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Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Terminalia chebula Retz. [Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)].
Based on Ethnobotanical surveys since year 1990 in different parts of India Pankaj Oudhia has documented vital information about Medicinal Plants mentioned in the famous publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918). Through this research document Pankaj Oudhia has tried to present original document with additional notes. For complete paper with pictures, Interactive Tables, Video and Audio clips please visit pankajoudhia.com
For original publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918) please visit https://archive.org/details/indianmedicinalp01kirt
492. T. chebula, Retz, h.f.b.i., ii. 446, Roxb.
Sans. : — Haritaki.
Vern. : — Hara, har, harara (H.) ; Haritaki (B.) ; Hilikha
(Ass.) ; Silim (Lepch.) ; Karedha (Uriya) ; FTana, Silim-kung
(Sikkim) ; Harda (Dec.) ; Kadukai-maram (Tarn.) ; Karakaia
(Tel.) ; Alale (Mysore).
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Habitat: — Abundant in Northern India, from Kumaon to
Bengal, and southward to the Deccan table-land.
A large or small deciduous tree. Bark ^in. thick, dark-
brown, with numerous, generally shallow, vertical cracks.
Wood very hard, brownish-grey, with a greenish or yellowish
542 INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.
tinge, with an irregular, dark-purple heartwood, close-grained,
fairly durable. Branchlets, leaf-buds and young leaves, with
soft shining generally rust-coloured hairs. Leaves distant,
often sub-opposite, elliptic or ovate ; secondary nerves 6-8 pair,
arching, prominent; blade 3-8in. long, petiole i-lin. long. Two
glands or swellings on petiole near top. Flowers bisexual, ^in.
across, sessile, dull white or yellow, with an offensive smell.
Spikes sometimes simple, usually in short panicles, terminal
and in the axils of the uppermost leaves. Bracts subulate
or lanceolate, longer than buds, deciduous. Limb of Calyx
cup-shaped, cleft half way into 5 acute, triangular segments,
woolly inside. Fruit more or less distinctly 5-angled, obovoid
from a cuneate base, sometimes ovoid or nearly globose, l-l|in.
long ; shape and size of fruit varies accordingly.
Mr. Duthie writes : — " In Northern India the tree does not
attain to any great size, but large trees, up to 100 feet in height,
are often met with south of the Nerbudda."
Uses : — Sanskrit writers describe chebulic myrobalans as
laxative, stomachic, tonic and alterative. They are used in
fevers, cough, asthma, urinary diseases, piles, intestinal worms,
chronic diarrhoea, costiveness, flatulence, vomiting, hiccup,
heart-diseases, enlarged spleen and liver, ascites, skin
diseases, &c. In combination with embelic and beleric
myrobalans, they are extensively used as adjuncts to other medi-
cines in almost all diseases. As an alterative tonic for promot-
ing strength, preventing the effects of age and prolonging life,
it is used in a peculiar way. (Dutt).
Mahomedan writers consider the ripe fruit as purgative,
removing bile, phlegm and adjust bile. The unripe fruit is
most valued on account of its astringent and aperient properties,
and is a useful medicine in dysentery and diarrhoea. Ainslie
notices their use as an application to aphthae (Dymock).
" The fruits are used as a medicine for sore-throat, by the
Paharias in Sikkim" (Gamble).
Recently M. P. Apery has brought to the notice of the pro-
fession in Europe the value of the drug in dysentery, choleraic
N. 0. COMBRETACE^. 543
diarrhoea and chronic diarrhoea. He administers it in pills of
25 centigrammes each, the dose being from four to twelve pills
or even more in the twenty-four hours (Pharmacog. Ind.).
It is therefore possible that the therapeutic value of myroba-
lans may before long form the subject of systematic investiga-
A fruit, finely powdered, is used as dentifrice. Said to be
useful in carious teeth, bleeding and ufcerations of the gums
(B. D. Basu).
A fruit, coarsely powdered and smoked in a pipe, affords
relief in a fit of asthma. A decoction of the fruit is a good
astringent wash. A fine paste, obtained by rubbing the fruit
on a rough stone with little water, mixed with the carron oil
of the Pharmacopeia and applied to burns and scalds, effects
a more rapid cure than when carron oil alone is used (D. R.
