(Last Updated on : 11/10/2010)
Arjuna Asana is a fundamental Indian medicinal plant, which is used widely in India for its unique medicinal properties. This plant is wholly native to India. This herb is an Indian medicinal plant and among the most commonly distributed timber species in India. Arjuna Asana is a tropical moist and dry deciduous tree and is found in the forests throughout the country. The plant grows to an elevation of 1200 metres, except in the very arid regions of Punjab and Rajasthan. It is commonly associated with sal (Shorea robusta) and teak (Tectona grandis) in their respective zones.
This Indian medicinal plant, Arjuna Asana holds the scientific name Tertninalia alata. It is called asan, piasal or usan in Bengali. In English this Indian Medicinal Plant is known as black murdah or Indian laurel. It is known as am, hadri, sadada, sadar, sadra, sadri or sajadio in Gujarati. In Hindi, Arjuna Asana is called asan, ashan, sain or saj; it is famous as aini. banapu sajad, karimaddi, karimatti, madati or matti in Kannada, assan, mart or marti in Konkani, karimarudu, karimaruthu, thembava or , thenpavu in Malayalam, ain, madal, sadada, saj in Marathi, Oriya: kolashahajo, pondosa-hajo, sahajo, in Punjabi, aisan, arjan, asan, sain, in Tamil, it is known as ane-mui, karimarudu, karumaruthu, karup-pumarudu, mikkuvam or pudavam and in Telugu, it is inumaddi, maddi, mala-maddinumaddi, nelamadu or tani.
Arjuna Asana is a large tree possessing straight-stems with spreading branches and a heavy crown. This Indian medicinal plant has grey to black bark with deep longitudinal fissures and transverse cracks. The young twigs are often available clothed with yellowish-brown pubescence. The leaves grow in the sub-opposite direction which is thinly coriaceous and pubescent beneath. Each leaf grows in the shape of elliptic-lanceolate or ovate and is 13 to 23 centimetres long and about 8 centimetres wide. At the apex, the plant Arjuna Asana is acute in measurement and at the base is truncate-cordate.
There are 8 to 12 pairs of main nerves that are prominent beneath and 1 to 2 glands that can be spotted near the base. Arjuna Asana possesses dull yellow or greenish-white flowers that are borne in terminal and axillary branched spikes. The bracteoles are linear in shape, with the calyx bearing villous projections with yellowish-brown hairs. The fruits of the Indian medicinal plant Arjuna Asana are 3.8 centimetres to 6.5 centimetres long, with 5 broad, coriaceous, equal, horizontally-veined wings. The herb flowers in June and July and fruits within the months from February to March in central India. In this region, the Arjuna Asana trees remain leafless within February to March, continuing till June.
Arjuna Asana is however also known to possess countless medicinal properties for traditional treatment. The bark is considered to be bitter, styptic, diuretic and cardiotonic. A decoction of the ark from this medicinal plant is taken internally for diseases like atonic and diarrhoea and is used as a local application to provide relief to weak and indolent ulcers. Arjuna Asana has great importance in Ayurveda as the bark is also used to treat bone fractures, haemorrhages and bronchitis. The cut bark of the Arjuna Asana exudes a gel-like fluid that dries from light-yellow to amber-coloured gum. This liquid from this Indian medicinal plant is used as a purgative and adhesive. In Siddha form of medical treatment the bark, gum and leaves of Arjuna Asana is used to treat fever and earache.