Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Terminalia Chebula Benefits: Detox Herb


Holistic Herbal Detox with Ayurvedic Herb

Haritaki or Terminalia chebula is often called the “great herbal base” and works as an additive with mild Colonic cleanse properties. It is a good herbal detox that can be used daily without any ill effects and with great side benefits. In Ayurveda, its potential is fully explored and used holistically.

Haritaki or Terminalia chebula fruit is mild laxative, stomachic, tonic, alterative, adaptogen, hepatoprotective, febrifuge, antispasmodic, expectorant, anti-asthmatic, antiviral and hypoglycaemic. It is useful in ophthalmia, hemorrhoids, dental caries, bleeding gums, ulcerated oral cavity and in many other diseases according to Ayurveda.

Terminalia Chebula & The Three Humors:

Haritaki is useful in vitiation of all the three humors. It is better esp. in Vata disorders.

Topical Use Of Terminalia Chebula:

  • Its paste with water is found to be anti-inflammatory, analgesic and having purifiying and healing capacity for wounds. Its decoction as a lotion is surgical dressing for healing the wound earlier.
  • Equal parts of three myrobalans and catechu are made in a paste with clarified butter or some bland oil work as an ointment in chronic ulcerations, ulcerated wounds and other skin diseases with discharge. These ointments could be a substitute for Gall ointments used in Britain.
  •  These are used for astringent purpose in hemorrhoids as well. Its decoction is used as gargle in oral ulcers, sore throat. Its powder is a good astringent dentrifice in loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.

Terminalia Chebula & Abdominal Disorders:

  • It is good to increase the appetite, as digestive aid, Liver stimulant, as stomachic, as  gastrointestinal prokinetic agent, and mild laxative.
  • Haritaki has proven gastrokinetic effect i.e. it helps in moving the contents of stomach earlier. So it can be used after surgeries and as adjuvant with other drugs that interfere with gastric motility as antihistaminics, atropine like drugs.
  • Base on its comprehensive properties, it promotes appetite and helps in digestion.
  • It stimulates the liver and protects it further by expelling the waste excretory products from the intestines.
  • The powder of Haritaki has been used in chronic diarrhea, sprue with good results. It should be used as hot infusion in these disorders. It is indicated in Protracted diarrhea with hematochezia and prolapse of rectum.
  • For persons with excessive gas in intestine, flatulence, it is a good herb that can be taken daily. it will relieve these conditions smoothly.
  • One compound Chebulagic acid from Haritaki has shown antispasmodic action like that of Papaverine.
  • Being a mild laxative, it is a mild herbal colon cleanse. With its other properties, it provides some help in conditions with Liver and Spleen enlargement and in Ascites. It is not a strong purgative like other herbs as Senna. It does the cleansing action very smoothly. Further it can be taken for a long time without any ill effects.

In Ayurveda haritaki is the best for ‘Srotoshodhana’ or purifying the channels of body.

Terminalia Chebula & Central Nervous System:

It is a good nervine. It is used in nervous weakness, nervous irritability. It promotes the receiving power of the five senses.

Terminalia Chebula For Heart & Blood Vessels:

It is adjuvant in hemorrhages due to its astringent nature. It helps in edema and various inflammations.

Terminalia Chebula For Lungs & Airways:

It is good for Chronic cough, coryza, sorethroat and asthma. It is used with other herbs in many holistic herbal formulations in Ayurveda.

Haritaki For Reproductive Or Sexual Health:

Being anti-inflammatory, and astringent, it is useful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea, vaginal discharges like leucorrhea. It can be given as adjuvant in atonic conditions of Uterus.

Haritaki For Kidney & Urinary Bladder:

It is helpful in Renal calculi, dysurea, and retention of urine.

Haritaki For Skin Disorders:

It is useful in skin disorders with discharges like allergies, urticaria and other erythematous disorders.

General Uses Of Terminalia Chebula:

It is given as adjuvant herb in Chronic fever. On long term use it is helpful in gaining weight in the emaciated persons and in losing weight in obese persons.

When taken with meals it sharpens the intellect, increases strength, stimulates the senses, expels the urine, stool and other waste materials from the body. It saves the person from the vitiating effects of bodily humors. Thus it is considered as an alterative and adaptogen.

Haritaki reduces the ill effects of fat rich, creamy and oily food. T. chebula is the definite aid for persons who habitually overeat. Further it can supplement the Cholesterol normalizing drugs.

Haritaki is reputed for its alterative, adaptogenic and tonic effect when used throughout the year with different substances in different six seasons of the year.

Terminalia Chebula With Other Herbs:

If we review all the herbal formulations in Ayurveda’s all classical texts, we will find haritaki to be one of the most frequently used ayurvedic herbs. In most of the compounds it is used as minor adjunct. In many others it is used as the foundation base of the entire formula – like in most of the electuaries or jams. It is the one of the prominent herb in formulations for asthma, cough, tonics, skin diseases, abdominal disorders.

Ayurvedic Holistic Approach With Terminalia Chebula:

The author Bhava Prakash in his Materia Medica relates haritaki to be used with sugar in Pitta disorders, with salt in Vata disorders, with dried ginger in Kapha disorders.