Thompson in Watt's Die).
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Water in which the fruits are kept for the night is con-
sidered a very cooling wash for the eyes. The ashes mixed
with butter form a good ointment for sores (Robb, in Watt's
[Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: Through Ethnobotanical surveys in last two decades in different parts of India I have documented information about over 100,000 Traditional Herbal Formulations in which Harad is used as primary, secondary, tertiary etc. ingredients. Majority of the Formulations are still new to Modern Science. In Chhattisgarh Harad roots are added in over 10,000 Traditional Herbal Formulations as nonary ingredient. The Traditional Healers of Odisha use Harad Bark as septenary ingredient in more than 5000 Traditonal Herbal Formulations. Harad leaves are used both internally as well as externally. The Healers of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh add leaves of Harad in more than 30000 Traditional Herbal Formulations as secondary ingredint. Modern Research is focused on medicinal properties and uses of Harad fruits only. Insects attacking Harad trees are used as medicine in Traditional Entomophagy and Entomotherapy. For exhaustive list of reported and unreported Traditonal Herbal Formulations please see Table Harad-1 to Harad 150]
On removing the astringent pulp of the myrobalans a hard, stony seed
remains which weighs 37*5 per cent, of the fruit. The seeds are sent in large
quantities from the Central Provinces to Bombay as an oil seed. Within the
seed is a kernel which yields to ether 3G'7 per cent, of a yellowish, pleasant
and edible oil. A sample of the oil had an acid value of 89, saponification
value of 192*6, iodine value 87'5, and 96'2 per cent, of insoluble fatty acids and
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Ohebulic acid : — This is obtained from the fruits in the following
manner :— The dried fruits are powdered, macerated for 10 days at the ordinary
temperature with 90 per cent, alcohol, pressed and filtered. The alcohol is
completely removed from the extract, and the residue then dissolved in hot
water ; cold water is added until no further milkiness appears, and the whole
is allowed to settle, and then filtered. To the filtrate, sodium chloride is added
until a permanent turbidity appears, and the solution is then shaken out
with ethyl acetate, which dissolves chebulic and tannic acids. To remove
the latter, the ethylacetate is distilled off, and the residue dissolved in water,
and shaken out with ether ; from the aqueous solution crystals of chebulic
acid then separate on standing, and may be recrystallised from hot water.
The yield is 3*5 per cent.
Chebulic acid, C 28 H 24 19 +H 2 O, begins to melt at about 200°, and is
optically active, having [a] D = + 66-94°. The molecular weight of the an-
hydrous compound was determined by Beekmann's boiling point method
544 INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.
in acetone solution. The acid seems to be manobasic and forms an amorphous
barium salt. (C 2 s H 23 19 ) 2 Ba, which is white when moist, and green when
dry, and a grey, amorphous, basic (?) Zinc salt, probably (C 28 H 23 19 ) 2
Zn+Zn O. These salts appear, in general, to be decomposed by water, even
in the cold. With strychnine, an acid salt, C 19 H 22 N 2 0, 2 23 3 24 G 19 , is
formed. With benzoic chloride and soda, a yellowish, amorphous benzoyl
derivative, C 28 H 20 BL 4 19 , melting at 88"5°, is obtained. With phenyl-
hydrazine, chebulic acid yields a derivative in the form of a reddish powder,
which melts at 142°, and, when dissolved in alcohol and treated with strong
aqueous potash, yields a momentarily green, then mulberry-red, and,
finally, brownish-red coloration. (Tannic acid, similarly treated, gives a
green colour, only gradually changing to red ; gallic acid, an immediate red
coloration). When chebulic acid is dissolved in alcohol, and the solution
saturated with gaseous hydrogen chloride, some ethyl gallate is formed, and,
in addition, a yellow, amorphous acid, somewhat analogous in its properties
to tannic acid. Sulphuric acid hydrolyses chebulic acid to gallic acid and
other undetermined products.— J. Ch. S. LXIV., pt. I. (1893), p. 212.
E-documents on Terminalia chebula
Oudhia, Pankaj (2013). Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Terminalia chebula Retz. [Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)]. www.pankajoudhia.com
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