Belleric Myrobalan: Best Herb for Longevity, Strength, Intellectual (Terminalia Bellirica)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Common Names

3. Vernacular Names

4. Synonyms

5. Distribution

6. Morphology

7. Ayurvedic Properties

8. Chemical Constituent

9. Identity, Purity, and Strength

10. Ayurvedic and Pharmacological Actions

11. Health Benefits

12. Therapeutic Uses

13. Official Part Used

14. General Doses

15. Herbal Tea

1. Introduction

The word “Bibhitaki” means one that takes away the fear of disease. It is rightly said for this drug as its fruit is widely used in traditional system for the treatment of a number of aliments. Terminalia Bellirica, commonly known as Bahera or Belleric MyroBalan, is a fruit that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known for its various health benefits, particularly for improving digestion and respiratory health.

In Charak Samhita, Belleric MyroBalan fruits are mentioned as having qualities to alleviate many diseases and bestow longevity, intellectual power, and strength. There are several “rasayana medicine” like fourth Amla rasayana which has been described in the Charak Samhita, in which Belleric MyroBalan is used as an ingredient.

The word Belleric is taken from the scientific name that distinguishes this myrobalan from the other, chebulic MyroBalan. The dried fruits of the tree constitute the drug bahera and the trade name bahera is based on the Indian name of the tree. The nuts of the are rounded but with five flatter sides, these nuts are likely used as dice in the epic Mahabharat and Rig-Veda book 10 hymn 34.

Belleric Myrobalan is one of the ingredients of an important Ayurvedic medicine “Triphala” available in the Indian market for the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea, dysentery, inflammation of the small intestine biliousness, flatulence, liver disease and leprosy.

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2. Common Names

Family – Combretaceae

Hindi Name – Baheda, Bahera

English Name – Bellric myrobalan, Bedda nut tree

3. Vernacular Names

Assamese – Bhomora, Bhomra

Burmese – Thitsein

French – Myrobalan beleric

Gujrati – Bahedam, Beheda

Kannada – Shanti, Tare

Malayalam – Tanni

Marathi – Beheda

Oriya – Beheda, Bhara

Thai – Haen-khao

Tamil – Tanri, Tani

Telugu – Tani, Tannikkaya

4. Synonyms

Bahuveerya – It has broad actions.

Bhutavasa – It is regarded as abode of demon.

Bibhedaka – Maintains health by curing or alleviating disease.

Bibhitaki – It removes the fear of suffering or disease.

Karshaphala – Weight of each fruit is one karsha (12g).

Kasaghna – It particularly cures cough.

Samvartaka – Maintains health by curing or alleviating disease.

Vindhyajata – It grows mostly in Vindhya area.

5. Distribution

The herb is indigenous to India, it is mostly found throughout the county except in the dry regions of Western India. It is more commonly found in mixed deciduous forests. The plant is native to Bangladesh, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. It is mostly found in monsoon forests, mixed deciduous forest, or dry deciduous dipterocarp forests, associated with teak.

It is wild throughout the Indian subcontinent, Sri-Lanka, and SE Asia, up to 1,200 m in elevation and is abundantly available in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab.

6. Morphology

Terminalia Bellirica is a large tree often with buttresses, it has large-longish leaves clustered near the ends of branches, small pale green foul-smelling flowers, and egg-shaped, long brownish fruits densely covered with hair. It is a large deciduous tree about 20 to 30 m in height.

Leaves - They are large, alternate, simple, long petiole, young leaves are copper red in color which turn into parrot green and later they become dark green with a dimension of 4-24 cm x 2-11 cm.

Flowers - The flowers are greenish white or yellow in colour and usually appear along with new leaves, and are in axillary, solitary, or clustered spikes generally 3 to 15 cm long. The flowers have a foul smell like honey, they are arranged loosely on thin stalks. Upper flowers of the spike are male. Lower flowers are bisexual.

Fruit – Spherical to ovoid drupe, 1.5 to 2.5 in. in diameter, tapering toward both the ends with a stony nut. Fresh ripe fruits are slightly silvery with whitish shiny pubescent surface. Mature fruits are gray or grayish brown with slightly wrinkled appearance. Rind of fruit shows variation in thickness from 3 to 5 mm.

Bark – Thick brownish gray bark having shallow longitudinal fissures.

7. Ayurvedic properties

Rasa (Taste): It has astringent (kashaya) taste.

Virya (Potency): It is hot in nature (ushna).

Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (madhura).