Modern Clinical Research & Terminalia Chebula:

  • Haritaki can serve to act as an effective alternative to modern prokinetic drugs like metaclopramide.
  • anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties
  • Some preliminary evidence of its capability to be useful in HSV Herpes simplex virus.
  • Some anti-tumor activity and effect in inhibiting the HIV virus.
  • Anthraquinone and Sennoside like purgative activity. Ability to evacuate the bowel.
  • Wide antibacterial and antifungal activity, esp. against E. coli.

Ritu Haritaki Benefits

This Ayurvedic herb is extolled for its effect as a Rasayana (Whole body energizers) therapy. This seasonal use of Terminalia chebula can be one of the cheapest and effective tool to elevate the health, detox the body and keep you free from diseases. Through the herbal detox process, this herb would prove to be adaptogenic.

Ayurveda describes six different seasons in the year – in each one of them the climatic conditions and weather is of particular nature. These are –  Shishira (Late Winter), Basanta (Spring), Grishama (Summer), Varsha (Rainy), Sharada (Autumn), Hemanta (Early winter).

It is not essential that all of these should come in a year at every place. Based on the geographical conditions of the place, the weather and the climatic condition of the place is controlled. Some places have all the six seasons. Some have only four – Winter, Rainy, Summer and Autumn. Some have three – Rainy, Summer and Autumn.

Ayurveda clearly advises the daily regime and the seasonal regime. If followed properly, these holistic lifestyle guidelines for diet, exercise, work etc could prove to be wonderful in maintaining good health and keeping the diseases away. This would be some sidetracking from the topic but it might deserve your attention later.

The Benefits Of Using Ritu Haritaki:

In Ayurvedic Social and Preventive Medicine, the use of whole body tonic, specific organ or organ system energizers and adaptogenic herbs is praised for becoming healthier. In this regard Ritu Haritaki is a wonderful herb as it offers several benefits as

  • Being cheap and easily available when stored properly.
  • Effective.
  • Good for persons suffering from overweight, diabetes, hypertension, increased lipids and cholesterol in blood and other degenerative disorders as a result of improper nutrition characterized by overeating, eating a lot of oily and fried food, not doing exercises, taking junk foods.
  • It can be taken throughout the year with specific substances in different seasons. It would help in this way not only to maintain health help but to avoid the seasonal disturbances in bodily humors and other common seasonal diseases like diarrhea, cold, cough, flu etc.
  • Besides the adaptogenic effects, it would detoxify the body round the year.
  • It can be taken easily in several forms – cold infusion, hot infusion, tea, powder, extract tab or capsule.

The Forms & Dose Of Terminalia chebula For Use As Ritu Haritaki:

  1. The Cold Infusion: we can take terminalia chebula powders or small pieces in the quantity of 5 – 10 gm and dip in a glass of water at night. Next morning it should be filtered through the sieve or a cotton cloth or simply take the upper portion without sediments. It should be taken empty stomach and with the additive of that season.
  2. Hot Infusion: Either in the previous night or early in the morning dip 5 – 10 gm of powder or small pieces in boiling water. Just after that put the pot down and let it stay in this condition for a few hours or for overnight. Take as advised above.
  3. We can take 3 – 5 gm of powder
  4. We can take capsule or tablet containing extract equivalent to 3 – 5 gm of powder.

How many times should Haritaki be taken?

While taking haritaki for seasonal rasayana purpose, it is advisable to take it in the morning and preferably empty stomach.

The  Additives Of Ritu Haritaki In Different Seasons:

  1. Late Winter (15 Jan. to 15 March roughly) – With powder of Pepper (0.5 to 1.0 gm).
  2. Spring (15 March to 15 April roughly) – With one or two teaspoonful of honey.
  3. Summer (15 April to 15 June) – With Guda,  a sugar cane juice derivative. It is much better than white sugar. It is equivalent to organic sugar. It is commonly available in India. It is found to be good for balancing all the three bodily humors. And it can be further medicated by adding some herbs or spices.
  4. Rainy season (15 June to 15 August) – With rock salt added to make the preparation a little bit salty.
  5. Autumn (15 Aug. to 15 Oct.) – With Sugar or Sita, the sugar crystals made by some natives. This sugar is considered to be cold in nature.
  6. Early Winter (15 Oct. to 15 Dec.) – With 1-2 gm of dry ginger powder.

The dosage of haritaki for Ritu haritaki use should be kept constant – somewhere between 3 – 10 gm depending on the preparation that we may be using.

The seasonal additive should be added just before taking the haritaki or should be taken with haritaki.

Using Ritu Haritaki In Places With Less Than Six Seasons In A Year:

It is very common to find such places with one or two or three or four of the seasons described above even in India and many other countries. So let us check (a bit social information!) that how many seasons are in our place. Then, take haritaki with the additives of those seasons only. The seasons can last for more or less periods than two months. So gather information from grandparents and use terminalia chebula as ritu haritaki.

