Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), also known as the Arjuna tree, is an evergreen tree belonging to the family Combretaceae. It is widely found in India. It has been used medicinally since ancient times in Ayurveda. Arjuna benefits and medicinal use in Indian culture dates back thousands of years.
Arjuna has Kashaya (astringent) rasa (taste) which mainly pacifies Kapha and Pitta dosha. In Ayurveda, it is mainly used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as congestive heart failure, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), dyslipidemia (high lipid content in the blood), angina (ischemic chest pain), cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension (high blood pressure).
In addition to these, Arjuna is used for the treatment of diarrhea, Kasa (bronchitis), swelling fever, urinary tract infection (UTI), and tuberculosis. In Ayurveda, the bark of the Arjuna tree is used primarily to treat heart diseases.
Researchers have found that it also has anti-ischemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, as well as being effective as a cardiac tonic1Amalraj, Augustine & Gopi, Sreeraj. (2016). Medicinal properties of Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.: A review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 7. 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.02.003..
This drug has been shown to improve cardiac health in conditions of coronary artery disease, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), dyslipidemia, angina (chest pain), cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease (CAD), and hypertension (high blood pressure).
In addition to being an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, some studies suggest that the drug may be beneficial for treating minor infections like diarrhea, urinary tract infections, etc. Apart from these benefits, Arjuna helps to keep the heart strong and healthy, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease.
Along with treating heart problems, Arjuna bark is used externally to manage skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and itching.
How to identify Arjuna
Arjun tree is an evergreen tree, it is about 40 to 80 feet high and the stem is white from the outside and brown from the inside. Its leaves are about 4 to 6 inches long. Arjuna flowers bloom in the summer season, which is white or pale yellow, and are arranged in Manjari (Spica). It bears fruit in winter or spring.
Arjuna is largely located near forests, rivers, streams, and dry water bodies in India’s sub-Himalayan regions of Uttar Pradesh, southern Bihar, Chota Nagpur, Burma, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. It grows in almost all soil types but is mostly found in moist, fertile, loamy, and red soils.
Arjuna mainly contains triterpenoids, arjunic acid, arjunin, arjunoleic acid, terminic acid.
Apart from these, Arjun also contains β-sitosterol, flavonoids, glycosides, tannin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, silica, zinc, etc.
Modern studies attribute many medicinal properties of arjuna to all these phytoconstituents, which contain beneficial antioxidant, cardiovascular, anti-hypertensive, antiplatelet, hypolipidemic, antiatherogenic, and antihypertrophic properties2Maulik SK, Talwar KK. Therapeutic potential of Terminalia arjuna in cardiovascular disorders. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2012;12(3):157-163. doi:10.2165/11598990-000000000-00000.
Qualities of Arjuna according to Ayurveda
- Rasa (taste) — Kashaya (astringent)
- Guna (quality) — Laghu (Light and easy to digest), Rooksha (dry)
- Veerya (potency) — Sheeta (cold potency)
- Vipaaka (Taste after digestion) — Katu (pungent)
- Prabhava (effect) — Hridya (Good for the heart) or Cardiotonic
- Effect on Tridosha — it mainly pacifies Kapha and pitta dosha.
- Botanical Name — Terminaliya arjuna
- Family — Combretaceae
Other names of Arjuna (common names) —
- Sanskrit name — Arjuna, Dhaval (since the outer skin is white), Kakubha (being broad), Indradru (being a big tree), Veer Vriksha (since the tree is big and strong), Nadisarja (being found more along the banks of rivers and streams) Apart from these, Falgun, Dhananjaya, Partha, Veerantaka, Pandava, etc. are Sanskrit names of Arjuna.
- Hindi — Arjuna, kahu, Kahua
- Kannada — Maddi, Holematti, Nirmathi, Billimaddi
- Tamil — Attumarutu, Marudu, Vellaimarudu, Nirmarudu
- Odia — Orjuno
- Punjabi and Urdu name — Arjan
- Gujrati — Arjun, Sadado, Arjunsadara
- Marathi — Anjan, Savimadat
- Malayalam — Velamarutu
- Bangali — Arjun Gach, Arjhan
- English — Arjuna, White murdah
Arjuna and Arjuna Bark Benefits
Arjuna bark is essentially used for therapeutic purposes in Ayurveda. Apart from this, the fruits, leaves, and roots of Arjuna also have medicinal properties, hence they are also used.
