Arjuna herb is a medicinal plant (Terminalia Arjuna) which has been used for centuries. The bark of the tree is effective for treating cardiovascular diseases and other medical issues. Interestingly, the bark is also made up of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, aluminum, zinc, and copper. Some essential plant chemicals found in the bark of arjuna include arjunetin, arjunine and lactone.
Additionally, the herb has rich quantities of Co-enzyme Q-10, which helps to improve cardiovascular health.
Now, let’s let you in on the benefits of arjuna.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The extract of arjuna bark improves the coronary artery flow and protects cardiac tissues against ischemic damage. The herb also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood lipid activity. Arjuna is made up of compounds that may be helpful in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and strengthening the muscles of the heart. The phytochemicals found in the bark of this tree also helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
In an animal study published in “Pharmacy and Pharmacology Communications” in July 2000, it was stated that arjuna extracts may significantly lower the serum cholesterol levels in rats by rapidly excreting bile acids, which in turn results in the liver increasingly absorbing cholesterol to produce more bile acids.
As a matter of fact, it is said that arjuna herb is able to reduce angina or chest pain and improve exercise capacity in patients with health-related diseases. Indian doctors in ancient times used the powdered bark of Arjuna in treating angina several cardiovascular conditions. Arjuna may have been used to treat cardiovascular diseases for long, but to avoid complications after use, it is best to consult a health care provider.
According to the “Current Science” journal published in January 2008, a component of the bark of arjuna plant known as arjunetin contains significant antibacterial properties that help in fighting against bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis.
However, it is advisable to note that more research is needed to prove the effect of arjuna on actual medical cases and so until then, the herb should be used only under the supervision of your doctor.
Arjuna possesses a substance known as casuarinin which prevents the growth of breast cancer cells. According to a study published in “World Journal of Gastroenterology” in 2006, the bark extracts can also destroy cancerous liver cells by inducing DNA destruction in the tumorous cells. The herb should, however, not take the place of your existing cancer medications, and consult your doctor before using it.
Improves Appearance of Skin
Arjuna helps to improve the skin appearance. For instance, to successfully treat acne, simply apply a paste made from the bark over the affected area. Arjuna’s astringent properties may help to inhibit acne.
Supports Antioxidant Activity
Arjuna herb has very strong antioxidant properties. Its stem barks minerals, glycosides, tannins, and large quantities of flavonoids. Flavonoids are known to help exert anti-inflammatory, lipid lowering and antioxidant effects while glycosides are cardiotonic.
Studies show that arjuna bark extracts have antioxidant properties and keep the body cells and organs safe from the deadly effects of free radicals. These free radicals are formed due to various metabolic processes that occur in the body. Upon interaction with the proteins and DNA of cells, these unstable molecules damage them. However, it is important to consult a health professional before using the herb as an antioxidant.
Provides DNA Protection
Arjuna contains compounds that are helpful in protecting against DNA damage caused by toxins. Studies have found that treating lymphocytes with arjuna bark extract beforehand leads to a significant reduction in the formation of micronuclei.
Remedy for Kidney Stone
Arjuna can be used to flush out small stones formed in the kidneys. By simply boiling, filtering and consuming the bark, kidney stones can be broken into pieces and removed totally.
Possesses Healing Power
The bark of the herb stimulates the heart, arrests secretion of bleeding, relieves fever and has a cooling effect. Arjuna bark powder could halt bleeding, accelerate blood clotting, and speed up the healing of wounds.
Arjuna is possibly safe when used orally for a short-term of about 3 months or less. But it is not advisable take it for too long without medical consultation.
Extremely high dosages of Arjuna can affect the heart, reduce thyroid gland activity, or lead to liver harm. Since not enough is known about the safety of arjuna, it’s best to avoid use until you talk to a qualified medical practitioner.
Precautions and Warnings
If you must take arjuna, kindly take note of the following:
Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
There is some evidence that arjuna may be unsafe during pregnancy. But there isn’t enough information on its safety for breast-feeding mothers. It’s best to remain on the safe side and avoid using the herb.
Arjuna might bring down blood sugar levels. So, for people with diabetes, their medications might need to be adjusted by their healthcare provider.
It’s important to note that arjuna might slow blood clotting. When this happens, the risk of bruising and bleeding might increase, especially in people with bleeding disorders.
The Bottom Line
Historically, the bark of the arjuna tree has been used to treat a variety of medical issues. Although it is well-tolerated by most people; there are also mild side effects such as headache, gastric issues, and body pain. In case you didn’t know, arjuna is a Dietary Supplement and is available over the counter without a prescription.
However, like it was stated earlier, arjuna may interfere with some prescription medications; hence, it is advisable to talk to a qualified health practitioner before using arjuna to treat any ailment.