Tuesday, November 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Punarnava – nature’s own diuretic
by Dr. R. Vatsyayan

Well known as a diuretic, punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) is found in almost all parts of India. This is a much branched herb which generally spreads on the ground. Punarnava plant looks well nourished during rainy season whereas in winters it usually dries up. Ancient ayurvedic texts describe punarnava as of two types, white and red. Both of them have identical medicinal value. The whole plant, particularly the root, leaves and the seeds, constitute the drug punarnava.

Punarnava is slightly bitter in taste and is considered hot, light and dry in effect. It balances all doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) in the body. Besides potassium nitrate, it contains an alkaloid which is known as punarnavine. Experimental studies have confirmed the diuretic properties of punarnava. It is anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative and also a heart tonic. Punarnava is also known to possess properties to cure skin and soft tissue infections. It is also used in anaemia cases, loss of appetite, jaundice, obesity and chronic but non-specific febrile conditions. Some of its common uses are as under:

Take 10 gm of punarnava root and boil it in a glass of water. After filtering it add a pinch of dry ginger powder into it. Taking it once a day is an excellent home remedy for non-specific odema of the body. While increasing the output of urine it also improves the functioning of body metabolism.

Being a good liver stimulant, fresh punarnava leaves are used by rural folks to cure viral jaundice. However, its juice can also be used along with any other therapy while treating various other liver disorders. Punarnava is highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity as almost all anti-obesity herbal preparations contain it in one or the other form.

In arthritic conditions, punarnava reduces inflammation of joints. The famous rasna saptak qwath in which punarnava is an important ingredient is used as a therapeutic regime to treat rheumatoid athritis. There are many other classic ayurvedic preparations such as punarnvadi mandoor, punarnvarishta and punarnvadi qwath, which are being used by ayurvedic physicians since time immemorial to treat anaemia, odema and diseases of liver and other abdominal organs .

The dose of fresh punarnava juice and its dry herb is 5 to 10 ml and 2 to 5 gm, respectively. Though its use is generally safe but overdose of punarnava may cause nausea, vomiting and occasional diarrhoea.



Km scheme by Punjab Roadways
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Nov 13 — The new kilometre scheme, launched by the Punjab Roadways aims to bring out substantial improvement and provide better facilities to the commuters.

The Punjab Roadways took up the initiative of the bus- hire- kilometre scheme almost three months back as proper replacement of buses and budget was not available for the new buses. The officials of the roadways informed that the authorities had to cope up with the huge rush of passengers and the services of the private bus operators had to be taken.

Under this scheme, new buses with drivers are provided to the roadways by the private operators. The conductor in each bus is deputed by the department itself (Punjab Roadways). All the maintenance checks on the buses are made by the bus operators they also provide the diesel and they get a fixed amount per kilometre.

As many as 15 buses have been hired in the city itself by the Punjab Roadways, out of which 14 are already operational for the long routes. A roadways official informed that the services of about 150 such buses have been acquired throughout the state.

Whether the roadways would include more buses under this scheme, the officials informed that further expansion of the scheme depends on policy matters and the decisions are generally taken at the higher levels. The officials also stated that the buses under the scheme reach about half-an-hour in advance and the departure time remains to be on schedule.

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