Terminalia Chebula



Herbal drug product has a special place in the world of pharmaceuticals. Terminalia chebula is a deciduous tree, used in traditional medicines. It is reported to contain various bio chemical compounds such as tannins,chebulinic acid, ellagic acid, gallic acid, punicalagin, flavonoids etc. It has been reported as antioxidant,

antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anticancerous, antiulcer, antimutagenic, wound healing

activities etc. It is extensively used in unani, ayurveda and homeopathic medicine. It has been reported as antioxidant   antidiabetic  ,antibacterial  , antiviral  , antifungal, anticancerous,antiulcer, antimutagenic, wound healing activities



Terminalia Chebula & Abdominal Disorders:

It is good to increase the appetite, as digestive aid, Liver stimulant, as stomachic, as  gastrointestinal prokinetic agent, and mild laxative.

·         Harrot has proven gastrokinetic effect i.e. it helps in moving the contents of stomach earlier. So it can be used after surgeries and as adjuvant with other drugs that interfere with gastric motility as antihistaminics, atropine like drugs.

·          It stimulates the liver and protects it further by expelling the waste excretory products from the intestines.

·         The powder of Harro has been used in chronic diarrhoea, sprue with good results. It should be used as hot infusion in these disorders. It is indicated in Protracted diarrhea with hematochezia and prolapse of rectum.

·         For persons with excessive gas in intestine, flatulence, it is a good herb that can be taken daily. it will relieve these conditions smoothly.

·         One compound Chebulagic acid from harro has shown antispasmodic action like that of Papaverine.

·         Being a mild laxative, it is a mild herbal colon cleanse. With its other properties, it provides some help in conditions with Liver and Spleen enlargement and in Ascites. It is not a strong purgative like other herbs as Senna. It does the cleansing action very smoothly. Further it can be taken for a long time without any ill effects.

In Ayurveda haritaki is the best for 'Srotoshodhana' or purifying the channels of body.

Terminalia Chebula & Central Nervous System:

It is a good nervine. It is used in nervous weakness, nervous irritability. It promotes the receiving power of the five senses.

Terminalia Chebula For Lungs & Airways:

It is good for Chronic cough, coryza, sorethroat and asthma. It is used with other herbs in many holistic herbal formulations in Ayurveda.

Harro For Reproductive Or Sexual Health:

Being anti-inflammatory, and astringent, it is useful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea, vaginal discharges like leucorrhea. It can be given as adjuvant in atonic conditions of Uterus.

Haritaki For Kidney & Urinary Bladder:

It is helpful in Renal calculi, dysurea, and retention of urine.

HarroFor Skin Disorders:

It is useful in skin disorders with discharges like allergies, urticaria and other erythematous disorders.

General Uses Of Terminalia Chebula:

It is given as adjuvant herb in Chronic fever. On long term use it is helpful in gaining weight in the emaciated persons and in losing weight in obese persons.

When taken with meals it sharpens the intellect, increases strength, stimulates the senses, expels the urine, stool and other waste materials from the body. It saves the person from the vitiating effects of bodily humors. Thus it is considered as an alterative and adaptogen.

Harro reduces the ill effects of fat rich, creamy and oily food. T. chebula is the definite aid for persons who habitually overeat. Further it can supplement the Cholesterol normalizing drugs. .

Modern Clinical Research & Terminalia Chebula:

·         Harro can serve to act as an effective alternative to modern prokinetic drugs like metaclopramide.

·         anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties

·         Some preliminary evidence of its capability to be useful in HSV Herpes simplex virus.

·         Some anti-tumor activity and effect in inhibiting the HIV virus.

·         Anthraquinone and Sennoside like purgative activity. Ability to evacuate the bowel.

·         Wide antibacterial and antifungal activity, esp. against E. coli.





Deepti Dixit1, Amit Kumar Dixit1, Harsha Lad1, PJS Bhalla2, Deepak Bhatnagar1*

1School of Biochemistry, Devi Ahilya University, Khandwa Road, Indore- 452017, MP, India.

2Division of Radiation Biosciences, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi-110054, India.

     The present study was aimed at investigating the inhibition of chromosomal damage as assayed by micronucleus test and radioprotective effect of Terminalia chebula extract (TCE) against gamma irradiation induced oxidative stress in rats. Male Wistar strain rats were divided into groups and pretreated with TCE (80 mg/kg of b.wt.) prior to whole body gamma irradiation exposure. The in vivo radioprotective activities of the TCE were determined by Kaplan-Meir survival studies on rats irradiated at 10.0 Gy. Inhibition of chromosomal damage through micronucleus assay in rat bone marrow, lipid peroxidation (LPO), antioxidant enzymes assays i.e. superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione -S-transferase (GST), glutathione (GSH) content in liver and erythrocytes and histopathological examination of liver were studied in rats irradiated at 2.0 Gy. TCE pretreatment resulted in 50% increase in survival of animals as compared to concurrent irradiated group. The number of micronuclei in gamma irradiated rats was significantly higher as compared to control, however, TCE pretreatment decreased the number of micronucleus showing inhibition of chromosomal damage. Rats pretreated with TCE, prior to gamma irradiation showed normal activity of SOD, CAT and GST with decrease in LPO in liver and erythrocytes. The GSH content was not significantly altered in liver, however, erythrocytes showed increased GSH content in gamma irradiated animals. The decrease of micronucleus and increased survival of gamma irradiated rats pretreated with Terminalia chebula points towards radioprotective function of TCE.



Botanical Name: Terminalia chebula

Common Name: Harro

Family: Combretaceae

Parts Used: Fruit, Bark and Root

Description: It grows around 98 feet (30 meters) in height. The trunk is dark grayish brown in color growing approximately 1 meter in diameter. Terminalia chebula has oval shaped alternate to sub-opposite leaves growing from 2.8 inches to 3.1 inches (7 cm to 8 cm) in length and 1.8 inches to 3.9 inches (4.5 cm to 10 cm) in breadth. The soft and shiny leaves are covered in silver hairs. These leaves have 0.39 inches to 1.2 inches (1 to 3 cm) long petioles. This tree has small white or pale yellow flowers with a strong and unpleasant aroma.

Active Compounds: Anthraquinone Glycoside, Chebulinic Acid, Chebulagic Acid, Tannic Acid, Terchebin, Tetrachebulin, Arachidic, Bhenic, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Chebulin.

Medicinal Properties: Antimicrobial, Antifungal, Antibacetrial, Antistress, Antispasmodic, Hypotensive, Indurance Promoting Activity, Hypolipidaemic, Anthelmintic, Purgative

Uses: Gastrointestinal ailments, enlargement of liver-spleen, tumors, piles, colitis and worms.