Boerhaavia diffusa (Nyctaginaceae) is one of the most famous medicinal plants in India; it is a perennial herbaceous plant growing in tropical regions such as the Antilles, South America, India and Africa. It is a perennial herb from a fusiform root. Stem is decumbent or ascending, 4-10 cm in length. Leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, two of an unequal node, broadly ovate or sub-orbicular, obtuse to rounded or sub-cordate at the base. Flowers are in pendunculate, glomerulate clusters arranged, axillary or terminal corymbs. Fruits are ovoid or sub-ellipsoid, rounded on the apex, slightly cuneate, 5-lobbes and are very glandular. Flowering and fruiting occurs throughout the year in indian conditions.
Chemical composition – The plant contains a large number of compounds such as flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, triterpenoids, lipids, lignins, carbohydrates, proteins, and glycoproteins, boerhavinon, punarnavine, ursolic acid, punarnavoside, lyrodendrin a glycoprotein. The plant contains arachidic acid, beta-sitosterol, palmitic acid, ester of beta-sitosterol, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic. The root contains 14 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. Plant contains large amounts of potassium nitrate alongwith punarnavine. Other chemical components include rotenoides, boerhavinones such as boerhavinone A-F.
Properties – Apetizer, diuretic, liver detoxifier, expectorant, astringent, carminative, anti-arthritic, digestive, hepatoprotector, urinary tract protector antianemic, rejuvenator, anti-asthmatic, antitussive.
Recommendation – Liver disorders (jaundice and hepatitis), pain and stone of gallbladder, urinary tract disorders, kidney disorders, renal calculi, cystitis, nephritis, anemia, cardiovascular disorders, leucorrhoea, asthma, dyspepsia, tumors, abdominal pain, splenomegaly, ophthalmia joint pain, lumbago, scabies, gonorrhea, edema etc..