Haritaki fruit is one among the three, that constitute Triphala. It is a very famous rejuvenating herb. Its botanical name is Terminalia chebula and it belongs to Combretaceae family.
Table of Contents
Rasa (taste) – Five tastes except salt, Astringent dominant
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – lightness, Rooksha – dryness
Vipaka – Madhura – Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Varnya – it helps to improve skin complexion
Ushna – hot in nature
Sara – promotes bowel movement
Medhya – improves intelligence. For this quality, Haritaki is used in combination with other memroy and concentration enhancing herbs such as Gotu Kola, Brahmi, Shatavari, Shankhapushpi etc. It is used in the treatment of autism, ADHD, senile dementia and to improve memory and concentration in students.
Doshaghna – natural detoxifying
Lekhaneey – fat scraping quality
Shothanut – relieves inflammation
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Pachana – digestive
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Rasayana – anti aging, rejuvenative
Ayushya – improves life expectancy
Bruhmani – nourishing, improves body weight
Anulomani – helps in normalizing bowel movements
Balaprada – promotes physical strength
Buddiprada – improves intelligence
Smritiprada – improves memory
The word meaning of haritaki is (Harati)- Means that which effectively removes the diseases and (Takati) that which makes the body shine. The word Takati denotes the ability to make something shine.
Qualities of different parts of fruit
- Hareetaki seed kernel is sweet
- Fiber part is sour
- Fruit rind is bitter
- Fruit Skin is pungent
- Seed is astringent in nature
- Fruit Pulp (majja) – Good for eyes, heavy to digest, balances vata and pitta dosha.
Terminalia chebula is a medium sized deciduous tree growing up to 30 meter in height. Leaves are alternate, sub-opposite, oblong-ovate, with an acute tip, cordate at the base. They are glabrous above with a yellowish pubescence below. Fruits are drupe-like, glabrous, smooth, ellipsoid to ovoid in shape, yellow to orange brown in color with five longitudinal ridges. Flowers are monoecious, dull whitish yellow in color with strong unpleasant odor. Seeds are globose, pale yellow in color.
Terminalia chebula Retz is found throughout South and Southeast Asia including India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand.(b)
- Stomatitis, Dental caries – Cold infusion of haritaki fruit is used for gargling
- Bleeding gums – Fine fruit powder is used for application.
- Dysentery – 5 grams of stem bark powder is mixed with 50 ml of ferula seed soaked water. This mixture is consumed two times a day for two days.
- Stomach ailments in Children – 10 grams of fruits are taken and crushed with water and paste is made. This paste is given orally two times a day for 3 days
- Leucoderma – 15 grams of seeds are crushed in 25 ml of water and made into paste. This paste is taken once a day for a week.
- Eye ailment – Fruit extract is used to wash in watering eyes. Fruit powder soaked in water overnight in an earthen pot is used next morning for eye wash. Fruit paste mixed with turmeric powder is used as remedy for inflammation of eyes.
- Burns – Fruit paste can be applied on burns.
- Diabetes mellitus – Two spoons of dried powder with water is taken once a day for 20 days. One fruit per day is eaten for 30 days. Leaf juice 1 teaspoon is consumed once a day for 2 months.
- Sore throat – Fruit roasted a little on burning charcoal is chewed.
- Cough – Fruit powder mixed with the water or cow’s or goat’s milk is taken twice a day for 7 days. Fruit is roasted and chewed for instant relief.
- Tuberculosis – 5 gram of fresh bark is crushed with 1 gram of black pepper is taken orally at noon.
- Obesity – Haritaki fruit consumed for few months is used as remedy for obesity and improves body strength.
