Harad/ Haritaki or Terminalia Chebula:
Harad (haritaki) or terminalia chebula is a type of Ayurvedic herb which has many health benefits. In fact, haritaki, (also known by the name of black chebulic myrobalan), 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 (in Hindi) whereas the fruits plucked when they completely ripe are known as yellow chebulic myrobalan or badi harad (in Hindi).
Properties of Harad:
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. In addition, it 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 is dry, warm, slightly sweet, bitter and astringent herb. It promotes the receiving power of five senses. According to Ayurveda, haritaki is an excellent herb to cure ‘tridoshas of the body- vata, kapha and pitta’. It can treat asthma, acid reflux, abdominal or digestive diseases. In addition, it is also useful to treat many other diseases such as- piles, urinary problems, dental problems, skin diseases etc.
Health Benefits of Harad (Terminalia Chebula):
Terminalia chebula or haritaki is used in various traditional home remedies to cure different health problems. Some of the best health benefits of haritaki are-
1. Harad for Chronic Cough and Cold:
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 powder with honey to treat it naturally. For chronic cough, use it with amla and liquorice (mulethi).
Also read– ‘Recipe for Chronic Cough’.
2. Harad for Weight Loss:
Terminalia chebula (haritaki) removes toxins from the body and keeps the digestive system healthy. If you take haritaki regularly, it will help to control weight by regulating the hunger.
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. Harad for Migraine:
Terminalia chebula is good to cure chronic headache, like migraine. For fast relief in migraine, grind its seed with warm water and apply on the forehead.
5. Treats Piles:
For treating piles or hemorrhoid, simply consume 1 tsp haritaki powder with buttermilk.
For other remedies of harad read- ‘Recipe for Piles’.
6. Haritaki for Eye Disorders:
Terminalia chebula 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 cure the burning sensation in urine, simply, give 2-5 gm haritaki powder with 1 tsp of honey twice a day.
8. Harad for Mouth Ulcers:
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 its water.
Read detailed ‘Recipe of Harad for mouth ulcers’.
9. Heals Wounds:
Harad can heal wounds naturally. Simply, wash the wounds with the decoction of haritaki.
For details also read– ‘Recipe for healing wounds’.
10. Harad 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. Haritaki for Constipation:
Harad is good to treat constipation; results of a short term clinical trials carried out on patients of simple constipation showed that terminalia chebula increases the stools by stimulating bowel movement. (1)
b. Similarly, a composition of yellow chebulic myrobalan, 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 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 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.
( For details 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 give it to him 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 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. Haritaki for Loose Motion:
To cure loose motion, chew a black Chebulic Myrobalan 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 this amazing herb, 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.
Moreover, terminalia chebula plays an important role in dental caries (decay); it is proved from a study that oral rinsing with extract of haritaki reduces bacterial counts and prevents tooth decay. (2)
16. Harad for 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 haritaki 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 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.