In Sanskrit Bibhitaki means ‘the one that keeps you away from the diseases’. It is one of the ingredients of widely used preparation ‘Triphala churna’- useful in treating bronchitis, sore throat, diseases of heart, eyes and bladder. It is commonly found in Indian forests. Bibhitaki is a rejuvenative, beneficial for hair, throat, eyes and a laxative herb.
Sanskrit : Bibhitaka, Aksha, Karshaphala, Kalidruma, Bhutavasa, Kaliyugalaya
English : Belleric myrobalan
Hindi : Baheda, Bahira, Bahura
Latin name : Terminalia belerica
Family : Combretaceae
Meaning of various synonyms of Bibhitaki
Bibhitaki – As it is said to make a person fearless from all types of diseases
Karshaphala – That is having fruits with weight of one Karsha i.e. near about 20 gms
Aksha – As its fruits were used in gambling in old times
Kalidrima – A tree which is the root cause of disputes as gambling always results in hot arguments
It is a large deciduous tree found throughout the Indian forest and plains. Leaves are petiolate, broadly elliptic, clustered towards the end of branches.. Flowers are greenish yellow, simple, in axillary spikes with offensive odour. Calyx lobes are pubescent outside. The fruits are green and inflated when young and yellowish and shrink (nearly seen as ribbed) when mature. The nut is stony.
Ayurvedic Pharmacodynamic Properties:
Rasa : Kashaya (astringent)
Guna : Ruksha (dry), Laghu (Light)
Vipaka : Madhura (Sweet)
Virya : Ushna (Hot)
Doshakarma : Kaphapittajit (Pacifies Kapha and Pitta)
Useful part: Fruit, seed, bark
The principle constituents are Triterpenoids – cardiac glycoside saponins, bellericoside, bellericanin, Sterols – B-sitosterol, Tannin – gallic acid, ellagic acid.
It also contains galloyl glucose and number of free sugars. The seeds contain protein and oxalic acid, while bark contains tannin and its oil contains palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids as major fatty acids.
Fruits are asrtringent, acrid, sweet, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, styptic, narcotic, digestive, anthelmintic, aperient, expectorant, ophthalmic, antipyretic, antiemetic and rejuvenating. It has purgative, blood pressure depressant, antifungal, antihistaminic activity against viral hepatitis and vitiligo. Antiasthmatic, broncho-dilatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, CNS stimulant, amoebicidal, antistress, anti-atherogenic agent and endurance promoting activity.
Bibhitaki primarily supports the healthy formation of three bodily tissues-nutrients plasma (rasa dhatu), muscle (mamsa dhatu) and bone (asthi dhatu).
It has been used both internally as well as externally.
Internal Uses :
1) It is best for treating Kapha disorders, by removing mucous from the digestive tract helping in better absorption of nutrients by the body.
2) Digestion: It is a good stomach tonic, it reconciles the digestive functions and helps in anorexia, flatulence, thirst, piles and worms. It softens the hard impacted feces in the rectum.
3) Respiratory system: It alleviates cough, relieves the blocked phlegm, controls bleeding in the sputum and eases the bronchospasms.
4) Insomnia: It helps in deep sleep and alleviates pain in vata disorders..
5) Diarrhoea: Mature and dry fruit is constipating and is useful in diarrhoea
6) It is also useful in treating cardiac disorders , hemorrhage, leprosy, ulcers, urinary calculus, dyspepsia and general debility.
External Uses :
Externally its paste is applied on eyelids in conjunctivitis.
1) Seed oil or paste of fruit is applied on swollen and painful parts.
2) In premature graying of hair- It boost hair growth and imparts black color.
3) Fruit powder is useful in wound dressing to arrest bleeding.
Important formulation: Triphala churna, Triphala ghrita, Bibhitakadi kvatha, Talishadi churna, Lavangadivati
1) The churna of the dried fruit pulp is used with honey for severe cough and asthma.
2) The decoction of the dried fruit may be taken internally and externally as an eyewash in the treatment of ophthalmological disorders.
3) Contraindication: High vata, dry cough and dry skin
Terminalia belerica is one of the oldest medicinal herb of India. It is an ingredient of Indian Ayurvedic drug ‘triphala’ used for the treatment of digestion and liver disorders. It is the best herb for controlling Kapha. In an open clinical trial of 93 patients suffering from various respiratory conditions, It was found to have anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant and anti-tussive activities. It had shown reduction in the levels of lipids in hypercholesterolemic animals, and promoted a significant decrease in liver and heart lipids. Experiments have also shown that it possesses anti-HIV-1, antimalarial, antimutagenic and antifungal activities.
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