Haritaki is also known as 'the king of medicines' and serves remarkable health benefits such as; it prevents hair loss and removes dandruff, helpful in constipation, prevent a cough and cold, removes acnes and ulcers, boost immunity, prevent diabetes, helps in weight loss, fight with skin allergies, improves heart conditions.
Haritaki is a drupe-like fruit, oval in shape with size varying between 2 – 4.5 cm in length and 1.2 – 2.5 cm in breadth having 5 longitudinal ridges. Depending upon its variety, it turns green – blackish in color when ripens. Haritaki fruit tastes sweet, sour, bitter depending upon its types. There are 7 types of Haritaki: Vijaya, Rohini, Putane, Amruta, Abhaya, Jivanti, Chetak.
Interesting facts: Haritaki is an ayurvedic herb derived from the seeds of Terminalia Chebula tree.
Haritaki consists of ingredients which are recognized to have healing properties including anticancer, antibacterial, antidiabetic and anti-oxidant properties. Haritaki is very nutritious containing essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It is a source of vitamin C, manganese, selenian, potassium, iron and copper. It also contains plant chemicals like – tannic acid, gallic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and behenic acid.
Haritaki proves to be very useful for hair loss in the form of Haritaki herbal oil, which can be prepared by heating a cup of coconut oil in a pan with 3 pods of Haritaki till it turns brown and the outer shell cracks and allowed to cool. This oil also prevents Dandruff and lice infections.
Haritaki has antibacterial properties which make it very effective for treating acne and ulcers. Take haritaki powder and boiled water, make a paste and apply it on acne and ulcer spotted skin.
Haritaki is a natural laxative and contains dietary fibers, which fights constipation. During constipation, one should take haritaki in the form of powder with water. To prepare a Haritaki powder, take haritaki fruit, remove the seed and sundry the pill, then take the peel and grind it.
Haritaki is very useful in fighting with skin allergy. The haritaki paste is the best remedy for such problems. This paste is light green in color and can be made by taking a haritaki fruit and rubbing it on sandal stone with little amount of boiled water. Take the paste and apply on the infected skin.
Haritaki helps in controlling blood sugar levels and decreases insulin sensitivity in the body.
Haritaki helps in removing the toxins from the body and keeps digestive system on track. Haritaki is a natural blood purifier. Haritaki if taken in form of powder regulates hunger, and if combined with balanced diet and exercises leads to weight loss.
If ghee fried Haritaki powder is taken regularly, then it acts as an immunity booster and increases longevity.
As the purity of the blood increases, the heart muscles grow stronger. The clean blood has the effect of stopping the build-up of fat in the artery, especially the coronary artery. When these effects take place, they lead to a reduction in blood pressure, a strong heart, and clear arteries.
Apart from its medicinal uses, Haritaki has spiritual benefits, such as third eye awakening. It has a unique property of maintaining the balance of three doshas i.e. The air (Vata), the fire (Pitta), the water(Kapha).
The side effects of Haritaki are as follows; elimination of large amounts of built – stool, it leads to system weakening if taken with alcohol, Haritaki is not recommended if one has excessive sexual activity. Not recommended during pregnancy as its use may reduce production of breast milk.
Haritaki are indigenous to Southern Asia. Their distribution ranges from India and Nepal in the North to southwestern China in the east and Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malaysia in South.
Haritaki trees are grown from seeds. The seeds are sown during Spring in clay and sandy soils. They are best grown in full sunlight and ample amounts of water. These trees cannot tolerate cold temperature below 16°C. Their fruits are harvested while they are green.