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, Harde
English name – Chebulic Myrobalan
Telugu name – karakkaya
Tamil name – Kadukkai
Gujarati name – Harade
Arabian name – Haleelaz
Farsi name – Haleel
Kannada name – Alale Kayi
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
How to test Haritaki fruit?
Chewing 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 absorbent, 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 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.
Qualities of different parts of fruit
Hareetaki seed kernel is sweet, the fiber part is sour, fruit rind is bitter, skin is pungent and seed is astringent in nature.
Varnya – 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 normalizing 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
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
Because of its 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.
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 – 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 – 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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 – 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 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.
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
Meaning and explanation:
Mature Hareetaki fruits (powder may also have the safe effect but to a lesser extent) if taken by chewing, increases the digestive fire and digestion strength.
If it is taken by rubbing with water or by making it into a fine paste, it acts as a laxative.
The fruits show absorptive action if it is consumed after subjecting it to sudation (steaming or cooking).
Further, Hareetaki fruits act as Tridoshahara if taken by frying; 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.
Consumed by chewing -> improves digestion strength
Made into a Paste with Water & Consumed -> Mala Shodhani (Laxative)
Consumed After Cooking -> Absorbent (Grahi)
Fried (with oils & fats) -> Tridoshahara – Balances all 3 Doshas
Harad along with food -> expels out Doshas
Taken After Food -> Useful in Food Toxicity
Lavana – rock salt -> For Kapha Dosha
Sharkara – Sugar Candy -> Pitta Dosha
Ghrita – Ghee -> 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.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
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.