Boerhavia diffusa, also known as punarnava, red spiderling, tar vine, and red hogweed, is a small flowering vine of the four o'clock family. It grows in disturbed areas, agricultural fields, marshy environments, coastal areas, and pastures at altitudes up to 6,500 feet. Described by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum of 1753, the plant grows in Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, the southern United States, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Punarnava is an important medicinal plant in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia in India, as well as other traditional and herbal medicine systems throughout the world.

This herbaceous vine grows low to the ground, characterized by long, sprawling branches that originate from a taproot and that often measure more than one meter long. The slightly wooly, ovate leaves grow in unequal pairs. Its small flowers, approximately 5 mm in size, range in color from white to purplish pink and form clustered heads that reach above the leafy branches. It bears small, sticky fruits that lie close to the ground. The fruits stick to clothing, fur, and feathers, a factor that speeds the herb's dispersal. Although it is classified as an invasive species by the Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International, it is included in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility database as an essential medicinal herb.

punarnava root health benefits - dendera naturally

Punarnava Root Health Benefirs

The name Punarnava means rejuvenation or renewal, based on the Sanskrit roots punar, meaning once again, and nava, meaning to make new. It is considered a rejuvenating herb, used for many purposes. Punarnava root health benefits including as an immune function booster, liver detox, and tonic, pain killer, and anti-inflammatory. It also promotes kidney health and ameliorates asthma.

Scientific studies suggest a broad range of known and potential therapeutic applications, including reducing blood sugar levels and rejuvenating pancreatic beta cells. It also has antibacterial effects on several types of bacteria, including E. coli and P. aeruginosa, which can cause urinary and gastrointestinal tract infections as well as systemic infections in people with compromised immune systems.

Boerhavia diffusa works as an anticonvulsant and reduces stress. One of its primary uses is to improve liver functions and improve kidney health, acting as a liver detox agent. It reduces inflammation and pain. Studies show potential for cancer prevention due to its antioxidant enzymes and the ability to inhibit cancerous cell reproduction. In general, it serves as a rejuvenator.

The entire plant has medicinal properties. The leaves can be chewed, powdered, brewed, or used as a poultice. The roots are rich in fats and proteins, beneficial for treating kidney stones, pain, and depression. The herb is also used as a diuretic and promotes weight loss by burning excess fat.

Chemical Compounds That Contribute to Therapeutic Benefits
Plants contain phytochemical constituents, which are natural compounds that foster plant growth, protect the plant, and ward off diseases. Many include bioactive components that benefit people and are used for their therapeutic and medicinal value. Boerhavia diffusa contains a wide assortment of bioactive compounds, including:

 • Phenolic acids, including flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, and indol compounds. These compounds have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory values.
 • Terpenes, known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. They are often prepared as essential oils and are used in Ayurveda.
 • Alkaloids, used for their therapeutic value in both traditional and modern medicines. They are used for pain relief as muscle relaxants and demonstrate anti-cancer and antimicrobial benefits. Punarnavine, an alkaloid present in Boerhavia diffusa, shows promise in reducing cancerous tumors.
 • Steroids, used for inflammation, pain, and whole-body rejuvenation.
 • Carbohydrates.
 • Fats.
 • Fifteen amino acids, including six essential amino acids in the plant and seven in the root.
 • Glycoproteins with strong antimicrobial values.

Modern medicine recognizes the beneficial aspects of these compounds for health. Although traditional medicines recognize the broad therapeutic value of punarnava, allopathic medicine is just beginning to verify these treatments. Controlled laboratory studies show the potential health benefits of Boerhavia diffusa, including cancer treatment, kidney, and liver health, controlling blood sugar levels, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Many of the studies cited above urge in-depth trials and continued research into exploring the herb Punarnava root health benefits. Click here to see our clean label herbal supplements with Punarnava.
Dendera Naturally