The Specific Benefits Of Ritu Haritaki:

As most of the adaptogenic herbs promote only the vital energy, immunity and general health. This Ritu haritaki preparation does achieve these effects and over deliver us more benefits – detoxification and  balancing the bodily humors throughout the year. The most important of it that it can be used round the year either singly or with any other herbal formulation.

Best of Luck and Better health with terminalia chebula or haritaki – the humble herb with extraordinary benefits.

Terminalia Chebula Plant

Sanskrit Name:

Haritaki, Abhaya (banishing the fear of diseases), Pathya (The good even as dietary aid),  Sudha (for purification or as good as nectar), Bhisakpriya (lovely to Ayurveda Doctors), Vayastha (stabilizing youthfulness).

English Name:

 Chebulic myrobalan, Myrobalan, Ink nut, the Ink tree, Indian gall-nut, Gallnut.

Latin Name:

Terminalia chebula;



French Name:

Badamier chebule.

German Name:

Rispiger Myrobalanenbaum.

Medicinal Parts:

Dried fruit, urnipe fruit and ripe fruit, galls; mostly the outer dried part surrounding the seed is used.

Dosage Of Terminalia chebula:

3-6 gm. of the powder or decotion or extract (equivalent) in liquid, syrup, tablet or capsule form. Mostly with other herbal formulations as well.


It is abundant in Northern India and southwards to Deccan region.

About The Plant:

  1. The tree is tall about 50-80 ft. in height. It has rounded crown and spreading branches.
  2. The bark is dark brown with some longitudinal cracks.
  3. Leaves are ovate and elliptical, with two large glands at the top of petiole.
  4. The fruit or drupe is about 1-2 inches in size. It has five lines or five ribs on the outer skin.
  5. Fruit is green when unripe; and yellowish grey when ripe.
  6. Fruits are collected from January to April. Fruit formation starts from November to January.

Species In Ayurveda:

  • Bhava Prakasha, the author of famous Ayurveda materia medica described the seven species of this herb. This classification is based upon the location and qualities and actions of the plant.
S.No.  Species Name  Feature  Use  Place of Origin
1) Vijaya Oval  All the diseases  Vindhya
2) Rohini Circular  In wounds and Ulcers  Pratisthanka
3) Putana  Little, very hard  As a dressing  Sindha
4) Amrita Thick outer Layer For purification purpose  Champa, Bhagalpur
5) Abhaya Having 5 lines For eye disorders Champa, Bhagalpur
6) Jivanti Golden color For all diseases Saurastra, Gujarat
7) Chetaki – White Having 3 lines For purgation Saurastra, Gujarat
8) Chetaki – Black Having 3 lines For purgation Himachal
  • For practical purposes, the fruit of myrobalan is of three types – actually these are the different stages of maturity of fruit. 1) Small myrobalan – the unripe fruit. 2) Yellow myrobalan – After the development of seed, the adult stage of the fruit. 3) Large myrobalan – the fully matured fruit.

Chemical Composition Of The Fruit Of Terminalia Chebula:

  1. The myrobalan fruit has tannin (24-32%).
  2. The chief constituents of this tannin is Chebulagic acid, Chebulinic acid, Corilagin and gallic acid.
  3. It has 18 amino acids, sugar, phosphoric acid, sucicinic acid and some other acids in minute quantities.
  4. The concentration of tannin decreases in fruit as it matures and the acidity increases.
  5. Resin and purgative principle of anthraquinone and sennoside nature is also present.
  6. The seed pulp has a yellow colored oil.

The Ayurvedic Properties Of Terminalia Chebula:

  • Qualities: light, dry.
  • Taste: Astringent dominant, with 5 tastes without Salt; (Astringent, sweet, sour, bitter, pungent).
  • Vipaka: Sweet.
  • Active Principle: hot.
  • Special effect: Normalizing all the three humors.

Ayurvedic Herbal Compounds Of Terminalia chebula:

There is a large number of Ayurveda products that contain haritaki. Some of them that has chebulic myrobalan as chief ingredient are –

  1. Abhaya modaka or Large tablet – very useful in constipation
  2. Abhayaristham – a low alcoholic auto fermented liquid preparation useful in abdominal problems, constipation and piles.
  3. Pathyadi vati or tablet – good for abdominal problems, piles.
  4. Pathyadi decoction – useful in headaches of all kinds.
  5. Vyaghri Haritaki – The herbal gem or electuary preparation very useful in bronchitis, cough, cold.
  6. Chitraka Haritaki – The herbal electuary very useful in Sinusitis, Nasal allergy, Chronic Coryza etc.
  7. Agastya Haritaki – The herbal gem useful in bronchitis, Tuberculosis, Asthma, cough etc.
  8. Danti Haritaki – The herbal gem very useful as purgative.
  9. Haritaki Khanda -The sweet granules preparation useful in Urticaria, Constipation and Headache.
  10. Pathyadi Powder – The herbal powder useful in abdominal disorders.
  11. Triphala – The combination with equal quantities of three myrobalans – chebulic, belleric and embelic.
As a native Indian and an Ayurvedic holistic healer, Arjun writes in the lane of herbal healing and home remedies. Certification: BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery With Modern Medicine).

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