Varuna (Crataeva nurvala)

Basonym of Drug

There is no widely recognized basonym for the medicinal plant Varuna (Crataeva nurvala).

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Varuna is known by various Sanskrit synonyms that highlight its therapeutic properties and uses:

  1. Shwetapushpa: It has white flowers.
  2. Tiktavalkala/Tiktashaka: It has bitter taste.
  3. Marutapaha: It balances vata dosha.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Varuna is known by different vernacular names across various regions:

  • Hindi: Varuna, Baruna, Barna
  • Bengali: Varuna, Varun
  • Tamil: Varunam,Maralingam
  • Telugu: Varuna, Urumetti
  • Marathi: Hadvarna
  • Gujarati: Varane
  • Kannada: Varuna
  • Malayalam: Varunam
  • English: Three-leaved caper.

Scientific Classification of Dravya

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Capparidaceae
  • Genus: Crataeva
  • Species: nurvala

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

In classical Ayurvedic texts, Varuna is classified under the following categories:

Sushruta Samhita : Varunadi, Vatashmarinashana, Kaphashmarinashana.

Vagbhata: Varunadi

Bhavprakash Nighantu : Vatadi Varga 

External Morphology

Varuna is a deciduous tree that can reach a height of about 10-30 meters. Its bark is pale brown or greyish, with a rough texture. The leaves are compound and alternate, with a glossy appearance. The tree produces small, greenish-yellow flowers and oblong, woody fruit capsules.

Useful Parts

The bark, leaves, and roots of the Varuna tree are used for their medicinal properties. However, the bark is particularly valued for its therapeutic benefits and is commonly used in Ayurvedic formulations.

Important Phytoconstituents

Varuna contains several active phytoconstituents that contribute to its medicinal properties. Some of these include alkaloids, glycosides, and saponins. These constituents are responsible for Varuna’s diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and lithotriptic actions.

  1. Saponins: Saponins are natural glycosides that possess diverse pharmacological activities. They are known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating effects.

  2. Tannins: Tannins are polyphenolic compounds that exhibit antioxidant and astringent properties. They contribute to the antimicrobial and wound-healing effects of Varuna.

  3. Flavonoids: Varuna contains various flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, and rutin. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties and are known to have a protective effect on cells against oxidative stress.

  4. Alkaloids: Varuna contains alkaloids that have potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds can contribute to the plant’s pain-relieving effects.

  5. Phytosterols: Phytosterols are plant-based compounds that resemble cholesterol in structure. They can help lower cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.

  6. Beta-sitosterol: This phytosterol compound has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to support prostate health.

  7. Essential Oils: Varuna leaves and bark contain essential oils with aromatic compounds that can have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Rasa Panchaka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)- Reflecting its characteristic taste that imparts a dry and puckering sensation.

Guna: Laghu (Light) and Ruksha (Dry) – Indicating its light and drying qualities.

Veerya: Ushna (Hot) – Varuna’s heating potency balances excess kapha and vata in the body.

Vipaka: Katu (Pungent) – After digestion, Varuna develops a slightly pungent taste.

Prabhava: Kaphavataghna (Alleviates Kapha and Vata) – Varuna has a specific action on pacifying the Kapha and Vata doshas.

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Varuna primarily balances Kapha and Vata dosha due to its drying and heating properties.

Dhatu: It affects the “Meda” (adipose tissue) and “Mutra” (urine), helping to maintain their balance and health.

Mala: Varuna’s astringent nature contributes to the proper elimination of waste products (malas), especially through its impact on urinary function.

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Varuna finds use in addressing various health conditions, including:

  1. Mutrakrichra (Dysuria) and Mutraghata (Urinary Obstruction): Varuna is particularly well-known for its beneficial effects on the urinary system. It is used to manage conditions like dysuria (painful urination) and urinary obstructions due to its diuretic and antispasmodic properties.

  2. Ashmari (Renal Calculi): Varuna is used to dissolve and expel kidney stones due to its litholytic properties. It helps break down calculi and facilitates their elimination from the urinary tract.

  3. Mootrashmari (Urinary Stones): Apart from kidney stones, Varuna is also used in managing other urinary stones and urinary tract disorders.

  4. Prostate Disorders: Varuna’s anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects are employed in managing prostate-related issues like prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

  5. Gulma (Abdominal Tumors) and Vrana (Wounds): Varuna is used externally in poultices to treat wounds and promote wound healing. It is also used for its analgesic properties and to alleviate the discomfort associated with abdominal tumors or growths.

  6. Arshas (Hemorrhoids): Varuna’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial in managing hemorrhoids.

  7. Pradar (Leucorrhea): Varuna is used to manage abnormal vaginal discharge due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory effects.

  8. Raktapitta (Bleeding Disorders): Varuna’s astringent properties make it useful in managing bleeding disorders, including conditions like Raktapitta, where there is spontaneous bleeding.

  9. Vatarakta (Gout) and Sandhigata Vata (Osteoarthritis): Varuna’s anti-inflammatory properties are used to manage joint disorders like gout and osteoarthritis.

  10. Kushta (Skin Disorders) and Krimi (Worm Infestations): Varuna is used topically to manage skin conditions and infections. It is also used for its anthelmintic properties to expel intestinal worms.

  11. Shotha (Edema) and Pandu (Anemia): Varuna’s diuretic effects are utilized to manage edema and fluid retention. It is also used to address anemia due to its rejuvenative properties.

  12. Prameha (Diabetes): Varuna’s hypoglycemic effects are employed in managing diabetes and its associated symptoms.

  13. Jvara (Fever): Varuna’s fever-reducing properties make it useful in managing febrile conditions.

  14. Vishamajvara (Intermittent Fever) and Visarpa (Erysipelas): Varuna is used to manage intermittent fevers and skin infections due to its antipyretic and antimicrobial properties.

  15. Vataroga (Diseases Caused by Vata Dosha Imbalance): Varuna’s Vata-pacifying properties are used in managing various disorders caused by Vata imbalance.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Decoction: 30-60 ml, taken twice daily.

Powder: 3-6 grams, usually mixed with warm water.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

  1. Varunadi Kashaya: A classic decoction formulation containing Varuna, used for urinary disorders.
  2. Varunadi Ghritha: A ghee-based preparation incorporating Varuna, used for urinary health.
  3. Varunadi Churna: Varuna powder combined with other herbs for urinary and kidney health.
  4. Mahamanjishthadi Kwath: It is useful in skin diseases.
  5. Nyagrodhadi Churna: It is useful in urinary disorders and diabetes.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Varuna is generally safe when used within appropriate dosages. However, excessive use may lead to mild gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

  1. Dosage Adjustment: Reduce the dosage if any adverse effects occur.
  2. Consult a Practitioner: Seek guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner if discomfort persists.

Shodhana (Purification method):

Varuna is not typically subjected to shodhana (purification) before use.

As always, it’s crucial to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before using Varuna or any herbal remedies, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.

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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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