Haritaki, the wonder fruit, is used to treat everything from acidity to acne, hair loss to a nagging cough
Haritaki, a fruit known around the world with so many different names, is truly a medical wonder and has many health benefits and medicinal uses. Its botanical name is Terminalia chebula, and it is primarily used to increase metabolism and cleanse the blood. It has a bunch of active compounds including healthy acids and metabolites and treats a wide variety of diseases and is an ingredient that we first resort to for treating most of the small ailments at home.
From the Gods
Haritaki has been regarded very highly from ancient times by traditional healers. According to the Bhavaprakasha (one of the ancient scriptures), haritaki was derived from a drop of nectar from Indra’s (Lord Indra—Hindu god) cup.
The deciduous haritaki tree grows at an altitude of 1,800 meters. The round tree is crowned and branches spread out, with a diameter of 1.5 to 2.5 meters. The long ovate leaves are acute, in opposite pairs about 10 to 20 cm long. The flowers are dull white with spikes and can be found at the end of the branches. The fruit is hard and yellowish green in colour. Each fruit has a single seed that is light yellow in colour. The tree can be found in the sub Himalayan tracks, from Ravi to West Bengal and in the deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Maharashtra.
Haritaki has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-ulcerogenic, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, astringent, anti-aging, anti-arthritic, anti-microbial, hypoglycaemic, anti-pyretic and hypolipidemic properties.
The number of diseases haritaki can cure is astonishing—it is used for treating arthritis, dental problems like caries and bleeding gums, skin problems like acne and eczema, for healing wounds, for neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, for constipation and shrinking haemorrhoids when used externally, for treating ulcers very effectively, for treating and preventing kidney stones, for improving digestion, for treating cough, sore throat and headache, for treating eye inflammations when used as an eye rinse, for improving immunity, for treating fever along with reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels! No wonder it is called the mother of all herbs.
Benefits of Haritaki
• Weight Loss: Haritaki is known to remove toxins from the body and keep the digestive system in peak order. It prevents bloating sensation, acidity and helps in proper assimilation of food. Haritaki is a natural blood purifier and it helps to remove the toxins in the body. Consuming haritaki will regulate the hunger and combined together with a sensible diet and exercise will aid in weight loss naturally.
• Hair Loss: in certain parts of India, haritaki oil is used on the hair to prevent lice infection and dandruff. People also use this oil regularly to prevent lice infection and dandruff. This oil effectively treats hair loss too. Haritaki can also be used in hair packs, ground along with curry leaf powder, amla or gooseberry powder and yogurt to form a paste and then applied on the hair.
• Cough in infant and adults: Haritaki is amazing for treating cough in both adults and infants.
• Constipation: It is a natural laxative. Having a traditional diet that is rich in fibre and using natural laxatives will keep our bowels in good health. Regularly consuming medicine for constipation will make a person dependent on them and of course there are side effects like bloating and flatulence. Haritaki can help.
• Skin: It effectively treats skin allergies in the ears caused by earrings. Gold and silver earrings don’t produce any allergies, but several other metal earrings will not agree with everyone, especially those that contain nickel. The allergy can turn the earlobes itchy, red and swollen. Haritaki is the best solution, giving relief from pain and swelling.
• Acne: A simple paste made with haritaki powder and boiled water heals acne very quickly and prevents scars from forming. Another wonderful use of haritaki is UV protection—haritaki extract when applied on the skin topically has been shown clinically to prevent UV damage.
• Acidity: Haritaki increases the mucus production in the stomach forming a protective barrier thus preventing acidity and ulcer. To use haritaki powder as a remedy, take around 1/4 tsp of haritaki powder and mix it in hot water and drink till the problem disappears.
• Diabetes: A study found that haritaki decreases insulin sensitivity and helps to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body effectively, without side effects. But diabetic patients should consult a medical professional before taking haritaki daily on a regular basis.
• Mouth ulcers: A haritaki mouth rinse treats mouth ulcers very effectively.
Haritaki is not without side effects. Those who are diabetic or pregnant need to be cautious about haritaki. With young children too haritaki should only be given under medical supervision.
Haritaki in Ayurveda
Haritaki is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and it is also one of the three ingredients of the famous triphala, a popular remedy said to promote detoxification.
The Ayurvedic liquid nutritional supplement Amalaki is an all-natural blend of ancient nutrients and botanicals, including haritaki, carefully selected to maximise the beneficial properties of each unique ingredient.
Being close to many people with different positive experiences after using Amalaki Nutritional Liquid I recommend the daily use of it. Experience yourself a better way to a healthier lifestyle.
The author is the founder of Zapata Org and can be reached on 0451 300 539 or firstname.lastname@example.org—Zapata is not just another organisation; it supports wellbeing and rehabilitation of many underprivileged youth in many parts of the world in association with the Helping Hands Foundation. You can also follow them on Instagram Zapata.org.au.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.