In Ayurveda, Arjuna is considered as Hridaya (beneficial for heart or cardiac tonic), Stambhana (prevents bleeding), Rakta Prasadana (blood purifier), Prameha Hara (anti-diabetic), Mutrasangrahaniya (anti-diuretic), Sandhaniya (heals wounds), burning sensation on the chest, Raktapitta (hemoptysis), Kandu (itching), etc.
Apart from these, Arjuna and its bark are used for Urinary disorders, Diabetes, Hemoptysis, Dysentery, Kaas (bronchitis), Metrorrhagia (abnormal bleeding in women), Leucorrhoea, Bleeding piles, and Inflammation. It is also used in skin disorders and general debility due to anemia.
Benefits of Arjuna in Heart disease
According to Ayurveda, heart disease occurs due to vitiation of Kapha, Vata, and Pitta dosha which obstruct the functions of the heart by obstructing the channels of the body and heart.
Arjuna mainly pacifies diseases related to Kapha and Pitta dosha. In Ayurveda, the bark of Arjuna is mainly used in the treatment of heart disease. It is considered Hridya (beneficial for the heart).
As a heart tonic, its use strengthens the heart muscles, provides strength and nourishment to the heart, and constricts blood vessels, thereby blocking blood flow is improved. Hence, it reduces the risk of many heart diseases and heart attacks.
It also helps to normalize the heart rate.
Modern experimental and clinical studies have also suggested Arjuna as an effective medicine for heart diseases3Dwivedi S, Chopra D. Revisiting Terminalia arjuna – An Ancient Cardiovascular Drug. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014;4(4):224-231. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.139103. Recent studies suggest that arjuna has anti-ischemic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, antiatherogenic, and immunomodulatory properties. It is said to contain beneficial antioxidants that are responsible for its cardiovascular properties.
In studies, the drug has shown significant effects on ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiomyopathy4Kapoor, D., Vijayvergiya, R., & Dhawan, V. (2014). Terminalia arjuna in coronary artery disease: ethnopharmacology, pre-clinical, clinical & safety evaluation. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 155(2), 1029–1045. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.056.
Benefits of Arjuna in Angina
Angina is chest pain related to decreased blood flow to the heart (angina pectoris or ischemic chest pain) is a symptom of coronary artery disease.
This is usually caused by hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), and dyslipidemia (high level of lipids) resulting in the narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. This is called atherosclerosis.
High cholesterol and abdominal obesity are one of the main causes of heart disease, which further increases the risk of angina, coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease, and heart attack.
You can use our BMI calculator tool to examine whether you are overweight (obese) or not.
According to Ayurveda, angina is caused due to aggravation of Kapha and Vata dosha. Taking prolonged Kapha-enhancing diet (high calories and fat), Kapha dosha is aggravated, which results in Agnimandya (weak digestive fire) and Ama (toxic substances) formation, which further leads to obstruction of the body and heart channels.
While due to the vitiation of Vata dosha and lack of natural movement, it produces symptoms like chest pain and heaviness. if left untreated can lead to further heart disease.
Being Hridya (cardiotonic) and Kapha pacifier, Arjuna pacifies the aggravated Kapha dosha. It reduces the blockage of blood vessels and also pacifies the Vata dosha, thereby eliminating the problem of chest pain, heaviness, etc.
Modern clinical studies also suggest that arjuna bark helps reduce chest pain (angina) by reducing the level of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone)5Bharani, A., Ganguli, A., Mathur, L. K., Jamra, Y., & Raman, P. G. (2002). Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna in chronic stable angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing Terminalia arjuna with isosorbide mononitrate. Indian heart journal, 54(2), 170–175.. Arjuna improves HDL (good cholesterol) levels and helps in reducing LDL (also known as bad cholesterol) levels.
Additionally, the use of arjuna has also been shown to help reduce blood pressure in people with stable angina.
Benefits of Arjuna in Diarrhea
In Ayurveda, the use of Arjun bark is also said to be beneficial in diarrhea. Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. Diarrhea or infectious Diarrhea is generally caused due to contaminated food, water, toxic substances, bacterial and viral infections, mental stress, and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). As a result, diarrhea is accompanied by a sticky substance or blood in the stool.
Due to the antibacterial properties of Arjuna, the use of arjuna bark is beneficial in the management of infectious diarrhea or diarrhea, as well as helps control the frequency of stool.
Benefits of Arjuna in Kas roga (bronchitis)
Arjuna is also beneficial in respiratory tract disorders such as Kasa (bronchitis), asthma, etc. According to Ayurveda, the cause of Kasa disease is an aggravation of Kapha and
Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Ama (toxic substances) is formed due to the retardation of digestive fire, due to which it accumulates in the form of mucus in the lungs, consequently, it produces Kasa.
