Arjun 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. Other uses of various parts of the Arjun tree include hemorrhage, diarrhea, irregular menstruation, skin ulcers, acne, wounds, and fractures.

What is Terminalia arjuna Used for Today?

Evidence suggests that Terminalia arjuna may have blood vessel–relaxing properties. 1 The herb has shown promise in the treatment of angina , a condition in which blood vessels in the heart cannot carry adequate oxygen to the heart muscle. 2,3

In addition, exceedingly weak evidence suggests that terminalia may have antimicrobial effects, providing benefits against amoebas and other microorganisms. 4,5

One study has been used to indicate that terminalia can improve cholesterol levels, but in fact it proves little because the study was not double-blind. 6

What is the Scientific Evidence for Terminalia arjuna ?

A 1-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of 58 individuals evaluated the effectiveness of terminalia for angina by comparing it against placebo and also against the standard drug isosorbide mononitrate. 7 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 Terminal arjuna against placebo in 40 people with a recent heart attack . 8 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.

A combination Ayurvedic therapy containing terminalia and approximately 40 other herbs has also shown some promise for angina. 9

Dosage

A typical dosage of Terminalia arjuna is 500 mg two or three times daily.

Safety Issues

Use of terminalia 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.