Punarnava(Boerhavia diffusa)

Basonym of Drug

The basonym of the medicinal plant Punarnava is Boerhavia diffusa. It is commonly referred to by this scientific name in botanical literature and research.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

In the realm of Ayurveda, Punarnava is known by various Sanskrit synonyms, each encapsulating its distinctive attributes. Some primary Sanskrit synonyms of Punarnava include:

  1. Punarnava: The primary name itself signifies the rejuvenating quality of this plant. “Punarnava” translates to “renewer of tissues,” highlighting its potential to revitalize the body and promote overall health.

  2. Shothaghni: The term “Shothaghni” is composed of two Sanskrit words – “Shotha” meaning swelling and “Ghni” meaning destroyer. As the name suggests, Punarnava is believed to have the ability to reduce swelling and edema, making it a valuable remedy for managing various inflammatory conditions.

  3. Shothari: Derived from “Shotha,” meaning swelling, “Shothari” refers to the agent that mitigates swelling. This synonym emphasizes Punarnava’s anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the context of managing conditions characterized by swelling.

  4. Raktapitta Nashini: “Raktapitta Nashini” translates to “reliever of bleeding disorders.” This synonym highlights Punarnava’s potential role in managing disorders characterized by bleeding, such as bleeding piles or abnormal bleeding from various body parts.

  5. Varshabhu: “Varshabhu” translates to “rain-maker” or “one that brings rain.” This name might allude to Punarnava’s potential diuretic properties, which could help in promoting the elimination of excess fluids from the body, similar to rain cleansing the earth.

  6. Ashmarighna: “Ashmarighna” is formed by combining “Ashmari,” which refers to urinary calculi or kidney stones, and “Ghna,” meaning destroyer. This synonym underscores Punarnava’s use in managing conditions related to kidney stones and its potential to aid in their dissolution.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Punarnava is recognized by diverse vernacular names in different regions, reflecting its widespread use and significance. Some regional names for Punarnava are:

  • Hindi: Punarnava
  • English: Spreading Hogweed, Red Spiderling
  • Bengali: Punarnava
  • Marathi: Ghetuli
  • Tamil: Mukkurattai
  • Telugu: Atukorralu
  • Kannada: Honagonne
  • Gujarati: Sadapun

Scientific Classification of Dravya

Punarnava belongs to the following scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta (Seed plants)
  • Division: Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
  • Class: Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Nyctaginaceae
  • Genus: Boerhavia
  • Species: diffusa

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Charaka Samhita: Anuvasanopaga, Kasahara, Vayahsthapana, Swedopaga

Sushruta Samhita: Vidarigandhadi

External Morphology

Punarnava is a sprawling perennial herb with succulent stems. It possesses lance-shaped leaves and small, inconspicuous flowers. The plant’s roots are fleshy and well-known for their medicinal properties.

Useful Parts

The most valuable parts of Punarnava used for medicinal purposes are the roots and leaves.

  1. Roots: The roots of Punarnava hold significant therapeutic potential and are often employed in traditional remedies.

  2. Leaves: Although less commonly used compared to the roots, Punarnava leaves also possess certain beneficial properties.

Important Phytoconstituents

Punarnava contains an array of vital phytoconstituents that contribute to its medicinal efficacy. Some of the prominent phytoconstituents found in Punarnava include:

  1. Boeravinones: These are unique phytochemical compounds with potential health benefits.
  2. Punarnavine: An alkaloid known for its diuretic properties.
  3. Beta-sitosterol: A phytosterol with anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects.
  4. Liriodendron: A lignan with antioxidant properties.
  5. Rutin: A flavonoid that contributes to the plant’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.

Rasa Panchaka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)

Guna (Property): “Laghu” (lightness), “Ruksha” (Dry)

Veerya (Potency): “Ushna” (Hot)

Vipaka (Post-digestive Effect): “Katu” (Pungent)

Prabhava: Punarnava is renowned for its unique efficacy, often referred to as its “Prabhava,” in supporting renal health and diuretic action.

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Punarnava has a significant impact on “Vata” and “Kapha” doshas due to its drying and diuretic properties. It helps in balancing excessive Kapha.

Dhatu: The primary action of Punarnava is on the “Rakta” dhatu (blood tissue) and “Mutrala” dhatu (urinary system), enhancing blood quality and promoting healthy urine flow.

Mala: Punarnava’s diuretic nature aids in the elimination of “Mutra” (urine), thus facilitating the removal of excess fluids and waste from the body.

