Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): Health Benefits,Uses,Side Effects

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) Health Benefits,Uses,Side Effects
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) Health Benefits,Uses,Side Effects

In Ayurveda, Haritaki is wonder medicine and is used to cure many types of diseases.Terminalia chebula herb has astringent,rejuvenating,laxative and purgative properties.

Maybe you heard about this wonderful herb!,

or

Maybe not!

But today I’ll tell you some interesting facts about Haritaki and why it is called the wonder medicine in Ayurveda.

What is Haritaki?

This is a wonder fruit grown on Haritaki Tree(Terminalia Chebula Tree). It has unique characteristics which make him universal remedy of all diseases in Ayurveda.This is on of the major component of wonder Ayurveda medicine known as Triphala Powder. Haritaki Trees are found in deciduous forests of India, especially in the northern region.

Fruits, Roots, and bark of this tree is used to prepare herbal medicines. Haritaki Fruit is a drupe-like fruit vary in size between 2 to 4.5 cm length and 1.2 to 2.5 cm in breadth having five longitudinal ridges.

Oval in shape and turns green to blackish in color as ripen depend upon it’s variety. The taste of its  fruits are sweet, sour, bitter and astringent depend upon its type which is discussed below in different types of Haritaki section.

It is called by different names in different languages in India like “Harad” in Urdu and Hindi, “Kadukkai” in Tamil,”Hirada” in Marathi, “Hilikha” in Assamese and “Horitoky” in Bengali.

Types of Haritaki:

According to Bhavaprakasha(Ancient Indian Scripture), there are seven types of  Haritaki(Terminalia Chebula) available in different places, which are explained below.

1.Vijaya:

Universal remedy for all diseases, found in Vindhya Mountains of India

2.Rohini:

Useful in wound healing and available in Pratishtanaka. Fruit is circular in shape is it’s identification.

3.Putana:

Used for external application and available in the Sindh. Small fruits with big seed are its identification.

4.Amruta:

Useful for panchakarma(detoxification) and available in Champa, Bhagalpur Area in India

5.Abhaya:

Useful for eye diseases available in Champa, Bhagalpur Area in India. Five creases on fruit skin are its

6.Jivanti:

Useful in all diseases and available in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Fruit is yellow in color is it’s identification.

7.Chetak:

Useful for purgation and available in Himachal Pradesh. Three creases on fruit skin are its identification

Out of these seven types, Vijaya is considered best.

Nutritional Value of Haritaki:

Haritaki Fruit is very nutritious for a human being as it contains essential vitamins, minerals and protein. It is a rich source of Vitamin C and minerals like selenium, manganese, potassium, iron and copper.

Haritaki also has plants chemicals like tannic acid, Che bulimic acid, gallic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and behenic acid.

Ayurvedic Properties of Haritaki:

According to Bhavaprakasha(Ancient Indian Scripture), this is known as “The King Of Medicines” in Ayurveda because of these ayurvedic properties:

Rasa (Taste):

All six except salt, mainly astringent, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter.

Virya (Potency):

It’s very warm.

Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect):

It’s vipaka is sweet.

Guna (Quality):

It’s guna is light and dry.

Unique Property:

Maintain the balance of all three doshas that is Tridosha(Humors)

Effect on Doshas (Humors):

  • It is very useful in the vitiation of all three senses of humor, but it is particularly used to balance Vata (Air humor).
  • It helps to balance the Air(Vata) if taken with Ghee(Buttery Oil).
  • It helps to balance the Fire(Pitta) if taken with Shakara (Sugar/Coarse Jaggery).
  • It helps to balance the Water(Kapha) if taken with Lavan(Rock Salt).
  • It helps to balance all the three Doshas that is Vata, Pitta, and Kapha if taken with Gud (Jaggery).

Haritaki also helps to improve the digestion. It detoxifies and nourishes all the body tissues. Following are some uses of Haritaki according to Ayurveda:

  • It helps to detoxify and nourish all the status (body tissues).
  • it is best for purifying the channels of the body that is called “srotoshodhan.”
  • It helps to improve the digestive system & helps in healthy digestion of food.
  • It helps to strengthen the nerves & five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell & taste).
  • It helps in maintaining normal body temperature.
  • It helps in strengthening the female reproductive organs like a uterus.

How nutritious is haritaki?

From the above section and Ayurvedic properties of Haritaki, let’s now know about its health benefits.

Health Benefits of Haritaki:

Haritaki, the wonder medicine has several health benefits, out of which few are listed below:

1.Prevents Hair Loss and Removes Dandruff:

Hartaki is a very useful remedy for hair fall in the form of Haritaki herbal oil. It also prevents Dandruff and Lice infection. Regular use of Haritaki oil is good for your hairs.

