Herbs Profile

Arjuna (Arjuna Myrobalan)

arjunaArjuna means ‘white’ or ‘shining’, named after its bark which 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’ 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.

Common name Arjuna myrobalan (E), Arjun (H) Sanskrit Arjuna, Kakubha Latin Terminalia arjuna–Cortex (Combretaceae)


  • Rasa (taste) Astringent, bitter
  • Vı-rya (energy) Cooling
  • Vipa-ka (post-digestive effect) Pungent
  • Gun.a (quality) Light, dry
  • Dos.a effect Tridoshic, KP
  • Dha-tu (tissue) Plasma, blood, bone, reproductive
  • Srotas (channel) Circulatory, reproductive


  • Tannins
  • Triterpenoid saponins Arjungenin, arjunglycocides
  • Flavonoids Arjunone, arjunolone
  • Phytosterols


  • Hr.daya Heart tonic
  • Varn. ya Ulcer healing, diabetic ulcers
  • Pramehaghna Urinary disorders, diabetic problems
  • Medas-hara Reduces fat tissue
  • Mu-travirecana Diuretic
  • Va-j ı-karan.a Aphrodisiac
  • Rakta´sodhana Purifies excess pitta from the blood
  • Raktastambhaka Vulnerary, stops bleeding
  • Sandha-nı-ya Mends bones
  • Purı-s.
  • asam. grahan.ı – ya Constipative
  • Ka-sa´sva-sahara Alleviates cough and breathing disorders
  • Kaphapittajit Conquers kapha and pitta
  • Udardaprasa-ran. a Alleviates urticaria


Cardioprotective, cardiotonic, hypolipidaemic, hepatoprotective, alterative, diuretic, vulnerary


Heart Angina, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension have all showed signs of improvement in human clinical trials. Arjuna has also been shown to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It reduces inflammation (P) and congestion (K) that can damage the heart. 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 Its affinity for the chest directs arjuna to the lungs and can help alleviate productive coughs with copious mucus in bronchitis and asthma due to excess kapha. It can also treat haemoptysis from high pitta.

Liver Cirrhosis; it improves liver function and inflammation (Dwivedi 1987).

Skin Useful as an alterative for clearing the skin of pitta inflammations; acne, acne rosacea, pruritus and urticaria (Paranjpe 2001).

Tissue Its wound healing ability is demonstrated in post-trauma healing of scars, post-operative recovery and repairing fractures. A paste or tincture applied externally can rapidly hasten healing. It is used internally and externally for healing diabetic ulcers.

Reproductive tissues Its astringency prevents premature ejaculation and uterine bleeding.


* Ashwagandha, amalaki, bala for cardiac disorders associated with hypofunction.

* Turmeric, kutki for hepatic dysfunction.

* Sariva, sandalwood, neem, manjishtha for skin problems with inflammation.

* Guggulu, frankincense, myrrh for high cholesterol and congestive disorders.


Pregnancy, constipation


No drug–herb interactions are known


1–6g per day (dried bark) or 3–15ml per day of a 1:3 @ 45% tincture.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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