Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa)

Description of Plant

A perennial diffuse herb that consists of creeping stem that is usually purple in color. The plant is about 0.75-1m in length. Occasionally it grows up to 4mtrs in rainy seasons and dries in summer.

Leaves are usually whitish and smooth underneath and rough green on upper surface which are 2.5-4cm long, fleshy with soft hairs, whitish ventrally. Flowers are small, pink colored. Fruits are one seeded nuts which are round or circular, about 1cm long, containing seeds like cow's beans. Root are fairly long, somewhat circular and yellowish brown to brown colored, surface is twisted on drying. It is soft to touch but rough due to minute longitudinal markings and root scars, fracture and short. Flowering and fruiting of plant during winter.

General Description

Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) is rightly called so as it can brings back missing vigor and vitality. It is a brilliant natural diuretic and very important herb for urinary system. This herb can be white or red. It has been used since long times for the treatment of liver disorders such as jaundice and hepatitis. Throughout the tropical region, it is used as a natural remedy for guinea worms.

Boerhavia diffusa has important property as of being an anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective & diuretic agent.

Chemical composition of Punarnava consists of b-Sitosterol, a-2-sitosterol, palmitic acid, ester of b-sitosterol, hentriacontane, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic, stearic, arachidic acid, urosilic acid, b-Ecdysone, triacontanol etc.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Order - Caryophyllales
  • Family - Nyctaginaceae
  • Genus - Boerhavia
  • Species - B. Diffusa


It is found in Australia, Pakistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Brazil and USA, in several countries of the Middle East and in Myanmar, China, and India. Boerhavia diffusa is also indigenous herb to India and found all over the warmer parts of the country up to an altitude of 2000 m in the Himalayan region.


  • English Name - Spreading Hogweed, Red Hogweed, Horse purslane, Pigweed, Red spiderling, Tarvine
  • Tamil Name - Mukaratte- Kirai
  • Punjabi Name - Itsit
  • Marathi Name – Ghetuli
  • Telugu Name - Atikamamidi
  • Assamese name - Pananua
  • Bengali Name - Punarnova
  • Chinese Name - huang xi xin
  • French Name - (Fr. Guiana) ipecacuanha de Cayenne
  • Gujarati Name - Satodi
  • Hindi Name - Gadha-cand, Gadahpurna, Gadah bindo
  • Kannada Name - Komme
  • Konkani Name - Punarnava
  • Malayalam Name - Talutama, Tavilama
  • Marathi Name - Ghetoli, Ghetula, Punarnava, Vasu
  • Nepalese name - Punarnava
  • Spanish Name - Hierba de cabro
  • Tamil Name - Mukkurttaikkoti, Mukaratee-Kirei
  • Telugu Name - Atakamamidi
  • Urdu Name - Tukhm-i-ispas

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Madhura, Tikta, Kashaya Taste Sweet, Bitter, Astringent
Guna Laghu, Rooksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Ushna

Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances Pitta and Kapha doshas.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita
  • Vayahsthapana - Anti-aging group of herbs
  • Kasahara - Useful against cough
  • Anuvasanopaga - Group of herbs useful in oil enema
  • Svedopaga - Useful in sweating treatment
  • Madhurskanda - Group of herb with sweet taste.
  • Vidarigandhadi Gana

Ancient Verse about Boerhavia Diffusa

Ancient Verse about Boerhavia Diffusa
Ancient Verse about Boerhavia Diffusa

Bhavprakash nighantu edition of 1998: verse - 231-232, page no. - 422-424

It has two varieties Red Punarnava and White Punarnava.

The name and the properties of White Punarnava are (Punarnava, Shvetmula, Shothaghni, and Dhigrpatrika). White Punarnava is bitter and astringent in taste. It manages Anemia, Vata and Kapha Diseases. This herb promotes digestive fire, removes inflammation and toxins.

The name and properties of Red Punarnava are (Raktapunarnava, Raktapushpa, Shilatika, Shothaghni, Vashketu and Kathillaka). It is bitter in taste and cold in potency. Red Punarnava increases Vata dosha. It binds stool, manages (Kapha and Pitta dosha) related diseases and impurities of blood.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: edition of 1998: verse - 231-232, page no. - 422-424.

