What are the Health Benefits of Punarnava Herb (Boerhavia diffusa)


Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa is also known with various other names like Tarvine, Red Spiderling, Horse Purslane, Red Hogweed, and Spreading Hogweed. The word ‘Punarnava’ means to bring back the life or renew/rejuvenate life full of vigor and vitality.

Punarnava is a creeper that grows in the regions of India, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Brazil almost throughout the year. The plant bears small fleshy leaves, small reddish-pink flowers, and fruits in winter. There are two main varieties of this plant (red and white), and both are used for medicinal benefits. The leaves and roots of this herb are used to treat various health problems ranging from abdominal pain and inflammation to heart conditions. This plant is bitter in taste and has a cooling effect on the body. The herb possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, adaptogenic, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties.

Punarnava is a medicinal herb which has numerous health benefits like it maintains healthy digestion, alleviate fluid retention, useful in managing heart and liver problems. It helps to keep lipids and cholesterol in healthy limits and overcome respiratory distress. Punarnava is recommended for patients with anemia, gout, and hernia. It acts as a blood purifier and enhances immunity.  The herb is used in Brazilian herbal medicine to stimulate the emptying of the gallbladder

What are the Health Benefits of Punarnava Herb (Boerhavia diffusa)

Some of the most well-known health benefits of consuming Punarnava herb are listed below:

Kidney Disorders:

  • Primarily, Punarnava is beneficial for kidney disorders. The herb is mentioned in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita for being able to tackle renal conditions like the ones where the excessive protein is excreted in urine. The herb has the ability to reduce the size of kidney stones and helps in preventing the formation of further stones. This herb helps in preventing the deposition of calcium oxalate stones.
  • The diuretic property of this herb help to prevent dropsy and ensure regular urination thereby preventing ascites and stones which are formed due to irregular urine or accumulation of fluids in the body tissues. An extract from the Punarnava root is used as kidney and liver tonic. This improves the functioning of kidneys get damaged by the diabetes.

Urinary Tract Infections:

  • The herb helps against urinary tract disorders that may occur in both males and females. The anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of the herbs helps in clearing out the infection efficiently. Punarnava herb may be used during pregnancy to treat UTI. It should be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

Nerve Rejuvenator:

  • Punarnava is an excellent nerve rejuvenator that is recommended for nervous weakness, paralysis, and sciatic pain.

Treating Obesity:

  • Punarnava is a diuretic and mild laxative, thus it helps in detoxifying the body and prevents unnecessary fluid retention. The herb helps in stimulating excretion and the removal of extra fluids from the body without losing potassium or other electrolytes that are needed by the body. It helps in improving appetite. Punarnava is an important ingredient in lots of body slimming formulas.

Liver Support:

  • Punarnava is extremely beneficial herb for the liver as it helps to stimulate the secretion of bile on a regular basis thus keeps the most important organ of the body healthy. It is a hepato-protective which is used for the treatment of jaundice or hepatitis and fever associated with it. The root, when taken in liquid form is more effective than in powdered form as it is more easily absorbed in the body.

Treating Respiratory disorders:

  • Punarnava is one of the best natural herbal cures for respiratory diseases like pneumonia and dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing). It helps to remove mucus from the bronchial tubes hence it is very effective in treating asthma. Punarnava is used as an expectorant and for clearing nasal congestion. It has the ability to relax the airways and curb spasms. This herb supports lung function and respiratory health that helps to reduce a productive cough.

Remedy for Eye Diseases:

  • The fresh juice of Punarnava roots instilled into the eyes help to cure ailments like night blindness, conjunctivitis, andeyes irritation. The juice of the leaves may be mixed with honey and used as an eye drop for treating ophthalmia or inflammation (swelling or watering eyes). Punarnava’s antimicrobial activity fight against a range of infections caused by germs like E coli, S aureus, and P aeruginosa. The Punarnava root is  mixed with ghee for collyrium  in corneal opacity condition. The roots rubbed in honey are locally applied for cataract and blepharitis.

Prevents Heart failure:

  • This herb can reduce the chance of getting a congestive heart failure. Punarnava is considered as a great heart tonic. It exerts a protective effect on the heart that contains phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant properties.

Remedy for Arthritis:

  • Punarnava is a very useful herb that manages the symptoms of arthritis. Decoction of the Punarnava leaves provide a lot of relief from pain in the joints and inflamed muscles. The paste prepared from the leaves of Punarnava herb is applied topically over the affected painful area.

Treats Stomach Disorders:

  • Punarnava strengthens the stomach muscles and kills intestinal worms thus it helps to prevent various stomach infections and intestinal colic conditions.

Treats Sexual Disorders:

  • Punarnava is useful in treating erectile dysfunction. The seeds revitalize libido and decrease the chances of impotence. They revive the entire male reproductive organs and induce lots of vitality and vigor. The herb also improves the overall quality of semen.

Helping in Wounds

  • The paste from Punarnava roots may be applied directly on the wounds. This helps in drying up the oozing out of the wounds. It may be used as a dressing for swellings and ulcers.


  • It is used as a vegetable in African and Asian countries. In some places, Punarnava is also being used as fodder for livestock.
  • Punarnava herb is beneficial for the complete body and is a very good addition to a routine diet. The recommended dosage of Punarnava is 2 to 3 spoons twice a day with plain water.
  • It may cause a burning sensation in the throat if taken without water or on empty stomach.