The holistic system of traditional medicine has the potential to effectively manage and treat several health anomalies. The age-old Ayurvedic medicine brings in a wealth of herbs that work as a sure-shot natural remedial cure for different health woes. And one such powerful herbal plant is Varun, which is a medium-sized deciduous tree found wild and cultivated throughout India. In ayurvedic medicine, Varun or Varuna bark is used extensively for healing painful kidney stones and has been in use since Vedic times. It is a natural diuretic and a blood purifier herb that aids to keep the homeostasis of the human body. Varun is known by the botanical name Crataeva nurvula which belongs to the Capparidaceae family.

This herb gets its name because of its incredible effect on bodily fluids and the urinary system. The traditional system of medicine recommends Varuna in curing urinary disorders like stones in the kidney, uterus and bladder. This powerful plant is credited to possess urinary, antiseptic and litholytic qualities.
Varun/Varuna

Varun Plant

Varun is a moderate-sized deciduous tree that grows up to 20 meters in height. The leaves are compound, lanceolate and inflorescence terminal corymb. The fruits are spherical or oval-shaped berries that contain fleshy pulp with numerous reinform seeds. The bark is rough, grey to the greyish brown outside and pale inside. It is a native plant to Myanmar, the Indo-Malaysian region, and South Asia. In India, it is widely cultivated in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Konkan, and Tamil Nadu.

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Synonyms of Varun

Varun is known by different vernacular names, some of the common English names are Three leaved capers, Holy garglic pear, Lengam tree, Triune leaf tree, and Sacred Lingam tree. In different regions of India, it goes by the following names in the following regional languages:

  • Hindi: Barnam, Barun, Bilasi
  • Sanskrit: Varana, Kumaraka, Setu, Tamalaka, Ajapa, Ashmarygna, Barhapushpa, Kumara
  • Kannada: Adhiraaja, Bitusi, Bilpatri
  • Telugu: Ulimiri Chettu, Bilvaram, Chinnavulimidi
  • Marathi: Bhatavarna, Hadavarna ,Kawan
  • Tamil: Maralingam, Adhicharam, anjali, Narvala
  • Bengali: Barun Tiktoshak
  • Gujarati: Varno, Vayavarno
  • Malayalam: Kili, Niravila, Nirumaliyan
  • Punjabi: Barna, Barnahi
  • Oriya: Boryno

Chemical Components

This medicinal plant bark is valued greatly for its strong chemical constituents such as Rutin, Varunol and quercetin that is beneficial in curing various health problems.

Ayurvedic Properties

Varun is Tikta, Kashaya (bitter, astringent) rasa (taste) and Laghu (light to digest and rooksha (dry) guna (qualities). While it is Ushna (hot potency) veerya and balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.

Ayurvedic Indications

  • Pittala: increases pitta dosha
  • Bhedi: piercing in nature
  • Deepana: promotes the digestion process
  • Jantujit, Krumihara: beneficial in treating worm infestation, heals wound
  • Vatasrahar: treats gout
  • Mutraghatahara: beneficial in curing urinary retention, dysuria
  • Hrudgada: treats heart disorders
  • Vataghna- helpful in treating Vata dosha problems like neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating etc
  • Vidradhihara- heals abscess
  • Raktadoshahara- treat blood disorders
  • Ashmahara - treats renal calculi
  • Gulmahara - cures abdominal tumours
  • Sheershavatahara- manages headaches and migraine

Potential Health Benefits of Varun

Digestive Stimulant

This herbal formulation may help ease constipation owing to its natural laxative action, which aids to loosen stools and regularise bowel movement. It is attributed to having an anti-inflammatory action that aids to lower inflammation and joint pain caused by gout. Furthermore, applying a paste of Varun leaves on abscess supports lessens inflammation and pain.

Promotes Appetite

Adding this herbal plant to the regular meal plan is well-known to improve appetite. As per Ayurveda, poor appetite is caused due to Agnimandhya (weak digestion) which is aggravated by Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas leading to an incomplete digestion process. This results in inadequate secretion of gastric juice in the stomach resulting in loss of appetite. The potent Deepan (appetizer) nature of Varun triggers the digestion process and improves appetite. It is suggested to have Varun powder alongside honey post lunch to stimulate digestive health and appetite.

Remedies Renal Stones

Thanks to its diuretic nature, this medicinal plant is valuable in treating urinary stones. Mutrashmari (renal stones in Ayurveda) is a disorder of Vatta-Kapha origin which results in Sanga(obstruction) in the Mutravaha Srotas (urinary system). Varun is one of the best ayurvedic medicine which aids to break renal calculi, owing to its Asmaribhedan nature (penetration) and eliminates the stones out of the urinary tract.

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Treats Urinary Tract Infection

Muktrakcchra (UTI in Ayurveda) means ooze and kricha painful micturition. Severe urinary tract infection is associated with dysuria and painful urination. Taking Varun powder aids to control the burning sensation, owing to its diuretic action that increases urine output and eases the symptoms of UTI.

Prevents Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP) is a common cause of lower UTI symptoms in elderly men. This condition is quite alike to Vatashtila (as per Ayurveda) and the condition gets worsened due to Vata dosha that gets confined in between the urinary bladder and rectum. This results in firm glandular swelling called Vatashtila or BHP. Regular intake of Varun formulation aids to pacify Vata dosha and reduces the size of the prostate gland and eases the symptoms.

Dosage

The bark, root bark and leaves of this medicinal plant are used extensively to prepare various ayurvedic formulations. It is readily available in the form of powder, tablets and churna. The appropriate therapeutic dose of Varun may differ from person to person depending upon their age, the severity of health problems and the effects on dosha. It is recommended to consult an ayurvedic practitioner, as he or she will completely evaluate the patient’s health problem and suggest the right dosage for a particular period.

Side Effects

Varun is well tolerated and considered safe when taken in recommended dosage by most healthy adults. This herbal medicine does not exhibit any known side effects.

Precautions

There is no reliable information on the effects of Varun during pregnancy, thus it is advisable that pregnant women should avoid using this without medical advice. Patients with heart problems should use Varun only after consultation with their doctor if they are taking antihypertensive drugs, this is due to its natural diuretic action.