Boerhavia diffusa: Punarnava(H/S);Spreading hog(E)

Boerhavia diffusa or Punarnava is a herb immensely used in the herbal medicinal system.  Boerhavia diffusa is usually mentioned in Ayurvedic medicinal literature as Punarnava (Punar = once again + Nava means = becoming new).  The name itself can explain its rejuvenating potentials. The herb is a creeper that spreads like a spider web. The entire pant is used in herbal medicine. According to the Ayurvedic properties of the herb, Boerhavia diffusa has dry (Ruksha), hot (Ushna), bitter (Tikta), and pungent (Katu) properties. The juice of Boerhavia diffusa can provide the experience of all the herbal properties of the plant. [1, 2]

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Boerhavia diffusa health benefits

 Boerhavia diffusa has the potential to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints and gives beneficial effects in arthritis.
·     The juice of Boerhavia diffusa can treat indigestion, anorexia (loss of appetite), constipation, and related abdominal pain; as this herb has carminative (flatulence relief) and laxative properties.
·        In herbal medicine, Boerhavia diffusa is considered an excellent natural remedy for piles and other anorectal diseases.
·        Boerhavia diffusa is used to treat respiratory tract disorders including cough and asthma. The herb helps to expel out the stuck mucous in the respiratory tract and provide relief from productive cough and repetitive asthma attacks.
·    Boerhavia diffusa is used to improve semen quality and quantity and also effective in erection-related problems in males. Different herbal medicinal preparations contain B. diffusa seeds for rejuvenation of the male reproductive system.
·         Infection-free skin can be achieved by applying its paste on the affected skin. 
·         B. diffusa can increase hemoglobin content and efficiently treating anemic patients.
·       It can improve renal activity and also can prevent and be effective against renal calculi (kidney stone), cystitis, and nephritis. It has diuretic property (increase fluid excretion quantity). The increased elimination of toxins via urine also acts as a detoxification of the whole body.
·     B. diffusa is useful for all types of liver diseases, including jaundice by balancing liver enzymes. The plant extract ameliorates the elevated level of serum bilirubin and provides protection against lipid peroxidation in liver enzyme activities. Thus, Boerhaviadiffusa has hepatoprotective properties.
·         In Ayurveda, B. diffusa is recommended to control heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle (menorrhagia).
·         Multiple phenolics, flavonoid phytochemicals, and an abundant amount of vitamin C and E provide DPPH (free radical) scavenging capacity to the Boerhaviadiffusa and also enhance the total white blood cells count. Thus, it is a good antioxidant, prevents aging, and acts as an immunity booster.
·         Boerhaaviadiffusa prevents multiple inflammatory ailments and cancer. It can be promising as a potential chemotherapeutic agent to treat estrogen-dependent breast cancers. The scientific study supports that B. diffusa has potential antiproliferative and antiestrogenic effects and may be able to treat estrogen-mediated breast cancers.
Boerhaavia diffusa has anti-metastatic activity by suppressing serum vascular endothelial growth factor and other associated biochemical parameters. This herb can be recommended for prophylactic treatment for lung cancer.
It can significantly reduce multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 to control the inflammatory conditions. [1,2, 3,4, 5, 6]

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Use it in

Boerhaavia diffusa is recommended in different formulation with specified doses, such as fresh Juice 5-10 ml, Extract – 50 – 100ml in divided dose or powder 1-3 g per day. [7]

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Instructions

Before using any herbal medicine consult with your doctor or healthcare provider. 

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Try to pair with ginger

Combination of equal quantity of Boerhaavia diffusa and a dried ginger paste made by the addition of some water provide effectively treatment against joint effusion. 

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CAUTION

Boerhaavia diffusa has abortive property and thus contraindicated for pregnant women.

It is not recommended for lactating mother and children, as the potential effect may not be safe for infants and children.

Boerhaavia diffusa may be dangerous for renal failure patients and/ or hypertensive patients. [7]

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Science & Research

The different in-vitro and preclinical study provides the evidence that different phytochemicals obtained from Boerhaavia diffusa has anticancer, antimicrobials, hepato-protective and immunity-boosting properties.  [3,4,5,6,7]

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References

1. Dr.Savitha Suri, Ayurveda Medicinal properties of Punarnava or Boerhaviadiffusa; Available online; Retrieve from http://www.ayurhelp.com/articles/ayurveda-medicinal-properties-punarnava-or-boerhavia-diffusa#.V4SNH-t97IU
2. Punarnava (Boerhaviadiffusa), National R & D Facility for Rasayana; I- AIM, Government of India; Available online; Retrieve from http://www.frlht.org/rasayana/node/51
3. Olaleye MT, Akinmoladun AC, Ogunboye AA, Akindahunsi AA.; Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective property of leaf extracts of Boerhaaviadiffusa Linn against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in rats; 
4. Food ChemToxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2200-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.05.047. Epub 2010 May 27.
5. Sreeja S, Sreeja S. An in vitro study on antiproliferative and antiestrogenic effects of Boerhaaviadiffusa L. extracts; J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):221-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.041. Epub 2009 Aug 31
6. Manu KA, Kuttan G., Immunomodulatory activities of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaaviadiffusa; ImmunopharmacolImmunotoxicol. 2009;31(3):377-87. doi: 10.1080/08923970802702036.
7. Manu KA, Kuttan G., Anti-metastatic potential of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from BoerhaaviadiffusaLinn.; Immunobiology. 2009;214(4):245-55. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2008.10.002. Epub 2008 Dec 5.
8. Punarnava – Boerhaviadiffusa Benefits, Dose, Side Effects; Available online; Retrieve from http://easyayurveda.com/2014/11/17/punarnava-boerhavia-diffusa-benefits-dose-side-effects/

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