Botanical name: Terminalia arjuna
The arjuna is about 20–25 metres tall; usually has a buttressed trunk, and forms a wide canopy at the crown, from which branches drop downwards. It has oblong, conical leaves which are green on the top and brown below; smooth, grey bark; it has pale yellow flowers which appear between March and June; its fibrous woody fruit, divided into five wings, appears between September and November.
It is named after the hero of the famous epic “Mahabharata”, because of its protective effects. The arjuna was introduced into Ayurveda as a treatment for heart disease by Vagbhata, which is why it got the nickname “Guardian of the heart”. It is traditionally prepared as a milk decoction.In the Ashtānga Hridayam, but was also mentioned in many ancient Indian vedas, and was a known practice for thousands of years, passed down by tradition, before vagbhata mentioned it in his writings. Vagbhata mentions arjuna in the treatment of wounds, hemorrhages and ulcers, applied topically as a powder. Arjuna is an excellent medicine for Heart, it has the capability to even reverse heart failure.
The arjuna is one of the species whose leaves are fed on by the Antheraea paphia moth which produces the tassar silk, a wild silk of commercial importance.
The bark of Arjuna tree is a well-known heart tonic and is useful in treatment of all forms of heart disease. The bark is cardioprotective, cardio tonic, removes obstruction from fluid channels, astringent and capable of reducing fever. It is effective in treatment of elevated blood pressure, palpitation of heart and angina.
The bark has anti-dysenteric, astringent, anti-asthmatic, fever reducing, expectorant, cardio tonic aphrodisiac and diuretic properties. Bark works on central nervous system, circulatory system and reproductive system.
The fruits are deobstruent (possess power to open the natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body).
The tree bark is also useful in ulcers, fractures, cardiopathy, fatigue, asthma, bronchitis, tumours, internal and external haemorrhages, cirrhosis of the liver, anaemia and diabetes. In bone fractures, bark powder is taken with milk. The bark has diuretic (stimulates urine production) action.
For chest pain, increased heart beats, anxiety and similar heart related problems, regularly eat Arjuna bark Halwa. It is prepared similar to any other halwa. First, wheat flour (20 g) is roasted well in Gau-ghrita (Cow’s milk ghee). Then 3-6 grams of Arjuna bark, sugar/misri as per taste and water is added to prepare halwa.
In various heart diseases, palpitation, angina, weakness of heart and as a cardio tonic, Arjun Ksheer Pak is an effective home remedy.