What is Haritaki good for? Haritaki, also called Terminalia chebula, offers excellent digestive and joint health support.
Haritaki, also called Chebulic myrobalan, is usually cultivated from Terminalia chebula seeds. This fruit is often converted into extract form and has been used for several medicinal purposes.
Before diving into what Haritaki is good for, I would like to share a brief description of this wonderful plant. Haritaki belongs to the Combretaceae family, which is native to tropical and subtropical areas. Some of the common regions where this miraculous plant grows include India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Nepal. Haritaki fruits are drupe-shaped with a green exterior and ridges on the surface. The flesh is often yellow, orange, or yellow-green in color.
Beyond the fruits, the plant’s stems, roots, leaves, barks, and branches are also often used for medicinal purposes.
What is Haritaki Good For?
Traditional Ayurvedic systems of medicine have used Haritaki to support treatment for a range of conditions. Preliminary, laboratory, and animal-based research suggests that Haritaki offers numerous health benefits, as I’ll describe below.
Promoting Healthy Digestion
Stomach gas, heartburns, aches, or other digestive disorders can cause irritation and discomfort. While they may not be cause for concern during their earlier stages, the symptoms may result in serious health concerns if not treated in time.
Haritaki is a potent digestive herb that can help to improve digestive functions. The bioactive compounds in the plant help to increase the absorption of essential nutrients from foods. The herb’s fruit exhibits laxative properties that help to relieve constipation, flatulence and cleanse intestines. This property also helps to reduce stomach acidity and subsequently minimize stomach ulcers.
Relieving Osteoarthritic and Joint Pain
If you have experienced persistent osteoarthritic pain before, you may have come across a Haritaki tea prescription and wondered what is Haritaki good for. The 2016 Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology revealed that Terminalia chebula can help to relieve pain.
In studies, Terminalia chebula increased pain threshold and tolerance, similar to many NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). An ethanol extract of the herb showed an effect against collagen-induced osteoarthritis. The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties were exhibited against cytokines TNF, IL-6, and IL-1. The plant also relieved pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which is often characterized by the inflammation of synovial joints, bone erosion, and cartilage destruction.
Conventional drugs such as NSAIDs, DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), and glucocorticoids are often used to alleviate pain. However, these drugs have the potential to interfere with the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in intestinal ulcers, hepatoxicity, and blood dyscrasias. Due to the complexity of these painful conditions, combination therapies that interfere with target proteins or pathogenic events may prove helpful and effective.
Preventing Dental Cavities
Tooth decay and cavities are among the world’s leading health problems. They are common in children, adults, and teenagers. If not treated early, cavities can result in tooth infections, severe toothache, and tooth loss.
An Oral Health and Dentistry study recommends the use of a Haritaki-based mouthwash to help prevent dental cavities. Although regular brushing and flossing may also help to prevent dental cavities, using a Haritaki-based mouthwash can be very effective and support good dental hygiene. The herb contains Triphala, a main active ingredient that targets Streptococcus mutans. Another study revealed that using 0.6% Triphala may prevent the formation of dental plaques.
Learn More About Haritaki
Now that you know what Haritaki is good for, you may be seeking additional information about this wonderful herb. We encourage you to read the Haritaki FAQ and the many scientific studies on the NIH website. And when you’re ready to buy some for yourself, check out our online store, where we sell Terminalia in 200g and up, as well as in smaller 100g sizes as part of our Health Made Simple line of extracts.