Uses and Benefits of Haritaki (Chebulic Myrobalan)

Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Health | 5 comments

Haritaki or (Terminalia cebula) is a common plant in India. In Ayurveda, Haritaki is said to be the mother of all herbs for its many health benefits. The Haritaki tree can be about 30 metres high. The fruit of the tree is usually harvested between November and March. The fruit has a slightly bitter, astringent taste and has many medicinal properties.

  • The tannin present in the fruit helps in detoxification. It is also used as a laxative. It cures constipation, purifies the digestive system and helps in eliminating the harmful substances produced from metabolism. A small piece of dry Haritaki can be kept in the mouth after meals.Scan10836

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    Some of the uses and benefits of Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan:
  • The gallic acid present in Haritaki kills the E. Coli bacteria in the intestine. It prevents stomach infection, kills worms and boosts the activities of the liver and the spleen.
  • The chebulic and neo-chebulic acid present in the fruits of Haritaki plant act as anti-oxidants. It prevents toxicity of the liver caused as a side-effect of some medicines.
Fruits of the Haritaki Plant

Fruits of the Haritaki Plant

    • The chebulic acid increases the production of insulin from the pancreas and thus lowers blood sugar. This is why Haritaki is used for the treatment of diabetes.
    • A 10% solution of Haritaki can be used as a mouth wash.
    • Haritaki prevents the increase of H. Pylori bacteria in the intestine.
    • Haritaki is an effective anti-oxidant and eliminates harmful free radicals from the body.


    • Haritaki increases the strength of the heart muscles and is effective in preventing the accumulation of fat in the coronary artery. It also plays a role in keeping blood pressure under control.
    • For those with enlarged livers, there is an increased risk of contracting hepatitis and jaundice. For such people regular consumption of Haritaki would decrease the risk of such infections.
    • Haritaki is helpful for tackling obesity. It cleanses the stomach, aids in the digestion, assimilation and metabolism of food in the stomach and increases the metabolic rate of the body. Haritaki thus helps in increasing the energy expenditure of the body. By boosting the secretion of bile, Haritaki helps in the mobilization of the stored fat in the body. It also keeps the appetite under control. For those who have successfully reduced their weight by diet and exercise, consumption of Haritaki helps them to keep to their ideal weight.
    • Haritaki helps in the production and elimination of urine from the body. Thus, it helps in reducing the risk of urinary tract infection.
    • Regular consumption of Haritaki or will help in the reduction of skin problems.  Grounded Haritaki, when applied over skin, will help in the cure of acne, sunburns, rashes, eczema etc.

Pen & Water colour sketch of a Haritaki tree


Haritaki is not recommended for those who are allergic to the fruit as well as for women during pregnancies.

Do you have experience of using this wonderful fruit? Please use the Comments section below to let us know.


  1. I found this article very interesting and well written. However I have a constructive criticism in that nowhere in the article does it mention the excellent use of the fruit of this plant for helping with curing or slowing down cervical spondylosis, or arthitis in the neck, which is greatly bothering me as I type these words. I have googled ways to deal with this disease by eating certain foods and avoiding others (such as the nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant, etc.), and chebulic myrobalan was highly recommended on many medical websites. How do I consume the plant, by eating the nuts or fruits. Sorry but I know very little about this panacea like remedy. Thanks for any comments you have. Bruce Winslow, PhD

    • Thanks for your comments. I gleaned the material of the article from what are to me ‘native’ sources — books and journals in Bengali and Hindi. That chebulic myrobalan also helps in cervical spondylitis is a new piece of information for me. Thank you! I have seen people slowly chewing a single dried fruit after meals and that helps. I have tried it and it has a bitter/astringent taste which most people may not like. If you can procure the dried fruit, just wash it and keep a piece of fruit in your mouth after meals. The hard seed inside the fruit may not be chewable but you’ll find that the wrinkled outer flesh and skin may be consumed. A convenient way to take chebulic myrobalan, and what I follow, is to have a teaspoonful of Triphala powder with water after dinner. TRIPHALA (literally ‘three fruits’) is an Ayurvedic formula that is commercially produced and one of its constituents is chebulic myrobalan. It has many health benefits and I hope you will be able to find it where you live. I have checked and it appears that Triphala powder can be found at many online retailers. Wish you all the best.

      • If I may add a little more on the benefits of Triphala:
        Triphala is a powerful rejuvenating and detoxifying formulation that cleanses the colon and supports the entire GI tract. It improves digestion, assimilation of nutrients and elimination. Triphala helps remove fat deposits and toxins from the intestine. Triphala is rich in natural Vitamic C, abundant in anti-oxidants and helps balance healthy acid/alkaline levels.
        Dosage: One level teaspoonful (2.8g) of organic Triphala powder should be mixed with one cup (250 ml)of water or fruit juice and taken twice daily, preferably in early morning and before going to bed. It may be discontinued after a month or so and then used whenever necessary.
        Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a physician before using Triphala.

  2. How to use terminalia chebula if a patient suffering from spermatorrhoeas along with constipation.

    • Sorry, I don’t have an answer to that. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to provide an answer.

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