Arjuna pacifies Kapha and Ama formation, therefore reducing the mucus accumulated in the lungs, consequently, it pacifies Kasa disease. Apart from this, it is also useful in tuberculosis.
Benefits of Arjuna in Earache
Arjuna has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Therefore the bark of Arjuna is useful in the pain caused due to ear infections. Its anti-inflammatory property helps in reducing earache due to infection. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of Arjuna have also been verified by modern studies.
Benefits of Arjuna in Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Arjuna has antibacterial properties which help reduces urinary tract infections. Arjuna also reduces symptoms like frequent urination. Modern studies have also shown Arjuna to be beneficial in urinary tract infections.
Apart from this, the use of Arjuna is also beneficial in dysuria (pain or difficulty in urination). Being cooling, Arjuna also reduces the burning sensation in urine.
Benefits of Arjuna in Metrorrhagia
Metrorrhagia is a condition of irregular and abnormal bleeding during menstruation in women, in which there is excessive, irregular, and abnormal bleeding from the uterus.
Using arjuna bark and white sandalwood Kwatha (decoction) reduces the risk of bleeding in metrorrhagia. It has Stambhana (prevents bleeding), Sheetal (cold), and Kashaya (astringent) properties that pacify pitta and help stop bleeding.
Benefits of Arjuna in Spermatorrhoea
Spermatorrhoea is called Shukremeha in Ayurveda, it is a condition of involuntary, excessive semen ejaculation in men. Arjuna being astringent and having Stambhana (prevents fluid loss) properties helps in preventing unintentional semen ejaculation.
Arjuna bark and white sandalwood decoction (Kwatha) are beneficial in the management of Spermatorrhoea.
Benefits of Arjuna in Bone Fracture
In Ayurveda, Arjuna has been called Sandhaniya (promotes reconstruction) and Vranaropana (wound healer) due to which it is helpful in healing wounds as well as repairing broken bones. Arjuna bark is consumed with milk in case of fracture.
Apart from this, the application (in form of a paste) of the bark of Arjuna in place of broken bone also helps in bone reconstruction and fractures.
Benefits of Arjuna in Diabetes
Diabetes is a type of Medorog (disease related to obesity) that comes under Prameha disease in Ayurveda. It is a Kapha-predominant disease. According to Ayurveda, an unhealthy lifestyle like lack of physical activity, excessive and frequent food intake, excessive daytime sleepiness, more meat-curd intake, laziness, and Kapha aggravating diet lead to Meda Vridhi (excess fat or obesity), and this further causes Prameha and Madhumeha (diabetes mellitus).
In diabetes, the body is unable to use insulin to convert sugar (glucose) into energy. As a result, the blood sugar level in the blood becomes very high (high blood sugar) which can cause serious problems if left untreated.
In Ayurveda, the bark of Arjuna is said to be beneficial in Pittaja Prameha (diabetes-related to pitta dosha). In addition, it also helps in eliminating the problem of frequent urination.
Apart from all these, Arjuna is used for skin disorders, itching, mouth ulcer, inflammation, hemoptysis, fever, burning sensation on the chest, etc.
How to use Arjuna and its bark
Arjuna in the form of Churna (powder) and Kwatha (decoction) with milk or water can be taken to eliminate several illnesses.
- Mixing 1 teaspoon of fine powder of Arjun’s bark or 10 to 20 milliliters of Arjun Kwath in about a cup of milk and taking it regularly in the morning and evening gives relief in all types of heart disease. With its regular use, it gives promising effects in cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, heart-related chest pain (angina), and burning sensation in the chest.
- It strengthens the heart and normalizes the heartbeat, additionally reducing the risk of serious conditions such as heart attack.
- Taking 10 to 20 ml of Arjun Kwath with honey or water controls diarrhea. Apart from this, arjuna powder cooked in cow’s milk can also be taken to control diarrhea.
- Taking Arjun Kwath mixed with milk in the morning and evening is beneficial for bronchitis.
- Taking 3 to 5 spoons of Arjun Kwath mixed with a cup of milk is beneficial in urinary tract infections.
- Arjuna bark (Churna) and white sandalwood Kwath (decoction) are beneficial in Spermatorrhoea in men and metrorrhagia and leucorrhoea in women.
- Consuming arjuna bark with milk helps in reconciling the broken bone. Apart from this, applying the paste of Arjuna bark in place of broken bones also promotes the healing of the fracture.
