Schwabe News Volume 4 | Issue 9 | September 2013
Terminalia arjuna has a long history of use in India as cardiotonic. It is a large deciduous tree 25m. in height with thick trunk and horizontally spreading branches with thick bark, smooth and greenish-white flaking out in large flat pieces. It is found throughout in India (1). The bark contains active phytochemicals like Arjunine (2). The bark extract relieves hypertension, has diuretic and general tonic effect in liver cirrhosis cases (3).
It is a proved drug, which is normally used in Mother Tincture prepared from the bark. It is used clinically for diseases of heart, both organic and functional, in palpitation, weak cardiac function and in angina pectoris (4). It is official drug of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India.
The herb is best used to treat conditions where the blood supply to the heart is poor, for example in ischaemic heart disease and angina. It reduces blood cholesterol levels. It helps where the heart's rate and rhythm are to be normalised. It reduces blood pressure, supports normal heart functions, thus improves the health of the circulation and reduces the risk of developing a serious heart problem.
A recent research on it supplement the clinical observations of the past. Its extract has been reported to have anti-mutogenic activity (Department of Botanical Land Environmental Sciences, GND University, Amritsar). It has been found clinically efficacious in chronic stable angina in a double blind placebo controlled cross-over study comparing Terminalia arjuna with iso-sorbide mono-nitrate (Deptt., of Medicine, MGM Medical College and MY Hospital, Indore). Cardioprotective effect of the alcoholic extract in in vivo model of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury has been demonstrated at the Deptt., of Biochemistry, University of Madras, Chennai. A naphthanol glycoside from the drug has antioxidant and nitric oxide inhibitory activity (Faculty of Pharmacy, Hamdard University, New Delhi). At the University of Piragua, Italy, the drug has been found to possess antimutagenic property and was demonstrated to inhibit genotoxicity reducing the damages to DNA. These show a deep link of the drug in cardio preventive activities. In a recent animal study, its cardioprotective potential against chemically induced myocardial injury in rabbits was confirmed.(5)
Recommended dose: Mother tincture, 20-30 drops thrice daily. In acute condition, every 3 hourly.
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