You can buy it online or make at your home. To make Haritaki oil, heat a cup of coconut oil in a pan and add three haritaki pods(fruit).Once it has turned brown and the outer shell cracks, take it out of flame and let it cool.

When it cools down, store it in a bottle and use according to your need.

2.Helpful in  Constipation:

Haritaki is a natural laxative and contains dietary fibers which are digestive agents fights with constipation. Haritaki is a natural remedy for Constipation Patients.

Constipation Patients take Haritaki in the form of Haritaki Powder with water as a drug dosage to fight with constipation. You can buy it online or make it at home.

To make haritaki powder at home, take haritaki fruit, remove the seed from it and sundry the peel of the fruit.

Take the peel and churn it in the grinder to make a powder. Store the powder in the bottle and use it with water whenever needed.

3.Removes Acne and Ulcers:

Haritaki has antibacterial properties which make it very effective for treating acne and ulcers. Take haritaki powder and boiled water, make a paste and apply it on acne and ulcer spotted skin.

It heals acne very quickly and prevents scars from forming.

4.Fights with Skin Allergies:

Haritaki is very useful in fighting with skin allergies. It treats skin allergies in the ears and nose caused by earrings and nose ring. Ornaments made of Gold and Silver don’t cause any skin allergy but artificial jewelry made of metal cause allergies and skin rashes.

Haritaki Paste is the best remedy for this problem.To make a Haritaki paste, take haritaki fruit and rub it on sandalwood stone with little-boiled water. After rubbing it against sandalwood, you found light green color paste, take this paste and apply on the infected skin.

5.Prevents Cough and Cold:

It is a very useful remedy for preventing cough and cold naturally. The dosage of Haritaki powder mixed with honey will treat a cough and cold effectively. It also cures gingivitis and sore throat.

6.Boosts Immunity:

Haritaki acts as an immunity booster and increases longevity if it’s powder is taken regularly fried in ghee.

7.Prevents Diabetes:

It helps in regulating blood sugar levels and decreases insulin sensitivity in the body, so it is a very useful remedy Diabetes patients. One more thing as many diabetic medicines has side effects along with regulating blood sugar levels, but haritaki do not have any side effects at all.

8.Helps in Weight Loss:

Haritaki is a natural blood purifier. It helps in remove toxins from the body and keeps digestive system on track as it contains dietary fibers which help in digestion of food.

Taking Haritaki in the form of powder daily regulate hunger and combined with balanced diet and regular exercise will aid in weight loss naturally.

From Where To Get Haritaki?

This herb is available in Ayurvedic Shops in the form of Haritaki Tablets, Haritaki Capsules, Haritaki Oil; Haritaki Powder also called Haritaki Churna and Haritaki Fruit.

You can buy it from there, or you can buy it online. One Pound of Haritaki Fruit costs you around $15 to $20, and its powder costs you between $8 and $10 or more.

Hope you got your haritaki fruit, powder, tablet/Capsule. Now you want to know about it’s dosage, how to take it?

How To Take Haritaki? (Haritaki Dosage)

If you have haritaki powder, you can take 1-6 grams of powder along with co-drink or ingredient based on disease and season(read Ritu Haritaki given below)once or twice a day.

If you have Haritaki Tablets or Capsules you can have one tablet/capsule twice a day. Consult your Ayurvedic Doctor before taking this Dosage.

Ritu Haritaki:

Ritu means Season and dosage of haritaki with different ingredients according to the season is called Ritu Haritaki. . Let’s know more about this.

1.Vasant Ritu(Spring):

In Spring season, it is taken along with Madhu(Honey)

2.Greeshma Ritu(Summer):

In Summer, it is taken along with Guda(Jaggery)

3.Varsha Ritu(Rainy):

In Rainy Season, it is taken along with Saindhava(Rock Salt)

4.Sharat Ritu(Autumn):

In Autumn Season, it is taken along with Sharkara(Sugar)

5.Hemant Ritu(Early Winter):

In Early Winter Season, it is taken along with shunti(Ginger)

6.Shishira Ritu(Winter):

In Winter Season, it is taken along with Pippali(Long Pepper)

As Haritaki has various health benefits but due to its astringent and hot nature, it has some side effects, let’s know about them.

Haritaki Side Effects:

Being Wonder Medicine, Haritaki also has some following side effects and should be avoided in these cases:

  • This herb is not recommended during pregnancy as its use may reduce production of Breast Milk.
  • People with a lean body, weak immunity, low strength, excessive sensual activity, fasted for a long time avoid taking
  • Alcoholics avoid taking Haritaki
  • Do not give it to children under five years of age
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Dr.M.Gopi Krishna is a renowned professor in the dept. of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya kalpana at Sri Jagadguru Gavisiddheshwara Ayurvedic Medical College & Post Graduate Research Center.He has personally made around 250 Ayurvedic preparations and self dispense in his own clinic for his patients.