Arjuna is a dense tree with cone-shaped round leaves and white bark which gives out a milky juice when cut. It grows up to a height of 20 to 27 meters. Mainly, the bark of the tree is used in medicine.
The bark of arjuna has been described as a cardiac tonic. The bark contains large quantities of calcium, small amounts of aluminium, magnesium and tannins - an astringent used in preparing leather and manufacturing ink. It also contains a crystalline compound arjunine, lactone, arjunetin, essential oil, sugars and coloring matter.
Botanical Name- Terminalia arjuna
Indian Name- Kahu
Below are some of the medicinal properties of arjuna:
- The bark of arjuna tree is a cardiac stimulant and has cooling and tonic effects. As a heart stimulant, either a decoction of the thick portion of the bark made with milk should be taken every morning on an empty stomach or its powder, in 0.75 to 2 grams doses, should be used with milk and jaggery.
- The bark of arjuna is considered beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A fine powder of the bark is made and stored in a well-corked bottle. According to Ayurveda, the patient suffering from asthma should keep fast on the day of the full moon. A dish of condensed milk and rice (kheer) should be prepared and placed where the moonlight falls upon it the whole night. During the early hours, 12 grams of the powdered bark should be sprinkled over the kheer and taken by the patient to his satisfaction. He should not sleep far at least 12 hours after consumption. This is believed to provide relief.
- A decoction of the bark taken in doses of 15 to 30 grams may relieve patients of diarrhea or dysentery.
- The powder of the arjuna bark is an effective sex stimulant, if taken with milk regularly over a period of time.
- It is useful in removing calculi or stones formed in the urinary system; in promoting flow of bile; and in the healing of wounds. It is also useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. It helps to relieve fever.
- The herb arjuna has also beneficial result in treating skin disorders. An ointment made by mixing the bark and honey applied over the affected area, can treat acne successfully.
- The bark of arjuna helps the bones to regain their strength after a fracture. The powder of the bark can be given with honey.
- The juice of fresh leaves of arjuna can be used beneficially in earache. Ashes of the bark are also prescribed in scorpion sting. The decoction of the herb is used as an astringent for cleaning sores, ulcers and syphilitic sores.