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Herb of the Month

Punarnava/Hog Weed

Botanical Name :- Boerhaavia diffusa


This Ayurvedic herb is found throughout India. It is a creeping and spreading perennial herb, with a stout root-stock and many erect or spreading branches. It grows up to 2 meters in length. The leaves of the plant are simple, broad, somewhat rough, thick and brittle. The flowers are pink or red in color. The fruits are oval in shape, dull green or brownish in color and about the size of caraway bean.
Ancient ayurvedic texts describe Punarnava as of two types, white and red. Both of them have identical medicinal value.
Punarnava is slightly bitter in taste and is considered hot, light and dry in effect. It balances all Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in the body. Besides potassium nitrate, it contains an alkaloid, which is known as punarnavine. Experimental studies have confirmed the diuretic properties of Punarnava. It is useful in obesity, anemia cases, loss of appetite, jaundice and chronic but non-specific febrile conditions. It is also anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative and also a heart tonic. Punarnava is also known to possess properties to cure skin and soft tissue infections.

Parts Used

The whole plant, particularly leaves, roots and seeds.

Healing power and curative properties:

Obesity click here for more details......

The herb has been used in indigenous medicine from time immemorial. Punarnava is highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity as almost all anti-obesity herbal preparations contain it in one or the other form. It is beneficial in the treatment of several common ailments.

Dropsy :

Punarnava increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is effective in the treatment of dropsy, a disease marked by an excessive collection of a watery fluid in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be given in the treatment of this disease. A liquid extract of the fresh or dry plant can also be given in doses of 4 to 6 gms.


The herb is useful in the treatment of ascities, a disease characterised by accumulation of fluid inside the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. Much more powerful effect on certain types of ascities that is caused due to the cirrhosis of the liver and chronic peritonitis.

Stomach disorders:

The herb is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of several stomach disorders, particularly intestinal colic. A powder of the root is given in doses of 5 gms thrice a day. It is also useful in killing or expelling intestinal worms.


Punarnava promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is, therefore, beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A powder of the root can be taken in small doses three times a day.


Punarnava is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.

Skin diseases

The root of the plant is an effective remedy for several skin diseases. A paste of the root can be applied beneficially as a dressing for oedematous swellings. A hot poultice of the root can be applied with gratifying results to ulcers, abscesses and similar skin diseases.

Other diseases:

The root of the plant is useful in the treatment of several diseases - particularly of the kidney and heart as well as gonorrhea. It is also valuable in oedema, anemia, cough, pluerisy, nervous weakness, constipation and paralysis.

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Punarnava :


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