Terminalia arjuna (Arjun Tree)

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Dr. Yogesh Y. Sumthane, (Scientist Forest Products and Utilization BUAT, Banda), Mob.No. 8806217979

Basic Information

  • Common Name – Arjun Tree
  • Botanical Name – Terminalia arjuna
  • Genus – Terminalia
  • Species – Arjuna
  • Ayurvedic Name – Arjuna
  • Trade Name – Arjun Chhaal
  • Family – Combretaceae
  • Parts used – Stem bark

Description 

It grows to 20–25 metres in height, usually having a buttressed trunk, and with a wide canopy, branches go downwards from the crown. It has oblong, conical leaves and, are green on top and brown below smooth,  grey bark, flowers are pale yellow that appears between March to June, its glabrous, 2.5 to 5 cm fibrous woody fruit, divided into 5 wings, appears between September to November.

It does not suffer from any major diseases or pests, but susceptible to Phyllactinia terminale and rot due to polystictus affinis.

Therapeutic uses

  1. The bark of Arjun is astringent, sweet, acrid, cooling, aphrodisiac, urinary astringent, and expectorant, but, chiefly used as cardio tonic as it improves blood supply to heart.
  2. It is also useful in ulcer treatment, fractures, cirrhosis of liver, ischaemic heart disease, and hypertension.

Morphological characteristics

  1. Arjuna is a large deciduous tree with spreading crown and drooping branches.
  2. It attains a height of up to 35 m.
  3. Its bark is thick, grey to pinkish green, smooth, thin, coming off in irregular sheets.
  4. Leaves are usually sub-opposite, 10–15 cm long, and 4–7 cm broad; base is rounded or heart shaped, often unequal sided; veins are reticulate.

Floral characteristics

  1. Flowers are sessile and occur in simple or panicled spikes.
  2. Calyx is glabrous and has five short triangular lobes.
  3. Fruit is a fibrous-woody drupe, about 2.5–5 cm in size.
  4. It is dark brown when mature and has five hard, projecting, veined wings.
  5. Flowering occurs from May to June, while fruits mature from January to March.

Distribution

  1. The species is common in mixed dry deciduous tropical forests throughout the greater part of India.
  2. It is often found along the watercourses, cultivated elsewhere as avenue tree.
  3. It is a common avenue tree in many cities, such as Delhi.
  4. Found across the Indian subcontinent, and at river banks in UP, MP, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha etc.
  5. Also found in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and planted in Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya.

Climate and soil

  1. The plant naturally occurs in sub- tropical and tropical moist regions of the country.
  2. The tree prefers alluvial loamy or black cotton soils, which are loose, moist, fertile, and have good drainage and water holding capacity.
  3. River bank soils, streams, and ravines are its natural habitat.
  4. The plant also survives in open sunny and low rainfall areas. 

Planting material

  1. Propagation gives best result when seeds are used. The seeds can be collected in early summer from trees that are more than six-year-old.
  2. Ripe fruits are collected in March either by lopping the branches or from the ground previously swept clean.
  3. The seeds are viable for at least one year when stored in sealed tins.  

Nursery technique of Propagation

Raising propagules

  1. Seeds are sown in nursery beds in early summer, usually just after collection.
  2. Germination commences in 8–12 days, and is completed in seven to eight weeks. Germinated seeds may be transplanted in polybags with clay, manure, and sand in equal ratio.
  3. Alternatively, the pretreated fruits are directly put in polythene bags in April, with half of the fruit above the soil.
  4. Pre-germinated seeds are preferred to save time and ensure uniform germination.
  5. The seedlings are sensitive to drought during the germination stage as well as during the growth stage.

Propagule rate and pretreatment

  • The number of fruits per kg varies from about 200 to 1200, depending on the size of the fruits.
  • Hence, about 4–10 kg of seeds may be required for raising 1 hectare of the plantation at a spacing of 6 m × 6 m.
  • The seeds should be pretreated by soaking in cool water for 48 hours.
  • Alternatively, the seeds may be soaked in boiling water and allowed to cool.
  • The seeds should remain soaked for 24 hours.
  • The germination rate of pretreated seeds is up to 90%, while that of untreated seeds is 50–60%.

Planting in the field

Land preparation and fertilizer application

  • Preparatory tillage is done in the field, which should be leveled, and pits of size 45 cm × 45 cm × 45 cm are dug at a spacing of 6 m × 6 m.
  • About 10 kg FYM (farmyard manure) and NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) @ 75:50:30 g are added per pit and thoroughly mixed with soil as basal dose.

Transplanting and optimum spacing

  • About 10-month-old saplings are transplanted in the field in pits in July– August at a spacing of 6 m × 6 m.
  • In all, about 280–300 saplings are required per hectare.

Intercropping system

  • The crop can be grown as a sole plantation in early growth stage or as a border of other crops.
  • Climbers like Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy), Marsdenia tenacissima  (Moorva), Operculina turpethum (Trivrit), Opercullina petaloidea  (Nishoth), and Celastrus paniculata (Malkangni) may be planted beneath  the fully grown tree that serves as host for these climbers

Interculture and maintenance practices

  • About 10 kg FYM + 75:50:30 g NPK per plant are applied as a basal dose at the time of transplanting.
  • Further top dressing is given with 50 g nitrogen per tree after three months.
  • Field should be kept weed-free.

Irrigation practices

  • Irrigation is recommended at 15-day intervals in the summer season for young plantations.
  • Irrigation is generally not done during the winter season in the peninsular region.

