Arjuna, scientifically known as Terminalia arjuna, is a renowned Ayurvedic plant-ingredient that has been utilized for its innumerable and valuable medicinal properties for thousands of years. Known by multiple names, including Sadada, Orjun, Yerra Maddi, White Marudah, White Murdh, Arjuna Myrobalan, to name a few, Terminalia arjuna is a large deciduous tree that usually grows along rivers banks and dry water bodies throughout the Indian Subcontinent as well as parts of Malaysia, Mauritius, China, Indonesia and Kenya.
Arjuna is mostly known for its cardioprotective properties and has been commonly used in traditional medicine for heart ailments including heart failure, anginal pain, hypertension, chest pain, congestive heart failure, and dyslipidemia. While its leaves, seeds, fruits and root barks also offer ample health-benefiting properties, it is the bark of the tree that is commonly used for therapeutic purposes, especially for its cardioprotective action. Additionally, Arjuna is an excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and antimicrobial agent and is a rich source of bioactive compounds, such as tannins, alkaloids, carbohydrates, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids and phenols, making it stand out from other medicinal plants.
It is also used for improving skin health, diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other conditions.
Benefits of Arjuna
Arjuna is a well-known natural cardio tonic, which has been in use in traditional medicinal practices like Ayurveda for thousands of years. It helps boost heart function, strengthens heart muscles, protects the heart against oxidative stress, improves blood flow, encourages healthy muscular contractions and helps lower the chances of heart diseases.
Angina or chest pain occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen. This can extend to the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, or back. It has been shown that the use of Arjuna helps reduce blockage in the blood vessels and improve oxygen flow to the heart. This helps improve heart function and help reduce angina symptoms.
A concoction of Arjuna bark along with other natural ingredients is used in Ayurveda to help maintain stable blood pressure. The formulation acts as a natural antihypertensive agent which helps normalise blood pressure and keeps them under check.
The rich antioxidant content along with its bitter, astringent and slightly pungent qualities makes it a skin-friendly ingredient. It helps strengthen the skin barrier and promotes sebum production, thereby reducing dryness of skin and provides natural protection.
Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, an extract of the plant helps in fighting against gastritis and other stomach infections and is also known to be an excellent treatment for diarrhoea and dysentery.
The powerful antioxidants present in the plant also work to improve liver and kidney function, promotes bile production in the liver and support the body’s detoxification process. It also helps increase the antioxidative activities which help protect the liver and kidneys.
Arjuna is generally safe if taken in proper dosage. However, it may interact with blood thinners and may lower blood pressure if taken in excess. It is advisable to consult your physician before taking Arjuna. Likewise, it is advised to stay away from Arjuna during pregnancy or breastfeeding.