Chebulic myroblan is a popular remedial herb with egg-shaped 10 to 20 cm long leaves and dull white flowers in spikes at the end of its branches. The fruit, which is 2 to 4 cm long, has five distinct ribs on its body. Chebulic myroblan is one of the ingredients of the famous ayurvedic preparation triphala which is used in the treatment of enlarged liver, stomach disorders and pain in the eyes.
This herb is widely used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, heart-burn, flatulence, dyspepsia and liver and spleen disorders. The fruit of chebulic myroblan contains an astringent substance. The astringency is due to the characteristic principle chebulinic acid. It also contains tannic acid, Gallic acid, resin and some purgative principle of the nature of anthraquinone.
Botanical Name- Terminalia chebula retz
Indian Name- Harad or haritaki
Below are some of the medicinal properties of chebulic myroblan:
- The juice of chebulic myroblan is useful in the treatment of acidity and heartburn. It neutralizes the acidity in the stomach, if taken after meals. For better results, this juice should be combined with the juice of Indian gooseberry. Chewing a piece of chebulic myroblan is also an effective remedy for heartburn.
- As a mild laxative, chebulic myroblan is beneficial in constipation. Either the pulp of 2 to 3 fruits with a little rock salt or a decoction of 6 fruits and 4 grams of cloves or cinnamon, should be taken daily at bed time to relieve constipation.
- It is also a valuable remedy for chronic diarrhea and dysentery. Four grams of the pulp of the unripe fruit is given with honey and aromatics such as clove and cinnamon twice a day in the treatment of these diseases.
- The use of a diluted decoction of chebulic myroblan is a popular gargle for mouth inflammation. The paste of the fruit mixed in thin buttermilk also makes a very effective gargle in gum inflammation. The powder of the fruit when applied directly on the painful tooth gives relief.
- It is useful in skin disorders like chronic wounds, ulcers and scalds. A fine powder of the fruit mixed with carrion oil-made from fat of an animal- makes an excellent ointment for burns and scalds.
- Chebulic myroblan is effective remedy for piles. The fresh fruits should be fried to a golden brown color in castor oil, powdered and stored. Half a teaspoon of this dissolved on the tongue at bedtime brings about normal bowel movement in the morning and its astringent property heals the pile masses.
- A piece of the fruit chewed every night, will reduce asthmatic tendencies to the minimum.
- It is also used to cure whitlow. The fruits are roasted, powdered and sieved. This powder is mixed in dilute tamarind water to make a fine paste which is applied on the infected finger. The astringent action of chebulic myroblan combines with the acidic effect of tamarind water to dry up infection.
- A dilute decoction of chebulic myroblan used as an eye wash helps to relieve eye congestion. The fruit being astringent, decreases swelling and inflammation.
- A decoction of the herb is useful in vaginal irritation and inflammation. It should be used as a douche to wash the vulval parts. When there is thick white discharge, washing the part with a decoction made with neem leaves and chebulic myroblan fruits will help greatly.
- Chebulic myroblan is useful as a hair tonic. A paste of the fruit is boiled in coconut oil till its essence completely dissolves in the oil. This oil is used regularly gives vitality to hair. Cheublic myroblan decoction is a popular hair rinse which many women use to blacken grey hair.
- A thick paste of chebulic myroblan applied over the swelling is a good remedy for treating mumps.
The use of chebulic myroblan should be avoided during pregnancy as it may cause abortion.