- For black hair – Fruits bark is mixed with equal quantity of stem bark of Shorea robusta, fruit bark of Terminalia bellirica and stem bark of Syzygium cumini and crushed. This is applied on hair for 2 -3 hours before hair wash. (a)
Terminalia chebula contains chebulagic acid, chebulic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid (~1.2%), ethyl gallate, ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, chebulanin, corilagin, terflavin A, punicalagin, terchebulin, casuarinin, 2,4-chebulyl-β-D-glucose and glucose esterified with gallic acid to various degrees (eg.,1,6-O-galloyl-β-D-glucopyranose), Hydroxy anthraquinones glycosides etc
Haritaki in hemorrhoids
Use of Haritaki in hemorrhoids – Harad helps to ease bowel movement, one of the complications in hemorrhoids. It helps in reducing the pile mass and reducing / stopping the bleeding.
A sitz bath with – 2 tablespoons of Haritaki or Triphala powder, in half a bucket of water, for 10 minutes, before bath, is useful in reducing the swelling and promotes healing.
Kushtahara – Useful in skin diseases
Shothahara – relieves inflammation
Udarahara – useful in ascites
Krimihara – useful in worm infestation
Harad for splenomegaly
For the treatment of splenomegaly (Plihodara), Harad, in a dose of 3 – 5 grams once or twice a day, is administered along with 2- 3 grams of jaggery (Guda). (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 13)
Hareetaki for prolapsed uterus
Being a mild laxative, it helps to evacuate bowels without much pressure on uterus.
It is astringent. Hence, water decoction of Haritaki is used for washing the prolapsed part of uterus.
Triphala Kashaya is also used for the same purpose.
Effect on Tridosha
Haritaki balances all three doshas – vata, pita and kapha
Because of its sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, it balances Pitta
Because of its pungent, bitter and astringent taste it balances Kapha
and because of its sour taste, Terminalia chebula balances Vata.
Harad with cow urine
पीतं कफोत्थं शमयेत्तु शोफं गव्येन मूत्रेण हरीतकी च||२१||
pītaṃ kaphotthaṃ śamayettu śophaṃ gavyena mūtreṇa harītakī ca||21||
In Kaphaja Shotha – Edema, inflammation disorders due to Kapha dosha aggravation, cow urine is administered along with Haritaki. Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 12th chapter
Harad with hot water
1 – 3 grams of Harad is administered with a cup of hot water to relieve Ama (altered digestion and metabolism) in case of Irritable bowel disease, associated with low digestion strength. – Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 15th chapter.
Also known as Rutu / Rtu Hareetaki.
For the purpose of Rasayana (rejuvenation, anti aging),
Haritaki is taken along with different ingredients in different seasons. This regimen is called Ritu Haritaki. Ritu means seasons.
Varsha Ritu – In rainy season, Harade is given along with Saindhava – Rock Salt.
Sharat Ritu – In Autumn, it is given along with Sharkara – sugar
Hemanta Ritu – In early winter, it is given along with shunti (ginger)
Shishira Ritu – In winter, it is given along with Pippali – Long pepper – Piper longum
Vasanta Ritu – In Spring, it is given along with Madhu (honey)
Greeshma Ritu – in summer, it is given along with Guda (jaggery)
Chebulic myrobalan is useful in
Kushta – skin diseases
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Udavarta – bloating of abdomen
Shotha – inflammation
Pandu – Anemia, initial stages of liver diseases
Mada – delirium
Arsha – hemorrhoids
Shiroroga – diseases pertaining to head, headache
Atisara – diarrhea, dysentery
Arochaka – anorexia
Kasa – cough, cold
Swasa – breathing difficulties
Prameha – diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Anaha – bloating
Pleeha – splenomegaly
Nava Udara – early stages of ascites
Kaphapraseka – increased salivation due to Kapha dosha
Vaisvarya – hoarseness of voice
Kaamala – jaundice
Krimi – worm infestation, infection
Shvayathu – edema, inflammation
Tamaka – asthma
Chardi – vomiting
Klaibya – impotency
Angavasada – body ache
Srotovibandha – obstruction to body channels, constipation
Pralepa, Hrudayoraso – stiffness of chest, heaviness of chest
Pramoha – delusion and lack of memory and intelligence
Vaivarnya – skin discoloration
Purana vishama jwara – chronic recurrent fever
Akshiroga – eye disorders
Hridroga – heart diseases
Grahani – IBS or sprue-syndrome
Shosha – muscle wasting (tissue depletion)
Vibanda strotasam – obstruction in body channels
Urustambha – thigh stiffness
Admana – abdominal distention
Vrana – wound
Vatarakta – gout
Mutrakrichra – dysuria
Hikka – hiccoughs
Kandu – itching
Yakrit – liver disorders
Ashmari – renal calculus
Mutraghanta – retention of urine
Haritaki has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, anti cancer , hypolipidemic, antidiabetic, renoprotective, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, immunomodulator, prokinetic and wound healing properties.(c, d)
Also called Harde Murabba, is a famous north Indian remedy prepared with Haritaki and jaggery / sugar syrup. It can be consumed on empty stomach or before food once in a day. It can be taken two times a day after food.
