Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan (Terminalia cebula) is a common plant in India. In Ayurveda, Haritaki is said to be the mother of all herbs for its many health benefits. The Haritaki tree can be about 30 metres high. The fruit of the tree is usually harvested between November and March. The fruit has a slightly bitter, astringent taste and has many medicinal properties.
- The tannin present in the fruit helps in detoxification. It is also used as a laxative. It cures constipation, purifies the digestive system and helps in eliminating the harmful substances produced from metabolism. A small piece of dry Haritaki can be kept in the mouth after meals.Organic Triphala
Some of the uses and benefits of Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan:
Do you know that a simple elimination of wheat and wheat products from your diet may have immense health benefits? Click the button at the end of this post to know why rice is better than wheat as a form of safe starch (carbohydrate).
- The gallic acid present in Haritaki kills the E. Coli bacteria in the intestine. It prevents stomach infection, kills worms and boosts the activities of the liver and the spleen.
- The chebulic and neo-chebulic acid present in the fruits of Haritaki plant act as anti-oxidants. It prevents toxicity of the liver caused as a side-effect of some medicines.
Fruits of the Haritaki Plant
- The chebulic acid increases the production of insulin from the pancreas and thus lowers blood sugar. This is why Haritaki is used for the treatment of diabetes.
- A 10% solution of Haritaki can be used as a mouth wash.
- Haritaki prevents the increase of H. Pylori bacteria in the intestine.
- Haritaki is an effective anti-oxidant and eliminates harmful free radicals from the body.
- Haritaki increases the strength of the heart muscles and is effective in preventing the accumulation of fat in the coronary artery. It also plays a role in keeping blood pressure under control.
- For those with enlarged livers, there is an increased risk of contracting hepatitis and jaundice. For such people regular consumption of Haritaki would decrease the risk of such infections.
- Haritaki is helpful for tackling obesity. It cleanses the stomach, aids in the digestion, assimilation and metabolism of food in the stomach and increases the metabolic rate of the body. Haritaki thus helps in increasing the energy expenditure of the body. By boosting the secretion of bile, Haritaki helps in the mobilization of the stored fat in the body. It also keeps the appetite under control. For those who have successfully reduced their weight by diet and exercise, consumption of Haritaki helps them to keep to their ideal weight.
- Haritaki helps in the production and elimination of urine from the body. Thus, it helps in reducing the risk of urinary tract infection.
- Regular consumption of Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan will help in the reduction of skin problems. Grounded Haritaki, when applied over skin, will help in the cure of acne, sunburns, rashes, eczema etc.
Pen & Water colour sketch of a Haritaki tree
Haritaki is not recommended for those who are allergic to the fruit as well as for women during pregnancies.
Do you have experience of using this wonderful fruit? Please use the Comments section below to let us know.
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Rabi Nayak is a thin, dark-complexioned young man. He looks fragile but is not really weak. He lives in the vicinity and helps me with a few jobs for small payments. He lives with his father on the basement of a nearby apartment building where his father works as the janitor. I know their family for the last forty years. The Nayaks came from a remote village of Odisha’s Ganjam district and they have traditionally worked in a college here on the southern fringes of Calcutta as sweepers and gate-keepers. I believe their docile and obedient demeanour endeared them to their employers for decades. They appeared to be different from the brash and rowdy local young men and so had no difficulty in finding employment far away from their home.
When Rabi came to see me this morning, it suddenly occurred to me that I should ask him if he was inconvenienced in any way by the recent demonetisation effort by the Indian central government whereby higher denomination notes of rupees 500 and 1000 were cancelled all over the country with a notice of only a few hours. I asked him if he faced problems because everywhere in the Indian print media I have been reading about how the ordinary citizens and especially the poor people of India have been suffering because of this decision to cancel notes. I was vexed by such reports because I considered myself an ordinary Indian and I had no problems whatsoever in my daily life as the few higher denomination currency notes I had were easily deposited and then withdrawn from my bank account. When I asked Rabi that question, he said:” What difficulty? We had four Rs. 500 notes which my father deposited to his bank account and then withdrawn. How many such notes do you think we have?” He also told me that he is in regular touch with his relatives in the villages and although there have been some inconveniences, they did not stall or stop their daily activities. “It was a good decision! You hear so much because the political leaders and the corrupt people have been inconvenienced the most!”
Two decades ago, I spent four years in the villages of West Bengal as a government official. I assume things have not gone worse for the villagers since then and most of them are at least somewhat better off than they have been. If my assumption is correct, I find no reason why, barring a short and temporary period when they may have to undergo some hardships because of lack of cash, I see no reason how things will fall apart as some political leaders here make us believe. Like Rabi I am prompted to ask,” How many Rs. 500 notes do you think a poor person has?” The decision of demonetisation can only be calamitous for those who are dishonest.