Thazhuthama – Uses and Medicinal Values

Thazhuthama or Punarnava is a famous medicinal herb which is excellent in rejuvenating and purifying the body. The plant belongs to the Nyctaginaceae family and occurs throughout India.

Thazhuthama - Punarnava - Boerhavia diffusa - Uses and Medicinal Values

There are three types of Thazhuthama plant – one has purple flowers while the other two have white flowers. In this post, we are looking at the one with the pink flowers. Its scientific name is Boerhavia diffusa.

Appearance

Boerhavia diffusa grows by spreading on the ground up to about 2 meters in area with numerous branches and sub-branches. 2 to 3 leaves emanate from each node and these leaves differ in size. The biggest reach up to 4 cm in length while the smallest is barely 2 cm.

The tiny purple flowers form a cluster with 4 to 10 individual flowers in each. They appear opposite to leaf axils.

The fruits of Thazhuthama are round containing one seed which is brown.

Flowers of Thazhuthama - Boerhavia diffusa

Medicinal Values of Thazhuthama

The ayurvedic medicinal values of Thazhuthama make it a priceless herb capable of rejuvenating the whole body.

Disclaimer: This is only general information and not medical advice. Using the herb for treating an illness should be done only after consulting a physician.

Boerhavia diffusa is rich in Potassium nitrate which in turn increases urine production.

Some of its medicinal qualities are as follows:

  • Diuretic in nature – good for curing urinary infections.
  • Acts as a slight laxative – helpful in preventing constipation and overall purification of the body.
  • Improves the health of the heart.
  • Including its leaves in the diet (as a green leafy vegetable – thoran in Malayalam) helps to cure Amavata and inflammations.
  • White Punarnava has the ability to cure certain eye disorders
  • A decoction made with crushed Thazhuthama in milk in a particular ratio can eliminate dizziness caused by consuming excess alcohol

Also, these may be effective only if used in the correct proportions specified by an Ayurvedic physician.

Thazhuthama - Boerhavia diffusa - Uses and Medicinal Values
Thazhuthama – Boerhavia diffusa

Moreover, it is rich in iron, so good for iron deficiency problems, can reduce cholesterol. These are a few important facts which I know about this amazing plant.

Other Uses

Since it is easy to grow in the households, Thazhuthama is usually used as a green leafy vegetable in Kerala.

Its scientific name is Boerhavia diffusa and is known as ‘Punarnava’ in Sanskrit. ‘Thazhuthama‘ is the Malayalam name. Also, you can try to grow it easily in your house, thereby promoting a native herb. It can be grown easily by stem cutting.