- In Pittaja Prameha (diabetes), making a decoction of Arjuna, neem, gooseberry bark, turmeric, and Nilkamal and mixing honey in it relives In Pittaja Prameha (diabetes associated with pitta dosha).
- Arjuna bark decoction or tea is beneficial for fever.
- Applying Arjuna bark powder mixed with honey on the face eliminates skin problems like pimples and allergies.
Arjuna side effects and precautions
- So far, no serious side effects have been reported for the medical use of arjuna. It is very useful in heart-related diseases such as angina pectoris, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (dyslipidemia). Apart from this, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are effective in many diseases.
- According to Modern studies arjuna may interact with anticoagulants or blood thinners. Before using arjuna, you should consult your doctor if you are taking any allopathic medications.
- Breastfeeding women are generally advised not to take Arjuna.
- Due to its anti-hypertensive property, Arjuna may lower blood pressure, so if you are taking any anti-hypertensive medication, consult your doctor before using it.
- Pregnant women are also generally advised to avoid the use of arjuna.
- Arjuna may lower the heart rate, so it is not recommended for people with Hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Apart from these, it is better to use Arjuna in limited quantity and only on the advice of the doctor. Consuming in excess can cause symptoms like constipation, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
Arjuna recommended Dose
If you are using arjuna for the management of a specific disease, you should consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.
- Ksheera Paaka (when cooked with milk) — 5-10 gm, or as advised by the physician.
- Rasa (juice) — 5-10 ml, or as advised.
- Kwath (Decoction) — 50-100 mg or as directed by the doctor.
- Powder — 2-6 gm or as per doctor’s advice
- Tablet – 1 tablet twice a day or as prescribed by the ayurvedic Physician.
What are the health benefits of Arjuna Powder?
Arjuna powder strengthens the heart due to its Hridya (cardiac tonic) property. It pacifies aggravated Kapha and helps in managing the proper functioning of the heart. It has beneficial antioxidants that improve overall cardiac health. Its anti-hypertensive nature also helps to lower high blood pressure.
Is Arjuna bark (Chal) useful for high cholesterol levels?
Yes, Arjuna is a well-known Anticholesteremic that helps reduce high cholesterol. It reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL) level and improves the good cholesterol (HDL). Its Kapha pacifying qualities help in reducing the aggravated Kapha. and also pacifies Vata dosha thereby relieving any associated chest pain, heaviness, etc.
Apart from these, it reduces the blockage of blood vessels and also normalizes the heart rate.
Does Arjuna Improve Fertility?
Yes, Arjuna is useful in increasing fertility. Arjuna bark contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc. It helps in increasing the number of new sperm cells as well as it strengthens the body and also helps in improving overall strength.
Does Arjuna Powder Boost Immunity?
Yes, Arjuna helps in boosting immunity of the body. Experimental studies indicate arjuna as an immunomodulatory agent6Gaherwal, S., Anare, R., & Wast, N. (2014). Immunomodulatory Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna Against Aspicularis tetraptera in Mice., it can be a good immunomodulator and can enhance the immune response of the host.
Is Arjuna helpful in treating piles?
Yes, being Kashaya (astringent), which makes it beneficial in the treatment of bleeding piles. being Sheeta (cold) in nature also gives relief from the pain while passing stool. But It should be consumed in limited quantity and on the advice of the doctor. if taken in excess, it can cause constipation.
- 1Amalraj, Augustine & Gopi, Sreeraj. (2016). Medicinal properties of Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.: A review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 7. 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.02.003.
- 2Maulik SK, Talwar KK. Therapeutic potential of Terminalia arjuna in cardiovascular disorders. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2012;12(3):157-163. doi:10.2165/11598990-000000000-00000
- 3Dwivedi S, Chopra D. Revisiting Terminalia arjuna – An Ancient Cardiovascular Drug. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014;4(4):224-231. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.139103
- 4Kapoor, D., Vijayvergiya, R., & Dhawan, V. (2014). Terminalia arjuna in coronary artery disease: ethnopharmacology, pre-clinical, clinical & safety evaluation. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 155(2), 1029–1045. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.056
- 5Bharani, A., Ganguli, A., Mathur, L. K., Jamra, Y., & Raman, P. G. (2002). Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna in chronic stable angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing Terminalia arjuna with isosorbide mononitrate. Indian heart journal, 54(2), 170–175.
- 6Gaherwal, S., Anare, R., & Wast, N. (2014). Immunomodulatory Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna Against Aspicularis tetraptera in Mice.