*Bark of Arjuna tree has been found to be rich in Co-enzyme Q-10 which is highly prescribed in cardiology departments now a days to prevent heart problems. High amounts of Co-enzyme Q-10 prevents incident of heart attacks. It also has a tonic effect in cases of cirrhosis of the liver. It induces a
drug-dependent decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. It has been reported
to possess protective cardiovascular and hypolipidemic properties.
- Reduces the effects of stress and nervousness on the heart
- Possesses diuretic and a general tonic effect in cases of liver cirrhosis
- Has prostaglandin enhancing and coronary risk modulating properties
- Enhances the elimination of cholesterol by accelerating the turnover of LDL-cholesterol in the liver
- Lowers beta-lipoprotein lipids and the recovery of HDL components in hyperlipidemia
- Promotes effective cardiac functioning by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol
- Relieves hypertension
Arjuna: for healthy heart and body
Heart is a part of our body that is considered to be the most vital organ of all. It is the seat of blood circulation. Heart is considered as pump that is helpful in pumping the blood to various parts of the body especially the organs that lies above the level of heart and heart has to pump the blood against the gravity. It would be surprising for you but it is a fact that brain and kidneys are the two organs in our body which when gets devoid of the blood can lead to death in few minutes. So is the importance of heart and blood circulation.
These days we are encountering with many problems related to heart. We very often encounter people who are taking medicines for reducing hypertension, high cholesterol levels in the body, arthrosclerosis, heart attacks, angina and many more. Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death world wide.
Heart related problems have drastically raised manifolds in past 2 to three decades. Our forefathers were definitely were much safer than what we are in this present scenario. No matter what they ate and what ever may be their lifestyle exited but it is fact that knows cases of heart related anomalies were far more less as compared to the present times. But have you ever given a thought that why are these heart diseases so prevalent these days.
Well answer to that question lies in deep beneath you. It’s a well know fact that Mother Nature always tries to maintain a balance in all the aspects of life. As we humans are progressing and evolving, we are no doubt getting away with the touch of Mother Nature. We are getting into a shield that is artificially carted basically to provide comforts to our greedy body. Every day in some part of the world we invent something or the other that is eventually created to make our life and work both easier and simple. Though it has benefited the human society but has also casted some darker shades on our lives.
Our life, no doubt has become more comfortable and easy and we don’t have to struggle that much physically as compared to our ancestors about 100 years back. But this has lead to many troubles especially heath related problems. Talking about health problems, these days the top most heath concern in this present era are diseases pertaining to heart.
But frankly it’s literally impossible to change the lifestyle we are leading as we have to cope up with the present scenario and challenges to earn our bread and butter. Well we can do one thing that can at least change our bodies’ performance for coping up this entrapment. The solution is known as Arjuna.
Arjuna is an ayurvedic herb that has been a part of ayurveda since prehistoric times. Arjuna has been a part of ayurvedic medicinal system. Arjuna was first described by Vagbhata. As per Bhava Prakasha, a famous ayurvedic expert in ancient India, it is an herb that is of cool temperament and is kapha and pitta modulator. It is cardiac restorative, promotes healing, helpful in treating aliments like tuberculosis and poisoning in the body and is effective in conditions like over weight and urinary tract disturbances. Another famous sage of older times Chakradatta has recommended the use of Arjuna with milk in conditions like cardiac disorders, indigestion, fever, hemorrhages and bleeding and most importantly the fractures and related injuries.
How does Arjuna herb look like?
Arjuna is a tree that is very commonly seen in areas having warmer climatic conditions. It is a deciduous tree that attains a height of 25 meters i.e. 60 to 70 feet. The tree trunk bears a bark that is gray in color. The bark is smooth in texture. The leaf bears sub opposite leaves having green color. The upper part of the leaf is light green in color and lower part is dark in color. The length of the leaf varies from five to fourteen centimeters and breath varies from two to five centimeters. Leaf is oblong of elliptically oblong and is glabarous. Apex of the leaf is obtuse or sub acute and base is rounded or cordate. The tree bears fruit that is 3.5 com long and 2.5 cm broad. The upper part of the fruit is fibrous woody. The plant flowers in early summers.
In which part of the globe Arjuna is seen?
Arjuna is found in places that are moderate in climatic condition. Arjuna is widely seen in Indian subcontinent, Africa, southern Asian countries, Australia and South America.
What are the main chemical constituents found in Arjuna?
Following are the chemical ingredients that are found in Arjuna.
