Why the humble Harad is the ‘king of medicinal plants’

Called Abhya, Pathya and Haritaki in Sanskrit, Terminalia chebula or the Black Myrobalan from the Combretaceae family occupies a rather important seat in the ayurvedic pharmacopoeia

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:November 27, 2016 10:42 am
The Harad tree’s materials have to be used and administered in a specific way as advised by a specialist. Express The Harad tree’s materials have to be used and administered in a specific way as advised by a specialist. Express

Past JW Marriott hotel is a petrol pump, adjoining which is a freshly cultivated, groomed and pruned green belt in Sector 35. Turn left and the area is rich with the large trees of the Bedda Nut and the multipurpose little trees of Harad.

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Called Abhya, Pathya and Haritaki in Sanskrit, Terminalia chebula or the Black Myrobalan from the Combretaceae family occupies a rather important seat in the ayurvedic pharmacopoeia.

According to this ancient medicinal science, Harad, with its light appearance but great effect, has earned the reputation of being the ‘king of medicines’ because it neatly balances all the three doshas in the body — vata, pitta and kapha. It is what the Ayurvedics call a ‘rasayan effect’, a herb or medicine that cures the disease, raises body immunity and protects the system from symptoms of premature old age.

Not only does this humble plant reduce inflammation, boost brain function, and heal wounds, it is great for the nervous system, migraines, tooth infections, eye disorders, bleeding piles, headaches, digestion, immunity, urinary infections, jaundice, constipation.the list goes on. However, it has to be used and administered in a specific way, according to different seasons and dosage as advised.

Found in hilly and forest areas and up to heights of 5,000 feet in the lower Himalayan region, Assam, and Bengal, this medium sized tree, according to Sushrat and Charak Samhitas is of six types. A dark brown trunk, with oval shaped leaves hanging down and small yellowish flowers that grow in long white clusters, Harad is dry, warm and slightly sweet in nature. Its ripe fruits are collected from January to April. So go ahead, spot one, try one and plant one.