Terminalia arjuna is one of the most popular plants commonly prescribed for cardiovascular problems in Ayurvedic medicine.
We know this plant as Arjuna or Arjun and White Marudah or Murdh, though its Latin name is Terminalia arjuna. It belongs to the Combretaceae family, which embraces several very alike species.
Terminalia arjuna is quite a tall tree (up to 100 feet). The crown is large with drooping branches. The tree bears conical evergreen sub-opposite leaves, dull green above and pale brown beneath. They have crenulated margin and two glands near the petiole.
The bark is smooth and grey outside and reddish from the inside. It is thick and soft and is said to possess medicinal properties.
In spring and summer the tree is in bloom (usually from April to July), bearing the spikes of small white or yellow flowers. The fruits are woody and glabrous, ovoid-oblong, with five wings.
Being native to India, Arjuna can be found almost in every part of the country. The largest populations, however, grow in the Himalayan region and in the east of the country. Arjun does well on the river banks, preferring light deep sandy soils and alluvial loams. The tree needs much loose moisture, with good drainage at the same time.
Thick, soft bark of the Arjun tree, which peels in large thin sheets, is said to contain a number of elements beneficial for the human health, thus it has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of India.
These days, Arjuna remedies are usually available in the form of tablets or capsules filled with the powdered bark.
The bark of Terminalia arjuna is known to contain phytosterols (ß-sitosterol), ellagic and oleanolinic acids, magnesium, zinc, copper and tannins. The whole tree is so rich on calcium that even the soil it grows on becomes rich on this element too. One of the most promising constituents of the Arjun bark is arjunic acid, belonging to triterpenoid saponins. A glycoside arjunetin has recently been isolated from the bark and enlarged the list of glycosides found in this tree. Arjuna also contains coenzyme Q10.
White Marudah is believed to be a powerful cardiovascular protector, capable of improving a large number of heart conditions, like angina, heart failure, heart attack, and others. It is a cardio-stimulant and tonic, diuretic and prostaglandin enhancer, anti-hypertensive and anti-ischemic agent. Saponin glycosides are believed to improve the pumping activity of the heart and stimulate cardiac muscle function.
Flavonoids in the bark are said to strengthen blood vessels and have antioxidant activity. They may be the reason for normalizing bad cholesterol level in the body and regulating blood pressure.
The latest studies of Arjuna bark indicate that it also possesses antibacterial properties and can be used to eliminate Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, which causes gonorrhoea, and may have influence on chlamydia, which is associated with atherosclerosis.
The oldest known use of Arjuna is as a cardiovascular tonic to treat congestive heart failure, angina pain, heart attack, and coronary artery disease. Hypertension and tachycardia are relieved with the powdered bark as well. Hypercholesterolemia (increased levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides) is also effectively improved with Arjuna bark. Its constituents are also helpful against edema – a condition, when the access fluid accumulates in the ankles and legs.
It is reported that the powder of the Arjuna bark may be helpful against stomach ulcers caused by NSAIDs use (common and popular pain-killers). It is also suggested that this remedy may be taken to treat asthma.
Finally, sexually transmitted diseases may be eliminated with Arjuna. At least, the latest research reports about the possibility to use the tree’s bark to get rid of gonorrhea. However, further research is necessary to discover what other conditions may be improved with White Marudah.
To make a conclusion, it should be added that the effectiveness of the treatment with Arjuna depends on the dose of the supplement taken; thus, a patient should always be guided by an experienced herbalist concerning the plan (dosing, duration) of the treatment.
Ayurveda medicine contains many options to treat cardiovascular disorders and protect human heart from the devastating ...
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