It carries all the health benefits of Harde, listed below.
Haritaki – side effects and contraindications
Though Chebulic myrobalan has immense health benefits, due to its astringent and hot nature, it is contra indicated in a few cases.
Haritaki is best avoided in
Adhva Ati Khinna – people who have walked for very long and who are tired,
Balavarjita – Who have depleted immunity and strength
Rooksha (dry) – Who are feeling dry and are emaciated
Krusha – having lean body
Langhanakarshita – who have fasted for long
Pittadhika – In people with increased Pitta (burning sensation)
Garbhavati – in pregnant woman
Vimuktarakta – After blood letting treatment, during and soon after menstruation
Kshut, Trishna, Ushnarta – who are having severe thirst, hunger and have got exposed to sunlight for long.
Ajeerna – in patients suffering from indigestion
Stri madya karshita – those who are emaciated due to increased sexual activity and alcohol
Mukhashosha – in people having dry mouth
Hanusthambha – in people with neck stiffness
Galagraha – in people with dry throat
Navajvara – in early stages of fever
Though there are a few nutritive health benefits, Haritaki is more of cleansing, moisture absorbing, weight reducing in nature. Hence it is advised to avoid Hareetaki during pregnancy.
In most of the contra indications explained above, dryness, lack of water supply – kind of symptoms are noticeable. Haritaki, already being astringent, is not advisable because it may further contribute to dryness.
Haritaki is best avoided in infants, up to 5 years of age. It should be given under medical supervision in children.
Single herb usage of Haritaki is contra indicated in lactating mothers. It may decrease breast milk production.
Harad in some people may cause abdominal pain. It is specifically found in people who cannot tolerate heat or people with extreme stomach sensitivity or severe gastritis.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
1 – 6 grams of fruit powder along with required co-drink or ingredient, based on disease, once or twice a day, in single or divided dose, as per discretion of Ayurvedic doctor.
With milk: Harde can be taken along with milk. Milk is a coolant and would negate the slightly hot effect of Haritaki. But this combination might enhance the laxative effect of Haritaki.
Haritaki Murabba: Murabba is made by dipping the fruits in a sugar syrup. it becomes soft and tasty. It is often used as a condiment for daily use. Haritaki Murabba contains all the natural benefits and has more nutritious value. It can be eaten as it is, followed by a cup of water or milk. If the Harar Murabba contains excess of salt, then better to avoid milk.
Haritaki based on season
I live in the UK and seasons are different(now -1ºC), how can I determine which combination to take with Haritaki ?
If it is rainy season, then you can consume Haritaki with rock salt,
During early part of winter, you can consume it with ginger, during winter consume it with long pepper, post winter season – with honey, during summer along with jaggery. If you think that this system cannot be followed, you can take Haritaki with just honey or long pepper.
