Arjuna – Terminalia arjuna; Combretaceae

Arjuna is commonly used as a cardiac tonic and vasodilator.  It is balancing to all three doshas whenArjuna Terminalia used in moderation, although in excess it may provoke Vata.  It has the ability to either stimulate or calm down cardiac activity, depending on the body’s needs.  It is strengthening to the heart muscle, promote circulation, and is effective for treating a wide variety of heart related disorders, arteriosclerosis, and high blood cholesterol.

Arjuna has a mild diuretic action and is helpful in the treatment of cardiac edema.  For this, it combines well with Purnarnava.  Its astringent properties make it also useful in treating gastrointestinal ulcers, hemorrhage, bleeding disorders, diarrhea, dysentery, and sprue.

Arjuna has a stimulating action upon Kloma-agni(the pancreatic fire); thus it helps to regulate blood sugar levels.  For this, it combines well with herbs such as Neem, Turmeric, and Shardunika.

Arjuna also acts on the heart chakra and is thought to increase prema bhakti(love and devotion).

Examples of Arjuna use:

To release unresolved emotions from the heart and lungs – Arjuna, Pushkaramula(elecampane), Brahmi(Goto Kola) in equal parts, and this mixture can be taken in 1/2 tsp in hot water twice daily before meditation.

For aiding the knitting of bone fracture – Prepared Arjuna as a milk decoction or combined with other herbs like Comfrey leaf or Manjistha.

For Petic ulcer – add 1 tsp of Arjuna powder to a lassi(diluted fresh yogurt), and take after or between meals.

For Breathlessness, Angina pectoris, Congestive cardiac failure – Taken with warm milk, in doses from 3 to 12gram daily.  Also Arjuna Ghee can be used.

A traditional medicated wine specific for the heart is Arjunarishta, which has a quick, stimulating action.

Effect on Doshas: VPK-  (in excess Vata can be provoked)

Rasa: Bitter, Astringent

Virya: Cooling

Vipak: Pungent

Preparations: Infusion (powder), medicated ghee, medicated wine, milk decoction with raw sugar cane.

Dosage: 1-6 gram per day.

Parts used: Bark

Tissues: Plasma, Blood, Muscle, Fat, Bone, Nerve and Marrow.

Systems: Circulatory, Respiratory, Nervous, Digestive, Urinary.

Properties: Cardiac, Tonic, Stimulant, Sedative, Vasodilator, Vulnerary, Diuretic, Hemostatic, Digestive, Analgesic.

Indications: Heart disease, Hypertension, Hypotension, Arteriosclerosis, Congestive cardiac failure, Angina pectoris, Palpitation, Bleeding disorders, High cholesterol, Breathlessness, Edema, Poisonings, Dysentery, Hepatitis, Sprue, Diarrhea, Internal and external ulcers, Sores, Diabetes, High blood sugar, Anxiety, Deep-seated grief and sadness.

Ref: Ayurvedic Herbology East & West A practical guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine by Vishnu Dass

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