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Arjuna is credited with several therapeutic properties, both in Ayurvedic and Unani Systems. It is considered to be tonic, astringent, cooling and is used in heart diseases, contusions, fractures, ulcers. It is also acrid and credited with styptic, febrifugal and antidysenteric peoperties.
Vagbhata was the first to prescribe the bark in heart diseases. Later Chakradatta described it as a tonic in heart disease. Bhava Mishra, a Nighantukara recognised the bark as possessing some cooling, cardiotonic, wound healing and intoxicating effects.The bark and preparations made from it are reputed to have a marked stimulant action on the heart even today.
A fair amount of chemical work has been done on this drug. According to Hooper in 1891, the bark yields 34 percent of ash consisting almost entirely of pure calcium carbonate; the aqueous extracts contain about 23 percent of calcium salts and 16 percent of tannins. Ghosal in 1909 made a detailed chemical and pharmacological study of the bark and reported the presence of sugar, tannin, colouringmatter, a glycosidal substances, carbonates of calcium, sodium and traces of chlorides of alkali metals. The total tannin content amounted to 12 percent and the ash to 30 percent. The bark was found to contain an unusually large quantities of calcium salts, about 12 percent of tannins, an organic acid with a high melting point, a phytosterol, an organic ester and some colouring matters The bark has also been investigated for active principle responsible for the long use as diuretic and tonic.
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