Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.—A Useful Drug for Cardiovascular Disorders
Shridhar Dwivedi

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 114 (2007) 114–129
Preventive Cardiology Group, University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, Delhi 110095, India
Received 3 December 2006; received in revised form 3 August 2007; accepted 7 August 2007
Available online 10 August 2007

Ancient Indian physicians used the powdered tree bark of Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn. for alleviating “hritshool” (angina) and other
cardiovascular conditions. Its stem bark possesses glycosides, large quantities of flavonoids, tannins and minerals. Flavonoids have been detected
to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering effects while glycosides are cardiotonic, thus making Terminalia arjuna unique amongst
currently used medicinal plants. In this review an attempt has been made to discuss various aspects of its ethnomedical, pharmacognostical,
phytochemical, pharmacological and clinical relevance to cardiovascular conditions. Experimental studies have revealed its bark exerting significant
inotropic and hypotensive effect, increasing coronary artery flow and protecting myocardium against ischemic damage. It has also been detected
to have mild diuretic, antithrombotic, prostaglandin E2 enhancing and hypolipidaemic activity. There is ample clinical evidence of its beneficial
effect in coronary artery disease alone and along with statin. However, toxicological studies in experimental animals are lacking. Considering
its anti-ischemic activity and its potential to correct dyslipidemia, reduce left ventricular mass and increase left ventricular ejection fraction, it is
essential to examine the molecular mechanism of its action and its core constituents. Proposition to administer Terminalia arjuna along with statins
deserves to be explored in depth for defining its place in the over all management and prevention of coronary artery disease.
© 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.