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Capsule Haritaki

Latin name:Terminalia chebula
Family: Combretaceae
Common name: Harar, harad, pathya
English name: Chebulic myrobalan

Habitat: The tree is found all over India chiefly in deciduous forests and areas of light rainfall, up to about 1500 m elevation

Macroscopic identification: A large tree, young branchlets, leaf buds, and leaves with long, soft, shining, rust colored, sometimes silvery hair Flowers are dull white or yellowish in color with a strong offensive smell. Fruits are ovoid, wrinkled and ribbed longitudinally.

Parts used: fruit

Pharmacological action: alterative, astringent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, cardio tonic, aperients, antiseptic, anti pyretic, anti emetic, tonic

Actions and uses in ayurveda: Vibandha, aruci, udavarta, gulma, udaroga, arsa, pandu, sotha, jirnajvara, visamjvara, prameha, siroroga, kasa, tamak svasa, hrdroga.

Indications: gingivitis, stomatitis, asthma, cough, dyspnea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, candidiasis, parasites, malabsorption syndromes, biliousness, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, ascites, vesicular and renal calculi, urinary discharges, tumors, skin diseases, leprosy, intermittent fever, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, neuropathy, paralysis, memory loss, epilepsy, depression, leucorrhea, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anorexia, wounds

Photochemical: Contains tannin up to 30 %, chebulic acid 3-5%, chebulinic acid 30 %, ellagic acid, ellagotannic acid, gallic acid, resin and some purgative of the nature of anthraquinone.

Properties and action:

Rasa: kasaya, tikta, amla, katu, madhura
Guna: laghu, Ruksha
Virya: usna
Vipaka: madhura
Karma: tridosha-hara, bedhanam (churnam), grahi (kashaya, tincture), rasayanam, medhyam, dipanapachana, anulomana.

Preparations: powder, paste, and decoction

Therapeutic classification index:

Central nervous system: improves vision, and nourishes the brain and nerves
Respiratory system: it is used in dyspnea, asthma and whooping cough
Digestive system: Haritaki is used in constipation, abdominal pain and distension, foul feces and breath, flatulence, weakness, and a slow pulse. Haritaki regulates the large intestine and relives both constipation and diarrhea, depending on the dosage. It enhances digestion and absorption,
Skin: A fine paste of the powder may be applied on burns and scalds

Ear nose throat A cold infusion of Haritaki is an effective mouth rinse and the powder a good dentifrice in the treatment of apthous stomatitis, periodentitis, and dental caries
Eye: Haritaki made with sugar is given for ophthalmia
Genito- urinary system: In the treatment of piles and vaginal discharge, a decoction of Haritaki may be used an antiseptic and astringent wash

Use of Terminalia chebula in Digestive system:
Terminalia chebula is reported to improve the secretory status of Brunner's glands involved in the protection against duodenal ulcer (Nadar and Pillai 1989).

Anti tumor activity of Terminalia chebula
A tannin fraction from the dried fruit pulp of Terminalia chebula is reported to have antimutagenic activity in vitro (Kaur et al, 1998).

A methanol extract of Terminalia chebula is reported to have had a high potential for inhibiting the growth of leukemia cells, attributed to arjunglucoside I and arjungenin (Creencia et al 1996).

Terminalia chebula as an antibiotic
Antibacterial: Gallic acid and its ethyl ester, isolated from Terminalia chebula, displayed potent antimicrobial activity against several bacteria, including methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (Sato et al 1998). A crude extract of Terminalia chebula is reported to have potent and broad spectrum antibacterial activity against human pathogenic Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria (Phadke and Kulkarni 1989).

Antiviral Terminalia chebula is reported to have antiherpes simplex virus type 1 activity (Kurokawa et al 1995). Terminalia chebula showed a significant inhibitory activity on the effects on human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase (el-Mekkawy et al 1995).
Antifungal: A water extract of Terminalia chebula was found to have an antifungal activity (Dutta et al 1998).

Use of Terminalia chebula in hepatic amoebic dysentery
A combination of Terminalia chebula and four other botanicals (Boerhavia diffusa, Berberis aristata, Tinospora cordifolia and Zingiber officinale) had a maximum cure rate of 73% at a dose of 800 mg/kg/day in experimental amoebic liver abscess in hamsters (Sohni and Bhatt 1996). This same combination had a curative rate of 89% in experimental caecal amoebiasis in rats (Sohni et al. 1995).

Control of Terminalia chebula on cholesterol
Terminalia chebula is reported to significantly reduce serum cholesterol, aortic sudanophilia and the cholesterol contents of the liver and aorta in cholesterol-fed rabbits (Thakur et al 1988).

Dose: powder: 3-6 gms

Capsule Haritaki contains pure and concentrated Haritaki

Dosage: one capsule twice a day.
Package 60 capsules


1.Prof P.V Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol II, pg 753-757
2.Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica, Vol.I, pg 1205-1210
3.The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India, Part I, Vol.I, pg 47-48
4.Dr. Narian Singh Chauhan, Medicinal And Aromatic Plants Of Himachal Pradesh, pg 410-412.

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