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Boerhavia diffusa - Punarnava

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Punarnava, Boerhavia diffusa

Punarnava is a species of flowering plant in the four o'clock family which is commonly known as punarnava. It is taken in herbal medicine for pain relief and other uses. The leaves of punarnava are often used as a green vegetable in many parts of India. It's family is Nyctaginaceae.[1]


Obesity, Dropsy, Blood pressure, Gastric disturbances, Asthma, Jaundice, Anascara, Anaemia, Internal inflammation, Indurated liver

Parts Used

Roots, Seeds, Leaves

Chemical Composition

Major components are sitosterol, Esters of sitosterol, Punarnavine, Boerhaavia acid, Boeravinone, Palmitic acid and many other compounds are present in this plant.[2]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Gonajali, Kommegida
Hindi Varshbhu
Malayalam Talutama, Tamilama
Tamil Caranai, Caranai ver
Telugu Ambati madu, Atikamamidi
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Punarnavah, Raktakanda
English Red spiderling


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent), Madhura (Sweet)


Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Pitta, Kapha



Perennial plant



Kind Shape Feature
Simple Ovate-cordiform Leaf Arrangement is Opposite



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Unisexual Pink 5-20 In terminal or axillary panicles of umbellate or capitate clusters


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Club-shaped anthocarp 7–10 mm (0.28–0.4 in.) long pome Fruiting throughout the year With hooked hairs {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings.

How to plant/cultivate

Boerhavia diffusa is widespread through much of the tropics and the subtropics and has also become naturalized in parts of the temperate zone Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil.[4]

Season to grow


Required Ecosystem/Climate

It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.[5]

Kind of soil needed

Light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil.

Commonly seen growing in areas

Open places near the sea, Dry river valleys, Along roadsides, Warm river valleys.

Photo Gallery


  1. Karnataka Aushadhiya Sasyagalu By Dr.Maagadi R Gurudeva, Page no:07
  2. Chemical constituents
  3. Morphology
  4. Cultivation Details
  5. Required Ecosystem/Climate

External Links