Haritaki – King of Medicine
Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula or Chebulic Myrobalan) has been successfully used in Ayurvedic Medicine for thousands of years, due to it’s extraordinary healing powers.
Haritaki is a powerful adaptogen that helps to balance the body and maintain the balance of the Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
The fruit of the Haritaki tree is best known for its health benefits within the digestive system. Traditionally, it is used to address constipation, digestive disorders, irregular fevers, flatulence, ulcers, vomiting, colic, and haemorrhoids. It may also help with other gastrointestinal ailments such as tumors, ascites, enlargement of the liver or spleen, worms, colitis and food poisoning.
Haritaki is also used to prevent hair loss, remove dandruff, prevent a cough, cold, sore throat and gingivitis, remove acne, boost immunity, prevent diabetes, help to control blood sugar levels, help in weight loss, to alleviate skin allergies and improve heart conditions.
A topical paste containing the fruit can be used to provide relief to the eyelids in cases of conjunctivitis. It can be used to help clean wounds and ulcers and to speed up the healing process. In astringent or powder form, Haritaki can be helpful with dental issues such as loose or bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.
Additionally, Haritaki improves memory, concentration, energy, appetite, digestion, helps in nervous irritability, helps in urinary stones and when taken in combination with Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry or amla), may help lower cholesterol and prevent the death of heart tissue.
The fruit of the Haritaki tree is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains the minerals selenium, potassium, manganese, iron and copper. Studies have proven Haritaki to have multiple pharmacological and medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, hepato-protective, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, radio-protective, cardio protective, anti-arthritic, anti-caries, gastrointestinal motility and wound healing properties.
Modern research has found that Haritaki has a strong effect against the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Another study shows that it has a considerable effect in inhibiting the HIV virus that ultimately results in AIDS.
Apart from its medicinal uses, Haritaki has spiritual benefits, such as third eye awakening. It is used not just for physical healing but for consciousness and enlightenment. Referred to as the ‘King of medicines’ by thousands of yogis, Haritaki is said to have an effect on all illnesses and has been described as the ‘supreme nectar that illuminates the mind.’ Haritaki is believed to increase oxygenation in the brain by 300% and awaken mystical powers.
Haritaki can be found in a variety of forms from powder, capsules and tablets to actual dried fruit. It is also one of the three ingredients in Triphala, probably one of the most famous Ayurvedic formulations used for good health.
Although Haritaki has immense health benefits, due to its astringent and hot nature, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Single herb usage of Haritaki may reduce the production of breast milk. It is not recommended if one is dehydrated or emaciated or in those who have depleted immunity and strength. Haritaki should be used under the supervision of an Ayurvedic Practitioner.