Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn.

Last updated: 08 Dec 2016

Scientific Name

Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn.


Pentaptera angustifolia Roxb. [Unresolved], Pentaptera arjuna Roxb. ex DC., Pentaptera glabra Roxb. [Unresolved], Pentaptera obovata DC [Unresolved]. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Arjuna myrobalan [2]
India Arjun, arjun-davda, arjun sadada, arjun sadado, arjun-sadado, arjuna, arjuna-sadra, arjunah, arjunasadara, arun-sadada, attumarutu, belamadi, belematti, bili matti, bili-matti, billimatti, bolmatti, bolumatti, char-buang, chitrayo-dhi, dhananjaya, dhanvi, dhavala, erumaddi, gandiri, gandivi, holematti, indradru, indradruma, indrasunu, jivaka, ka, kakubha, kakubhah, kanha, kahu, kahwa, kakubha, karavi-raka, karnaki, kaunteya, kiriti, koara, kohara, krishnasarathi, kukubha, kudure kivi mara, kurubha, maiyokpha, majji, mangi, maochettu, marudu, marutham patta, maruthan, maruthu, marutu, nadisarja, neermarudhu, neermaruthu, orjun, pandava, panisaj, partha, parthah, parttha, phalguna, prithaja, raktarjuna, sadado, sadura, sajadan, sanmadath, sav-imadat, savimadath, savyasachi, shambara, shardul, shardul sanmadat, shivamallaka, svetavaha, svetavahah, tella-madoi, tellamaddi, tore matti, torematti, tormatti, vairantak, vellai maruda-maram, vellamaradu, vellamarda, vellamarutu, vel-lamathi, velumaruthu, velumarutu, venmarutu, vira, virataru, viravriksha, viravrksa, yermaddi, yerumaddi, yerumadhi [2]
Sri Lanka Kumbuk, kumbulu, marutu [2]
Thailand Rok faa khaao [2]
Tibet Ardzuna. [2]

Geographical Distributions

Terminalia arjuna is native to India and Sri Lanka. Sometimes planted outside these regions example in Thailand and Indonesia (Java). [3]

Botanical Description

Terminalia arjuna is a large evergreen tree of the family Combretaceae. Often growing as high as 30 m, T. arjuna is supported by buttressed roots. [3]

The smooth bark of the tree is light grey on the exterior, peach or tan on the interior, and is susceptible to flaking off in large pieces. [3]

The leaves of T. arjuna are elliptical or lanceolate in shape, roughly 12 cm to 30 cm in length and up to 10 cm in width. The leaves sprout oppositely from short, often deep red stems, often no more than 6 mm in length. [4]

T. arjuna produces numerous yellow or white flower clusters. The apical panicles are small and, when young are a light green, and mature into their colour. [4]

The fruits are roughly 2.5 cm to 3.5 cm in length. Ovular in shape, the fruits are a deep shade of brown, and have five deep grooves long the length of the fruit. [4]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

T. arjuna has been reported to contain tannins, calcium salts, triterpenoid genins, and flavonoids content namely biacalein and arjunolone. It also has been reported to contain arjunic acid, arjunolic acid, terminic acid, arjungenin, arjunolitin, arjunetin, arjunglycocides I, II and III, friedelin, ellagic acid, leucocyanidin, leucodelphinidin, leucoanthocyanidins, and phytosterols. [5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bark, and fruits. [5]

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

Ethanol extract of the bark of T. arjuna has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity against sodium fluoride (NaF)-induced oxidative stress in murine heart. NaF intoxication significantly altered all the indices related to the prooxidant-antioxidant status of the heart; treatment with the active constituents prior to NaF administration, however, prevented these alterations. [6]

Pestalotiopsis species isolated from T. arjuna has been demonstrated to exhibit the maximum radical scavenging activity. The IC50 values of Pestalotiopsis extracts for 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl scavenging activity ranged from 14 to 27 µg/mL compared with 15 and 6 µg/mL for butylated hydroxytoluene and ascorbic acid, respectively. [7]

70% ethanol extract of the bark of T. arjuna has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity against oxidative stress in mice. Oral treatment of the active constituents of T. arjuna at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight for 7 days significantly restored the activities of all antioxidant enzymes as well as increased the level of GSH and decreased the level of lipid peroxidation end products. [8]

The antioxidant properties of T. arjuna were compared to those of ascorbic acid. Arjunic acid demonstrated stronger and more potent antioxidant properties in several areas including hydrogen peroxide induced RBCs hemolysis and microsome lipid peroxidation. [9]

Aqueous extract of T. arjuna has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity on defense system in lymphoma bearing AKR mice. Antioxidant action of T. arjuna is monitored by the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione S transferase which constitute major antioxidant defense system by scavenging ROS. [10]

Casuarinin, isolated from T. arjuna has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity in cultured Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells against H2O2-mediated oxidative stress. Results obtained show that casuarinin attenuates H202-induced oxidative stress, decreases DNA oxidative damage and prevents the depletion of intracellular GSH in MDCK cells. [11]

Bark extract of T. arjuna (TAE) has been demonstrated to inhibit adriamycin (ADR)-induced micronuclei formation in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. TAE-inhibited the induction of (*)OH (hydroxyl), O2(*-) (superoxide), DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl), ABTS(*+) (2,2-azino-bis-3-ethyl benzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) radicals in a dose-dependent manner. These results demonstrate that TAE protects DNA against ADR-induced damage. [12]

