Terminalia arjuna – Cortex (Combretaceae)
Common name: Arjuna myrobalan (E), Arjun (H)
Sanskrit: Arjuna, Kakubha
Arjuna means ‘white’ or ‘shining’ named after its bark that literally reflects light wherever this huge tree grows. Its name is also associated with ‘Arjuna’ one of the heroes of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The pale white bark of the Arjuna tree ‘moults’ off naturally once a year; its new skin bringing new life. It is harvested when the tree is mature, thus attesting to its ability to prolong life, protect the elderly and strengthen the heart.
Arjuna is a large evergreen tree with typically pink-grey bark that peels away from the main frame of the trunk. It can grow up to 25 metres in height. The leaves can reach lengths of 15cm and the flowers are cup-shaped and a pale yellow. The fruits are fibrous and woody and shaped into five ‘wings’ appearing between September and November. The tree is normally found alongside river banks and is native to central and southern India.
How it Works
Arjuna bark influences an increase in levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione levels. This action provides protection against oxidative stress, with a particular affinity for heart tissue. Arjuna also displays a positive inotropic action upon heart muscle, balancing any irregular contractions and promoting a healthy blood pressure.
Arjuna mediates the inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis within the liver, improving cholesterol metabolism and also encouraging general hepatic cellular regeneration.
Arjuna has demonstrated anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-mutagenic activity against certain strains such as salmonella, E.coli and HIV. In addition, it has also shown the ability to heal damaged and wounded skin cells, and prevent the growth of tumours.
Into the Heart of Arjuna
- Arjuna is first and foremost a cardio tonic. Arjuna is specifically indicated for all heart based conditions, strengthening, nourishing and repairing heart and blood vessel tissue. It will influence a reduction in any inflammation and congestion that may be impairing heart function but also support any emotional tension and anxiety affecting the organ.
- The regenerative effect that this herb has on the liver, also makes it incredibly rejuvenative to the liver as an organ, improving overall efficiency and metabolism, with the added ability of improving cholesterol metabolism.
- Arjuna is also an excellent healer and rejuvenative to skin and bone tissue, supporting the body’s natural healing process with a particular focus upon broken skin and bones and damage caused by chronic viral and bacterial infection.
Heart: Arjuna is specifically indicated in angina, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and hypertension. All have showed signs of improving in human clinical trials. It has also been shown to reduce human total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It reduces inflammation and congestion that can damage the heart. It can be used to treat emotional disturbance and ‘broken heart’. It strengthens the muscles of the heart as well as toning the capillaries and improving flexibility which helps to prevent high blood pressure. It helps to balance the movement of vyana vayu in the heart and regulate circulation.
Lungs: Arjuna’s affinity for the chest directs it to the lungs and to alleviate productive coughs with copious mucus in bronchitis and asthma. It can also treat haemoptysis influenced by increased heat and inflammation.
Liver: Arjuna improves liver function and inflammation, making it highly indicated in cirrrosis.
Skin: Arjuna is useful as an alterative for clearing the skin of inflammation typical in acne, acne rosacea, pruritus and urticaria.
Tissue: The wound healing ability of Arjuna is demonstrated in post-trauma healing of scars, post-operative recovery and repairing fractures. It can also be used internally and externally for healing diabetic ulcers.
Reproductive: The astringency of Arjuna prevents premature ejaculation and uterine bleeding.