Practical Uses of Boerhavia Diffusa

  • Punarnava herb possess diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-arthritic, spasmolytic, antibacterial, analgesic, immunity booster and anti-ageing properties.
  • It is beneficial in arthritis as it reduces inflammation and pain in joints.
  • This herb is used in treating all the disorder of the kidneys as it can very efficiently decreases the urea levels in the body.
  • Punarnava is good to treat impotence and can enhance (libido, erection, quality and quantity of semen).
  • It acts as a carminative, increases appetite, reduces abdominal pain & relieve constipation too.
  • This is an herbal agent in reducing productive cough and asthma.
  • Punarnava herb shows good result in skin diseases like scabies and it is a brilliant natural remedy for guinea worms.
  • This herb is used in combination with other herbal ingredients to treat anemia.
  • It is used for renal calculi (kidney stone), cystitis and nephritis.
  • Punarnava is extensively used to rejuvenate liver and detoxify it.
  •  The herb give effective result in jaundice or hepatitis.
  • Boerhavia diffusa is a potent herb in Ayurvedic preparations for menorrhagia.
  • It has ability to rejuvenate whole body and health as it strengthens the body and normalizes doshas.

Ayurvedic Product from Boerhavia Diffusa by Planet Ayurveda

1. Punarnava Capsules

Punarnava Capsules are very helpful in the treatment of edema and water retention due to any reasons. It reduces the swelling and inflammation in a natural way. Planet Ayurveda Punarnava is a pure herbal product. Punarnava helps to promote health of the urinary tract and also helps to maintain efficient kidney function. It possesses diuretic properties and supports the body's ability to remove extra fluid. These capsules help in water retention caused by any reasons which can be liver, kidney and heart problems or even venous insufficiency.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

2. Punarnava Mandur

Punarnava mandur tablets are classical Ayurvedic formulation for many health conditions. They are excellent to improve blood count, improve blood quality, removes toxin from the blood, helpful in decreasing urea/creatinine, cholesterol and other toxins. These are natural diuretic tablets. Punarnava Mandur helps in ascites, renal failure, liver failure, fluid accumulation, swelling, puffy eyes, glaucoma, anemia, fatty liver and many other problems related with accumulation of fluid in the body tissues. It is a classical Ayurvedic formulation for anemia, low Platelet count, low RBC count, swelling around joints, generalized Swelling, gout and other endotoxins accumulation. In renal failure, it is used with Mutrakrichantak Churna for getting good results.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 tablets twice or thrice daily with plain water after meals.

3. Rencure Formula

This product has its roots in Ayurveda-ancient herbal healthcare system of India. According to Ayurveda the balance of 3 energies- Vata, Pitta and Kapha (Kinetic, Thermal and Potential energy) in the body is a disease free state whereas their imbalance cause diseases. The herbs in this product act synergistically to control vitiated Vata" "Pitta" and "Kapha". These 3 energies of the body, when vitiated cause organ failure, toxins accumulation and also cause kidney failure. The herbs maintain the balance of these energies and help in kidney function. This formula is packed with natural herbs useful for creatinine and avoid dialysis. The Rencure formula is a combination of herbs described in ancient texts as an effective alternative remedy for kidney failure and making it a useful herbal formulation for renal failure.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.

4. Varunadi Vati

Varunadi Vati is an Ayurvedic herbal product in tablet shape, formed from the purest extracts of various herbs. The best quality Varun (Crataeva nurvala) herb is taken for its production. The processing and packaging of the tablet is done using the best technology. There is minimal human intervention so as to ensure that the purest product reaches the consumers. The regular usage of Ayurvedic Varunadi Tablets reduces the chance of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Varunadi vati also helps to remove toxins accumulated in kidneys like urea and creatinine.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 tablets twice or thrice daily with plain water.

Part Used

  • Whole Plant
  • Root
  • Leaf


  • Whole plant: 20-30g for decoction
  • Root: 1-3 g powder; 10-20ml fresh juice


As it has excess of Iron & act as laxative, therefore this herb should be avoided by pregnant women.

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