Healing Powers of Haritaki

In India, myrobalan is also called Haritaki.  Hari means that which steals" and taki means "that which cleans and enhances the glow of the skin." That is the etymological breakdown.  The basic idea is that Haritaki is that fruit which removes all diseases from the body and brings a luster and shine to the skin. A fairly formidable fruit - no doubt. What it does: Haritaki fruit is sweet, sour and astringent in taste, as well as slightly bitter and pungent.  It is hot in action. It strengthens immunity while exerting a mild laxative effect.  Haritaki fruit embodies all tastes except salt, one of the many reasons it is designated in TAM as a rasayana tonic, good for health and long life. It is also tridosagna, meaning it can be used with any type of health imbalance.  Furthermore, itis an anulomanum - a mild laxative that aids digestion.  Haritaki is used to nourish the heart, liver and kidney, and to treat diseases of the eye, for which it is used both internally and externally.  The fruit of the Haritaki plant is harvested when green.  It is said to have a complex flavor that includes sweet, sour, astringent and bitter aspects. It may be eaten raw, dried, boiled, or divided into parts, with its skin, seed, and flesh each used to treat different ailments. It is commonly sold in markets and health food stores, and may be acquired whole, dried, in powdered or table form, or as a liquid.

 


If we review all the herbal formulations in Ayurveda's all classical texts, we will find haritaki to be one of the most frequently used Ayurvedic herbs. In most of the compounds it is used as minor adjunct. In many others it is used as the foundation base of the entire formula - like in most of the electuaries or jams. It is the one of the prominent herb in formulations for asthma, cough, tonics, skin diseases, abdominal disorders.

To prepare HARITAKI WATER: put 1-2 dried fruits in a bottle (cut stem ends first-saw off with serrated knife) with water. Drink throughout the day and refill. On second day when fruit is soft eat one (per day). Replace the fruit and refill the bottle for 30 days. (You can crush the fruit when soft and mix in juice or smoothie.) 

Personally, I drop 2 fruit in a gallon of water in the morning (or night), let sit for 12 hours (at room temperature) - then begin drinking.  After 24-36 hours I refrigerate whatever water's left, and repeat the process with the same two fruit.  I do this maybe twice a week.

Suggestion - drink a full glass within 20min of waking - then another within 1 1/2 - 2 hours. This will flush your system, refresh your organs, hydrate your entire system, restore regularity to the bowels, and jumpstart your energy for the day. Drink another glass mid-day; another upon returning home and again before bedtime.

BENEFITS (as listed on my label) - removes obstructions from channels; promotes fearlessness; nervine tonic, promotes brain functions and intelligence; preserves vital force in body; promotes longevity and youthfulness; relieves and corrects gastrointestinal ailments; detoxifies bod, aids in elimination and colon health; strengthens sense organs; nourishes the heart, liver, spleen; treats internal and external disease of the eye; improves memory; improves urinary health; normalizes excess body fat; corrects flatulence, nourishes blood; rejuvenating.

 

Caution

  • Haritaki should be sparingly used by lean individuals and pregnant women.
  • It should be avoided in severe debility, mental depression, while fasting and vitiated pitta conditions.



Plant Chemicals
(+)- tannic acid, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, resin, anthraquinone, sennoside, mucilage, chebulin, terchebin, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid. 

Uses & Benefits of Haritaki

  • Haritaki has laxative, rejuvenative, purgative, astringent and dry properties.
  • The paste of its fruit is effective in reducing swelling, hastening the healing process and cleansing the wounds and ulcers.
  • The paste gives relief to the eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis.
  • Gargling with haritaki decoction helps in stomatitis, oral ulcers and sore throat.
  • It serves as a good astringent for loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.
  • The herb is used in preparing ‘Triphala’ that is used for hair wash, brush teeth in pyorrhea and treat bleeding gums.
  • Regular consumption of haritaki powder, fried in ghee, promotes longevity and boosts energy.
  • It responds well to gastrointestinal ailments, tumors, ascites, piles, enlargement of liver-spleen, worms and colitis.
  • Powdered haritaki, mixed with jaggery, works well in gout.
  • Its powder, when mixed with honey and ghee, is an effective remedy for anemia.
  • Haritaki is combined with sunthi powder and given with hot water to lighten asthma and hiccups.
  • Its decoction, when taken along with honey, is of great help in hepatitis and obesity.
  • The herb improves memory and is salutary in dysuria and urinary stones.
  • Haritaki helps in improving appetite and helps in digestion.
  • It is a good nervine and helps in nervous weakness and nervous irritability and promotes the receiving power of the five senses.
  • Since it is anti-inflammatory and astringent, it is helpful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea and vaginal discharges like leucorrhea.

Caution

  • Haritaki should be sparingly used by lean individuals and pregnant women.
  • It should be avoided in severe debility, mental depression, while fasting and vitiated pitta conditions.