Haritaki – Terminalia chebula – Uses, Side Effects, Ayurveda Details

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.

Hindi name – Harad, Harade
English name – Chebulic Myrobalan
Telugu name – karakkaya
Tamil name – Kadukkai
Gujarathi name – Harade
Arabian name – Haleelaz
Farsi name – Haleel

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, available in Vindhya mountains
Rohini – fruit is circular in shape – Useful in wound healing – available in place called Pratishtanaka.
Putana – Having small fruits with big seed – used for external application, available in Sindh area.
Amruta – Having thick fruit pulp, useful for Panchakarma (detoxification) , available in Champa, Bhagalpur area.
Abhaya – Having five creases in fruit skin, useful in eye disorders, available in Champa, Bhagalpur area.
Jivanti – Yellow coloured fruit – useful in all diseases, available in Saurashtra region of Gujarath.
Chetaki – Having thre creases in fruit skin, useful for purgation, available in Himachal Pradesh.

Of these seven types, Vijaya variety is considered as best.

Habitat: Haritaki is abundantly found in North India, though it is distributed throughout India upto 5000 feet height.

Harad qualities:
Rasa (taste) –
Five tastes except salt
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – lightness, Rooksha – dryness
Vipaka – Madhura – Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency

How to test Haritaki fruit? (harad)
How to take haritaki as per Ayurveda

Chewing the Haritaki fruit causes increase in digestion power.
If it is made into a paste and eaten, it clears and cleanses bowels.
If it is steamed or boiled, it becomes absorbant, useful in malabsorption syndrome.
If it is fried and used, it is useful in Tridosha imbalance conditions.
If Hareetaki is taken after food, it helps to eliminate all the toxic effects due to food poisoning.
If it is taken along with salt, it balances Kapha.
If taken with sugar, it balances Pitta and if taken with ghee, it balances Vata disorders.

Qualities of different parts of Terminalia chebula fruit
Qualities of Haritaki fruit

Hareetaki seed kernel is sweet, the fiber part is sour, fruit rind is bitter, skin is pungent and seed is astringent in nature.
Vranya – it helps to improve skin complexion
Ushna – hot in nature
Sara – promotes bowel movement
Medhya – improves intelligence.
Doshaghna – natural detoxifying
Shothanut – relieves inflammation
Kushtanut – useful in skin diseases
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Rasayana – anti aging, rejuvenative
Ayushya – improves life expectancy
Bruhmani – nourishing, improves body weight
Anulomani – helps in normalising bowel movements
Shwasahara – useful in Asthma, COPD< wheezing, breathing difficulty
Kasahara – relieves cold and cough
Pramehahara – Useful in diabetes and urinary tract disorders
Arshahara – useful in piles

Use of Haritaki in hemorrhoids – Haritaki 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 healing.
Kushtahara – Useful in skin diseases
Shothahara – relieves inflammation
Udarahara – useful in ascites
Krimihara – useful in worm infestation

Haritaki (harade) – effect on Tridosha –
Because of sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, it balances Pitta
Because of its pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, 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.

Ritu Haritaki –
Ritu Haritaki
Ritu Haritaki

For the purpose of Rasayana (rejuvenation, anti aging),
Haritaki is taken along with different ingredients in different seasons. This regimen is called as 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)

Medicinal uses of Terminalia chebula :
Terminalia chebula uses

Chebulic myrobalan is useful in
Kushta – skin diseases
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Udavarta – bloating of abdomen
Shotha – inflammation
Pandu – Anemia, intial stages of liver diseases
Mada – delirium
Arsha – haemorrhoids
Shiroroga – diseases pertaining to head, headache
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery
Arochaka – anorexia
Kasa – cough, cold
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 – oedema, inflammation
Tamaka – asthma
Chardi – vomiting
Klaibya – impotency
Angavasada – bodyache
Srotovibandha – obstruction to body channels, constipation
Pralepa, Hrudayoraso – stiffness of chest, heaviness of chest
Pramoa – delusion and lack of memory and intelligence

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)

Haritaki – side effects and contra indications:
Haritaki Side effects

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 o Sun 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 during pregnancy.
In most of the contra indications explained above – all have dryness, lack of water supply – kind of symptoms. Haritaki, already being astringent, is not advisable because it may further contribute to dryness.
Haritaki is best avoided in infants, upto 5 years of age. It should be given under medical supervision in children.
Single herb usage of Haritaki is contra indicated in lactating mother. It may decrease breast milk production.

