Harad, Haritaki or Terminalia Chebula:
Harad (haritaki) or terminalia chebula is a type of Ayurvedic herb which has many health benefits. Also known by the name of black chebulic myrobalan, haritaki is a species of Terminalia. It is found throughout South East Asia, such as – India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh etc. In India, it is found in the lower Himalayan tracks from Ravi banks to West Bengal, Assam and in the wild forests of Northern India.
Description of Plant of Haritaki:
Terminalia Chebula (Haritaki) is a deciduous plant which is very long and grows up to 50-80 ft. About 8-12 ft thick plant of terminalia chebula bears small, dull white to yellowish flowers which grow on long white clusters. The terminalia chebula tree has 1-2 inch long, oval shaped and striped fruits. The flowers appear during May-June, and the fruits appear in July-December. The fruit is about 1-2 inches in size and oval in shape; it has five stripes on the outer skin.
Fruit is green when unripe and yellowish Gray when ripe. Ripe fruits are collected from January to April. Haritaki is of seven types according to Ayurveda but at present, only two or three varieties are available which are the fruits of the same tree. The fruits plucked before seed formation are known as small terminalia chebula or chhoti Harad whereas the fruits plucked when they completely ripe are known as big terminalia chebula or big black chebulic myrobalan or badi harad.
Properties of Harad or Terminalia Chebula:
The terminalia chebula is rich in tannin (hydrolysable type tannin). It contains 18 amino acids, 12 fatty acids and small amounts of fructose, polyphenols and phosphoric acids. Haritaki is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also rich in several minerals including selenium, potassium, manganese, iron and copper. The tree releases a kind of gum; a yellow oil comes from the kernel of the seed.
Harad or haritaki is dry, warm, slightly sweet, bitter and astringent herb. According to Ayurveda, haritaki is one of the most important herbs. It is an excellent herb to cure ‘tridoshas of the body- vata, kapha and pitta’. Harad can treat asthma, acid reflux, abdominal or digestive diseases. It is also useful in treating many other diseases such as- piles, urinary problems, dental problems, skin diseases etc. Moreover, terminalia chebula promotes the receiving power of five senses.
Health Benefits of Harad (Terminalia Chebula):
Terminalia chebula or haritaki is known for its amazing health benefits. It is used in various traditional home remedies to cure different health problems. Some of the best health benefits of haritaki are-
1. Good for Chronic Cough and Cold:
Harad or haritaki is amazing to treat cough for everyone. Because of its pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, it helps to cure ‘kapha dosh’. Whenever you have cough and cold, try harad (haritaki) powder with honey to treat it naturally. For chronic cough, use harad with amla and liquorice (mulethi).
Also read– ‘Recipe for Chronic Cough’.
2. Weight Loss:
Terminalia chebula or haritaki removes toxins from the body and keeps the digestive system healthy. Consuming haritaki regularly regulates the hunger and helps in weight loss naturally.
Read– ‘Recipe of Harad for Weight Loss’.
3. Good for Sore Throat:
To clear sore throat (gale ki kharash), gargle with terminalia chebula water.
For details read– ‘Recipe for sore throat’.
4. Cures Migraine:
Terminalia chebula or haritaki is good to cure chronic headache, such as migraine. For fast relief in migraine, grind its seed with warm water and apply on the forehead.
5. Treats Piles:
For treating piles or haemorrhoid, simply consume 1 tsp harad (black chebulic myrobalan or terminalia chebula) powder with buttermilk.
For other remedies of harad read- ‘Recipe for Piles’.
6. Eye Disorders:
Terminalia chebula or harad or haritaki is good for all type of eyes disorders. It is one of the main ingredients of the Ayurvedic medicine ‘Triphala’. Haritaki water can be used as an eye wash. Soak haritaki overnight in water in a pot (preferably in earthen pot) and use this water next day morning to wash your eyes. Water of haritaki is found to be analgesic and anti-inflammatory; it is beneficial for Conjunctivitis also.
7. Urinary Disorder:
To cures the burning sensation in urine, simply, give 2-5 gm haritaki powder with 1 tsp of honey twice a day.
8. Good for Mouth Ulcers:
Harad or haritaki is good for oral problems, especially mouth ulcers and bleeding gums. If you have mouth ulcers, you can cure it by making a mouth rinse with harad.
Read detailed ‘Recipe of Harad for mouth ulcers’.
9. Heals Wounds:
Harad or terminalia chebula can heal wounds naturally. Simply, wash the wounds with the decoction of haritaki.
Also read– ‘Recipe for healing wounds’.
