Punarnava, a potent ayurvedic has immense health benefits and has been in use since ancient times in treating a host of health anomalies. Commonly known as Hogweed, Sterling, Tarvine in English, Mukarati Kirei in Tamil, Raktakunda, and Shothaghni in Sanskrit, it goes by the botanical name Boerhavia diffusa.


Punarnava which literally translates into ‘something that renews or replenishes the body’ i.e. a reviver, is an herb belonging to the 4 o'clock Nyctaginaceae family that are characterized by their unique type of fruit called anthocarp. Quite like its name, Punarnava is a traditional ayurvedic plant that is used to rejuvenate the whole body. The plant as a whole is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, fever, edema, eye problems, stomach issues, and liver disorders.

Effect On Doshas:

The herb Punarnava has 3 distinct tastes mainly Madhura (i.e. sweet), Tikta (i.e. bitter) and Kashaya (i.e. astringent) Rasa. It has Laghu (i.e. light) and Rukhsha Guna (i.e. dry quality) and Ushna Virya (i.e. hot potency). It characterizes Madhura Vipaka (i.e. sweet taste after digestion) and mainly portrays rejuvenating property. The host of bioactive components in Punarnava balances the Tridoshas and helps to pacify the Vata (i.e. air) and Kapha (i.e. earth and water) doshas and effectively removes the AMA doshas which are toxins from the body. Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas

Nutritional Content Of Punarnava

Punarnava is a treasure trove of nutrients like proteins, vitamin C, sodium, calcium, iron and bioactive components like punarnavoside, serratagenic acid, hypoxanthine 9-L-arabinofuranoside, boeravinone A to F, liriodendron, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid. Imbued with the therapeutic components, punarnava holds high significance in promoting the digestive system, managing heart problems, improving eyesight and preventing diseases like diabetes, urinary tract infection, arthritis, impotence, gout, and anemia.

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Health Benefits Of Punarnava

Treats Arthritis:

Punarnava has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which is extremely beneficial in reducing joint and muscle pain, thereby reducing the chances of chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. A paste of the grounded leaves of the herb effectively provides relief from the pain and inflammation. Also Read: What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Learn How To Deal With It

Aids In Digestion:

The herb is found to be extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation and treating irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Being a potent digestive agent, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices thereby increasing the absorption of essential nutrients and enhancing digestion.

Manages Diabetes:

The excellent hypoglycaemic property of Punarnava is extremely beneficial in regulating the blood sugar levels of the body. The production of insulin from the β pancreatic cells becomes active while taking this herb. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn prevents the spike in blood sugar.

Prevents Urinary Disorders:

Punarnava plays a key role in preventing and treating urinary distension, kidney stones, and painful urination. The herb has potent anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties which helps to prevent bacterial infections in the urinary tract and thereby reducing inflammation and pain while urinating.

Promotes Weight Loss:

The rejuvenative herb plays a key role in burning excess fat. The presence of the potent bioactive constituents prevents weight gain and reduces the bad cholesterol in the blood. Being a mild laxative, it washes out the excess unwanted fluids and harmful toxins from the body and maintains body weight.

Enhances Cardiac Functioning:

The extensive heart-healthy properties of this rejuvenative herb plays a crucial role in treating a host of heart ailments. It relaxes the cardiac system, by calming the mind, which is extremely beneficial for patients suffering from arrhythmias and palpitations. It holds high significance in strengthening the heart muscles, lowering cholesterol levels in the blood and preventing lipid build-up, which in turn reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, etc.

Also Read: Top 10 Superfoods For A Healthy Heart

Enhances Fertility And Libido:

Punarnava offers a one-shot traditional remedy for boosting libido and improving fertility in men. Imbued with strong aphrodisiac properties, it not only helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety but also stimulates the production of reproductive hormones in both men and women. It plays a key role in increasing virility and stamina in men. Consuming powdered punarnava seeds in specified quantity alongside milk before sleeping has been known to increase blood circulation in the genitals which thereby improves the libido in men and also promotes the quality of semen.

Remedies Liver Anomalies:

Punarnava possesses potent hepatoprotective and hepatostimulative qualities which makes it a magical remedy during jaundice and other liver anomalies, in which the liver gets mostly effected. Be it in the form of powdered seed, juice or the ksheer pak formulation, the incredible properties of punarnava offers support to the liver functioning by secreting bile which in turn helps the liver enzymes to come down to normal levels. It also cleanses and detoxifies the liver and enhances the various functions of the liver.


This potent herb is available both in churna and decoction or juice form.

How To Safely Take Punarnava?

Punarnava can be taken along with milk or water or as suggested by the ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, to be taken twice a day on an empty stomach or an hour before the meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Part Of The Punarnava Plant Helps Treat Eye Problems?

According to Ayurvedic scriptures, both the roots and leaves of the plant help treat eye disorders. While powdered Punarnava root when mixed with Mamira (Thalictrum foliosum) helps to soothe the symptoms of eye disorders like glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and night blindness. The leaves of the plant on the other hand may be useful to formulate ophthalmic lotions for various eye disorders.

Does Punarnava Treat Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes increased eye pressure within the eye cavity and may primarily ensue due to diabetes. Punarnava, showcasing strong hypoglycemic activity, can readily decrease the blood glucose level, thus minimizing the risk of glaucoma.  The root extract of Punarnava, when purified and applied to the eyes for a few days, may be helpful to soothe eye disorders and infections.

Can Punarnava Help Treat Kidney Disorders?

Imbued with diuretic traits, the Punarnava plant may be beneficial in case of kidney disorders like irregular blood pressure and diuresis. Fresh Punarnava extract is extensively used for flushing out the kidneys. Even powdered formulation and decoction of Punarnava help manage the nephrotic syndrome.

Can Punarnava Help Manage Ascites?

Punarnava is found beneficial to lessen the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. Additionally, it also helps to diminish the symptoms of ascites arising due to liver anomalies.

Does Punarnava Treat Bronchial Asthma?

The strong expectorant quality of Punarnava plays a key role in managing bronchial asthma. Taking the prescribed Punarnava supplement not only helps to expel mucus from the respiratory tract and chest cavity but also helps diminishes the symptoms of chronic asthma and ease breathing.


This incredible rejuvenative herb enriched with nutrients has umpteen health benefits including managing diabetes, promoting weight loss, boosting digestion and providing relief from pain. Consuming in adequate quantity, one can steer clear of adverse effects and reap the benefits.