Punarnava Uses, Synonyms and Chemical Constituents

Source and Distribution of Punarnava

Punarnava consists of the fresh and dried herb of Boerhaavia diffussa, belonging to the family Nyctaginaceae. It is also known as rakta punarnava and hog weed.

It is cultivated in India and Sri Lanka. It is found in Himalayan regions at an altitude of 2000-2500m. The weed also grows in China, Malaysia and Africa.

English: Boerhavia diffusa - Spreading Hogweed...

English: Boerhavia diffusa – Spreading Hogweed, Punarnava or Red spiderling in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plant is a creeping herbaceous perennial which is branched diffusely. It is a very common weed of sandy tracts, waste lands and at road sides. Leaves are greenish in colour and the stems are greenish purple coloured. They are bitter in taste.

Chemical constituents of Punarnava:

Punarnava consists of quinazoline alkaloids namely punarnavine and punernavoside, an antifibrinolytic agent. It also contains potassium nitrate, an oily substance and ursolic acid.

Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Punarnava:

  • Herb is used as diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Stomachic
  • Prescribed in the treatment of jaundice
  • Given in the loss of digestive power
  • Enlargement of spleen
  • Used for relieving abdominal pains

Substitutes of Punarnava:

English: Trianthema portulacastrum (habit). Lo...

English: Trianthema portulacastrum (habit). Location: Oahu, Mokulua South (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Trianthema portulacastrum – Shwet punarnava
  • Trianthema obcordata
  • Trianthema decandra

Synonyms of Punarnava:

  • Bengali – Sabunba
  • Gujrati – Lalsabuni
  • Hindi – Lalsabunooch
  • Kannada – Muchchu-joni
  • Marathi – Pandhari-punernava
  • Sanskrit – Punernavi
  • Tamil – Sharunai
  • Telugu – Galijeru
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