Botanical name: Terminalia chebula | Hindi: हरड़ | Marathi: हिरडा | English: Black Myrobalan
AboutHarad, scientifically known as Terminalia chebula, is a deciduous tree with an average height of 15-20 meters. Its elliptical, glossy leaves are clustered towards the ends of the branches. The tree produces small, greenish-yellow flowers, and its fruit, known as haritaki, is a drupe with a wrinkled appearance. The nut inside the fruit contains a single large seed.
Medicinal Uses: Harad has a very prominent place in Ayurvedic medicine. The dried fruit is utilized for its laxative properties, aiding digestion, and promoting bowel regularity. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties, contributing to its use in various herbal formulations.
Culture and Tradition: In traditional cultures, Harad is revered for its medicinal properties and is considered a key ingredient in Triphala, a well-known Ayurvedic formulation. It is associated with longevity and is used in rituals and festivals. Harad is also mentioned in ancient texts for its role in promoting overall well-being.
Environmental Impact: As a tree, Harad contributes to the environment by providing shade, reducing soil erosion with its root system, and serving as a habitat for various organisms. Additionally, the leaves and organic matter from the tree contribute to the nutrient cycle in the ecosystem. The sustainable harvesting of Harad for medicinal purposes aligns with environmentally conscious practices, promoting the preservation of this valuable plant species.
Anandvan Trivia QuizQuestion 1: Why am I called ‘King of Medicines’ in Ayurveda?
Answer: Terminalia chebula Retz. (Fam. Combretaceae), is called the ‘King of Medicine’ in Ayurveda as well as Tibetan medicine because of its extraordinary power of healing. The whole plant possesses high medicinal value and traditionally used for the treatment of various ailments. The plant is traditionally used in the treatment of asthma, sore throat, vomiting, hiccough, diarrhea, dysentery, bleeding piles, ulcers, gout, heart and bladder diseases. The plant has been demonstrated to possess multiple pharmacological and medicinal activities, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antiproliferative, radioprotective, cardioprotective, antiarthritic, anticaries, gastrointestinal motility and wound healing activity.