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Natural home remedy - Terminalia chebula

Terminalia chebula health benefits and home remedies
Terminalia chebula (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Terminalia chebula, called 'Haritaki' in India, is a fruit which is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicines. It is in fact one of the herbs used in the Ayurvedic medicine 'Triphala' which is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. Haritaki is reported to contain various bio chemical compounds. It is also antioxidant, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancerous. It is said to be a home remedy for infectious diseases such as chronic ulcers, leucorrhoea, pyorrhoea and fungal infections of the skin. It helps to increase the frequency of stools and also empties the bowel completely.

Botanical name - Terminalia chebula
Sanskrit - Haritaki
Common name - Chebulic Myrobalan
Tamil - Kadukkai
Hindi - Harad

Health Benefits of Terminalia chebula

Terminalia fruit health benefits and home remedies
Terminalia chebula dried fruit (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Terminalia chebula is said to reduce the effects of fat rich and oily food. The fruit has many health benefits, and has been traditionally used widely as a digestive aid, laxative and for excessive urination. In the book 'Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives' by 'Anne McIntyre', the following health benefits of Haritaki are listed.

Haritaki Health Benefits for the Digestive System

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Terminalia chebula benefits the whole digestive tract. It is said to increase appetite, and improve digestion and absorption. It provides effective cure for piles, gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhoea. It can also be used for colic and wind, worms, constipation, IBS and vomitting. The unripe fruit is considered to be more of a laxative than the ripe one. Haritaki is also useful for infections of the gut and for parasites including amoebas. It is also said to be effective for use in inflammation of the mucous membrane and ulcers.

Haritaki Health Benefits for Oxidative Stress

Terminalia chebula is known to protect against age-realted diseases. This is because it helps fight oxidative stress. In animal studies, it was observed that T chebula boosts the concentration of many well known antioxidants, like gluthione, vitamin C, gallic acid, and ellagic acid. The fruit of the Terminalia chebula is an effective antioxidant. It is an excellent free radical scavenger. Studies also show that, it can be used to protect humans from radiation induced damage. The fruit is also used to prevent aging, and building immunity and body resistance against diseases.

Haritaki Health Benefits for the Heart

Terminalia chebula may also have health benefits for the heart. Animal studies have shown that, it helps reduce total cholesterol in mice and also helps reduce triglycerides, which is known to increase the risk of heart disease, at higher levels. It was also found to possess significant hypolipidemic activity. It is considered a cardio tonic and helps in lowering blood pressure. Its antioxidant properties protect the heart and arteries, from damage by free radicals.

Haritaki Health Benefits for the Respiratory System

The ripe fruit of T chebula ia a good astringent, and as such is a good home remedy for catarrh, congestion and coughs. Haritaki powder is said to have been smoked in pipes for relief from asthma.

Haritaki Health Benefits for Nervous System

Haritaki is said to promote wisdom, intellect and good sight. The antioxidant properties in haritaki, make it a good adaptogen, thus increasing resilience to stress.

Other Health Benefits of Haritaki

Haritaki is an antiseptic diuretic for urinary tract infections. It has the ability to increase resistance to infections. It is effective against a range of bacterial and viral infections. Research has shown that haritaki can inhibit the growth of certain cancer cell lines. Haritaki is used to cure fevers, skin eruptions and infections. Haritaki powder is also used to clean teeth and gums, in order to stop the bleeding and infection of the mouth and gums.

Home Remedies with Haritaki