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Arjun is a tree common in Central and South India. Its bark has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India) for the treatment of heart problems. Other uses of various parts of the Arjun tree include hemorrhage, diarrhea, irregular menstruation, skin ulcers, acne, wounds, and fractures.
What is the Scientific Evidence for Terminalia arjuna ?
A 1-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of 58 individuals evaluated the effectivness of terminalia for angina by comparing it against placebo and also against the standard drug isosorbide mononitrate. 1 The results indicated that the herb reduced anginal episodes and increased exercise capacity. It was more effective than placebo and approximately as effective as the medication.
A subsequent 3-month study compared the effectiveness of Terminal arjuna against placebo in 40 people with a recent heart attack. 2 All participants in this study suffered from a particular complication of a heart attack called ischaemic mitral regurgitation. The results showed that use of the herb improved heart function and reduced angina symptoms.
A combination Ayurvedic therapy called Abana, containing terminalia and approximately 40 other herbs, has also shown some promise for angina. This same study demonstrated that the herbal combination is also effective for reducing blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension. 3 The blood-pressure lowering effects of the Abana combo were also demonstrated in another study.4 According to the results of this study, Abana is approximately as effective for controlling blood pressure as the drug methyldopa.
A typical dosage of Terminalia arjunais 500 mg two or three times daily.
- Bharani A, Ganguli A, Mathur LK, et al. Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna in chronic stable angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing Terminalia arjuna with isosorbide mononitrate. Indian Heart J. 2002;54:170–175.
- Dwivedi S, Aggarwal A, Agarwal MP, et al. Role of Terminalia arjuna in ischaemic mitral regurgitation. Int JCardiol. 2005;100:507-8.
- Antani JA, Kulkarni RD, Antani NJ. Effect of Abana on ventricular function in ischemic heart disease. Jpn Heart J. 31(6):829-35.
- Dadkar VN, Tahiliani RR, Jaguste VS, Damle VB, Dhar HL. Double blind comparative trial of Abana and methyldopa for monotherapy of hypertension in Indian patients. Jpn Heart J. 1990 Mar;31(2):193-9.