The scientific name of haritaki is Chebulicmyroalan. It is also known as Indian walnut or Indian hog plum. It is a fruit that is cultivated from the seeds of Terminalia chebula trees. The rind of this fruit is most often made into haritaki powder which has many medicinal uses. It is acting as a natural laxative, has astringent properties, and contains antioxidants. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for many different traditional remedies, such as treating indigestion, certain infections, anxiety, and pain.
Haritaki trees belong to the Combretaceae plant family. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions, mostly throughout Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal, and India. The fruit is drupe–shaped. It has a hard green exterior. It has ridges along its surface. Inside, the flesh is ranging from a yellow to orangish-brown color. Different parts of the tree are used for therapeutic properties, including the leaves, branches, barks, stems, and roots.
Haritaki is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and many bioactive compounds. It is believed that haritaki is generally safe. Some people should avoid taking haritaki, such as children, pregnant or nursing women, and people who take blood-sugar-lowering drugs. In traditional medicine, it was used to treat poor vision, fever, asthma, gingivitis, etc.
Here are some health benefits of haritaki:
May support metabolic health:
Some animal-based studies have said that compounds within haritaki can help to treat high blood sugar, high cholesterol and insulin resistance, and other factors which are related to metabolic syndrome. The haritaki has carbs and sugar which are believed to be slowly digested and to positively impact blood sugar levels.
Helps ease sore throats, coughs, and allergies:
There are different respiratory problems that can be treated with the help of haritaki due to its anti-asthmatic, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to decrease the accumulation of phlegm and improve breathing by supporting the overall health of the lungs and airways. Also, it can help to improve immune defenses and fight microbes that lead to respiratory infections.
Can help treat digestive issues, including constipation:
In history, the haritaki has been used for detoxification, purgation, and improving overall gut function and digestion. Also, it plays one of the biggest roles in treating gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation, cramps, peptic ulcers, flatulence, and diarrhea. It can shorten the transit time of stools and promote elimination due to its mild laxative effects. It is thought to improve digestion by enhancing the secretion of digestive juices and by reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Also, it can help to feed healthy probiotic microbes in the gut which supports nutrient absorption and immunity. In some studies is said that haritaki is good for the liver because it can help the liver to eliminate toxins from the body and also, it assists in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
The haritaki can fight the proliferation of certain types of harmful microbes, so it can be used in oral and dental care to prevent cavities and gum disease. Also, it can be added to distilled water or mouthwash in order to prevent the growth of bacteria which are linked to the development of dental cavities. Also, it can be added to some eye rinses to prevent stye infections and conjunctivitis. Some types of haritaki are used in wound healing, because they can help to prevent infections from forming in burns, cuts, etc.
Also, it has been found to have antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties which can assist in the treatment of fungal infections, ulcers, and more. You can apply haritaki powder topically to your skin to reduce acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, etc. In one study done in 2020 was said that green tea, black tea, and haritaki plant extracts may be potential therapeutic candidates for helping to treat infections.