Haritaki is a very important herb in ayurveda.
Haritaki is the name of fruit which grows on a deciduous tree. The tree of haritaki grows to a height of 30 meters. The haritaki fruit is 2-4 cm long and has 5 longitudinal ridges. The flowers are dull white or yellow in colour.
Ayurveda acharyas eulogize the medicinal properties of this fruit by coining opt names. It is known as Haritaki as it defeats almost all diseases. This fruit is also known as Abhaya as its use promises a good health. Terminalia Chebula has another name Pathya as it can be used as food in many diseases.
Types of Haritaki – Based on the place of growth and its medicinal properties the following types of Haritaki are recognized.
- Vijaya – helps to cure almost all diseases. – Grows in Vindhya region.
- Rohini – more useful in curing wounds – Available in Paitani region
- Poothana – used in cooling skin packs – Found in Sindh region.
- Amrita – detoxifies body – Grows in forests of Champa region forests
- Abhaya – useful in diseases of eyes – Grows in forests of Champa region
- Jeevanthi – used to treat almost all diseases – Available in Sourashtra
- Chetaki – very useful to treat constipation – found in Himachal.
Ayurvedic Qualities of Haritaki – Based on principles of Ayurveda the pharmacological properties of haritaki are as follows. This fruit is light to digest (laghu) and tend to dries up the tissues (rooksha ). Haritaki tastes sweet (madhura rasa), bitter (tikta rasa) , astringent (Kashaya rasa ), pungent (katu rasa) and Sour (amla rasa). But it is devoid of salt taste (lavana rasa). After digestion the sweet taste becomes predominant. Haritaki is hot in potency.
How to select best Haritaki: The Haritaki fruit which is fresh, fleshy, firm, round and settles in bottom when dropped in water, has to be picked for medicinal use. It must weigh at least 20 grams.
Who should not use Haritaki: Persons who are suffering from severe depression, weakness, and low body weight or are willing to gain weight should not use this fruit. It is strict no for pregnant ladies. People who are on fasting or have acute fever are barred from using this. Never consume this fruit when you are thirsty.