Haritaki Benefits

Haritaki benefits and uses

Ayurveda advocates the use of many herbs and plants to promote generate health and well being as well as help with ailments. Haritaki is an important plant in traditional Ayurvedic literature with many benefits and uses. In this article, we explore its characteristics and health benefits.

What is Haritaki?

Haritaki, also known as Harde, is a yellowish-brown fruit native to India. It is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal properties. It is used to aid the body in its ability to lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels, and fight infections.

In addition, it provides numerous health benefits such as controlling blood pressure and acting as an antioxidant. It is often combined with other herbs in Ayurvedic remedies. In cooking, it is commonly used as a flavouring for ghee or added to desserts such as halwa or kheer.

Hesh Haritaki

Other names of Haritaki

The scientific name for the Haritaki plant in Terminalia Chebula. In Ayurveda, it is also referred to as Chebula, Haritaki, Harad, and Harde.

Characteristics of the Haritaki Plant

Haritaki is a huge tree that grows in the deciduous woods of Central and Southern Asia, as well as Sri Lanka. Folklore holds that the first haritaki tree appeared after a drop of “amrit”, the everlasting nectar, fell to the ground from the heavens. It grows wild in some places and is also cultivated for its medicinal properties.

Because of its therapeutic qualities, it is utilised in Ayurvedic medicine. Haritaki is highly nutritious, providing vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for health and longevity. It has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties, protecting against infections, increasing digestion, and improving overall health.

The tree bears oval fruits that have prominent lines and are up to 2 inches in length. With one seed inside it, each fruit is green when it is growing and becomes brownish-yellow when it is ready to be plucked.

Haritaki powder and juice

What are the health benefits of using Haritaki?

Beneficial for skin: The face is often called the index of the body. It’s because it reflects our overall health, be it physically or mentally. The majority of skin conditions have a close connection to psychological stress, which also causes the development and aggravation of many skin conditions.

Harde consists of nutrients such as vitamin C, protein, amino acids and minerals which may have an anti-oxidant effect on skin. In order to cope with a chronic skin problem, its medications also often aids in lowering the negative effects of stress.[1]

Alternate component to hair dyes: Hair is the statement of their public being for most people. It is important to be careful with what we apply to our hair. Dyes may contain synthetic chemical compounds that have the potential to damage the hair. 

Plants like Triphala (which has haritaki), Bhringaraja, Neeli, and others have been used for centuries to dye hair without any reports of negative side effects. This indicates their safety, effectiveness, and utility over modern dyes.[2]

Anti-diabetic effects: A hormone called insulin controls blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a chronic condition brought on by either insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or inefficient insulin utilisation by the body.

The chloroform extract of T. chebula has been shown in a recent study to have strong antidiabetic and renoprotective properties, supporting its traditional use in diabetes.[3] It has a lasting effect on lowering blood sugar, which is likely mediated by increased insulin secretion.

Traditional Use of Haritaki in Ayurveda

Haritaki has the curious ability to both cleanse and rejuvenate. It can help calm down excess pitta in the body. Ayurveda also advocates its use to eliminate excess kapha due to its Rasa profile.

Haritaki is tridoshic, having a balancing effect on all three doshas of the body. In Ayurvedic literature, it is recommended particularly for its ability to soothe vata imbalance. Ayurveda provides the following specifications for Haritaki:

Rasa (taste): Pungent, bitter, and astringent
Vipaka (post-digestion taste): Sweet
Virya (action): Heating

This is related to its capacity to promote good digestion, particularly in people who are prone to vata-type digestive disturbances, including gas, bloating, fluctuating appetite, and a wavering agni, or digestive fire.

Harde benefits

Modern Scientific Research on Haritaki

Not many, but still some seminal researches have progressed to testify the ayurvedic claims of Haritaki’s importance. Some of them are listed below:

  • “The treatment of twak-vikar (skin-disorders) by kushthaghna mahakasaya of charaka samhita”[1]
  • “Echoes of Synthesis and Understanding of Hair Dye in Ayurveda: A review”[2]
  • “Antidiabetic and renoprotective effects of the chloroform extract of Terminalia chebula Retz. seeds in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats” [3]

How to take Haritaki (Harde) as a supplement

Haritaki can be used in many ways. It can be consumed in a liquid, powder, or tablet form. 

Using Haritaki Powder

Hesh’s Haritaki Powder contains the herb in powdered form. Take about 1 tsp of the powder with warm water once a day. Alternatively, it can be taken as a tea, mixed with ghee, or even added to a smoothie.

Using Haritaki Capsules

Tablets take longer to take effect than capsules, which have no taste. The bioavailability of capsules is also more enhanced, facilitating easier absorption of the substances into the bloodstream. You can take Hesh's Haritaki Vegan Capsules twice a day after meals for the best results.

Is it safe to use Haritaki?

Haritaki is generally considered safe for consumption and even recommended for daily consumption. However, if you have an existing health condition, it is best to talk to your doctor before adding this herb to your diet.

Those with a history of digestive disorders should be careful with it as it might aggravate their condition. Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid it.

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