In Ayurveda, Boerhavia diffusa (BD) is categorised as a plant of rasayana category and it is an important herbal constituent of various Ayurvedic formulations including Chyawanprash. It is a plant with tremendous widespread use .This perennial creeping weed is commonly known by the name “punarnava” which literally translates as “rejuvenator”. The whole plant as well as its different parts (leaves, roots and stems) and plant extracts have been widely used in various traditional and folklore systems of medicine for treatment of various ailments. In Ayurvedic texts, many formulations of different types contain it as major ingredient. The whole plant of B. diffusa fresh or dried is the source of the drug punarnava in Ayurvedic medicine system.


Boerhavia diffusa is prominent source of medicinally important natural compounds. Boerhavia diffusa is believed to have therapeutic effect in many disease conditions. In Ayurveda, it has been classified as “rasayana” ayurvedic herb which is said to possess properties like antiaging, preserving youthfulness, strengthening life and increases immunity. The extracts obtained from the leaves of the plant are known to contain antioxidants. Purnanava is effective as an anti bacterial and especially the leaf and root extracts of B. diffusa have been found to have antimicrobial activity against several bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. It provides protection against the common Gram negative bacteria. Boerhavia diffusa is known to exert a positive effect on the adaptability of an organism against any type of stress- physical, chemical, or biological. With many essential amino acids it is also considered to be a good nutritional supplement.

Boerhavia diffusa is a plant of repute in traditional systems of medicine in various parts of world. It contains diverse chemical compounds which have shown multiple therapeutic activities.

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  • Mishra, Shikha et al. “Phytochemical, Therapeutic, and Ethnopharmacological Overview for a Traditionally Important Herb:Boerhavia Diffusa ” BioMed Research International 2014 (2014): 808302. PMC. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.
  • Phytopharmajournal.com
  • BioMed Research International. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 808302, 19 pages. Phytochemical, Therapeutic, and Ethnopharmacological Overview for a Traditionally Important Herb: Boerhavia diffusa Linn. Shikha Mishra