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Punarnava is indicated for a range of health conditions, including but not limited to:

  1. Mutrakricchra (Dysuria): Punarnava is renowned for its diuretic properties, making it beneficial in conditions of painful or difficult urination. It helps in increasing urine output and relieving discomfort associated with urinary issues.

  2. Shotha (Edema): This herb’s potent diuretic action aids in reducing excess fluid accumulation in the body tissues, addressing conditions like edema. It is often used in cases of swelling due to kidney dysfunction, heart conditions, or inflammatory disorders.

  3. Yakritpleehavriddhi (Hepatosplenomegaly): Punarnava’s hepatoprotective properties are employed to manage hepatosplenomegaly, which involves enlargement of the liver and spleen. It helps maintain liver health and supports its normal functioning.

  4. Kasa (Cough) and Shwasa (Dyspnea): Punarnava’s expectorant and bronchodilatory properties make it valuable in respiratory disorders like cough and dyspnea. It helps in clearing mucus from the respiratory passages and easing breathing.

  5. Jvara (Fever): Due to its febrifuge (fever-reducing) properties, punarnava can be included in formulations to manage fever and associated symptoms.

  6. Anemia: The herb’s iron content and its role in improving digestion and assimilation contribute to its use in managing anemia and improving hemoglobin levels.

  7. Krimi (Parasitic Infections): Punarnava’s antiparasitic properties are utilized to combat intestinal worms and other parasitic infections.

  8. Prameha (Urinary Disorders/Diabetes): It is included in formulations for managing certain types of urinary disorders, including diabetes, due to its diuretic and metabolic-regulating effects.

  9. Kushtha (Skin Disorders): Punarnava’s detoxifying properties are beneficial in managing skin conditions, including various types of skin eruptions and infections.

  10. Raktapitta (Bleeding Disorders): Punarnava’s astringent properties help in managing bleeding disorders like bleeding gums, nosebleeds, and abnormal uterine bleeding.

  11. Heart Health: Its antioxidant properties contribute to heart health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are factors in various cardiovascular issues.

  12. Gout: Punarnava’s diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties are used in managing gout, a condition characterized by painful joint inflammation due to uric acid accumulation.

  13. Digestive Disorders: It is used to improve digestion, stimulate appetite, and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort.

  14. Renal Stones: Punarnava’s diuretic action can aid in flushing out urinary stones, supporting the management of kidney stones.

  15. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Its anti-inflammatory properties make punarnava valuable in managing joint pain and inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Punarnava can be administered in various forms to address different health concerns. Dosage may vary based on factors like age, body constitution, and the specific condition being treated. Common forms of Punarnava administration include:

  • Decoction: Prepare a decoction using Punarnava root and consume 30-50 ml twice a day.
  • Powder: Consume 3-6 grams of Punarnava powder twice a day, preferably with honey or warm water.
  • Tablet/Capsule: Take Punarnava tablets or capsules as per the healthcare provider’s guidance.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Punarnava is a versatile herb often included in various Ayurvedic formulations. Some notable formulations containing Punarnava are:

  1. Punarnavadi Kashayam: A decoction used for urinary disorders and edema.
  2. Punarnavadi Guggulu: A guggulu formulation beneficial for joint health and inflammation.
  3. Punarnavashtak Kwath: A herbal preparation used for detoxification and promoting urinary health.
  4. Punarnavadi Mandoor: A herbal preparation used for Anaemia, Splenomegaly.
  5. Amritaprasha Ghrita: It is useful in bleeding disorders.
  6. Livomyn: It is useful in Hepatitis, Liver diseases.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

When taken within recommended dosages and under professional guidance, Punarnava is generally safe for most individuals. However, in some cases, excessive use may lead to:

  1. Gastrointestinal Distress: High doses might cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

If adverse effects arise due to Punarnava consumption, consider these steps:

  1. Reduce Dosage: If discomfort occurs, decrease the dosage or discontinue use.
  2. Consult an Expert: Seek advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional if adverse effects persist.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

Punarnava does not typically undergo shodhana (purification) methods before use, as it is well-tolerated in its natural form. However, appropriate cleaning and processing techniques should be employed during preparation.


Punarnava, the formidable Boerhavia diffusa, stands as a testament to the wisdom of Ayurveda in harnessing nature’s gifts for holistic well-being. Its diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties offer a diverse range of therapeutic possibilities. However, as with any herbal remedy, it’s paramount to seek guidance from a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before integrating Punarnava into your healthcare routine. This article provides a glimpse into Punarnava’s multifaceted nature, but for precise guidance, personalized recommendations are essential.

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Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any other medical condition.

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