Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.= T. cuneata Roth is important medicinal plant from Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine
Scientific Name Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.= T. cuneata Roth Family Combretaceae Used Part Bark. Distribution Area A large, evergreen tree, common in most parts of India. . It is rare in the Karnatic, but is fairly plentiful in Tirunelveli and on the west coast. It extends north- wards to the sub-Himalayan tract, where it is distributed along the banks of streams; in Punjab, it is a cultivated tree. It is common in Chota Nagpur, Orissa and in the Northern Circars. Common Uses .The bark is astringent,sweet, acrid,cooling aphrodisiac, demulcent, cardiotonic, styptic, antidysenteric, urinary astringent, expectorent, alexiteric, lithontriptic and tonic. It is used in fractures, ulcers, urethrorrhea, leucorrhoea, diabetes, vitiated conditions of pitta and anaemia, cardiopathy, hyperhidorosis, fatigue, asthma, bronchitis, tumours, ostalgia, dysentery, inflammations, internal and external haemorrhages, cirrhosis of the liver and hypertension. Considered useful in heart diseases, bilious affections, blood dysentery, inflammatory conditions and in the fracture of bones. In Nepal, the stem-bark is applied to cuts and wounds. The bark is acrid, and credited with styptic, tonic, febrifugal and antidysenteric properties. In fractures and contusions, with excessive ecchymosis, the powdered bark is taken with milk. The powdered bark seemed to give relief in symptomatic complaint in hypertension; it appearently had a diuretic and a general tonic effect in cases of cirrhosis of the liver. A decoction of the bark is used as a wash in ulcers. The fruit is tonic and deobstruent. The juice of the fresh eaves is used in earache. The twigs are used by tribals of Bastar to cure blisters and ulcers of the mouth. The bark is useful as an antiischaemic and cardioprotective agent in hypertension and ischaemic heart diseases, especially in disturbed cardiac rhythm, angina or myocardial infarction. The bark powder possesses diuretic, prostaglandin enhancing and coronary risk factor modulating properties. The bark is one of the ingredients of an ayurvedic drug `Laksha gugglu' used for treating fractures. The major preparations employing this crude drug are Arjunarishta, Arvindaasava and Kakubhaadi churna. Pharmacological Effect Oral administration of bark powder (400 mg/kg body weight) for 10 days produced significant increase in circulating histamine, a little increase in 5-HT, catecholamines and HDL cholesterol and decrease in total lipid, triglycerides and total cholesterol in normal rats. This action is due to the presence of certain amino acids, saponins, terpenic acids, glycoside contents, calcium, magnesium and aluminium. The bark is credited with hypocholesterolemic property. Hyper- cholesterolemic rabbits receiving T. arjuna treatment showed a more marked reduction in total cholesterol (p<0.02) and triglycerides (p<0.05) and elevation in high denisty lipoprotein cholesterol(p<0.001). The bark possesses cardioprotective property and is effective in congestive cardiac failure. The bark exhibits myocardial depressive activity. The alcoholic extract of the bark exerted a negative chrono and inotropism and hypotensive effects of varying magnitude on a dose dependant fashion in isolated frog and rat atria and rabbit heart. The aqueous extract produced a substantial positive inotropic effect but no change in the rate of contraction on isolated rat atria. The ethanol, chloroform and petroleum-ether extracts decreased the rate of contraction. The higher concentration of chloroform had a negative inotropic effect. The significant inotropic property of the stembark may be responsible for its efficacy in treating cardio vascular diseases.