|A leafless T. Chebula tree|
Terminalia chebula (Yellow Myrobalan or Chebulic Myrobalan; Urdu: ہریڑ; Chinese: 诃子 he zi; Gujarati: Himmej; Telugu: Karakkaya;Sanskrit: harītakī, हरीतकी; Tibetan: A-ru-ra) is a species of Terminalia, native to southern Asia from India and Nepal east to southwestern China (Yunnan), and south to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam.
It is a deciduous tree growing to 30-metre (98 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The leaves are alternate to subopposite in arrangement, oval, 7–8-centimetre (2.8–3.1 in) long and 4.5–10-centimetre (1.8–3.9 in) broad with a 1–3-centimetre (0.39–1.2 in) petiole. The fruit is drupe-like, 2–4.5-centimetre (0.79–1.8 in) long and 1.2–2.5-centimetre (0.47–0.98 in) broad, blackish, with five longitudinal ridges.
- Terminalia chebula var. chebula. Leaves and shoots hairless, or only hairy when very young.
- Terminalia chebula var. tomentella (Kurz) C.B.Clarke. Leaves and shoots silvery to orange hairy.
Cultivation and uses 
This tree yields smallish, ribbed and nut-like fruits which are picked when still green and then pickled, boiled with a little added sugar in their own syrup or used in preserves; this preserve is called 'Hareer Ka Murabba (ہریڑ کا مربہ) in Urdu language. The seed of the fruit, which has an elliptical shape, is an abrasive seed enveloped by a fleshy and firm pulp. It is regarded as a universal panacea in the Ayur-Vedic Medicine and in the Traditional Tibetan medicine. It is reputed to cure blindness and it is believed to inhibit the growth of malignant tumours.
In Hindi it is called Harad, Haritaki, or Harada, respectively 'Inknut'. In Urdu it is called 'Hareer'. In Sri Lanka it is called Aralu. In Marathi it is called as 'Hirada', in Kannada it is called 'Alalekaayi', in Tamil it is called 'Kadukkai' and in Malayalam it is known as 'Kadukka'. In Bengali it is called horitoky. In Assamese it is called Hilikha. In Telugu it is called 'Karakkaya'. In the United States it is found in some Indian stores; it is known as 'Harde Whole'.
The dry nut's peel is used to cure cold-related nagging coughs. The bark/peel of the nut is placed in the cheek. Although the material does not dissolve, the resulting saliva, bitter in taste, is believed to have medicinal qualities to cure cold related coughs. Its fruit has digestive, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac and restorative properties and is additionally beneficial in flatulence, constipation, piles, cough and colds.
Medium to large deciduous tree up to 30 m. Leaves are elliptic-oblong, acute tip, cordate at the base, margins entire, glabrous above with a yellowish pubescence below. Flowers monoecious, dull white to yellow, strong unpleasant odour, borne in terminal spikes or short panicles. Fruits glabrous, ellipsoid to ovoid drupes, yellow to orange brown in colour, single angled stone. Found in deciduous forests of Indian subcontinent, dry slopes up to 900 meters in elevation
Part used 
Fruit; seven types are recognized (i.e. vijaya, rohini, putana, amrita, abhaya, jivanti and chetaki), based on the region the fruit is harvested, as well as the colour and shape of the fruit. Generally speaking, the vijaya variety is preferred, which is traditionally grown in the Vindhya mountain range of central India, and has a roundish as opposed to a more angular shape
Researchers have isolated a number of glycosides from Haritaki, including the triterpenes arjunglucoside I, arjungenin, and the chebulosides I and II. Other constituents include a coumarin conjugated with gallic acids called chebulin, as well as other phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, 2,4-chebulyl-β-D-glucopyranose, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate, punicalagin, terflavin A, terchebin, luteolin, and tannic acid. Chebulic acid is a phenolic acid compound isolated from the ripe fruits. Luteic acid can be isolated from the bark.
Medicinal Uses 
||This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2011)|
- Rasa (taste): All but salty, mainly astringent, bitter, hot, sweet
- Virya (energy): Heating
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
- Guna (quality): light, dry
- Dosha: VPK=
- Dhatu: All tissues
- Srotas: digestive, excretory, nervous, respiratory, female reproductive
Haritaki is a rejuvenative, laxative (unripe), astringent (ripe), anthelmintic, nervine, expectorant, tonic, carminative, and appetite stimulant. It is used in people who have leprosy (including skin disorders), anemia, narcosis, piles, chronic, intermittent fever, heart disease, diarrhea, anorexia, cough and excessive secretion of mucus, and a range of other complaints and symptoms. According to the Bhavaprakasha, Haritaki was derived from a drop of nectar from Indra’s cup. Haritaki is used to mitigate Vata and eliminate ama (toxins), indicated by constipation, a thick greyish tongue coating, abdominal pain and distension, foul feces and breath, flatulence, weakness, and a slow pulse. The fresh fruit is dipana and the powdered dried fruit made into a paste and taken with jaggery is malashodhana, removing impurities and wastes from the body. Haritaki is an effective purgative when taken as a powder, but when the whole dried fruit is boiled the resulting decoction is grahi, useful in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. The fresh or reconstituted fruit taken before meals stimulates digestion, whereas if taken with meals it increases intelligence, nourishes the senses and purifies the digestive and genitourinary tract. Taken after meals Haritaki treats diseases caused by the aggravation of Vayu, Pitta and Kapha as a result of unwholesome food and drinks. Haritaki is a rasayana to Vata, increasing awareness, and has a nourishing, restorative effect on the central nervous system. Haritaki improves digestion, promotes the absorption of nutrients, and regulates colon function.
Pregnancy due to its laxative and descending nature, dehydration, severe exhaustion, emaciation, pitta if taken in excess.
See also 
- Flora of China: Terminalia chebula
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Terminalia chebula
- Saleem, A.; Husheem, M.; Härkönen, P.; Pihlaja, K. (2002). "Inhibition of cancer cell growth by crude extract and the phenolics of Terminalia chebula retz. Fruit". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 81 (3): 327–336. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00099-5. PMID 12127233.
- Preparative isolation of hydrolysable tannins chebulagic acid and chebulinic acid from Terminalia chebula by high-speed counter-current chromatography. Quanbin Han, Jingzheng Song, Chunfeng Qiao, Lina Wong and Hongxi Xu, J. Sep. Sci. 2006, 29, 1653 – 1657
- Lee, H. S.; Jung, S. H.; Yun, B. S.; Lee, K. W. (2006). "Isolation of chebulic acid from Terminalia chebula Retz. And its antioxidant effect in isolated rat hepatocytes". Archives of Toxicology 81 (3): 211–218. doi:10.1007/s00204-006-0139-4. PMID 16932919.
- Lee, H. S.; Koo, Y. C.; Suh, H. J.; Kim, K. Y.; Lee, K. W. (2010). "Preventive effects of chebulic acid isolated from Terminalia chebula on advanced glycation endproduct-induced endothelial cell dysfunction". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (3): 567–574. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.07.039. PMID 20659546.
- Nierenstein, M.; Potter, J. (1945). "The distribution of myrobalanitannin". The Biochemical journal 39 (5): 390–392. PMID 21020785.
- Haritaki In Ayurveda
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0-7234-3410-7. Contains a detailed monograph on Terminalia chebula(Haritaki; Abhaya) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/361-haritaki
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