Haritaki therapeutic uses including removing toxins and reducing hypertension. Haritaki is often called the King of Medicines.
Haritaki Therapeutic Uses
We recently introduced the Queen of Herbs, Holy Basil. Today, we hail Terminalia chebula, known as the “king of medicines” in Tibet. The local Indian and Tibetan name is Haritaki. It is also known as Chebulic Myrobalan, Black Myroblan, and Ink Nut.
What Is Haritaki?
Haritaki plants are very large deciduous trees that grow up to 100 feet tall. The branches often form in tiers. They grow in sunny forests and thickets and are often cultivated on village commons. The plants can be found throughout India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, as well as in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and China.
Botanically, they are in the order Myrtales, family Combretaceae (Indian almond family). In India, it is well accepted that the different growing regions produce fruits with varying properties and qualities. At Linden Botanicals, we prefer the Vijaya variety. We source our Terminalia chebula from the Vindhya Range in India.
The Latin name for Haritaki, Terminalia chebula, refers to the flowers and fruit of the tree that are borne on terminal spikes or panicles. The fruits are five-ridged, ellipsoid drupes, yellow to orange-brown in color, with a single angled stone. The fruit and the pulp inside the stone are used for medicinal purposes.
Haritaki Traditional Uses
A story in the ancient Sanskrit texts says that Indra, the King of Heaven, let a drop of nectar fall to earth. Where it landed, the Haritaki tree came to life. Ayurvedic healers have long called Terminalia chebula the “king of all medicines,” believing it can destroy all diseases (roga in Sanscrit), eliminate all waste from the body, and promote tissue growth and health.
In the vedic tradition, the word roga is not limited to physical diseases; instead, it extends to all suffering that makes us powerless or out of tune physically, mentally, or spiritually. The belief is that Haritaki enhances the buildup of prana, a subtle energy that awakens the non-mechanical parts of the brain. Awakening the non-mechanical parts of the brain makes you more capable, sensitive, and intelligent, enabling you to grow in awareness.
The primary traditional use of Haritaki in Ayruvedic practice is to support the digestive system. Haritaki has been used to address digestive disorders, irregular fevers, constipation, flatulence, ulcers, vomiting, colic, and hemorrhoids. It may also help with other gastrointestinal ailments such as ascites, enlargement of the liver or spleen, worms, colitis, and food poisoning.
By supporting the removal of the body’s toxins in a natural way and by improving digestion, Haritaki may help with metabolic syndromes, improve energy, and reduce hypertension, thus supporting heart health.
In Tibetan literature, the different parts of the Haritaki tree have been used for a special therapeutic purpose. The roots are used to treat diseases of the bone, the stem to treat muscle diseases, the bark to treat skin diseases, the branches to treat vascular disorders, the leaves to treat visceral diseases, and the fruit to support vital organs, including the heart.
Haritaki Therapeutic Uses
Spurred by these many traditional uses, modern researchers have long studied the potential of Haritaki therapeutic uses. The medicinal properties of Haritaki have been researched and analyzed in hundreds of scientific papers, including in vitro, animal, and human studies.
Properties that have been studied and found statistically significant include antiarthritic, antibacterial, anticaries, anticholinerterase, antidiabetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective, cytoprotective, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, nephroprotective, and prokinetic.
You can also learn more here.
Haritaki – The King of Medicines
“All hail the king!” Haritaki is indeed a wonderful plant. But to be clear, we sell Haritaki not because it may relieve any specific condition but because we appreciate that it supports the function of a variety of body systems (in particular digestion) in a way that can help you optimize your health. You can read more about its health benefits here.