Disease and pest control

  • Aphids (Aphis sp.) attack tender leaves and form galls on it.
  • Spraying of biopesticides like Azadirachtin controls this pest.

Harvest management

Crop maturity and harvesting

  • The Arjun tree starts flowering from sixth year onwards.
  • The lifespan of the tree is 50 years and above.
  • Bark is repeatedly scrapped in the winter season.
  • The bark is removed from well-grown trees, preferably 10th year onwards, in a spiral or vertical strips of not more than 5 cm in width and 25 cm in length.

Post-harvest management

  • The collected bark is dried in well-ventilated shade and stored in boxes or polybags in dry and airy locations.

Chemical constituents

  • The tannin cardiac glycoside is reported from the bark as well as fruit.
  • The usual range is 20%–24% in stem bark and 7%–20% in fruit.

Yield

  • 500 kg dried bark can be obtained from 1 hectare of plantation every year from the 10th year.

Medicinal Importance

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Terminalia arjuna has been used to balance the three “humors”: kapha, pitta, and vata. It has also been used for asthma, bile duct disorders, scorpion stings, and poisonings.

The bark of Terminalia arjuna has been used in India for more than 3000 years, primarily as a heart remedy. An Indian physician named Vagbhata has been credited as the first to use this product for heart conditions in the seventh century A.D. Research on terminalia has been going on since the 1930s, but studies have provided mixed results. Its role, if any, in heart disease still remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, people today use Terminalia arjuna for disorders of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), including heart disease and related chest pain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  It is also used as “a water pill,” and for earaches, dysentery, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diseases of the urinary tract, and to increase sexual desire.

PHYSICOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS

Arjuna is a well-known drug in Ayurveda. It is mainly used for heart disease, Obesity, and hemorrhagic disorders. It is used in various dosage form in Ayurveda such as powder, milk-based decoction, alcoholic fermented liquids, tablets, etc. Its bark is used for therapeutic purposes. Although it is widely available all over India, most of the time it is procured from the market; hence it needs to assure the quality of marketed Arjuna for standard quality formulations. 

Ayurvedic pharmacopeia of India (API) has given a monograph of Arjuna bark. So in this study, authentication, organoleptic, macroscopic, microscopic, and physicochemical analysis of a market sample of Arjuna was carried out. Organoleptic, macroscopic, microscopic studies have shown relatively similar characteristics as per standard. 

In physicochemical analysis, foreign (0.06%) matter was within normal range. Ash value (27.77%) was higher whereas acid insoluble ash (1.08%) almost matches with standard value, which shows more inorganic contents in Arjuna. Acid insoluble ash was nearly the same as a standard value.  Water-soluble extractive value (19.98 %) was good in the studied sample which ensures its water-based formulations. However, alcohol soluble extractive value (17.91%) was less than standard. pH (4.85%) value is the new parameter added in this study which may be considered as reference for further study. This study added this parameter (pH) for further comparative analysis. Further qualitative, as well as HPTLC study for main marker identification and quantification, needs to carry out with more market samples from various regions in order to ensure market sample quality.

Growing demands in the market

Like several other extracts, terminalia extract has gained its momentum in the market across the globe over the last few years owing to its broad application in the treatment of severe healthcare diseases and disorders.  Terminalia extract is prepared from the extraction of dried fruit, leaves, stem bark, or seed of terminalia. The market for terminalia extract is expected to witness a rise in the demand of terminalia extract owing to the increasing demand in the healthcare industry. Terminalia species is mainly found in Asian countries, which are finding their application abroad also due to a growing num Terminaliaber of health-conscious population. The global market for terminalia extract is likely to create a lucrative opportunity for the key processors of Terminalia extract to gain more profitability margin over the forecast period. The global Terminalia extract market is a house of several small and large players with regional and global presence.

Role of Government in marketing 

Over the past few years, the global food and healthcare industry in developed, as well as developing countries, have transformed. The global market for Terminalia extract is expected to witness a growth in the near future due to several growth factors, which are anticipated to rise as per likely scenario of the market. Some of the growth factors include growing globalization, increasing the demand for the terminalia extract in the end-use industry, continuous consolidation between suppliers and processors of the market to gain high-profit margin, and an increasing number of Chinese players with cost-effective solutions. The growing level of awareness for the use of terminalia extract in low economies has unfolded plethora of opportunities for key manufacturers in the market. Also, terminalia extract is approved by many governments and organizations for its use in the healthcare industry. It is expected to drive the global market for terminalia extract over the forecast period

Conclusion

It (Terminalia arjuna) has been a species of high medicinal value, since ancient times. As it’s been mentioned in Ayurveda and is still used in a lot of Ayurvedic medicinal products, as well as in medicines other than of Ayurveda.

As mentioned in the above paragraphs about its medicinal importance and uses.

Economically, its market demand is large and used worldwide. So it is also very important for the economics of the country, overall a very important tree species.

Submitted by; 1.Hari Kishan Maurya (ID.1291) 2.Anil Yadav (ID.1292) 3.Vikas (ID.1293) 4.Aditya Singh (ID.1294) 5.Vaibhav Verma (ID.1296) 6.Abhishek Saxena (ID.1297) 7.Shani Kumar (ID.1298) 8.Abhinay Paal (ID.1299) 9.Shani Jaiswal (ID.1300) 10.Abhishek Yadav (ID.1301) 11.Aakash Maurya (ID.1302)

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Dr. Yogesh Y. Sumthane, (Scientist Forest Products and Utilization BUAT, Banda), Mob.No. 8806217979

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