Arjuna: A real hero for the heart

Introduction

“If the heart is strong then the mind will be clear and spirit becomes calm.” Do you know that about a million people die every year from some sort of heart problem ? And cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of increased mortality rate in the world. It’s tragic ! However a rise in awareness amongst people, we now are becoming more cautious about our health, especially the ‘Heart Health’. But not too many of us are familiar with the knowledge of herbal component that by adding to our day routine, can easily impact the overall health of our heart. One of such herbal component I will be discussing about in our nineteenth episode of the series #SacredIndianHerbs is Arjuna.

Scientific name: Terminalia arjuna
English name: Malabar almond
Hindi name: Arjuna, koha, arjan

Arjuna is a legendary hero of the Hindu epic, the “Mahabharata”, for being a fearful warrior with divine nature. Likewise, the Arjuna tree is considered as hero of heart health with divine healing properties and for blessing us a longer life. The arjuna tree is a large evergreen tree that grows upto 25 m of height and is found particularly in the plains of North India. The tree constitutes conical and tender green leaves that appears like the leaves of guava tree from a certain distance. However they are pubescent from beneath that makes it distinguish from many trees of its family. The leaves are in pair and the tree bears small white flowers. The fruits are oval and elongated in shape without seeds. The bark is grey and smooth. As per Ayurveda, arjuna is a valuable component in the treatment of various heart related issues so let's find out more about it.

Cardiovascular health

If I talk about my experience, then there is none other better option for curing heart disorders than Arjuna. I have seen how various patients with manifestation of heart failure, episodes of angina, hypertension, atherosclerosis etc have been administered arjuna bark powder because of its cardioprotective properties. And later, when the tests were conducted, a massive improvement in the conditions of their heart was noticed. The bark of arjuna tree is consumed internally to treat a range of heart conditions, especially when blood supply to the heart is poor. So, to strengthen cardiac muscle, eradicating the plaque deposition in blood vessels and normalising the heart beat, 5-10g arjuna bark powder can be consumed daily for effective results.

Bone health

The bark of arjuna tree constitute saponins, antioxidants and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc that aids to improve bone loss and bone mineral density. Since calcium is in higher amounts, it has been used traditionally to strengthen bones and heal fractures. Whenever someone experience bone injury or fracture, he/she can take 5g powder along with water two times a day. It will speed up the recovery process for bone healing and aid to join the fracture segments.

Gastric health

Arjun leaves are astringent in taste. However they are quite helpful in treating diarrhea. The juice is extracted from the leaves and is given 1-2 teaspoon of it along with other medications for immediate benefits. This will help to reduce frequency of defecation and also eradicates the infection.

Bleeding disorders/Raktapitta

Arjuna is used in Ayurveda for bleeding disorders along with other herbs due to presence of anti-hemorrhagic property in it which helps to reduce bleeding and treats haemorrhages. The leaves of arjuna, mango and jamun tree are taken and juice is extracted out of the leaves. You can consume 10ml of this juice daily for 3-4 times a day. The juice aids in vasoconstriction of the blood vessels which can be used as a first aid in stopping abnormal bleeding through the mouth, nose, genitals or stools.

Arjuna ksheer pak: An easy way to consume!

Arjuna ksheer pak is an ayurvedic recipe prepared in milk that enhances the taste and nutrient value of the herb. Take 1 cup of cow milk, add 1 cup of water and 5-10g of arjuna bark powder. Heat the mixture at lowest setting till all water gets evaporated. When one cup of the decoction is left in the pan, turn off the flame. This leftover decoction is called Arjuna Ksheer which is then allowed to cool for sometime. Most people consume it after filtering but I would recommend to consume it without any filtration. Regular use of the ksheer pak will lead to stabilisation of the heart conditions and also shields you from surgeries and/or various chemical medications.

Healthy heart pakoras : Alternative recipe

It doesn't matter if its raining or not, we Indians scream out loud whenever we see a large plate of pakoras. Since a cardiac patient is restricted to enjoy these pakoras because of increased oil and salt content in them, here we got you a recipe of making healthy pakoras at home which you can consume them without worrying about your heart health. Mix the extract of arjuna bark or arjuna bark kwath with the flour so that it turns into a loose consistency dough. You may add salt, green chillies, potatoes or other items/ingredients as per your taste. Now heat oil in a deep-frying pan on medium-high heat (prefer cow ghee or sesame oil). Gently drop spoonfuls of dough into oil and fry them. The pakoras are then ready to serve. They will not only add another dish in your favourite food list but also prevents from worsening the heart conditions and aids to treat heart diseases in initial stages. Also, atherosclerosis caused due to deposition of cholesterol or fat in in the blood vessels can be prevented. So you can now estimate how much beneficial is arjuna for the heart.

Thus, the mother nature has provided us with abundance of powerful medicines which will help you not only in healing your heart but also will make you live longer. Respect them and see their magic !

Dr_vinod_pr_upadhyay

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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri

Haridwar

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