8 Proven Haritaki Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage & How to Use It for Better Health


Kadukka PodiHere’s why the Ayurvedic herb Haritaki is so good for digestive health, disease prevention, detoxification, dropping unwanted body fat, better skin and hair and much more.

As well as its extensive benefits, also ahead is how to and when to use Haritaki powder, the best type to take and some important side effects and precautions to be aware of.

Keep reading to learn why this ancient herb is such a powerful detoxifier and rejuvenator for your body and is considered the ‘Mother of herbs’ in in Ayurveda.

What is Haritaki?

In Ayurveda, Haritaki is the name of the dried fruit of the Terminalia Chebula tree. It is also known as Harad, Inknut, Kadukkai, Karakkaya, Kadukka Podi and Chebulic Myrobalan in various languages across the region.

It grows across Asia, particularly in forests of Northern India, and has a long history of medicinal use as a panacea, adaptogenic tonic and natural cure for a wide variety of disorders and diseases.

Dried Inknut powder is also one of the 3 ingredients in Triphala, probably the most famous of all the Ayurvedic detoxification formulas. However, it is often prescribed as a stand-alone treatment for specific disorders and to bring an unhealthy body back into balance.

In Western countries like the USA, fine Haritaki powder, such as this special organic preparation I take, is primarily used and it has some remarkable properties for improving your overall health and well-being.

Let’s have a look at 8 of the best of them:

8 Proven Haritaki Benefits for Better Health

1. Improved Digestion and Gastrointestinal Environment

Regularly taking Kadukka Podi can enhance the function of your digestive tract, support a healthy intestinal environment and increase the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat.

At the same time the powder is a mild laxative, improving elimination, tonifying the colon, clearing away compacted waste and helping to prevent constipation.

Research on using Terminalia chebula for metabolic syndrome showed it has a ‘significant intestinal motility-enhancing effect’ and can be a very useful aid in keeping bowel movements regular.

There can be an initial increase in flatulence and other gastrointestinal issues when you first start taking powdered Harad. Most people quickly notice more regular bowel movements though and less bloating and gas when using this Ayurvedic remedy.

2. Decreases Stomach Acidity and Guards against Ulcers

In a related benefit, Haritaki churna can reduce excessive stomach acidity and even help prevent painful peptic and gastric ulcers by elevating protective mucus production in the stomach.

Chebulic Myrobalan fruit is rich in antioxidant polyphenols like gallic acid and ellagic acid that have been shown in studies to combat the helicobacter pylori bacteria and reduce your risk of developing stomach ulcers.

3. Natural Weight Loss and Elimination

By improving digestion, increasing nutrient absorption, cleaning the colon, preventing constipation and speeding up elimination time, this herb helps alleviate the toxic burden on your liver – a common cause of difficulty losing weight.

Improved digestion and nutritional uptake will also often have a positive effect on reducing hunger and cravings for junk foods, important factors that drive weight gain and lead to a more sedentary lifestyle.

Triphala churna, with its Amalaki and Bibhitaki combined with Haritaki, can be an even more effective method for losing weight.

Inknut

4. Blood Builder and Body Detoxifier

In another related benefit, Terminalia Chebula fruit is considered a premier body detoxifier and blood builder in Ayurveda.

It is said to help elevate oxygen levels in the blood and is often recommended for tiredness, low energy and lethargy.

Whilst this is hard to confirm with research, many people in online forums who use organic capsules like these regularly report an energizing effect when they take it.

5. Antioxidant and Antibacterial Protection

Powdered Karakkaya is a rich source of potent antioxidants like ellagic acid, gallic acid, chebulic acid, flavonol glycosides, selenium and vitamin C that protect your body from many serious diseases.

This research found an extract of the herb improved concentrations of glutathione, superoxide dismutase and other antioxidants in the liver and kidneys. The authors concluded Chebulic Myrobalan helps fight oxidative stress and could protect against age-related diseases.

Dried Kadukka Podi also has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties for preventing infection from bacteria in the food you eat and from airborne viruses.

As an anti-fungal and overall digestive health tonic it can also help treat candida and other fungal infections throughout the body.

6. Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

High blood glucose levels and a decrease in insulin sensitivity due to poor diet are the primary cause of type II diabetes and its precursor metabolic syndrome.

Compounds in Chebulic Myrobalan have been found to naturally moderate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

This study showed an extract of the fruit exerted a dose-dependent yet significant glucose lowering effect on the blood.

Given this, diabetic patients on blood sugar lowering medication should discuss taking Terminalia powder with their doctor before using it regularly.

