Punarnava, Red spiderling, boerhavia diffusa

Punarnava or Red spiderling (boerhavia diffusa, family: nyctaginaceae) is a profusely branched flowering herb with creeping nature. This deep rooted glabrous herb is very widespread, and has become naturalized in the tropical and sub-tropical areas. The perennial is found everywhere in Bangladesh as weed.

 

Different parts of the plant are used in insomnia, strangury, cough, fever, asthma, worm and rheumatism. The plant work as diuretic and analgesic.   


Common names: Red spiderling, Horse-purslane, Spreading hogweed, Tarvine.


Flowers are red, pink or white, small, on terminal inflorescence, perianth segments 5. 


Leaves appear two in one node, one smaller than the other, upper surface green and lower surface whitish, long petioled. Thick leaves are 2-4 cm long, ovate or oblong-cordate, entire or sinuate.



Fruits are ovate, oblong, five-ribbed pubescent, viscid, glandular. 



In Indian subcontinent whole plant, roots and leaves are being used as a traditional medicinal plant for thousand of years. 


Propagation is caused by seed. Its main root is hard and remains alive to produce new plant in the following year. 



The Sanskrit word 'Punarnava' means that which rejuvenates or renews the body in Ayurveda.