Boerhaavia diffusa
Botanical Name:
Boerhaavia diffusa

Punarnava consists of dried, matured whole plant of Boerhaavia diffusa Linn, Family Nyctaginaceae

Common Name(s) in English & Indian Languages
Sanskrit: Kahtilla, Sophaghni, Sothaghni, Varsabhu
Assamese: Ranga Punarnabha
Bengali: Rakta punarnava
English: Horse Purslene, Hog Weed
Guajarati: Dholisaturdi, Motosatodo
Hindi: Gadapurna, Lalpunarnava
Kannada: Sanadika, Kommeberu, Komma
Kashmiri: Vanjula Punarnava
Malayalam: Chuvanna Tazhutawa
Marathi: Ghetuli, Vasuchimuli, Satodimula, Punarnava, Khaparkhuti
Oriya: Lalapuiruni, Nalipuruni
Punjabi: ltcit (Ial), Khattan
Tamil: Mukurattai (Shihappu)
Telugu: Atikamamidi, Erra galijeru

Botanical description:
Boerhaavia diffusa is up to 1 m long or more, having spreading branches. The stem is prostrate, woody or succulent, cylindrical, often purplish, hairy, and thickened at its nodes. The leaves are simple, thick, fleshy, and hairy, arranged in unequal pairs, green and glabrous above and usually white underneath. The shape of the leaves varies considerably ovate -oblong, round, or subcordate at the base and smooth above. The margins of the leaves are smooth, wavy or undulate. The upper surface of the leaves is green, smooth and glabrous, whereas it is pinkish white and hairy beneath. The flowers are minute, subcapitate, present 4-10 together in small bracteolate umbrellas, mainly red or rose, but the white varieties are also known. The achene fruit is detachable, ovate, oblong, pubescent, five-ribbed and glandular, anthocarpous and viscid on the ribs.5 The seeds germinate before the onset of the monsoon. The plant grows profusely in the rainy season and mature seeds are formed in October- November. Due to its sticky nature, the plant gets stuck on the clothes of humans and on the legs of animals, which helps in its dispersal from one place to another. It has a large root system bearing rootlets. The tap root is tuberous, cylindrical to narrowly fusiform, conical or tapering, light yellow, brown or brownish grey. It is thick, fleshy and very bitter in taste.

Parts used:
Whole plant

Major chemical constituent:
Alkaloids, Glycosides, Reducing sugars, Fiber

Therapeutic uses:
• Inflammation (Sotha)
• Anaemia (Pandu)

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