Haritaki or Terminalia chebula is a tree that grows in the forests of India, south east Asia, Nepal, and south west China. Its dried, bitter super fruits have long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India as a powerful natural cure for a wide range of diseases. Ayurvedic medicine refers to Haritaki as the ‘Mother of Herbs’ and the ‘King of Medicine’, also held in high regard by Buddhist monks due to its ancient connection with the mythical Medicine Buddha. You may have heard of “Chebulic Myrobalan” which is one of the fruits that make up what’s called the triphala or ‘three-fruit’ super formula. It has slighly different names based on regional dialect (such as Harad, Kadukkai, Karakkaya, and Kadukkai Podi). With that said, let’s dive into these Top 5 Health Benefits of Haritaki!
1. Provides a Cognitive Boost
Haritaki functions as a nootropic stimulator which increases your brain function, and boosts both your long and short-term memory and learning retention (pretty useful when preparing for exams!) this is due to enhanced oxygenation caused by it.
2. Helps Reduce Effects of Aging
One of the inevitable effects of the aging process is the shortening length of telomeres – which are DNA caps at the ends of your chromosomes that protect cells from aging. According to some studies it appears that haritaki is able to reduce and slow down the rate of telomere damage by decreasing oxidative stress. It’s no surprise then, why haritaki has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to slow down aging for centuries!
3. Helpful for Diabetics
Some of the compounds in haritaki have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity in the body. This can make it useful if you’re diabetic.
4. Supports Good Digestion
Haritaki has been shown to support digestive tract function, increase nutrient absorption and promote a healthy gut environment. Haritaki also has a mild laxative effect, helpful in cleansing your colon, and preventing constipation. On the down side there might be a bit of flatulence when you start taking it, but this effect fortunately doesn’t last long.
5. Antibacterial Qualities
Haritaki has been used for centuries to cleanse wounds due to its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be found and easily applied in a paste or liquid solution. It’s also rich in vitamin C, selenium and antioxidants that can help immunise your body against various diseases. The “Mother of Herbs” is not just great for us humans but also for your beloved pets. Haritaki, given in small doses may provide relief from intestinal distress caused by bacteria and worms (being on the bitter taste side, it might be better to mix it with water).