Haritaki Dosage:
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.

Regarding taking 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, with long pepper, post winter season – with honey, during summer, with jaggery. If you think that this system cannot be followed, you can take Haritaki just with honey or long pepper.

Harad for chronic oral ulcers:
Dr Nayyar Mumtaj, Pakistan –
Dr JV Hebbar I m Homeopathic Dr in Pakistan but i also uses herbals .I would like to share my personal experience. few years back I had mouth ulcer ,Which remain with me more than four years.I did use a lot many Homeo,Herbal, and English medicines .make allergy vaccination I consult dental,skin ,and many other specialists
result zero. I could not eat chilli whole this period ,some says it’s bacterial, some says viral and some say that its fungus.One day I meet a BABA(old man) he suggest 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 its body in spit it 4-5 times a day.I would like to share it with other needy persons to get relief.

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 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 term. Hence, Haritaki – Terminalia chebula, chebulic myrobalan is very useful in this regard. It has Rasayana – rejuvenating, anti aging effect. So, 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 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.

Which Anupana – co drink?

If the patient has Kapha symptoms such as obese, 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 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, very lean person, who has been emaciated due to heavy work  or exercise etc, which I have explained in the article above.

Dry Haritaki fruit 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 paste with equal amount of jaggery. This is administered before food to reduce pain, itching and 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 to induce 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.

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.

Dr JV Hebbar B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu), is an Ayurveda Doctor. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Sir I am suffering from acne which are due to indigestion(i think so) ?? How can i remove toxins from body and treat acne internally. Now I am suffering small little tumor like acne of face “inside” the skin, it is probably because of toxins or digestion problem.

    Another question – A remedy which contains 50g methi seeds, 20g Ajwain, 10g bitter Kali jeera. What it does?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Please consult an Ayurvedic doctor directly. You might be having cystic acne, which requires treatment.
      The second remedy that you’ve described looks good to relieve gastritis, useful for diabetes and also to lose weight, to some extent.

  2. I think thorough reminders are very useful. Please keep up the good work, I enjoy reading it! Sonja

  3. Chandrasekhar says:

    i read that commercially prepared ayurvedic medicines have lead residues and believe they could be due to processing. Hence decided to make triphala churna myself and purchased amla, haritaki and vibheetaki from the market. I believe they should be washed and deseeded before powering. Is that correct?

  4. Can Triphala be used for Leaky Gut Syndrome and sensitive GI ??/ Pls reply

  5. Can terminalia chebula be used during pregnancy to support immune function in a mother that has lyme disease who makes sure to eat a well balanced diet and has her weight under control? I take it on a daily basis now and it works wonders for my energy and I would hate to give it up.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, at the best you can continue it for two weeks and then stop it. I do not recommend to continue further than that.

  6. Past 2 months I have got slip disc due to whichmy left side nerve is getting compressed there by leading to pain in my left leg and numbness in my feet. One of my friend told me to take zandu haritaki churns half a tea spoon empty stomach with warm water.To my surprise it is working wonders and my pain is getting lesser day by day .Can u please explain how? Should I continue ? And till when.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Haritaki causes mild form of virechana – mild purgation, which helps to reduce Vata, hence it might be causing pain reduction in you.

  7. Hello….im suffering from external hemarroid,also consuming tablets to stop the bleeding during bowel movements.Can u suggest me in having Terminalia Chebula…if yes then pls tell me the amount i should consume??

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Terminalia chebula helps in easing the bowel movement, and to some extent in shrinking the pile mass. Assuming you are not pregnant, take Haritaki capsule – 1 capsule twice a day for two weeks. If symptoms do not improve, consult your Ayurvedic doctor.
      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 healing. Within India, Haritaki capsule can be purchased here – (aff) – http://bit.ly/1yDAFPh

  8. Hi, sir What is the use of the seeds of Haritaki. Is it waste or it can be useful. Please suggest me if any and one more thing can we eat 1 Haritaki fruit per day.

