Disorders of blood) Oedema,.Ascites, Jaundice, Anemia, Oligouria, Diseases of heart ,Breathlessness.

Microscopic :

Stem – Transverse section of stem shows epidermal layer containing multi cellular,uniserite glandular trichome consisting of 9-12 stalked cells and an ellipsoidal head, 150-220 = long, cortex consists of 1-2 layers of
parenchyma, endodermis indistinct, pericycle 1-2 layered, thick-walled often containing scattered isolated fibres, stele consisting of many small vascular bundles often joined together in a ring and many big vascular bundles scattered in the ground tissue, intra fascicular cambium present.
Root – Transverse section of mature root shows a cork composed of thin-walled tangentially elongated cells with brown walls in the outer few layers, cork cambium of 1-2 layers of thin walled cells secondary cortex consists of 2-3 layers of parenchymatous cells followed by cortex composed of 5-12 layers of thin-walled,oval to polygonal cells, several concentric bands of xylem tissue alternating with wide zone of parenchymatous tissue present belowcortical regions, number of bands vary according to thickness of root and composed of vessels, tracheids and fibres, vessels mostly found in groups of 2-8 in radial rows, having simple pits and reticulate thickening, tracheids,small, thick-walled with simple pits, fibres aseptate, elongated, thick-walled, spindle shaped with pointed ends, phloem occurs as hemispherical or crescentic patches outside each group of xylem vessels and composed of sieve elements and parenchyma, broad zone of parenchymatous tissue, in between two successive rings of xylem elements composed of thin-walled more or less rectangular cells arranged in radial rows, central regions of root occupied by primary vascular bundles, numerous raphides of calcium oxalate, in single or in group present in cortical region and parenchymatous tissue in between xylem tissue, starch grains simple and compound having 2-4 components found in abundence in most of cells of cortex, xylem elements in parenchymatous tissue between xylem elements, simple starch grains mostly rounded in shape and measure 2.75-11 = in diameter.

Leaves – Transverse section of leaf showsanomocytic stomata on both sides, numerous, a few short hairs, 3-4 celled, present on the margin and on veins, palisade one layered, spongy parenchyma 2-4 layered with small air spaces, idioblasts containing raphides, occasionally cluster crystal of calcium oxalate and orange-red resinous matter present in mesophyll.

Palisade ratio 3.5-6.5, stomatal index 11-16, vein islet number 9-15.
Phytochemistry : Whole Plant :

Whole Plant : Alkaloid punarnavine 1 and 2,two unidentified alkaloids, potassium salts (6.5%), a fatty oil, total oxalates (3.6%),soluble oxalates (0.5%) (moisture free basis), myricyl alcohol, myristic acid, D-glucose, anunidentified acid (C10H18O3, m p 108-09°), a polysaccharide and glycoside punarnavoside are reported from the plant.

Roots : The roots contain an alkaloid punarnavine, triacontanol hentriacontane, â- sitosterol, ursolic acid, 5, 7-dihydroxy-3, 4- dimethoxy -6, 8-dimethyl flavone, an unidentified ketone (m.p. 86°), glucose, fructose, sucrose, hypoxanthine-9-L- arabinofuranoside, five rotenoid analogues – boeravinones A, B, C, D & E; lignans liriodendrin and syringaresinol mono-â-D- glucoside; flavones, sterols, insect moulting hormone B-ecdysone and a large amount of potassium salts.