Haritaki benefits may include reduction of lipid levels, oxidative stress, joint pain and stiffness, and digestive issues.
Haritaki produces an array of bioactive compounds that comprise a rich medicinal value. The demand for Haritaki, an all-natural, plant-based medicinal herb, has steadily increased, all the more so since scientific studies point to a range of health benefits that Haritaki offers. Haritaki, scientifically referred to as Terminalia chebula, offers a wide range of pharmacological properties, as I will discuss below.
What Are the Origins of Haritaki?
This moderate-size plant is native to India, China, Turkey, Myanmar, and Iran. It is chiefly found in deciduous forests and subtropical regions. Some of the common names of the herb include:
- France – Myrobalan in dien
- Germany – Myrobalane
- China – Zhang-Qin-Ge, Hezi
- Sri Lanka – Aralu
- India – Harre
Before we look at Haritaki benefits, it may help to highlight the biochemical composition of the plant. It is rich in phenolic compounds, such as:
- Chebulic acid
- Chebulinic acid
- Gallic acid
- Chebulagic acid
Hypolipidemic Activity of Haritaki
Recent clinical evidence has revealed that Haritaki benefits include the ability to significantly reduce lipid levels. This hypolipidemic activity has been attributed to corilagin and chebulinic acid found in the plant. In another study, clinical outcomes showed that the herb’s tannin significantly reduce hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia.
Due to busy work schedules, among other factors, many people consume fast food. Unfortunately, these meals include saturated fats that can lead to coronary heart disorders. According to health reports, a 1% decrease in High-Density Lipoproteins can result in a 4% increase in cardiac risks. Haritaki may help prevent atherosclerosis in patients diagnosed with hyperlipidemia.
Reduction of Oxidative Stress
Many diseases may result from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs due to an imbalance between the production of pro-oxidants and detoxification. It increases when Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are produced in large quantities. These ROS and free radicals can damage body tissues and result in degenerative diseases.
The high number of phytoconstituents found in Haritaki is attributed to its antioxidant activity. These polyphenols protect cell constituents against potential oxidative damage that could damage cells and tissues. Chenulanin, casuarinin, and chebulinic acid also scavenge free radicals.
Key Haritaki benefits include promoting digestive health and addressing digestive disorders. Highly revered in India, its uses also include strengthening and supporting the proper function of the colon, liver, and spleen.
In traditional systems, Haritaki benefits include support for a number of digestive health issues, including constipation, irritable bowel system, flatulence, ulcers, vomiting, intermittent fever, kidney stones, and hemorrhoids. It helps to maintain regular elimination in order to clear accumulated toxins in the gut. By supporting the removal of body toxins in a natural way and by improving digestive health, it supports a healthy metabolism and promotes heart health. It may also improve energy and reduce hypertension.
The main traditional use is to provide support for joint stiffness, joint pain, inflammation, and other joint health issues. It is widely used to help strengthen and nourish the joint tissues. Highly revered in India, it is believed to increase energy, intelligence, and awareness.
Joint and connective tissue integrity, comfort, and function are critical for optimal performance in exercise, recreational, and occupational activities. The fruit of Terminalia chebula tree has been used extensively in many traditional health systems to provide support for different ailments, including those that affect joint health. Recent studies suggest that using Terminalia chebula as a dietary supplement can improve joint mobility, comfort, and functional capacity.
A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggests Haritaki extract may be effective at improving joint health and decreasing joint discomfort. Studies in healthy subjects report that use of Haritaki as a dietary supplement can increase the reported pain threshold related to range of motion and duration of joint activity. In other words, the subjects of the study were able to be active longer and to bend joints further before reporting the activity as painful.
Learn More About Haritaki Benefits
Other Haritaki benefits include:
- Weight management
- Regulation of blood sugars
- Management of diabetes
- Oral hygiene
The extensive clinical research conducted on Haritaki has attracted increasing interest from scholars and consumers. These studies identify Haritaki benefits and pharmacological properties that show why the plant is often used to support the treatment of several diseases.
Today, it’s generally recognized that Terminalia chebula interacts with the digestive, nervous, renal, and integumentary body systems, as well as supports overall joint health. It supports a healthy lifestyle approach related to digestive health. Many scientific studies support these claims, including this study and this study. There is good reason to believe that a lifestyle-related approach to optimal health will benefit from support with Terminalia chebula as a health supplement.
You can also visit our online store, where we sell Haritaki in 200g sizes and up, as well as in smaller 100g sizes as part of our Health Made Simple line of extracts.