Botanical Description of Terminalia chebula
BOTONICAL NAME : Terminalia chebula , Terminalia reticulata
STRUCTURE: Large tree, young branchlets, leaf buds,
Leaves:- mostly subopposite, distant, ovate, with long, soft, shining, rust coloured, or silvery hairs. Wither in the cold season.
Flowers:- Dull white or yellowish, with a strong offensive smell. Blossom in April to May.
Fruits:- Obovoid or ellipsoidal from a broad base, glabrous. Formation in November to January.
HABITAT: Abundant in North India and southwards to the Deccan tablelands at 1,000 to 3,000 ft.
PHARMACOLOGY: Fruit contains a constituent which has a wide antibacterial and antifungal spectrum and also inhibits growth of E.coli, the most common organism responsible for urinary tract infection. The fruit pulp exhibits laxative properties.
Fruits:- Contain astringent substances – tannic acid, Chebulinic acid, gallic acid etc. Resin and a purgative principle of the nature of anthraquinone and sennoside are also present.
Ayurvedic Description of ‘Haritaki’ (Terminalia chebula)
SANSKRIT NAME : Harithaki
LOCAL NAMES(in India) :Harithaki (Sanskrit and Bengali), Harad (Hindi), Karkchettu (Telugu), Kadukkaya (Tamil), Harade (Marathi and Gujarati).
HINDU MYTHOLOGY : Highly esteemed by the Hindus, and a mythological origin has been assigned to it. It is said that when Indra(king of dieties in hindu mythology) was drinking nectar in heaven, a drop of the fluid fell on the earth and produced Haritaki
Guna :- Laghu, Ruksha
Rasa :- Madhura,katu,tiktha,kashaya,amla. only Lavana is absent.
Veerya :- Ushna
Vipaka :- Madhura
Prabhaava :- Tridoshahar
KARMA (Action) :
Mridu Virechaka (mild laxative),
Tridoshahara (cures all the three doshas),
Agnideepaka (enhances bioassimilation),
Medhakara (enhances memory),
Rasayana (rejuvenating, prevents aging and disease),
Netra Hithakara (good for eyes),
Laghu Paki (digests easily),
Ayurvardhaka (increases life span),
Brimhana (nourishes body tissues),
Harithaki (Sanskrit and Bengali), Harad (Hindi), Karkchettu (Telugu), Kadukkaya (Tamil), Harade (Marathi and Gujarati).
How to use Terminalia Chebula
Dr.Jayashree Nataraj an eminent ayurvedic vaidye explains how to take Haritaki. She has thrown light on subject “how to use terminalia chebula or haritaki
Haritaki could be used with different vehicles during various seasons in order to achieve balanced doshas througout the year.
Haritaki should not be advocated for a long time in Pregnant
The fruits of Harithaki when cooked with steem acts as astringent and hence useful in diarrhea.
Harithaki kashaya / infusion can be used to wash the wounds.