8. Chemical Constituent

The fruit contains terpenoids, saponin, and tannins which are composed of chebulinic acid, 1,3,6-trigalloyglucose. Seeds contain alkaloids, coumarin, flavone, glycoside. Bark contains beta-sitosterol, tannins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, and catechol. Its oil contains palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids such as major fatty acids.

9. Identity, Purity, and Strength

Foreign Matter – Not more than 2%

Total Ash – Not more than 7%

Acid-insoluble ash – Not more than 1%

Alcohol-soluble extractive – Not less than 8%

Water-soluble extractive – Not less than 35%

(Source: The Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India 1999)

10. Ayurvedic and Pharmacological Actions

Ayurvedic Action

Belleric Myrobalan produces actions like anti-inflammatory, anodyne, hemostatic, appetizer, laxative, purgative, absorbent, antithirst, antiemetic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic, and nourishment to all dhatus. It is used as laxative, astringent, anthelminitic and antipyretic. It is also said to cleanse the blood and voice and promite hair growth. Gum of the bark is demulcent and purgative.

  • Dohsakarma – Tridoshamaka
  • Dhatukarma – Rasayana
  • Malakarma – Bhedan, sara.

Pharmacological Action

It has analgesic, antidiarrheal, antihypertensive effect, antisalmonella, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, wound-healing, immunological, immune support, hepatoprotective, antiulcer, antipyretic, anticancer, antibiofilm, and antimutagenic activities.

11. Health Benefits

The Belleric Myroblan is bitter in taste, it is a tonic, and a laxative also arrests secretion or bleeding. It is also useful in reducing fevers. The baheda fruit is one of the three constituents of the famous Indian preparation Triphala. The other two are Indian gooseberry and chebulic myroblan.

It ks used in cough, asthma, worm infestation, mouth disease, premature graying hair, wound, edema, dysentery, heart disease, conjunctivitis, neuromuscular disease, insomnia, abdominal distention, thirst, vomiting, hemoptysis, fever, weakness, urinary calculus.

Fruit is useful in treatment of hepatitis, bronchitis, asthma, dyspepsia, piles, diarrhoea, and are also used as a hair tonic. Decoction of fruit is used in cough, pulp of fruit is useful in dysenteric-diarrhoea, dropsy, piles and leprosy. Half ripe fruit is used as purgative, kernel of the fruit is narcotic.

12. Therapeutic Uses

External Uses

Edema - Paste of Belleric Myroblan fruit alleviates burning sensation and pain in all types of edema.

Erysepalas – Hot paste of Belleric Myroblan is applied locally.

Internal Uses

Cough And Cold - Take Terminalia Bellirica fruit powder with salt, long pepper, and honey, is beneficial for cough and cold.

Stomach Disorders - Make a decoction of fruit pulp of Terminalia Bellirica, take 3-4 grams. Helps to treat stomach disorders.

Constipation - Take 1 tsp of Terminalia Bellirica fruit powder with water, twice a day after meal, helps to treat chronic constipation.

Anthelmintic - Take Terminalia Bellirica fruit powder with butea seeds powder, it is a very effective anthelmintic.

Gum Pain And Bad Breath - Take 5 grams of Terminalia Bellirica fruit powder and used it with a toothbrush to brush the teeth, it helps to reduce gum pain and bad breath.

Wound Healing – Apply paste prepared with Terminalia Bellirica in water regularly to heal up chronic wound, ulcers, cut, minor injuries, and bruise.

Diarrhoea – Burnt Terminalia Bellirica fruit mixed with salt checks severe type of diarrhoea.

Premature Grey Hair – the oil obtained from the seeds and the pulp of the Terminalia Bellirica is applied daily for promoting hair growth, preventing premature grey hair, and making them black.

Eye Disease – Decoction of the dry fruit is used for eye wash in conjunctivitis, and eye infections.

Cardiac Tonic - Terminalia Bellirica, Ashwagandha, and jaggery are pounded together and taken with hot water. It alleviates vata from heart.

13. Official Part Used

Fruit, seeds, bark

14. Doses

Powder – 3 to 6gm

15. Herbal Tea

Ingredients

  • Terminalia Bellirica Fruit Powder – 2 tsp
  • Indian Gooseberry Powder – 1 tsp
  • Terminalia Chebula Powder – 1 tsp
  • Piper Cubeba Fruit Powder – 1 tsp
  • Black Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Roasted Ground Cumin – ¼ tsp

Method

  • Take a pan and boil 2 cups of water.
  • Add all the ingredients except lemon juice.
  • Boil for 3-5 minutes, then turn off the gas.
  • Pour the tea into a cup and add lemon juice, mix it well, and drink hot. You can also add honey.

 


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