Origin, Distribution and Composition
Chebulic myroblan is a wonderful herb and is known as long-life elixir. It
is the fruit of a middle-sized or large tree which has 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
Chebulic myroblan is indigenous to India. It has been used in Indian
system of medicine for a very long time. The physicians in ancient India
used it in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, heart-burn, flatulence,
dyspepsia and liver and spleen disorders. There is an old Indian proverb
which says, "If one bites a piece of haritaki everyday after meals
and swallows its juice, he will remain free from all diseases."
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.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
Among its many medicinal virtues, is its use as a mild, safe and
efficacious laxative. The drug helps arrest secretion or bleeding and
strengthens the stomach and promotes its action. It is useful in
correcting disordered processes of nutrition by which the organism
ingests, digests, absorbs, utilizes and excretes food substance and
restores the normal function of the system. This herb 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
The juice of chebulic myroblan is highly beneficial in the treatment of
acidity and heart-burn. 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 (amla). Chewing a piece of chebulic
myroblan is an age-old remedy for heart-burn.
A piece of the fruit chewed every night, will reduce asthmatic tendencies
to the minimum.
As a mild laxative, chebulic myroblan is useful in constipation. Either
the pulp of 2 or 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.
Diarrhea and Dysentery
This herb is also an effective 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
Chebulic myroblan is a popular remedy for hemorrhoids. 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 hemorrhoids masses.
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.
The herb is very useful in skin disorders like chronic ulcers, wounds and
scalds. A fine powder of the fruit mixed with carrion oilómade from fat of
an animalómakes an excellent ointment for burns and scalds.
Chebulic myroblan 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
A thick paste of chebulic myroblan applied over the swelling is a good
remedy for treating mumps.
Hair Tonic: The herb 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 used regularly gives vitality to hair. Cheublic myroblan
decoction is a popular hair rinse which many Indian women use to blacken
Sweets and pickles based on chebulic myroblan are commonly used in Indian
homes. They are believed to be digestive and mild laxative.