- Arjunetosides I
- Arjunetosides II
- Arjunetosides III
- Arjunetosides IV
- Gallic acid
- Ellagic acid
- Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs)
- arjunic acid
- arjunolic acid
- Phytosterols (b-sitosterol)
- Minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper are also present.
As per ayurvedic pharmacology is concerned, it is laghu (light) and ruksh (dry) in properties, it has two main tastes kashya (astringent) and tickta (bitter). The virya i.e. the potency of Arjuna is sheet (cool) and vipaka i.e. the post digestive effect of Arjuna is katu i.e. pungent.
What are the health benefits of Arjuna?
Below are conditions in which Arjuna is extremely beneficial.
- Hypo lipedimia
- Hyper lipidemia
- Blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Liver tonic
- Urinary tract toner
- Cardio modulator
What is the action of Arjuna on the human body?
Arjuna is very helpful in treating various health related problems. Below are actions of Arjuna as per the body’s organ system
- Local action – Arjuna, as mentioned earlier also is one of the best blood coagulants. It is wide used in stopping external hemorrhages as it has the power to coagulate blood and constrict the blood vessel locally to stop the blood let. It is applied on the wound to get the instant results. Arjuna is also one of the most powerful herbal supplements that is known for its healing powers. Good prognoses have been seen in cases of wounds and injuries especially in cases like bone, ligaments and cartilaginous injuries. It is also applied on the wounds to attain early healing and recovery from it.
- Digestive system – it is also beneficial in maintaining proper condition in our digestive tract. Due to its astringent properties it is very helpful in treating up of the diarrhea and dysenteric condition in the body. It regulates the peristaltic movements in the body and does no allow dehydration leading to loose stools. Arjuna is kshaya in nature that is extremely helpful in condition like bleeding piles and dysentery. It is a general health tonic and a good reedy in improving liver condition especially cirrhosis of liver.
- Respiratory system – Arjuna is also considered beneficial in expelling out the extra amount of mucus that some how gets accumulated in the respiratory tract. It is also helpful in preventing the accumulation of the mucus thereby helpful in toning up of the respiratory tract. It is also helpful in keeping away with the infections in the lungs and also facilitates the increase in the lung capacity.
- Cardiovascular system – Arjuna is one of the best cardio-protector agents. Since time immemorial, Arjuna has been an herb of choice in dealing with various forms of heart related problems. It is highly effective in nurturing the heart and its muscles. It is very helpful in proper contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles. It is also helpful in maintenance of proper heart beat. It is also very effective in constricting the blood capillaries that is very essential for proper working of heart; more over it is helpful in increasing the blood density. It is also helpful in dilatation of the blood vessels and is very effective in coagulation of the blood in case of any injuries and otherwise essential for maintaining proper thickness of the blood. This is very helpful in stimulation of the heart for its working in the most optimized levels. This property of coagulation is attained by due to the presence of kshaya rasa i.e. astringent taste in it. In a research conducted indicated that the 70% alcoholic extract of Terminalia arjuna produced hypotension of peripheral origin and support the claims of its traditional usage as cardiovascular medicine. The observed effect could be due to adrenergic β 2-receptor agonistic and/or direct action on the heart. Detailed studies on the active constituents are needed which might provide new insights in cardiovascular drugs. A report published in Journal of Research in Education in Indian Medicine (1988) has stated Arjuna to be possessing anti hypertensive, cardiotonic, diuretic properties. Hypolipidaemic property has been published in International Journal of Crude Drug Research. It has been shown to increase the HDL-C levels Indian Medical Gazette (1992) has stated that. Arjuna Bark extract in dose of 500mgm with other drugs given for three months improves Treadmill Test and Exercise tolerance considerably with out any side effects in Angina patients. Arjuna also possesses coenzyme Q 10. This Coenzyme Q10 is being prescribed to cardiac patients for preventing heart attacks. Its protective cardiovascular effect was due to its combined effects like hypolipidemic effect, drug dosage dependent reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Nervous system – it is also considered a good nervine tonic. Though it is a matter of research but good results have been seen. It provides strength to the nervous system and also strengthens the reflexes.
- Reproductive system – Arjuna being astringent in nature helps in thickening of the serum and the sperm that is very essential for the proper fertilization of the ovum. It is also helpful in increasing the sperm count and also is helpful in increasing the over all stamina of the body.
- Endocrinal system – it is also very helpful in regulating the hormonal system of the body. It is extremely helpful in maintaining the proper stimulation to the endocrine glands.
- Excretory system – it is helpful in polyurea condition and is also helpful regularizing the increased urine frequency. It helps in toning up of urinary tract. it is also helpful in fading away the infection in the body.