  9. Henrietta says:

    Very good article, although I may have to google some of the words, like for instance, what is “jaggery”?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Jaggery is the brown coloured unrefined, non centrifuged sugar. It is a product of concentrating cane sugar.

  10. Vishal Lalka says:

    whether the content of Haritaki is Harde or Himmaje

  11. Sudhakar Bhat says:

    Hello Doctor, Greetings! When Jivanti – harad is useful in all diseases why Vijaya – harad is considered as best???

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, whatever the type, Terminalia chebula is generally used as Harad. I do not see any difference.

  12. Is there any side effects for Use harad in diabetes

  13. Atmaram yadur says:

    The Information is very useful .Dr Hebbar is doing a very good Job for the mankind.I am also a follower of Ayurvedic medicines .I have cured some People who had lost hope after spending lot of Money to Allopathic doctors .The allopathic doctors had told them that there is no cure any more for septic ears after doing three operations with no result.

  14. Rakhi Baldi says:

    what is Terminalia chebula, Linn ?

  15. Ashwin Patel says:

    Dr Hebbar, Is there an Ayurvedic equivalent to Leaky Gut Syndrome?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, so far I have not come across any condition explained in Ayurveda as similar to symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.

  16. Great informative article! Thanks.

  17. I read that Haritaki helps in reducing cholestrol. I have high cholestrol. How long should I take it. I am taking Himej right now early morning empty stomach from last month and a half.


    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, Haritaki (Himej, Harad) is very useful in lowering cholesterol. You can continue taking it.

  18. Heru-maakhet, Neb-shakara says:

    I heard that haritaki remove fluoride and other blockage from 3rd eyes

  19. How to reduce weight

  20. Could this Harad(powder) be put to use for skin disease- Vitiligo?

  21. Sir can I take Harar during pregnancy, as I suffer from cold and cough.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Like I have mentioned in the article, taking Haritaki is contra indicated during pregnancy.
      Having ginger powder – half – 1 gram two times a day with hot water looks a better option.

      • Hi sir, is there any medicine for ‘Autism’ in ayurveda? if yes can you suggest?

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          There are many medicines such as Brahmi Ghrita, Saraswatarishta etc., Consult an Ayurveda directly for right advice and treatment.

  22. I have 4th stage piles and since last 7 days ,mass piles had emerged as a large chunk and pain continues from morning to night.I had previously medicated in homeopathy for last 1year but it cured for some time(4 month) but again it appeared with full action and I could not able to sit anywhere and also couldnot walk.I had tried ayurvedic medicine(given by ayurvedic doctor) for last 7 days but result is none.What should I do next to relief?(Age 24 year)

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, 4th stage piles is very difficult to treat even with Ayurvedic medicines. Consider surgery options.

  23. Shravan CHowdhari says:

    Hi Doctor, my father has low oxygen levels at times dips below 90 especially while sleeping (sleep apnea has also been diagnosed) . I have heard taking one tea spoon of Haritaki Powder everynight can help in increasing Blood Oxygen Levels? Can Hariaki Powder help or you suggest otherwise?

  24. hi sir it is cure migraine are not….

  25. Good morning Sir, myself (38 yrs) my sons (8 and 6.5 yrs) are taking 1 Aerand Bhrust Harde tablet daily at night for past three – four days. we started the tablet as we had embarrasing gastric issues. But we are noticing that the flatulence is now a little more smellier and constipation has eased. Why is there a bad smell in the flatulence? how long should we take these tablets? is there any sideeffects for children and myself… Kindly advise

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      The bad smell is due to castor oil. Castor oil is used for frying the haritaki powder, while making this tablet. Erand brushta – means fried in castor oil.
      You can continue it for both children up to 3 weeks and then stop it. For you, you can continue it for 6 – 8 weeks.
      After that, take it only on sos (as needed) basis.

  26. Hello Sir! How can I get the fruits of haritaki in India?

  27. Write your opinion/ doubts about the article below. Please do not post your personal health complaints here. If you wish to seek advice from Dr Hebbar, click here

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