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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Black Chebulic, Haritaki, Hirda, Myrobalan
(Terminalia chebula)

Fruit contains tannic acid, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, and a constituent with an antibacterial (said to be effective against E.coli) and antifungal properties.

A large tree native to India and an important herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine despite its unpleasant taste. Leaves are generally subopposite, distant, ovate, with long rust or silvery colored hairs on the young leaves, leaf buds and branches. Flowers are ivory to yellowish with a strong offensive odor. Fruit is obovoid or ellipsical from a broad base, glabrous, and appear from November to January.
First noted in Chinese medical literature ca. 1060. Is known as 'King of Medicines' in Tibet.
It is currently being researched for anti-cancer potential.
In Hindu mythology, it is said that Indra (king of the deities) spilt a drop of nectar to earth and produced Haritaki. The tree is sacred to Shiva.

PROPAGATION: By seed in spring and semiripe cuttings in summer.
NEEDS: Well-drained soil in sun, although not recommended since it has a limited range and requirements. Hardy to 60ºF.
HARVEST: Fruits when ripe, then dry for use in decoctions, pastes and powders.
FLOWERS: April-May.
T. BELERICA: Also known as Bastard myroban, Beleric myroban, and Bibhitaki.


Tonic, rejuvenative, warming, astringent, expectorant, styptic, antiparasitic; affects digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems.
One of three ingredients of the Ayurvedic 'triphala' (three fruits) which is a rejuvenating, laxative tonic.
Has been used to regulate colon function, improve digestion, control discharges, and expel intestinal worms.
Used internally for constipaton, digestive and nervous problems, diarrhea, dysentary, intestinal worms, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, uterine bleeding and inflammation, leucorrhea, involuntary ejaculation, coughs and asthma.
Has been used externally for ulcerations, hemorrhoids, wounds, inflammation of the gums and mouth, and gum disease.
Roasted fruit has been used to treat tridosha.
Commercial preparations are currently being used for treatment of AIDS and other immuno-deficiency diseases.

© 2003 by Ernestina Parziale, CH