7. Mouth Ulcers and Lung Disorders

The fruit or powder is often used for mouth ulcers, oral sores and gum disease. Traditionally in India a mouthwash is made by crushing several dried Karakkaya fruit and boiling them in water.

Once cooled, it is swirled around the mouth several times a day to quickly alleviate ulcers. It is also believed to help prevent dental decay if used regularly.

The powdered herb mixed with boiling water and cooled should be effective in the similar way as a mouthwash.

Haritaki churna is also recommended for bad coughs, bronchitis and other lung complaints. For this purpose around half a teaspoon of the powder is mixed with a small amount of honey with a spoon and slowly sucked upon.

It can be particularly good to make up and use this natural treatment right before bed if excessive coughing is preventing you from getting to sleep.

8. Better Skin and Hair

Haritaki fruit powder is often recommended for both skin problems, like acne and skin rashes, as well as hair loss and dandruff.

For acne and skin irritations a paste is made from the powdered herb and very hot water and applied directly to the affected area once it cools. This topical treatment can speed up skin healing and help prevent further acne outbreaks.

Terminalia Chebula fruit

To apply to the hair, powdered Harad is usually prepared in a hair oil and applied directly to the scalp to combat hair loss and prevent dandruff.

This recipe for homemade Amla hair oil could be used with the same amount of Haritaki churna instead of Amla.

Taking the herbal powder or capsules regularly can also improve both your hair and skin tone overall. This is due to increased antioxidant intake and internal detoxification.

Benefits of Terminalia Chebula in Summary

  1. Enhances digestion and increases the absorption of nutrients.
  2. Reduce excessive acidity and can help prevent stomach ulcers.
  3. Improves elimination and weight loss efforts.
  4. Considered a premier detoxifier and blood builder in Ayurveda.
  5. A rich source of antioxidants that protect your body from serious diseases.
  6. Found to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
  7. Often used to treat mouth ulcers and gum disease.
  8. Recommended for acne, hair loss and dandruff.

Mother of Herbs

Indian Ayurvedic medicine calls Haritaki the ‘Mother of herbs’ and the ‘King of medicines’ and its positive effects and benefits are well documented and expansive.

It is considered a destroyer of diseases and an eliminator of toxins and wastes from throughout the body, improving digestion and promoting natural weight loss.

A powerful rejuvenator, it provides beneficial effects to the body’s organs, particularly the colon, liver, spleen and lungs.

Kadukka Podi is also considered an adaptogenic tonic that supports the channels within your body most in need of its detoxifying actions.

It is believed to increase energy and stamina and improve intelligence and awareness by clearing away mental blockages in much the same way it does physical ones.

In the dosha system of Ayurveda, Haritaki is balancing for all doshas, but especially for Vata imbalances. Though it may increase Pitta fire when taken in excess.

While modern science and medicine is only just discovering all the benefits of Terminalia Chebula fruit, historical healing traditions like Ayurveda have been recording its potency and effectiveness for thousands of years.

Side Effects and Precautions

Despite all of its beneficial properties, Haritaki does have some side effects and warnings. Here are the main precautions to be aware of when using the capsules or powder as a natural detoxification treatment.

1. Avoid During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The primary precaution for women using this natural remedy is to avoid it when pregnant or breastfeeding.

The herb is specifically contraindicated in Ayurveda during pregnancy and it can also reduce breast milk production for new mothers.

Overall, it’s best to avoid using any parts of the Terminalia Chebula tree when nursing a child, whilst pregnant and even for a woman trying to conceive a baby.

2. Blood Sugar Effects

This herbs ability to lower high blood sugar levels is generally seen as beneficial for those at risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It might not be appropriate for diabetic patients already on glucose lowering medication though.

Talk to your doctor first before taking the powder or capsules regularly if you’re using prescription drugs for high blood sugar levels.

Additionally, it should be stopped for two weeks before major surgery due to its effect on blood sugar control during an operation.

Harad powder

3. Diarrhea and Dehydration

Taking too much powdered Chebulic Myrobalan fruit may cause temporary diarrhea and other digestive problems like bloating and excessive gas. These intestinal issues should clear up within a day or two.

If they don’t, then stop using it for a few days and then try again at least half the dosage or lower to build up your tolerance to the herb.

Additionally, is not recommended to start taking it when you are dehydrated or already suffering from diarrhea or other serious digestive issues due to its strong astringent properties.

An exception to this would be when constipated for which it is a well-known natural cure. See the dosage information ahead for how to use this herbal remedy if you are suffering from constipation.