10. Good for Acidity:
Haritaki is an amazing herb to cure all type of stomach problems. There are different compositions of harad mixing with other herbs which shows good results in curing acute acidity. To know about these home remedies, read –
- Recipe of Harad with black cardamom for acidity
- Recipe of Yellow Chebulic Myrobalan with badi elaichi and baheda
- Harad with piper longum for acidity
- Recipe of Chebulic myrobalan with jaggery for acidity
- Harad with raisin (kishmish) to cure acidity
- Recipe of Haritaki with Amla for acidity
11. Treats Constipation:
a. Harad works as a natural laxative; you can use it with black cardamom (badi elaichi) and black pepper (kali mirch) to ease constipation.
b. Similarly, a composition of yellow chebulic myrobalan (badi harad), terminalia belerica (baheda) and mishri (rock sugar) works as an excellent cure of constipation.
For detailed remedies, read ‘Recipes of harad for Constipation’.
12. Good for Joint Pain:
Anti inflammatory properties of terminalia chebula (harad) make it effective to treat arthritis, gout and joint pain. People who suffer from these problems, generally treated with painkillers which are harmful for body. However, they can try the terminalia chebula (haritaki) in different composition, such as-
- Recipe of Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula) with Dry Ginger
- Harad with Giloy- a health recipe for joint pain
13. Cures Babies’ Gastric Problem:
Most of the lactating (breast feeding) mothers face this problem and worried about how to relieve a baby’s gas discomfort naturally and quickly. Yellow chebulic myrobalan is very good for curing the stomach pain among babies. Badi harad can be given by rubbing on a clean rough surface.
(refer to ‘Home Remedies of stomach pain in kids‘).
In case of cold and cough, rub dry ginger with yellow chebulic myrobalan in similar way and give it to the child with 1 tsp honey.
If your child is crying in the night with flatulence (pet phoola hona), rub badi harad on rough surface in similar manner and ingest it after adding some jaggery (gur) in it.
Harad is a good appetizer; you can give it to your child with a very little amount of rock salt (sendha namak) to improve appetite.
Before using yellow chebulic myrobalan for small children, check that it should be neat and germ free. You can also check it by soaking into water; it should be sinkable.
14. Loose Motion or Diarrhea:
To cure loose motion, chew a black Chebulic Myrobalan (chhoti harad) like a toffee.; you will get relief within half an hour.
Harad can control any type of dysentery naturally without any medication. For other remedial uses of harad for treating loose motion, also read–
- Recipe of Haritaki with amla for loose motion.
- Recipe of Terminalia chebula with Piper Longum (pippali) for loose motion.
15. Good for Teeth Whitening:
Harad or terminalia chebula is also good for teeth whitening as tooth powder. Apply this on your teeth twice a day. ; it cleans teeth and keeps them strong. For making fine powder of chhoti harad grind it into mixer grinder and sieve it with thin cloth and keep into a jar for use.
16. Gastric Problem:
Terminalia chebula is good for gastric problem. Whenever you feel abdominal gas, take one piece of haritaki and keep it in your mouth. Let it to be swallowed and when it became soft, either eat it or remove.
17. Prevents Hair Loss:
To prevent hair fall and dandruff, use haritaki oil regularly.
To make oil, simply heat a cup of coconut oil in a pan with three pods of haritaki in it. Boil it till it turned brown; put it off from the flame and let it to be cool. Then store the oil into a jar and apply on your hair. Regular use of harad oil gives complete nourishment to your hair.
18. Removes Acne and Ulcers:
Antibacterial properties of harad make it very effective for treating acne and ulcers. If you are facing these problems, try harad powder by making paste with boiled water. Simply, apply this paste on acne and ulcer spotted skin; it heals acne very quickly.
Or simply rub a pod of yellow terminalia chebula (big haritaki) on a rough surface (stone) with little boiled water. When the paste will thick and light green in color, apply it on the affected area.
Side Effects of Harad or Haritaki:
Besides being an excellent herb, terminalia chebula also has some side effects that can not be overlooked. It is not safe for pregnant women, therefore not recommended during pregnancy. It reduce the production of breast milk, therefore not good for lactating mothers.
Excessive use of haritaki is also not good as it is dry and hot in nature; therefore should not be taken if you already having dryness. You should not take it, if you are already suffering from depression, fever, excessive bleeding, indigestion, severe thirst, feeling tiredness, stiff neck and hunger. It should not be given to children below 5 years and the people who are very thin.
The natural/ home remedies given above is for information purpose only; it is neither to be construed as a diagnosis, treatment, or cure for any disease nor to be considered as a substitute for medical care from a doctor. Better to consult your doctor before trying these natural remedies; results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.