Harad for chronic oral ulcers
Dr Nayyar Mumtaj, Pakistan –
Dr JV Hebbar I’m a Homeopathic doctor in Pakistan but I also use herbals. I would like to share my personal experience. Few years back I had mouth ulcer ,Which remained with me for more than four years. I did use a lot many Homeo, Herbal, and English medicines, took allergy vaccination. I consulted dental, skin, and many other specialists but got zero results. I could not eat chilli the whole time. Some said it’s bacterial, some said its viral and some said that it was fungus. One day I met a baba (old man). He suggested me to chew bari Harir (a herbal) also called Harar in Urdu. I used that and got 100% relief with in 7 days. Its use is very simple – just to chew it and spit it 4-5 times a day. I would like to share it with other needy persons to get relief.
How to consume Hareetaki for constipation?
Question: I have chronic constipation and I have been taking Softovac sugar free powder but the problem is I feel like going to the toilet at 12.30 in the afternoon with whatever method I try. Can you tell me a method by which I will be able to go to the toilet at 8.00 am in the morning with any medicine without side effects.
Let’s consider a few factors.
The person is having chronic constipation. So, whatever the herb that we choose, the person should be able to use it for quite a long time. Hence, Haritaki – Terminalia chebula, chebulic myrobalan is very useful in this regard. It has Rasayana – rejuvenating, anti aging effect. So, its good for long term use.
The patient is already using a laxative, but it is yielding the result next day afternoon.
Hence, if we administer Haritaki at night, chances are there that the patient will have motions quite late in the day.
Haritaki is a bit milder when compared to other laxatives. The words – Anulomani and Mala Shodhani are used to describe qualities of Haritaki.
Hence, it makes sense to administer Haritaki churna – half to one teaspoon in the afternoon and at night, after food.
The exact dose between half – 1 teaspoon should be decided based on the patient’s age, weight and seriousness of constipation problem.
Why after food? Because, in the context of Haritaki, Bhavaprakasha book uses the term – Bhuktasyopari Yojita.
Anupana – co drink
If the patient has Kapha symptoms such as obesity, vomiting sensation, heaviness of abdomen, anorexia, excessive salivation, then it is administered with a pinch or two of Saindhava Lavana – rock salt.
If the patient has Pitta Symptoms such as burning sensation in chest and abdomen, then it is administered with a teaspoon of sugar candy powder.
If the patient has Vata symptoms such as bloating, gas etc, then it is administered along with half to one teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter).
The other alternative to administering it in the afternoon and night is, to administer a higher dose at night.
Having said that, Haritaki comes with some contra indications such as – it should be avoided during pregnancy, in very lean persons, who has been emaciated due to heavy work or exercise etc, which I have explained in the article above.
Dry Vs Fresh fruit
द्राक्षाबिल्वशिवादीनां फलं शुष्कं गुणाधिकम् ||५१|| – Bhavaprakasha.
drākṣābilvaśivādīnāṃ phalaṃ śuṣkaṃ guṇādhikam ||51|| –
In case of grapes, bael fruit and Harad fruit, the dried fruits are better than the fresh.
Haritaki for hemorrhoids
The powder of Harad fruit is made into a paste with equal amount of jaggery. This is administered before food to reduce pain, itching and the size of hemorrhoids.
Harad along with buttermilk is administered for piles. (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 14th chapter).
Chebulic myrobalan for diarrhea
In the initial stage of Diarrhea (Atisara), which is not associated with Ama (impaired digestion and metabolism), Haritaki is administered due to its hot potency and mild laxative action. This helps to evacuate morbid Doshas out of the body and brings about lightness to the colon and to the body. By this, the disease gets cured. – Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 19th chapter, Ashtanga Hrudaya Chikitsa Sthana 9th chapter
Harad for vomiting treatment
Kapha and Pitta chardi (Because the Doshas are aggravated in excess)
Along with honey, the powder of Abhaya – Terminalia chebula is given in a linctus form for the purpose of purgation. – Virechana treatment.
