Featured Herb for Kapha- Punarnava

As we move closer to the change of season it is a good idea to support our system by reducing the Kapha build up during the winter. Expelling Kapha from our system will get us in shape for the change of season, supporting our immune system to avoid the flu, allergies, mucus and other Kapha -related conditions.  

The featured Ayurvedic herb for this month is Punarnava Boerhaavia diffusa. This water-loving, creeping perennial flowers during the monsoon and grows all over India and Sri Lanka. The whole plant is used for its high medicinal value. Punarnava literally means ‘the plant that makes one new again’. Its rejuvenative action works through its opening and cleansing activity allowing effective nourishment to reach the tissues, making it perfect for spring cleansing.

Punarnava is a unique herb that helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions, alleviates coughs, nourishes the heart, alleviates colic, it is diuretic, and rejuvenative. An extract from the root is used as a kidney and liver tonic. It works as a blood purifier, gives immunity to the body, and improves functioning of lungs. Because of these qualities and it’s ability to improve kidney function, it can be helpful in diabetes.

Being a diuretic and mild laxative, it helps in detoxification and prevents fluid retention such a as excess fluids, swelling, oedema, and congestion from excess Kapha is specifically useful in congestive heart conditions, fluid retention and arthritic swellings with pitting and coldness sensations. It can also effectively be used in swollen joints with fluid retention caused by moving toxic accumulations out of the joints and tissues and expelling them through the kidneys and urine. Therefore is beneficial in gout and arthritis.

Punarnava increases the digestive fire and is useful in a sluggish digestive system. It absorbs fluids from the digestive system and can be constipating, so it should not be taken in excess. It prevents intestinal spasms and pain helping to treat flatulence, bloating and worms. It also can be combined with other herbs and spices for specific conditions. For example, used with arjuna, guggulu and tumeric in heart deficiency from high Vata and Kapha. And combined with coriander, gokshura, kalamegha in urinary tract infections.


Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Taste: bitter, sweet and pungent
  • Energy: cooling
  • Quality: dry and light
  • Doshas: Vata and Kapha reducing (in excess it increases vata)
  • Tissues: plasma, blood, fat, nerve and reproductive
  • Channels: digestive, urinary and plasma

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Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.