10 Punarnava Remedies: Urinary Calculi, Pedal Edema, UTI

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
Punarnava is a well known Ayurvedic plant appreciated for its diuretic and cooling properties. Its roots, seeds, leaves and whole plant are used for remedies and treatment.  

Botanical name – Boerhavia diffusa Linn
Nyctaginaceae family.
Common name – Spreading hog weed.
The plant is available in two forms white and black (red). The second one is more effective in clinical field.

Ayurvedic texts appreciate this plant for potent anti inflammatory, rejuvenative, diuretic and haemetenic benefits. The drug possesses cold potency (Sheeta veerya) and is pungent followed bitter in taste. Also the drug is mainly pitta pacifyionh in nature.
Read related: Punarnava: Boerhavia diffusa Benefits, Dose, Side Effects

The herb contains beta-sitosterol, alpha-2-sitosterol, palmitic acid, arachidic acid, hentriacontane, ursolic acid, hypoxanthine-9-arabinofuranoside, two retinoids- boeravinone A, B, C, D, E & F, two new retinoids- repenone & repenol, bothavine etc. The main constituents are Punarnav Side (antifibrinolytic glycoside), boeravinone A-E, lignans, flavones, sterols, boeravinone and hypoxanthine-9-L-arabinofuranoside. They have anti imnflammatory, analagesic and rejuvinative properties.

Punarnavasava, Punarnavadi kashaya, Punarnavashthaka kashaya, Punarnava mandoora, Punarnavadi guggulu, Amritaprasha ghrita etc are the important formulations of the herbal drug.

Few simple remedies and their health benefits are mentioned here below-
1. Punarnava root decoction in dysuria, pedal oedema and urinary obstruction:
The roots of Punarnava(15-20 gram) is taken and decoction is made. This is consumed in the dose of 30-40 ml twice or thrice a day. This is effective in the conditions like dysuria and urinary obstruction.

General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) of coarse powder of the herb is added with 2 cups of water. Boiled in open air till the total content is reduced to 1 cup. This is filtered and used.

2. Punarnava whole plant juice with a pinch of baking soda in distention of abdomen and burping:
Fresh juice is obtained from the whole plant of Punarnava. This is taken internally in the dose of 20-30 ml by adding a pinch of Baking soda. This is effective in abdominal distention and in acid belching and burping.

3. Punarnava seeds decoction for urinary calculi:
Fine powder (1-2 gram) of Punarnava seeds or its decoction (30-40 ml) is taken regularly for a period of 10-12 days. This helps to flush out the urinary calculi of 5-8 mm size.

4. Punarnava, Tribulus, Coriander hot infusion for recurrent UTI :
Punarnava, Tribulus and coriander are taken in equal quantities. Decoction or hot infusion is prepared. This is administered twice or thrice daily. It is very effective against the burning urination, dysuria and in urinary tract infections.

5. Fine paste of the leaves in swelling of eyes:
Freshly obtained leaves are made into fine paste and applied over closed eyes. This brings cooling effect and hence relieves swelling of the eyes.

6. Fresh leaf juice instillation to the eyes in conjunctivitis:
2-3 drops of fresh juice of the plant is instilled as eye drops. This is very effective against the conjunctivitis and for purulent discharges of the eyes.

7. Poultice of whole plants in pedal oedema:
Whole plant is made into fine paste and warmed a little. This is applied to the extremities where the swelling is found. Regular application reduces the swelling of the body parts.

8. Fine paste with tender coconut water in urinary calculi, biliary stones and dysurea:
Fresh drug is taken and fine paste is made. 1-2 gram of this paste is taken along with a cup of tender coconut water; or else this paste is mixed with tender coconut water and kept for a while. Thereafter it is filtered and used for drinking. This has very good effect in UTI, urinary calculi, burning during urination, biliary stones and in menopausal syndromes.

9. Root with rice washed water in leucorrhoea and amenorrhea:
The root or whole plant is made into fine powder. This is taken in the dose of 1-2 gram along with rice washed water or rice gruel (super-natant part of red rice/boiled rice gruel). It is a natural and safe and effective haemetenic and effective in leucorrhoea and amenorrhea.

10. Hot infusion or decoction of Punarnava and Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri) in jaundice:
The hot infusion or decoction is made and administered in the dose of 30-40 ml twice daily in adults. In children the dose can be restricted to 20 ml. This is effective in obstructive jaundice. It acts as cholegogue (pittasaraka) also.

In many part of the country this is used as a vegetable also. This is very beneficial to those who are suffering from heart diseases and anemia. However there is need to popularize this herb as a vegetable. Such a move will help the sufferers who are in search of new varieties (changes) in their diet, tailor made for their disease.
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  1. That’s an idea Dr Krishnamurthy – its leaves could be chopped up and used in savoury pancakes or chapati just like fenugreek leaves are used.

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