Effect of Haritaki on Sex
Haritaki has mixed effect on sexual health.
a. It has Rasayana – anti aging property. Almost all herbs with Rasayana property also possess aphrodisiac nature. So, Haritaki, in a small dose of 1 – 2 grams per day, for a period of 1 month increases sexual energy.
b. Haritaki has astringent properties. This is useful in treating excess night-fall, wherein a person loses some quantity of semen every day (night).
c. But on long term usage, because of its hot and astringent properties, Haritaki may cause decrease in sexual strength. That is why it is contra indicated in those who are emaciated due to increased sexual activity and alcohol.
So bottom line is, Haritaki is useful in treating premature ejaculation and nocturnal emission. But Harad is better to avoid in case of low semen volume, low sperm count, low sexual mood and in erection problems.
7 types of Haritaki
Although Bhavaprakasha has explained seven types of Haritaki, all are the same Terminalia chebula, available in different places. The seven types explained are –
Vijaya – used in all diseases, has a pedicle that resembles alabu and are available in Vindhya mountains.
Rohini – fruit is circular in shape – Useful in wound healing – available in a place called Pratishtanaka.
Putana – Having small fruits with big seed and has thin skin – used for external application, available in Sindh area.
Amruta – Is huge, having thick fruit pulp, useful for Panchakarma (detoxification) , available in Champa, Bhagalpur area.
Abhaya – Having five creases in fruit skin, useful in ophthalmic disorders, available in Champa, Bhagalpur area.
Jivanti – Yellow colored fruit – useful in all diseases, available in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Chetaki – Having three creases in fruit skin, useful for purgation, available in Himachal Pradesh.
Of these seven types, Vijaya variety is considered as best.
3 types of Haritaki
Of these 3 varieties, parvatiya is considered as the best.
Small – Stone less
Yellow – Having stone but immature
Big – Fully matured
Haritaki is abundantly found in North India, though it is distributed throughout India up to 5000 feet height.
How To Take Harad As Per Dosha And Diseases?
Harad is a very effective Tridosha balancing Ayurvedic herb. It has potent rejuvenative properties and laxative effects. Ancient text book – Bhava prakasha explains unique ways to consume Haritaki.
Reference: Bhavaprakasha nighantu – Hareetakyaadi varga –Verse no-30
Consumed by chewing -> improves digestion strength
Made into a Paste with Water & Consumed -> Mala Shodhani (Laxative)
Consumed After Cooking/Steaming -> Absorbent (Grahi) – useful in malabsorption syndrome.
Fried (with oils & fats) -> Tridoshahara – Balances all 3 Doshas
Here frying refers to taking out the excess moisture from the drugs. Or else we can also extend to the applied aspect as frying with respective oils or ghee which have respective Dosha pacifying effects. In Vata associated conditions it can be fried with sesame/castor oil, pitta associated cases with ghee and mustard oil in case of Kapha predominant conditions.
Harad along with food -> expels out Doshas
Taken After Food -> Useful in Food Toxicity – it helps to eliminate all toxic effects due to food poisoning.
Lavana – rock salt -> balances Kapha Dosha
Sharkara – Sugar Candy -> balances Pitta Dosha
Ghrita – Ghee -> balances Vata Dosha
When the Hareetaki fruits are masticated it gets into the contact of saliva and hence various relative digestive enzymes. This in turn facilitates the digestive fire. When Harad fruits are taken by making into fine paste it partially mixes up with the water and hence it moves downwards in lesser time and hence imparts laxative benefits. Usually the retention period in the stomach and small intestine will be less in such cases. When the fruits are cooked, few of the laxative principles are reduced and in turn due to tannin (kashaya rasa /astringent predominant) it acts as absorbent (grahi) and hence the food withstanding capacity of the intestine is gradually increased. Due to the synergistic properties undoubtedly Tridoshahara action can be enjoyed from the drug, if fried or heated with specific oils / fats.
