Chebulic Myrobalans Samoh
Haritaki fruit is a drupe with a large endosperm and finely wrinkled, brownish-red, or dark purplish pericarp. The kernel consists of a thin hard shell enclosing a soft kernel that has an agreeable taste. Haritaki fruit was described as the best among all med.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula Retz., Family: Combretaceae) possesses a great therapeutic value and is widely distributed in India, up to an altitude of 1500 m. Though Terminalia chebula Retz is the only botanical source of Haritaki, the uses of its varieties along with their sources, identifying features, and therapeutic uses are described in Ayurvedic classics and other medical literature. In the present study, a detailed review has been carried out on different varieties of Haritaki.
Terminalia chebula Retz. is widely distributed in India, up to an altitude of 1500 m. It is the only botanical source of Haritaki. Terminalia chebula Retz. belongs to the family Combretaceae and has two varieties viz., white (shveta) and red (ksheera or lohita). The pulp of the fruit is white and sweet, while the outer layer is bitter and astringent. The fruits from Kerala are reddish on the outside and white inside.
Terminalia chebula Retz. has two varieties viz., Terminalia chebula Retz var shvet (white) and Terminalia chebula Retz var lohit (red). The pulp of the fruit is white and sweet while the outer layer is bitter and astringent. Terminalia chebula Retz. possesses many therapeutic properties e.g., digestive, appetizer, antipruritic, antiseptic, diuretic etc.
In Indian systems of medicine, Terminalia chebula Retz. is considered to be a very useful drug in the treatment of peptic ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. It helps in improving appetite, digestion and growth of bodily tissues. The seed kernel improves salivation and relieves thirst. It is also believed to be useful in the treatment of vomiting, hiccup and hemorrhages.
The fruit pulp possesses antioxidant, anticancerous and antimicrobial properties. It inhibits lipid peroxidation induced by various stimuli such as ionizing radiation, heat shock and DPPH radicals. The seed kernel is considered to be an effective antioxidant. The antiulcer activity of the fruit pulp is believed to be due to its free radical scavenging ability.
Terminalia chebula Retz. the fruit extract has been shown to be effective against chronic infections caused by Entamoeba histolytica. The seed kernel possesses antimicrobial activity and is used in the treatment of skin diseases such as leprosy, scabies, and fungal infections.