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Herbal Plants

You are here : Herbal Plants:

Terminalia chebula

Botanical Name : Terminalia chebula
Sanskrit Name : Harithaki
Common Name : Chebulic myrobalan
Family Name : Combretaceae
Terminalia chebula

Terminalia Chebula is called the "king of medicines" in Tibet and is always listed first in the Ayurvedic meteria medica because of its extraordinary powers of healing. In Ayurveda it is considered to destroy all diseases and eliminate all waste from the body. At the same time, it is known to promote tissue growth and health. 

Modern science has found that Terminalia Chebula has a strong effect against the herpes simplex virus HSV, has antibacterial activity, and exhibits strong cardio tonic properties. Terminalia Chebula also has antioxidant components, which indicates it can increase the life of tissues. Yet another study shows the anti-tumor activity of Terminalia Chebula and another study shows that it has considerable effect in inhibiting the HIV virus which ultimately results in AIDS

Thus, Terminalia Chebula can be seen to be a valuable addition to anyone's herbal collection. With its rejuvenating and cleansing properties, Terminalia Chebula is excellent for the digestive system. As a preventative supplement it has great anti viral attributes, as shown by its anti tumor and HIV action. It is also effective for alleviating constipation in general, and is helpful for vata persons because it works in the Triphala formula which is a well balanced digestive and rejuvenating aid.


Terminalia chebula is found in the sub Himalayan tracks form Ravi eastwards to west Bengal and Assam, ascending up to at altitude of 1500m in the Himalayas, In the This tree is wild in the forests of Northern India, central provinces And Bengal, common in madras, Mysore and in the southern Parts of the Bombay presidency.

A tree 15.24m in height & 1.5-2.4m in girth with a cylindrical bole of 4-9m, a rounded crown and spreading branched found throughout the greater parts of India.

Bark dark brown often longitudinally

cracked, exfoliating in woody scales,

Leaves ovate or elliptic with a pair of large gland at the tip of the pedicel

Flowers yellowish white; in terminal spikes, drupes ellipsoidal, obovoid or ovoid, yellow to orange brown, sometimes tinged with red or black and hard when ripe. 3-5cm long becomes 5 ribbed on drying. 

Fruits the ovoid, yellow to orange brown fruits are 2.5 to 4.0cms long. Usually 5- angled when dry, stone very think, bony, obsurely angled, rough, grooved, having gum vessels on the wall.

(A). Classification according to the size of the fruit 

(i) Survari harade - which are large, dense and heavy about 2 inches long, yellowish-brown: when cut it contains yellowish or darkish brown, pulp and stone

(ii) Rangari harade - these are smaller, less wrinkled and less furrowed than the above variety; in length about an inch; the epidermis is yellow; when cut it presents a yellow dried pulp and a stone. The pulp is less astringent than that of survari harade

(iii) Bala harade - are smaller than the above two varieties. Their color is deep brown or black; highly wrinkled, dark or brown epidermis. Their pulp I dark and homogenous; there is no stone.

(iv) Java harade - these are the smallest of all. Other characters are similar to those of Bala harade.

(B) Classification according to shape

(i) Vijaya      - having alabu shape used in all diseases, habitat in vindahya mountains 

(ii) Rohini      - Round in shape- used in vrana, habitat in zansi and other sate other parts of M.P

(iii) Pootana  - Size is small,mesocarp is less, seed is bigger, externally used, habitate Sind.

(iv) Amirtha  - Mesocarp is more used for shodhanakarma habituate M.P and Champaranya 

(v) Abhya     - Fruit having five ribbed used in eye diseases, habitate champaranya, himalaya 

(vi) Jeevantee  - fruit is golden yellow, used in all diseases, habitate himalaya.

(vii) Chetaki  - Fruit having three ribs, used as purgative. 

(C) Classification according to the growth of the fruit 

(I)     Halileh - Zira. When the size is that of a cumin seed. 

(II)    Halileh - Javi, when the size is that of a barely corn. 

(III)   Halileh - Zangi when the size is of a raisin 

(IV)   Halileh - Chini when fruit is greenish yellow and somewhat hard. 

(V)    Halileh - Asfer when it is very nearly mature 

(VI)   Halileh - Kabul or fully matured fruit 


Fruit contains 45% tannin, gallic acid, albumin, yellow color, chebulic acid, which turns into tannic acid and gallic acid when boiled.