- Skin –it is extremely beneficial in treating all kinds of skin related problems. Due to its cold potency it is highly recommended in skin ailments. Ailments like eczema, itching, rashes scars and serious skin conditions like psoriasis can also be treated with the regular use of Arjuna. Studies were conducted to establish the effects of Terminalia Arjuna bark extract on apoptosis of human hepatoma cell line HepG2. The action of Terminalia arjuna (T. arjuna) extract on human hepatoma cell line (HepG2) and its possible role in induction of apoptosis was conducted and was found that T. Arjuna induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells in vitro. Apoptosis of HepG2 cells may be due to the DNA damage and expression of apoptotic proteins. Depletion of GSH may be involved in the induction of apoptosis of HepG2 cells.
- General action – Arjuna has also been found effective as an antioxidant as it has certain properties that acts as scavengers in scavenging according to various studies conducted in searching the reason for such a property. Researches were conducted to evaluate the antioxidant properties or Arjuna and then compare it with another antioxidant i.e. vitamin E. for this random controlled experiments were conducted. Over 105 people with CHD (coronary heart disease) were divided into three different factions containing 35 people in each group. None of the patients was on anti cholesterol or lipid-lowering drugs. Their Supplemental vitamins were stopped one month prior to study. At baseline, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol and lipid peroxide estimated as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were determined. Group I received placebo (not specific treatment, majorly for physiological satisfaction) capsules. Group II vitamin E capsules 400 units/day; and Group III received finely pulverized arjuna tree bark-extract (500 mg) in capsules daily. Lipids and lipid peroxide levels were determined at 30 days follow-up. RESULTS: Response rate in various groups varied from 86% to 91%. No significant changes in total, HDL, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels were seen in Groups I and II. In Group III there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Lipid peroxide levels decreased significantly in both the treatment groups. This decrease was more in vitamin E group as compared to the arjuna group. Hence it was established that Arjuna or Terminalia arjuna tree bark powder has significant antioxidant action that is comparable to vitamin E. In addition, it also has a significant hypocholesterolaemic effect. In another study the J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 2001;20:9-14 documents a study indicated its anti-mutagenic or anti-cancer potential and advised to explore it further. Arjuna has compounds that protect against DNA damage from toxins. A substance in Arjuna, causrinin, inhibits breast cancer cell growth. Casuarinin from the Bark of T. Arjuna Induces Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest in Human Breast Adenocarcinoma MCF-7 Cells.
Are their any Arjuna based classical ayurvedic medicines?
Arjuna can be said as the most extensively used herb in heart related problems. It is present in almost all kinds of herbal heart related medicine. It is one of the best cardio protective herbs that not only tones up the heart but is also helps in treating various heart problems. It is also used in pains and also helps in healing up of wounds especially related to trauma i.e. fractures etc. Below are some of the many classical preparations in which Arjuna is extensively used.
- Arjunaristh – it’s a decoction that is prepared with the main ingredient as Arjuna bark. It is widely used by ayurvedic doctors in treating various heart related ailments.
- Arjuna Ghrita – it is Ghrita prepared with the Arjuna as the main constituent.
- Arjunaksirapaka – it is an Arjuna preparation in which Arjuna bark powder is boiled milk until milk is left half or one fourth as per the requirement.
- Kakubhadi choorna – it a powdered preparation in which Arjuna is taken in bulk amount. It is extremely beneficial in treating an ailing heart.
- Aravindasava – it another decoction in which Arjuna plays a key role.
- Devadarvyarista – it a decoction that is widely used in suppressing pains and also helps in promoting healing.
- Laxadi Guggul – it another preparation of Arjuna with laxa and Guggul as main compounds. It is an ayurvedic tablet that is used in suppressing pain and promoting healing.
What are the Contraindications and side effects of Arjuna?
Arjuna has been clinically accessed herb and bears no side effects in what so ever case when taken in limited dosage. It’s purely herbal in origin there fore no side effects as its constituents are closer to nature. Arjuna herb don’t even carry any contraindications thereby is very safe to take. But for precautionary reasons children below 12 years of age and pregnant women should consume Arjuna only under medical supervision.
What are the dosages of various forms of Arjuna?
Arjuna though originally was found in three forms i.e. powders, decoctions and Ghrita but now many kinds of preparations are available in the market. Below are the dosages of the various forms of Arjuna.
- Choorna (powder) – 3 to 6 grams
- Arisht (decoction) – 15 to 20 ml
- Ghrit (ghee) – 3 to 5 ml
- Capsules (350 to 400 mg) – 1 or 2
- Syrups – 5 to 10 ml
- Avleha (paste) – 3 to 6 grams.
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