Scientific Name Boerhaavia diffusa L. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Used Part Dried stem
Distribution Area A prostrate herb, occurring as a weed throughout <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />India, up to an altitude of 2,000 m in the Himalayas.
Common Uses . B. diffusa is the source of the Ayurvedic drug, Punarnava . An ayurvedic drug is reported to cure hypertension, angina and chloesterolaemia. The whole plant, fresh or dried, is the source of the drug punarnava which is offical in I.P. as a diuretic. The roots and leaves with flowers have been found to be more potent than the stem. Two chief varieties are described, one with white flowers called Sweta punarnava and the other with red flowers called Rakta punarnava . The market samples of punarnava are often adulterated with Trianthema portulacastrum Linn.syn. T. monogyna Linn.(also often referred to as Sweta punarnava ) which has led to a controversy regarding the correct identity of punarnava. It has now been proved that the two plants are the sources of two different Ayurvedic drugs, Punarnava and Varshabhu possibly with similar therapeutic effects.
The leaf juice serves as a lotion in ophthalmia. It is given
internally as a blood purifier and to relieve muscular pain. It also
helps hasten parturition.
The plant is also an ingreadient of a herbal eye drops preparation which has been reported to be more efficacious in patients suffering with viral keratitis. The fruit decoction has been recommended as a cure for arthritis.