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Harad or Haritaki (Scientific name - Terminalia chebula) is known by various names across various parts of India. Known as Harad in Hindi, Haritaki in Bengali, Kadukkai in Tamil, and Karakkaya in Telugu, this fruit is also termed by various names in various Sanskrit scriptures. Haritaki trees are mostly grown in the tropical and subtropical countries of Asia, like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam. Haritaki has been used in Ayurvedic Medicines since ages.Due to Immense Health Benefits of Haritaki (Harad), it has been termed as a miraculous herb by Ayurvedic experts. You will find several herbs with medicinal properties, but what sets Haritaki apart is the mystical and spiritual benefits of Haritaki. This small bitter fruit that is often found in Indian households works magically to cure many ailments. It is a versatile herb and has antipyretic, antioxidant, digestive, astringent, purgative, antibilious effects. Here is more about Haritaki and the various benefits of Haritaki that is unknown to many of us.
Haritaki is generally used as powder or churna, which is consumed with warm water or as tea or decoction. Haritaki powder is one of the constituents of the potent Triphala combination. Haritaki powder or Haritaki Churna has many health benefits encompassing both the physical as well as mental wellbeing.
For general wellbeing, and to stay young and rejuvenated, experts suggest using Haritaki with different ingredients in different seasons. As per experts, Haritaki powder should be consumed with honey in spring season, and with jaggery in the summers. In the monsoons, it is advisable to have Haritaki with rock salt, and in the autumn with mishri. In early winters, Haritaki should be consumed with ginger, and it should be had with long pepper in late winters.
Haritaki powder is also used to improve the quality of hair and skin. Haritaki powder can be mixed with boiled water to form a paste that can be applied to the scalp and skin for beautiful skin and hair.
It is also used as a constituent of chyawanprash.
Besides powder, Haritaki is also used in the form of tablets and Haritaki infused oils.
Haritaki contains abundance of bioactive compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids, fatty acids and amino acids which helps in balancing all the three doshas – Kapha, Pitta, Vata, thus bringing the body and the soul in harmony, promoting good health, as well as mental wellbeing.
Haritaki is also used to cure diabetes. It activates insulin production from the beta cells of the pancreas and helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
It ignites the digestive fire and improves digestion, acts as an appetizer, anthelminthic, and mild laxative. Its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties cure various infections and flush out toxins from the body.
Below are the Health benefits of Haritaki or Harad -
The carminative properties of Haritaki powder facilitate digestion by increased secretion of digestive juices, increased breakdown of food, better absorption of nutrients, and improves the overall gut health, which is considered as the root cause of almost all other ailments. It relieves the symptoms of heartburn, bloating, flatulence, reflux, stomach ache, etc. It facilitates the release of abdominal gas and relieves abdominal distention.
Haritaki powder or Harad powder flushes out toxins, improves digestion, boosts metabolism, all of which helps in losing weight easily. It burns the excess fat deposits and lowers LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, giving you a well-toned and slim body.
For weight loss, mix a spoonful of Haritaki powder to a glass of warm water and consume it every day on empty stomach. As per experts, having Haritaki powder on empty stomach ensures better absorption.
Haritaki powder is used for treating phlegm. Haritaki powder control the Kapha dosha and help with all the respiratory diseases arising from it. It reduces cough and clears chest and nasal congestion.
Regular consumption of Haritaki or Harad, activates the production of insulin from the pancreatic β-cells, regulates the secretion of insulin to lower blood glucose level.
Taking Haritaki or Harad Powder with jaggery can help in getting rid of piles and constipation.
Haritaki is considered by Ayurvedic experts as a miraculous rejuvenating herb. Haritaki calms the mind, increases focus, and helps with practicing meditation as it is believed to awaken the powers of the third eye. The spiritual effects of Haritaki clear the vision and insights and help in establishing a connection with the Supreme Power.
Hinduism and Buddhism both consider Haritaki to have spiritual benefits. Buddhism considers Haritaki or Harad as the only herb capable of curing illnesses related to emotional disturbances. 'Medicine Buddha', who is the Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahayana Buddhism is often portrayed as holding Haritaki fruits in his hands. In Buddhism, Haritaki is considered a longevity medicine, which is something that can be consumed for the whole life. Often referred to as the 'Big Golden Fruit', in Buddhism Haritaki represents compassion.
As per Hindu scriptures, the Haritaki tree sprouted out of a drop of nectar that fell from the cup of Lord Indra, the Hindu God who is in control of rain, thunderstorm, or the weather. Haritaki is used in many Hindu religious rituals and is considered very sacred.
For best absorption, Haritaki powder should be taken in between meals on an empty stomach.
Yes, it is completely safe to take Haritaki Daily. Taking Haritaki daily as per recommended dosage boosts immunity.
The recommended dose of Haritaki powder is between 500 mg to 1 g. It varies according to the age and the indication it is being used for. Your Ayurvedic physician will be able to guide you best about the dosage suitable for you.
Yes, Haritaki has been scientifically proven to lower blood sugar levels and help with better management of diabetes. Consult an Ayurvedic expert to know about the correct dosage of Haritaki powder for your diabetes management.
Haritaki powder improves digestion, boosts metabolism, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps burn extra fat. Thus, when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Haritaki powder aids with weight loss.
Haritaki can help you immensely in your spiritual growth as it is believed to help in meditation by calming the mind, improving focus, awakening the powers of the third eye, and helping you feel one with the Universe. The embodiment of peace, Lord Buddha, is often depicted as holding Haritaki fruit in his hands.