Boerhaavia Diffusa is an essential plant used in Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani system of medicine. It is a perennial herb that grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The plant is used for the treatment of various conditions. It is also consumed as a vegetable in some populations.
Boerhaavia Diffusa is a diffused perennial herb that belongs to the Nyctaginaceae family. It is commonly known as ‘Punarnava,’ that means the one that renews the body. It is a creeping weed found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, including India, Africa, Brazil, Australia, Egypt, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iran, USA, and several countries of the Middle East. The herb grows up to 20-60 cm long with spreading branches. It is found growing in various terrestrial habitats, like managed grasslands, agroecosystems, wastelands, and large forest gaps.
Punarnava has been used in the Indian medicinal system from time immemorial. Although the root is majorly used for therapeutic purposes, other parts of the plant are also used in the treatment of many diseases.
The aerial parts, leaves, and roots of the plant are used for the treatment of various disorders. Some the benefits of the different parts are listed below:
The other benefits of the plant include the treatment of conditions such as paralysis, nervous weakness, cough, constipation, obesity, jaundice, and fever.
Boerhaavia diffusa contains numerous compounds that can be used for medicinal purposes. Some of the medicinal properties of the plant are as follows:
No signs of toxicity have been reported by research studies. Most studies suggest that Boerhaavia diffusa is safe for consumption. Although it appears to be perfectly safe for human consumption, more research is being conducted to understand its efficacy and safety for all time consumption.
Several Boerhaavia diffusa extracts have activities like vasodilatory, diuretic, immunomodulatory, anticonvulsant, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. Thus, the extract of the herb may interfere with other drugs having similar or opposing activities.
Patients with diabetes must be closely monitored if they consume punarnava, as it contains sugar and may result in some complications.