If the above unique and specific classical principles are applied, the drug Hareetaki and its derived formulations can be used with wider application.
if a patient is suffering from skin disease, the individual is of vata or kapha constitution, has lesser digestive capacity, it is better to administer the formulation Triphala choorna which is well indicated in this condition, by mastication or by proper chewing. The same is applicable in stomatitis/ mouth ulcer also.
Making the drug into fine paste and then administering it, serves as laxative. So, Hareetaki alone or Hareetaki predominant drugs like Triphala choorna, Pathyadi choorna, Saptamrita loha etc can be taken in the form of fine paste or immediately after the intake of powder medicaments, water can be administered for the same effects/benefits.
Well cooked Hareetaki formulations have the ability to control intestinal motility. This can be effectively obtained by the physicians by recommending the relative formulations like Dashamoola hareetaki, Dhatryavaleha etc in diseased conditions like Irritable bowel diseases, Mal absorption syndromes, intestinal flatulence, abdominal distention, mal digestion, abdominal colic etc.
Eranda taila bhrishtha hareetaki (fried in castor oil) pacifies both Vata and Pitta associated conditions or where the intestines have developed dryness due to improper food and habits, chronic diseases, mal nourishment, dominant vata, tissue damage associated conditions etc.
Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines with Haritaki as ingredient:
Defet-5 Capsule – It is manufactured by Ayulabs Pvt Ltd, Rajkot, used in the treatment of obesity and high cholesterol.
Best Quality Haritaki
The qualities of Best haritaki (ref – Bhavaprakasha Nighantu) –
The haritaki fruit which gets ripened in the tree and then fall down, new, unctuous, thick (ghana), Circular (vrinta), Heavy, that which sinks when dropped in to the water and which weighs about 24 grams (dwikarsha) is considered as possessing the best quality.
Features of Bad Quality Haritaki
Fruit which is infested by insects or worm, burnt, that which is found in muddy water or saline soil and which is broken is considered of bad quality.
Anti-diabetic, Reno-protective Activity – A research study done to investigate anti-diabetic activity of the chloroform extract of Terminalia chebula seed powder has proved its significant anti-diabetic and renoprotective activity.
Anticancer Activity – A study conducted on ethanolic gall extract of Terminalia chebula to evaluating its anti cancer property have come to the conclusion that ethanolic leaf gall extract of T. chebula possess significant cytotoxic activities.
Hareetaki, Abhaya, Pathya, Kaayastha,
Pootana – Cleanses the body
Panchabhadrika – It has five tastes
Amrita – Protect from old age disorder
Haimavati – Grows in Himalaya
Avyata – Relieves pain
Chetaki, Shreyasi, Shiva, Vayasta, Vijaya, Jeevanti, Rohini
Prapathya, Kayastha, Pranada, Jaya, Nandini, Jivapriya, Jivanika, Bhishakvara
Jivya, Devi, Divya
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Haritakyadi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi varga
Raja Nighantu – Aamraadi varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadhi varga
Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Phanerogams
Subkingdom – Angiosperms
Class – Monocotyledons
Subclass – Epigynae
Order – Scytaminiales
Family – Combretaceae
Genus – Terminalia
Species – chebula
Patanjali Divya Haritaki Churna – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited.
Hindi name – Harad, Harade, Harde, Har, Hare, Harra
English name – Chebulic Myrobalan
Bengali Name – Haritaki, Baalharitaki, Hatitaki gacha, Narra
Telugu name – karakkaya, Karakachettu, Karakaapa
Tamil name – Kadukkai, Karakaiya, Kadukemar
Gujarati name – Harade, Himaja
Marathi name – Harada, Hirad, Harade, Hartaki, Haradi, Balaharadi
Arabian name – Haleelaz
Farsi name – Haleel
Kannada name – Alale Kayi, Anilaikayi, Anniley, Anile
Malayalam name – Katukka
Konkani name – Ordo
Manipuri name – Manahi
Assamese name – Hilika