Terminalia belerica also referred as, Beleric Myrobalan in English, Bibhitaki in Sanskrit, Locally known as Bahera in India, has been used for centuries in the Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine originating from India. It is found as growing wild troughout the Indian subcontinent, srilanka, and SE Asia, upto 1200 meters altitude, in a wide variety of ecologies. It is a large deciduous tree with a buttressed trunk, a thick brownish gray bark with shallow longitudinal fissures, attaining a height of between 20 and 30 meters. The leaves are gathered around the ends of the branches, alternately arranged, have entire, elliptic to ellipticobovate margins with rounded or sub acute tip, midrib is prominent. The leaves are pubescent when young and become glabrous with maturity. The flowers are pale greenish yellow in color with a disagreeable odor, borne in axillary spikes longer than the petioles but shorter than leaves. The fruits are ovoid grey drupes, obscurely 5- angled, narrowed into a very short stalk. The dried fruits used for medicinal purposes.
Chemical composition – Fruit consisting of tannins, chebulagic acid, 1,3,6-pentagalloylglucose and 1,2,3,4,6-pentagaoylglucose, corilagin, terchin, glucogalin gallic acid and ellagic acid, etc. Other phytochemicals include Shikimic acid, dehydro-Shikimic acid, quinic acid, arabinose, fructose, sucrose, sugar, rhamnose and amino acids, triterpenes, retinoic acid, arjugenin, arjunolic acid etc..
Properties – Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-diarrheal, laxative, hair tonic, antidiabetic, analgesic, immunomodulatory, antihypertensive, hepatoprotective, antispasmodic, bronchodilator, astringent, digestive, anthelmintic, expectorant, sedative, styptic, eye tonic, antipyretic, antiemetic and rejvenating.
Recommendation – Cough, cold, hoarseness of voice, asthma, skin diseases and premature graying of hair, conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, flatulence, thirst, piles, worms, diarrhea, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, low immunity, liver and digestive system disorders.