Arjuna is beneficial for angina and poor coronary circulation. It is also of benefit if the heart’s rate and rhythm are abnormal. By lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, and supporting normal heart function, arjuna improves the health of the circulation and reduces the risk of developing a serious heart problem.
myrobalan, White Marudah; Arjun, Arjuna, Koha, Kahu, Arjan (Hindi); Arjun – Sadada, Sadado (Gujrati); Bili-Holo-Nir-Tora Matti, Maddi (Canarese); Arjuna, Arjun Sadada, Sadura (Marathi); Arjuna, Dhanvi, Indradruma, Kakubha, Karvirak (Sanskrit); Arjuna, Sahajo (Oriya); Vellamatta (Tamil); Yerra maddi (Telugu); Orjun (Assam); Arjhan (Bengali); Arjuna (Punjabi)
The bark of the Arjuna tree has been used in Indian herbal medicine for at least 3,000 years and has always been valued as a remedy for the heart. The first person credited with prescribing arjuna for heart disease was Vagbhata, an Indian physician of the 7th century AD. Arjuna is an example of a herb for which the traditional use has been confirmed by modern pharmacological research.
Triterpenoids (arjunin, arjunic acid, arjunolic acid, arjungenin, and terminic acid), glycosides (arjunetin, arjunoside I, arjunoside II, arjunaphthanoloside and terminoside A), sitosterol; flavonoids (arjunolone, arjunone, bicalein, luteolin, gallic acid, ethyl gallate, quercetin, kempferol, pelorgonidin, oligomeric and proanthocyanidins), tannins and minerals
Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Anticancer, Antidiabetic, Antihypertensive, Antioxidant, Antiulcerogenic (GIT), Antiviral (systemically), Apoptosis inducer, Cardioprotective, Cardiotonic, Cytoprotective, Hypolipidaemic, Wound healing / Vulnerary.
Chronic cardiovascular diseases including chronic, stable angina, mild congestive heart failure, weakness of the heart, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
The primary benefit of Arjuna is the improvement of cardiac muscle function and improved pumping activity of the heart. It is thought that the saponin glycosides are the reason for the beneficial effects of Arjuna. The flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) it contains help to strengthen blood vessels and have antioxidant activity. Arjuna is used as a heart tonic to treat heart failure and oedema, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the ankles and legs because the heart is not circulating blood properly.
In a three-month study of angina patients who took Arjuna, Indian physicians tracked a number of health indicators, including blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, and frequency of angina attacks. Overall, there was a 50 percent reduction in the frequency of attacks, with lower systolic blood pressure and slightly increased HDL cholesterol levels. The more unstable angina, however, the less arjuna helped the condition in the first three months of treatment. However, a double-blind study over a period of twenty-four months led to reduced symptoms, increased mobility, and patient reports of increased quality of life.
Using arjuna regularly for one year can strengthen the heart to its best condition. In a review of seven articles on the use of Arjuna and heart disease, all showed positive effects lowering blood lipids (total and low-density lipoprotein [LDL, or “bad”] cholesterol). Using 500-milligram capsules of arjuna every eight hours, over six weeks, patients with congestive heart failure had fewer signs of poor heart function and improvements in breathing (shortness of breath was diminished) and they were less fatigued.
- No effect was found in severe congestive heart failure in early studies.
- Another study found 42% improvement in congestive heart failure, 62% improvement in symptoms of hypertension (with less improvement in actual hypertension) and 40% improvement in symptoms of cirrhosis.
- A case study of complete heart block due to ischaemia showed dramatic improvement to sinus rhythm after 3 months.
- Terminalia was found effective in alleviating anginal pain in a study on 30 patients, especially in cases with ectopic beats. It also improved risk factors such as hypertension
- A recent open study of the effects of Terminalia arjuna in angina patients found a 50% decrease in angina episodes (p<O.O1) in 15 patients with stable angina pectoris. Other symptoms of angina improved, including lowered systolic blood pressure and a delayed time to onset of angina. Patients with unstable angina did not show significant improvement.
- The general conclusion is that Terminalia is cardioprotective, not cardiotonic.
Dosage (Divided Daily)
- Dried Root: 1,000 – 6,000mg (Decoction for higher doses)
- Tincture: 2 – 6 mL (1:2)
- None known
- Minor adverse reactions possible: mild gastritis, headache and constipation.
Interactions with other drugs
- None known
Balch, P. A., & Bell, S. J. (2012). Prescription for herbal healing (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Avery.
Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
Bone, K. (1996). Clinical applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs: monographs for the western herbal practitioner. Warwick, Qld.: Phytotherapy.
Chevallier, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of herbal medicine (2nd American ed.). New York: DK Pub.
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