Generally two good years are followed by one or two poor ones, fruits are collected when they turn yellow. The seeds can be collected as soon as they fall on the ground and are dried under shade. The seeds can be stored in gunny bags for one year but fresh seeds germinate quicker.


Digestive diseases, urinary diseases, diabetes, skin diseases, parasitic infections, heart diseases, irregular fevers, flatulence, constipation, ulcers, vomiting, colic pain and hemorrhoids Terminalia Chebula is used to treat. If taken after meals it prevents imbalance of any of the humors due to bad food or drink. It promotes wisdom, intellect and eyesight.


The fruit pulp is used as a dentifrice to cure bleeding and ulceration of gums. 

Water in which the fruits have been steeped overnight is a good cooling wash for eyes, affording relief in conjunctivitis and similar affections of the eyes.

                                       AYURVEDA DETAILS ABOUT ABHYA

Synonyms -    

            Abhya- The medicine is safest for use

            Amirtha – Plant survives hundreds of years

            Avyatha – Not having unpleasant.

            Chetaki- Keeps alert or stimulates jnanendriyas

            Hareetaki- Fruits are yellow colored.

            Haimavati- Lavishly grows in Himalayan regions 

            Kayastha – Arrest aging factors 

            Pathya – It is always “Pathya” 


           Rasa/ Taste –              Vilavana pancharasa

                                                Endocarp is sweet in taste.

                                                Epicarp is pungent in taste.

                                                Seed portion contains astringent

                                                Fiber portion is sour

                                                Peduncle region of the fruit is bitter

           Vipaka                         Madura 

           Veerya / Potency        Ushna

           Guna / Property        Laghu, rooksha,

           Doshaghnata              Tridoshaghna

Tridoshaghnata of hareetaki

           It pacifies Pitta with its sweet, bitter, and astringent taste. It pacifies Vata with its Amala rasa. It pacifies Kapha with its katu, thikha & kashaya rasa.

    It pacifies Kapha administered with salt. It pacifies Pitta administered with sugar. It pacifies Vata administered with ghee.

Karma / Action    Chakshushya, Brimhana, Rasayana, Anulomaka, Deepana, Medhya, Krimighana, Swarya,

Uses                     Swasa, Kasa, Premaha, Arshas, Kusta, Shotha, Udhara, Vaishwarya, Grahanee,                

                             Vibandha, Vishamajwara, Gulma, Admana, Vrana, Charadi, Hikka, 

                             Diseases of hear and throat, Kamala, Shoola, Aanaha, Diseases of spleen and liver,    

                             Ashmaree, Mootrakrichchra, Mootraahata.

Visista yoga    

                    Aristam/Asvam – Infusion Abhyarista,Aravindasavam, Dasamoolaristam, Punarnasavam 

                    Kashayam – Decoction Amurthotharam Kashayam, Bharangyadi Kashayam, Chiruvilwadi    

                    Kashayam, Ghandharvahasthadi Kashayam, Kathaga Kathiradi Kashayam, Manjishtadi   

                    Kashayam, Mahaikthakam Kashayam, Patolamooladi Kashayam, Punarnavadi Kashayam

                    Lehyam – Pastries Gomuthra Haritaki, Agasthaya Rasayanam, Manibhadra Lehyam,    

                                    Chitrakahareetaki, Danteehareetaki, Vyaghree chareetaki

                    Choornam – Powders Thriphaladi choornam, Avipathi choornam, Hinguvachadi choornam,    

                    Hutabhugadi choornam, Navayasam Choornam

                    Gulika / Vati – Tablets Pathyadi vati, Thriphala gulgulu, Yogaraja gulgulu 

                    Thailam – Oil I Thriphaladi thailam, Thriphaladi Coconut oil


Gana / Groups classified (Mentioned in  Ayurveda texts)

    (Charaka) - Triphala, Amalakyadi, Parooshakadi, Trivritadi

    (Susrutha) - Prajasthapana, Arshoghana, Jwaraghna,Kusthaghana, Kasaghana 


Astanga Hridya 

Charaka Shamitha

Susrutha Shamitha

Wealth of India

Indian Materia Medica – 1982 Nadkarani K.M – 

Medicinal Plant of India – Vil 2 Indian Council of Medicinal Research New Delhi

Attached Images [Click On Images For Larger View]

Terminalia chebula Gall

Terminalia chebula1

Terminalia chebula _Fresh Fruit

Terminalia chebula_Dried Fruit

Terminalia chebula Tree

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