The Benefits of Punarnava
Ayurvedic Herbs

The Benefits of Punarnava

The Benefits of Punarnava

 Considered one of the foremost herbs for the kidneys and liver, punarnava is a tridoshic herb that can pacify vatapitta, and especially kapha dosha.

Ayurveda also considers it a rasayana (rejuvenative). In fact, its name loosely translates as "the one that renews the old body," alluding to its deeply rejuvenative properties.1Other names for this herb include Indian hogweed, spreading hogweed, tarvine, Gadhapurana, and spiderling (so called because of its long, slender stems). 5678

Punarnava Benefits and Uses


It is particularly revered for its unique ability to gently purge the body of excess liquids and stagnation, which benefits many areas of the body, including the urinary system and joints.1213

From an Ayurvedic perspective, punarnava has a bitter and sweet taste (rasa), with a heating action (virya) and pungent post-digestive effect (vipaka). It is balancing for all doshas

Benefits of Punarnava

  • Digestion and Cleansing. Thanks to its heating qualities, punarnava enkindles agni (digestive fire) and can help stimulate a sluggish digestive system. It’s opening and cleansing, helping to cleanse out excess kapha, which makes way for nourishment to reach the tissues. 14
  • Healthy Weight Management. Punarnava assists the body with breaking down and digesting fat and absorbing excess fluids in the digestive system. This makes it an effective weight management ally—especially for those naturally prone to gaining weight. 15
  • Liver and Kidney Health. Well-known as a tonic for the liver and kidneys, punarnava is often used to support these areas of the body.16
  • Joint Comfort and Mobility. Punarnava has been traditionally used to bring comfort to the joints and muscles. It promotes comfortable movement of the joints, providing relief from joints experiencing pain due to imbalanced kapha.17
  • Supporting the Lungs. Its heating qualities also make it a powerful herb for melting excess kapha in the lungs and respiratory tract.18
  • Heart Health. Punarnava is said to be an excellent and nourishing herb for heart health due in part to its clearing action in the circulatory system.19

Modern Research on Punarnava

Over the years, many studies have been conducted regarding punarnava and its benefits, including studies on constituents of punarnava and formulas containing punarnava. Below are a few studies that have researched punarnava’s effects:

  • “Phytochemical, Therapeutic, and Ethnopharmacological Overview for a Traditionally Important Herb: Boerhavia diffusa Linn.” PubMed Abstract. May 2014.20
  • “A clinical study of Punarnava Mandura in the management of Pandu Roga in old age...” PubMed Abstract. Jul-Sep 2014.21
  • “Effect of punarnava on the visual acuity and refractive errors.” PubMed Abstract. May 1962.22

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