Jagatheesh is passionate about learning alternative medicines and herbs mentioned in Siddha medicines.
Terminalia chebula also known as yellow myrobalan is a deciduous tree native to South Asia. The fruit from the tree also known as Haritaki is an essential Siddha medicine to treat various diseases. It is widely used in traditional Indian and Iranian medicines. Tirumoolar a Tamil Siddha refers to Haritaki as a miraculous ingredient that keeps you young. Nowadays alternative medicines are finding its way back in treating various diseases and Haritaki has its significance in the natural healing of disorders.
Anti microbial activity
The planet earth is filled with tons of microbes that are responsible for infectious diseases and the flu. The term microbes include unicellular organisms like bacteria, virus, fungus, and other protozoa. Infectious diseases are responsible for one in two deaths in developing countries.
A research paper published in an Ayurvedic journal states that Haritaki plays an effective role against various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria such as Bacillus Subtilis, Salmonella typhi. The antibacterial compounds like gallic acid and ethyl ester in Haritaki are effective against Helicobactor Pylori which is responsible for gastritis. The same study shows the effectiveness of Haritaki in treating various viruses.
Animal-based studies show that the extracts from the Haritaki seeds are effective against fungus and protozoa. It also shows the effectiveness of Haritaki extracts in dealing with the Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome Virus. Acetone extract of this amazing plant emerges as an alternative to treat the influenza A virus.
The digestive system is a series of organs whose function is to digest the food and ingest the nutrients essential for human well being. These complex set of organs is also known as the second brain that operates independently of the brain and spinal cord. So it is important to keep your gut healthy for an active life. But unhealthy lifestyle, food habits, stress, and infection by microorganisms hinder the effective functioning of the digestive system. More than 40% of people around the world are facing some kind of digestive system disorder which is a sign of an alarming situation.
According to Siddhas, the sour taste can stimulate digestion so it is widely used to treat stomach disorders. Haritaki is a key ingredient in Siddha medicine for treating stomach disorders. Haritaki in optimal dosage can remove toxins from the human body and strengthen the Stomach, colon, liver, and spleen which is essential for a healthy digestive system. It controls vomiting and diarrhea and increases stomach retention and appetite.
The Haritaki powder has a mild laxative effect and dietary fiber that can treat constipation by decreasing flatulence. It is very effective for treating stomach acidity and peptic ulcer. It removes undigested food and toxins in gastrointestinal tracts thereby maintains a healthy digestive system.
The immune system is a complex network of cells working to defend humans from infections. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's own healthy tissue. Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of cells. It is an important component in boosting the immune system. Haritaki is rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and copper that are essential for a healthy immune system.
A study conducted in 2018 states that the fruit of Haritaki has antioxidants that help to protect cells from damages due to free radicals. The Chebulic acid in Haritaki has an antioxidant effect that exhibits free radical scavenging activity thereby reduce the cell damage. Haritaki seeds also contain Terflavin B which is an essential drug in treating cancers and HIV.
National diabetes statistics report for 2020 states that the global prevalence of diabetes rose to 34 million. It is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular diseases. According to Ayurveda foods with sour and bitter taste consumed on a regular basis will prevent diabetes, even for people with hereditary history. Animal-based studies prove the effectiveness of Haritaki extract in reduction of glucose level in type 2 diabetes condition.
Production of ß pancreatic cells become active by consuming Haritaki on a regular basis. Hence it will help in alleviating various conditions associated with diabetes like frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, etc. It also helps in reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which regulates the secretion of insulin that leads to low blood glucose levels. But detailed research on the effects of Haritaki on humans is needed.
Skin and Hair care
Acne and pimples are the main culprits that spoil the beauty of a youngster. The main reason for acne is excess oil production and microbes that cause inflammation in the face and shoulders and back. Acne is affecting 40 to 50 million individuals annually around the world. A paste made from haritaki powder is an effective solution to solve acne and ulcers in the skin. The anti-microbial properties in haritaki fight effectively with the acne and provide better results. The haritaki paste also provides a better fight against skin allergies.
Dandruff is a major cause to worry when it comes to hair care. Global anti-dandruff shampoo market revenue is expected to reach 300 million by 2029. The fungus is a major reason for dandruff. The anti-fungal properties in haritaki prevent dandruff and lice infections. Haritaki herbal oil mixed with coconut oil plays an effective role in fixing dandruff and hair loss problems.
- Siddha medicine suggests taking one teaspoon of Haritaki powder with warm water before bed for 48 days to get better results.
- Haritaki should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, those with medical conditions, or people who are taking medications without consulting a doctor.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jagatheesh Aruchami