Author:Dr Ranjeet Singh
Latin name- Terminalia arjuna
English name– Arjuna
Sanskrit name- Arjuna, Dhawal, Indradu, Kakubha
Terminalia arjuna, is a source plant of Ayurvedic drug namely Arjuna. Charak samhita included Arjuna among the groups indicated for management of urticaria ( Udarda). It is aslo used in the management of heart diseases. In traditional Ayurvedic drugs, Arjuna has been used to balance the three doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It’s bark decoction is being used in the Indian subcontinent for anginal pain, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and dyslipidemia, based on the observation of ancient physicians for centuries.
The bark of Arjuna is effective on heart, blood vessels and rakta Dhatu. It provides nourishment to the heart, increases relaxation period of the heart and act as cardiotonic. It increases the force of contraction of heart and regulate its rhythm. It is a cardiac stimulant.
This is a large tree attaining a height of 20 to 26 metres. Its trunk is straight, pale white and smooth externally and tender, thick and reddish internally. There are small nodes at the top of the petioles immediately below the leaves. Flowers of Arjuna occurs all round white or yellow stalk. The flowering stage is in summer where as fruiting stage is in winter. The bark is shed like a snake skin once in a year.
Habitat- In “Terai” region at the foot of Himalaya, Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Brahma Pradesh.
Chemical Composition of Arjuna
The bark contains calcium carbonate 34% other calcium salts 9% and tannin 16%. Besides, it also contain aluminium, magnesium, organic acid colouring matter and sugar.
Thrapeutic uses of Arjuna
It helps in wound healing and joining by astringent property it is homeostatic. The bark paste is locally applied on wounds, ulcer and specially in promoting the union of fractures.
It has astringent property, reduces motility. Being homeostatic, it controls bleeding in dysentery and hemorrhoids.
It is a cardiac tonic, it gives strength to the cardiac muscles and improves cardiac function and rhythm. It reduces cardiac rate. It increases the peripheral resistance by constructing capillaries which leads to rise in blood pressure. Arjuna enhance blood quality and also act as homeostatic by virtue of its capillary constructing activity, it prevents accumulation of fluid and thereby reduces edema. The decoction of bark in milk is effective in this condition. It helps in cardiomegaly. Healing processes in ulcerated, contused wounds and fractures are greatly enhanced by systemic administration of Arjuna.
Its astringent property is useful in purulent and tuberculous cough and in hemoptysis. It reduces heartburn and cough. Powdered Arjuna bark soaked in leaf juice of Adhatoda vasica mixed with honey, sugar Candy and cow’s ghee reduces tuberculous cough.
By its astringent property it is effective in diabetes and gonorrhea, by reducing urinary discharges and relieving burning pain during micturition.
It prevents early ejaculation of semen. The decoction of Arjuna bark and white Sandalwood is effective in spermatorrhoea. Arjuna is also useful in menorrhagia and leucorrhoea.
It used in skin diseases with pruritis, externally it’s paste is applied over eyelids and conjunctivitis.
Decoction in milk- 6-12 ml
Juice- 12-14 ml
Powder– 1-3 Gram
Decoction in water– 60-100 ml
Note– The use of its bark as a decoction with milk is more effective. Besides, it can be used in the form of juice, decoction in water, powder or as a ghrita. Use of Ksheerpaka (bark decoction in milk) has a dual advantage of reducing dryness inducing property of Arjuna and also cough aggravating property of milk.
(Reference: Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic uses of medicinal plants)