Characteristics of Arjuna Tree (Terminalia arjuna) in the Wild

Terminalia arjuna
Arjuna or Arjun Tree (Terminalia arjuna) is a tree species native to the Indian subcontinent. This tree grows on the banks of rivers or dries empty land in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, and south and central India, including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The mention of Arjun trees varies from region to region, for example, Matthimara in Kannada, Neer maruthu in Malayalam, Arutham pattai in Tamil, Thella maddi in Telugu, Kohda in Rajasthan, Kumbuk in Sinhala, and Triwulan in Indonesia.

Siddha and Ayurvedic Medicine
The arjuna tree was introduced into Siddha by saint Agastiyar through Gunavakatam prose and in Ayurveda as a treatment for heart disease by Vagbhata (circa 7th century AD). It is traditionally prepared as a milk concoction.

In Ashtānga Hridayam, but also mentioned in many ancient Hindu Vedas, and is a practice known for thousands of years, passed down by tradition, before the vagbhata mentions it in his writings. Vagbhata mentions arjuna for the treatment of wounds, bleeding, and ulcers, by applying it as a powder.

The Arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna) has traditionally been used to treat heart disease for centuries, earning it the nickname “Guard of the heart”. The hero of the famous epic “Mahabharata”, was named after this tree for its protective effect.

 

In Buddhism
In Theravada Buddhism, Arjuna is said to have been used as a tree for attaining enlightenment, or Bodhi by the tenth Buddha (title) called “Anomadassi Buddha”.

 
Now, Arjun trees are also planted in several other places in Southeast Asia such as Kenya, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

 

Characteristics of Arjuna Leaf

Terminalia arjuna Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

The leaves are oval, conical, green on top, and brown on the bottom.

 

Characteristics of Arjuna Flower

Terminalia arjuna Flower
Source: flickr.com/Alka Khare

Arjuna flowers are pale yellow that appears between March and June.

 

Characteristics of Arjuna Fruit

Terminalia arjuna Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Deepa Mohan

The fruit is bare, fibrous 2.5-5 cm, divided into five wings, appearing between September and November.

 

Characteristics of Arjuna Tree

Terminalia arjuna Tree
Source: flickr.com/Arvind kadus

The arjuna tree can grow to 20-25 meters in height, usually it has a rooted trunk, forms a wide canopy at the top, and the branches hang downwards.

This tree has long been used as a raw material for traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent and is one of the trees revered by Buddhism.

 

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