Haritaki is a medicinal herb commonly used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India. It is also known as Terminalia chebula. The fruit of the Haritaki plant is used medicinally, and it is said to have many health benefits. It is believed to be able to treat constipation, indigestion, and infections. Some people also use it as a mouthwash to treat toothache and to promote oral health. Additionally, Haritaki is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties. Some people also use it to help with weight loss and to improve the health of the skin, hair, and eyes. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
Benefits of Haritaki
Haritaki is a type of fruit that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to have several health benefits, including improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and balancing the doshas (the three main energies that are believed to govern the body in Ayurvedic medicine). Some of the specific benefits of Haritaki include:
Improved Digestion: Haritaki is believed to be a natural laxative, which can help to improve digestion and prevent constipation. It is also thought to help improve the function of the liver and the gallbladder, which can further aid in the digestion process.
Reducing Inflammation: Haritaki is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for several conditions, including arthritis, asthma, and eczema.
Balancing the Doshas: In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that the three doshas – Vata, pitta, and Kapha – need to be in balance for the body to function properly. Haritaki is thought to help balance the doshas, which can help to promote overall health and well-being.
Boosting the Immune System: Haritaki is believed to have immune-boosting properties, which can help to protect the body against various infections and diseases. It is also thought to have antioxidant properties, which can help to protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Improving Heart Health: Some research suggests that Haritaki may be beneficial for heart health. It is believed to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Facts about Haritaki
Some of the specific facts about Haritaki include:
It is also known as Terminalia chebula or “the king of medicines” in Ayurvedic medicine.
It is native to India and other parts of Asia, and the dried fruit is commonly used in Ayurvedic preparations.
The fruit, leaves, and bark of the Haritaki tree have all been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Haritaki is often used as a treatment for digestive disorders, including constipation, bloating, and indigestion.
It is also believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.
Some research suggests that Haritaki may have potential as a treatment for various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Haritaki is often used in combination with other herbs and spices to enhance its effects and treat a wider range of conditions.
Availability of Haritaki
Haritaki is available in a variety of forms, including powder, capsule, and tablet. It is also sometimes sold as a dried fruit or in the form of a paste or churn (a fine powder).
The powder form of Haritaki is the most commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It can be taken on its own or mixed with water or another liquid to make a tea or decoction. The powder can also be mixed with ghee or honey to make a paste that can be applied topically to the skin.
Capsules and tablets are a convenient way to take Haritaki, as they are easy to swallow and do not have a strong taste. They are also easy to carry with you and can be taken on the go.
The dried fruit can be used to make tea by boiling a few pieces of the fruit in water and drinking the resulting liquid. It can also be used to make a paste by boiling the fruit and mixing it with ghee or honey.
Overall, the form in which Haritaki is taken will depend on personal preference and the condition being treated. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider or Ayurvedic practitioner before taking Haritaki or any other herbal supplement.
Constipation is a very common gastroenterological disorder experienced by almost one-fifth of the population. Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass and is a common cause of painful defecation.
passing hard stool
Incomplete emptying of Bowel
Reduced frequency of stool 3 times or less than 3 times in a week
Manual maneuvers to pass stool
It must include 2 or more 2 characters from the list.
You can assess the level of constipation with the character of the stool as per the Bristal stool chart which is available on the Internet
Causes of Constipation
Lack of intestinal movement
Less fluid intake
Less fiber diet intake
Iron or Aluminum supplement
Late night awakening
Types – It may be acute or chronic
The basic aim of treatment is to find out the cause and treat it.
Dietary adjustment: Fibre supplementation is the first line of therapy for normal or slow transit constipation e.g. Wheat bran, vegetables, fruits, mucilage, corn, and cellulose.
Behavioral therapy: Habit training is important to achieve regular defecation. The patient is advised to attempt defecation after meals when colonic motility is maximum.
Drug Treatment: Include consumption of Laxatives which may be of Osmotic, Stimulant, Bulk-forming (fiber) type or a softener or maybe Lubricant
But there are some limitations to this treatment as long-term intake may cause some structural changes in the gut mucosa
Other adverse effects- interference with co-concomitant drug
How AYURVEDA can help you?
But to treat constipation is more straightforward with Ayurveda, and how it is achieved let’s find out
Firstly as per Ayurveda principles – Eliminate the cause of constipation by avoiding stress or more liquid intake if these are the causes.
The line of treatment for constipation includes fomentation, massage, tub baths, suppositories, and enema, and having foods and drinks which are laxative.
Rasa’s role in stool evacuation
sweet, sour, and saline tastes are useful for the elimination of stool whereas drugs and diets having pungent, bitter, and astringent taste creates difficulty in the elimination of stool.
Virechana is a therapeutic modality to treat constipation which is of majorly 3 types