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Health and Spiritual Benefits of Haritaki

What is Haritaki?

Haritaki is a versatile Ayurvedic herb. It is a fruit of the myrobalan plum tree and is considered an important herb in Ayurvedic as well as Siddha medicine.

Haritaki is collected when it is still green and raw, is dried until golden brown or black and then powdered and made into remedies. The potency depends on where the fruit was collected, its color, and its shape. Haritaki is also known as harad, haradey, kaddukki, and kayakalpa. Kayakalppa in Tamil is referred to as a rejuvenator of the body that balances all doshas and is also a life-giving herb.

It is available in the market in the form of haritaki paste, powder, and jam-like preparations. It can also be prescribed in tablet or oil form.

Health Benefits of Haritaki

Health Benefits of Haritaki

Haritaki is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, amino acids, flavonoids, and antioxidants. An Ayurvedic practitioner says this herb balances all the elements especially ether and air, a combination of which is known as Vata dosha and is known to be a cause of 80 percent of diseases in Ayurveda. It is included in the treatment of both short-term and chronic health concerns.

Research shows that each of the different seven types of this fruit is prescribed for specific ailments.(1)

Haritaki can be beneficial for cough, constipation, gas, bloating, indigestion, detoxification, weight loss, skin disease, metabolism, immunity, fertility, libido, cleansing, supporting bowel movements, nourishing, and rejuvenating tissue.(2)

Nourishing and rejuvenating all the tissues and organs and supporting the reproductive changes are the unique functions of haritaki.

A study done in 2017 found that the extracts of myrobalan fruit contain several compounds that support its application as an anticarcinogenic, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antidiabetic.(3) It also showed to be effective in improving heart health, wound care, and digestive health. Old research showed the effectiveness of haritaki application on hemorrhoids.(4) However, more research is needed to prove the effects of haritaki.

The effectiveness of the herb may vary depending on the dosage, health condition it is used for, and lifestyle factors.

Benefits of Haritaki for Skin, Hair, and Nails

Haritaki has antioxidant properties and can have the potential to improve skin, hair, and nail health.

Skin: Haritaki can be successful in addressing a variety of skin ailments in Ayurveda.(5) It can be used for day-to-day skincare. It can be used externally by making a paste with rose water. Its paste with ghee and water is found to be effective in providing relief to cracked heels.(6)

Hair: A study shows haritaki to be effective not only in darkening but also in softening hair. It is used in hair dyes and gives excellent results without any side effects.(7)

Nails: Haritaki has antimicrobial properties and can be effective in relieving nail bed infections.(8)

Spiritual Benefits of Haritaki

Haritaki acts as a cleansing and a restorative herb and is included in holistic health care to address dosha imbalances. It is believed to play a role in balancing spiritual health.

In Buddhism, haritaki is referred to as a Big Golden Fruit that represents a connection with Buddha and is believed to embody the core value of Buddha, i.e. compassion.(9) It is valued for its regenerative potential and as a cure for many ailments. The medicine of Buddha is an important icon in Mahayana Buddhism and is depicted as holding a haritaki fruit in both hands.

Precautions While Using Haritaki

Haritaki is mostly considered safe to be used but can be avoided if a person:

  • Is pregnant
  • Has donated blood
  • Experienced fatigue
  • Has diarrhea
  • Is dehydrated
  • Takes anti glycemic medications

Haritaki is an ancient Ayurvedic herb is used for curing various ailments. It helps in digestion and detoxification. It is best to speak with a qualified healthcare professional before starting this herb.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 28, 2022

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