Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India
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Scientific Name: Boerhaavia diffusa Linn. Syn. B. repens;
B. repens var. diffusa
Family Name: Hog weed, Horse Purslane
Common Indian Names
Gujarati: Dholia-saturdo, Moto-satoda.
Sanskrit: Punarnava, Raktakanda, Shothaghni, Varshabhu
Habitat: Grows as common weed.
Botanical Description: Please see Table 1
Useful Parts: Root, leaves and seeds.
Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, Punarnava is bitter, cooling, astringent to bowels, useful in biliousness, blood impurities, leucorrhoea, anaemia, inflammations, heart diseases, asthma, alternatives etc. The leaves are useful in dyspepsia, tumours, spleen enlargement, abdominal pains. According to Unani system of medicine, the leaves are appetizer, alexiteric, useful in opthalmia, in joint pains. Seeds are tonic expectorant, carminative, useful in lumbago, scabies. The seeds are considered as promising blood purifier.
Traditional Medicinal Uses: In many parts of India, different parts of Punarnava are used as folk medicine.
Ayurveda Properties: Punarnavastaka, Punaravataila, Punarnavaleha etc.
Chemical Constituents: Punarnava contains b-Sitosterol, a-2-sitosterol, palmitic acid, ester of b-sitosterol, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic, stearic, arachidic acid, urosilic acid, Hentriacontane, b-Ecdysone, triacontanol etc.
Table 1. Major differences between B. diffusa and Boerhaavia elegans
|Characters||Boerhaavia diffusa||Boerhaavia elegans|
|Plant||A perennial herb from a fusiform root||An erect glabrous shrub|
|Stem||Prostrate, decumbent or ascending, 4-10 dm long, rather slender, divaricately branched||Annual, woody below, glabrous above, thinly pubescent near the base, terete|
|Leaves||Opposite or sub-opposite, two of a node unequal, broadly ovate or suborbicular, obtuse to rounded or subcordate at the base.||Linear-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, obtuse and often mucronulate at the apex|
|Flowers||In pendunculate, glomerulate clusters arranged in slender, long stalkcked, axillary or terminal corymbs||In large, lax, much branched, leafless, glabrous compound cymes above the leaves|
|Fruit||Obovoid or sub-ellipsoid, rounded above, slightly cuneate, below, broadly and bluntly 5-ribbed, very glandular throughout|
|Flowering and Fruiting||Throughout the year in Indian conditions||September to December in Indian conditions|
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