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Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) 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, such as angina. Research demonstrates that arjun may in fact be very effective in reducing angina and improving heart function.
Effect of Arjun on Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Angina
Evidence suggests that arjun may have blood vessel–relaxing properties.16 This is helpful for treating angina, which is caused by constricted blood vessels that reduce the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.22
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Research Evidence on Arjun
A one-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of 58 people evaluated the effectiveness of arjun for angina by comparing it against placebo, and the standard drug isosorbide mononitrate.16 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 arjun against placebo in 40 people with a recent heart attack.22 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. Another study found benefits with an Ayurvedic herbal combination containing arjun.19
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
- Integrative MD
- Ayurvedic practitioner
Use of terminalia (arjun) has not been associated with any severe adverse effects. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been performed. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
- 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.
- Antani J, Kulkarni R, Antani N. Effect of Abana on ventricular function in ischaemic heart disease. Japanese Heart Journal. 1990;31:829-835.
- Dwivedi S, Aggarwal A, Agarwal MP, et al. Role of Terminalia arjuna in ischaemic mitral regurgitation. Int J Cardiol. 2005;100:507-508.
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