Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Boerhaavia diffusa is an herb with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.


Punarnava is most often used for


Boerhaavia diffusa is an herb found in Ayurveda and other traditional medicines. Historically, Boerhaavia diffusa has been used for its anti-diabetic and diuretic properties. In different areas of the world, Boerhaavia diffusa has also been used for pain relief, anti-inflammation, and treating indigestion. Boerhaavia diffusa is a tropical crawling root plant, with bioactive compounds in both the leaves and roots.

There have not been any human studies conducted on Boerhaavia diffusa, but animal evidence suggests it is an effective diuretic, and can suppress the proliferation of immune cells. This can be harmful in some cases, like during flu season, but beneficial if the immune system is hyperactive. Boerhaavia diffusa also has an anti-proliferative effect on some cancer cells, which means it prevents them from spreading. This anti-cancer effect comes from the isolated bioactive purnavarine.

Boerhaavia diffusa also has anti-oxidant properties.

Boerhaavia diffusa’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative mechanisms are plausible explanations for _Boerhaavia diffusa’s potent anti-diabetic effects, which rivals the potency of standard drugs like Glibenclamide and Metformin. Further research is needed to confirm this relationship.

What are other names for Punarnava?
Note that Punarnava is also known as:
  • Punarnava
  • Boerhaavia Diffusa
Dosage information

The standard Boerhaavia diffusa dose used in rat studies is in the range of 200-400mg/kg, with a maximally effective dose of 1000mg/kg. This translates to a human dosage of 32-64mg/kg, or:

• 2,200-4,300mg for a 150lb person

• 2,900-5,800mg for a 200lb person

• 3,600-7,200mg for a 250lb person

These are estimated doses based off of animal research. There have not been any human studies conducted on Boerhaavia diffusa.

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