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.
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- 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.
- 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.