Antiproliferative activity

Casuarinin, a hydrolysable tannin isolated from the bark of T. arjuna has been investigated to exhibit antiproliferative activity in human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells and induced apoptosis. Casuarinin exhibits strong antioxidant properties. [13]

Antiulcer activity

Methanolic extract of T. arjuna (TA) has ben reported to exhibit antiulcer activity against HP-LPS-induced gastric damage in rats. These results suggest that the severe cellular damage and pathological changes caused by HP-LPS are mitigated by TA. The antiulcer effect of TA may reflect its ability to combat factors that damage the gastric mucosa, and to protect the mucosal defensive factors. [14]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Anti-ischemic activity

A powder of the bark of T. arjuna was studied in 40 patients to investigate the effect on ischemic mitral regurgitation after acute myocardial infarction. Twenty of the patients were given T. arjuna in addition to anti-ischemic treatment. Following up at one and three months, researchers reported a significant decrease in ischemic mitral regurgitation and reduction in angina frequency in patients taking the T. arjuna compared to those receiving only the conventional therapy. [15]

In a small human study of ten subjects already taking various cardiovascular medications, the addition of T. arjuna to their drug therapy resulted in significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction which was not noted in subjects not taking the T. arjuna. These results were noted without injury to kidney and/or liver. [16]

T. arjuna bark extract, 500 mg 8 hourly, given to patients with stable angina with provocable ischemia on treadmill exercise, led to improvement in clinical and treadmill exercise parameters as compared to placebo therapy. These benefits were similar to those observed with isosorbide mononitrate (40 mg/day) therapy and the extract was well tolerated. [17]

Antioxidant activity

One clinical study compared the antioxidant properties of T. arjuna to those of vitamin E. In this study, T. arjuna was found to decrease lipid peroxidation, though not as significantly as vitamin E. [18]


No documentation.

Side effects

T. arjuna is contraindicated in obesity as it tends to decrease the amount of fat eliminated from the body. For this reason, in an obese person, the risk/benefit ratio of the cardiovascular benefits must be evaluated. [19]

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

Based on pharmacology, caution should be used when using cardiovascular drug therapies. [16]


No documentation.


Dosage Range

1-1.5 g bark powder. [5]

500 mg bark extract three times per day. [16]

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Dec 08]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2431544.
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 527-528.
  3. Jukema J, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, Lemmens RHMJ, Hildebrand JW. Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers, 1991; p. 139.
  4. Flora of Pakistan. Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arm. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 Dec 08]. Available from: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242414475.
  5. Kapoor LD. CRC handbook of Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1990; p. 319-320.
  6. Sinha M, Manna P, Sil PC. Terminalia arjuna protects mouse hearts against sodium fluoride-induced oxidative stress. J Med Food. 2008;11(4):733-740.
  7. Tejesvi MV, Kini KR, Prakash HS, Subbiah V, Shetty HS. Antioxidant, antihypertensive, and antibacterial properties of endophytic Pestalotiopsis species from medicinal plants. Can J Microbiol. 2008;54(9):769-780.
  8. Manna P, Sinha M, Sil PC. Phytomedicinal activity of Terminalia arjuna against carbon tetrachloride induced cardiac oxidative stress. Pathophysiology. 2007;14(2):71-78.
  9. Sun FY, Chen XP, Wang JH, Qin HL, Yang SR, Du GH. Arjunic acid, a strong free radical scavenger from Terminalia arjuna. Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(1):197-207.
  10. Verma N, Vinayak M. Effect of Terminalia arjuna on antioxidant defense system in cancer. Mol Biol Rep. 2009;36(1):159-164.
  11. Chen CH, Liu TZ, Kuo TC, et al. Casuarinin protects cultured MDCK cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and DNA oxidative damage. Planta Med. 2004;70(11):1022-1026.
  12. Reddy TK, Seshadri P, Reddy KK, Jagetia GC, Reddy CD. Effect of Terminalia arjuna extract on adriamycin-induced DNA damage. Phytother Res. 2008;22(9):1188-1194.
  13. Kuo PL, Hsu YL, Lin TC, Lin LT, Chang JK, Lin CC. Casuarinin from the bark of Terminalia arjuna induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells. Planta Med. 2005;71(3):237-243.
  14. Devi RS, Kist M, Vani G, Devi CS. Effect of methanolic extract of Terminalia arjuna against Helicobacter pylori 26695 lipopolysaccharide-induced gastric ulcer in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2008;60(4):505-514.
  15. Dwivedi S, Aggarwal A, Agarwal MP, Rajpal S. Role of Terminalia arjuna in ischaemic mitral regurgitation. Int J Cardiol. 2005;100(3):507-508.
  16. Dwivedi S, Jauhari R. Beneficial effects of Terminalia arjuna in coronary artery disease. Indian Heart J. 1997;49(5):507-510.
  17. Bharani A, Ganguli A, Mathur LK, Jamra Y, Raman PG. Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna in chronic stable angina: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing Terminalia arjuna with isosorbide mononitrate. Indian Heart J. 2002;54(2):170-175.
  18. Gupta R, Singhal S, Goyle A, Sharma VN. Antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic effects of Terminalia arjuna tree-bark powder: A randomised placebo-controlled trial. J Assoc Physicians India. 2001;49;231-235.
  19. Singh BB, Vinjamury SP, Der-Martirosian C, et al. Ayurvedic and collateral herbal treatments for hyperlipidemia: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental designs. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007;13(4):22-28.