Essential Facts About Boerhavia Root
- Botanical: Boerhavia Diffusa
- Sanskrit: Punarnava (meaning that which regenerates)
- Hindi: Gadha-cand, Gadah bindo
- English: Spreading hogweed, red spiderling, tarvine
- Rasa (taste): Sweet, bitter, and astringent
- Guna (qualities): Light and dry
- Virya (action): Hot
- Vipaka (post-digestive, metabolic effects): Pungent
- Dosha: Balances Pitta and Kapha
Boerhavia is native to India, where it grows in the warmer regions. It can even thrive as high as two thousand meters above sea level in the Himalayan mountain range.
Boerhavia also grows in various regions throughout Australia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Pakistan, and even in parts of the United States.
Boerhavia is a herb that is known to help restore energy and vigor to the human body. It’s a perennial herb with a creeping stem. The stem is often purple. The plant doesn’t usually grow much longer than a meter, though during heavy rains it has been known to grow up to 4 meters in length.
The leaves are green when seen from above, and they’re about 2.5 to 4 centimeters long. The leaves are covered with soft, small hairs.
The whole Boerhavia plant can be used for medicinal properties; that is, the roots, leaves, and flowers.
A number of major active compounds have been isolated and extracted from Boerhavia. The most well-understood compounds found in the plant include: Boerhavia acid, Boeravinone, palmitic acid, lignan glycosides, and various isoflavonoids and esters of sitosterol.
Medicinal Uses of Boerhavia Root
There are a number of potential medicinal uses of Boerhavia root.
Enhancing Sexual Health
Boerhavia has been used to help enhance all facets of sexual health for both men and women. It is most often used for men, to help enhance libido, sperm count, fertility, and to fight erectile dysfunction.
Enhancing Kidney Health
Boerhavia has been proven to be immensely useful for helping to treat various kidney disorders in both humans and animals. It can help to fight kidney stones, prevent renal failure, and enhance the overall strength and function of the kidneys.
Because of its potent ability to fight inflammation, Boerhavia can be useful for helping to fight off chronic pain, arthritis, and other inflammatory-related conditions. It can also be useful for warding off eczema and other inflammation-based skin conditions.
One of the oldest uses for Boerhavia is to help restore energy and balance to the body. Its various other mechanisms likely contribute to this – its ability to heal the kidneys, fight inflammation and function as an antioxidant could all lead to energy enhancement.
Usage and Dosage of Boerhavia Root
If you’re going to be using the whole Boerhavia plant, then you would likely want to make a decoction with somewhere between 20 and 30 grams of the plant.
If you are simply using powdered root, you shouldn’t need more than 3 grams. Mixing 1-3 grams of the powder with an ounce of juice will provide a good solution. You can also find it in Ayurveda formulas, like Chyawanprash.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)