is reported to cure hypertension, angina and chloesterolaemia.

Scientific Name  Boerhaavia diffusa  L. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Family  Nyctaginaceae 


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.