4. Other Side Effects and Precautions

Ayurvedic medicine specifically warns that Haritaki churna is not recommended for those suffering from exhaustion, after fasting, when underweight or recovering from illness.

It is also best avoided for women who have just experienced heavy menstruation and for those who have indulged too heavily in alcohol.

Dosage and How to Use the Powder and Capsules

In India it is often recommended to put whole dried Karakkaya fruit in a large bottle of water overnight, usually between three and seven, and drink this the following day.

For people living in the USA and other Western countries, the powdered herb is much more available and easier to use. A high quality organic powder like this would provide much more bio-available antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients as well.

Recommended Dosage

The starting dose of the powder would be a quarter teaspoon mixed into a cup of very hot but not boiling water (turn off the kettle or pan just before it boils). This can be increased to half a teaspoon if well tolerated.

Allow the liquid to cool and take this herbal tea around one and a half to two hours after you finish your evening meal and before bed.

It is best to take this Ayurvedic treatment without sweetener. Practitioners say tasting the combination of astringent, sour and bitter flavors in the herb is beneficial in and of itself.

If you must add some sweetener, then try a drop of stevia. Definitely don’t use fattening sugar as this works directly against the beneficial effects Haritaki is providing.

Haritaki capsule benefits

Organic Capsules

If you think the potent taste of this herb would be a problem for you to take regularly, it will be better to use organic capsules like these ones.

To make a similar dosage with capsules, use between two and four 500 mg capsules, taken with a big glass of water around two hours after your evening meal.

Dosage for Constipation

To treat constipation a double dose of Terminalia powder is recommended. Take half a teaspoon of the powdered herb mixed in very hot water one and a half hours after lunch and again one and a half hours after dinner.

For a higher dosage to alleviate occasional but heavy constipation, take a full teaspoon around one and a half hours after either lunch or dinner, depending on when constipation symptoms are worse.

This amount should not be regularly exceeded without consulting a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.

It is best used for constipation as an occasional natural remedy, rather than an ongoing and long-term laxative.

Chebulic Myrobalan for Better Health

I hope this detailed look at the benefits of Haritaki has provided more than enough reasons to try it for yourself.

It’s particularly good for enhancing digestion, detoxifying your body, losing weight naturally and improving your hair, skin and energy levels.

Organic powder like this excellent one I take is recommended for the best value and ease of use. If the strong taste of this herbal remedy is likely to be an issue for you then try these highly rated organic capsules instead.

Have you tried Haritaki powder before or even the dried Terminalia Chebula fruit? I’d be interested to read about any beneficial effects you experienced with the potent Ayurvedic herbal treatment.

This article may contain affiliate links to products I've researched and recommend. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to the consumer.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 14 comments
Rajasekar

Very informative and useful.

Reply
PPS BAGHEL

The fig given is wrong please correct it The fig is of TERMINALIA BELLIRICA
Thanks
PPS BAGHEL

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi there,

Terminalia Bellirica is also known as Bibhitaki, which I may write about soon on Superfood Profiles.

This article is about Haritaki though, known scientifically as Terminalia Chebula.

All the best,

Jim

Reply
Dhanalaxmi

Sometimes after taking the Hartaki tablet before going to bed I get vomiting sensation and at times I vomit also. So should I take the tablet again after vomiting

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi there,

That’s not a good sign. I’d try taking Haritaki first thing in the morning rather that before bed. If you still get the same reaction it probably isn’t for you I’m afraid.

All the best,

James

Reply
Gorakshnath Varpe

Hi,

Doctor asked me to take 1 tablet before bed however unknowingly I have taken 2 tabs in morning n 2 at the time of bed n now I am suffering from stamouch pain n have to go multiple times for washroom (2).

Please suggest
Thanks,
Gorakshnath Varpe

Reply
A friend

If the body is vomiting, it is most likely getting rid of all the crap that you body has accumulated internally, although it should come out from the other end, lol. You should consult with a specialist before consuming any more Haritaki pills. Just a thought.

I eat a teaspoon of Haritaki powder every evening before going to bed. While it might not be the most effective way to consume it, I can feel it still gives me health benefits, especially in terms of my digestion system.

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi Gorakshnath.

If you have a bad reaction it’s best to take a day or two off haritaki. Then start again at a much lower dosage. Perhaps just half a tablet cut in half in the morning and the other half in the evening. If this is tolerated then increase to one at morning and evening with a big glass of water.

All the best,

Jim

Reply
Kamalesh

Why should not take while breast feeding, this myrobalan, when will start to take this.

Reply
Jahid

After lunch haritaki is good for health?

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi Jahid.

Haritaki would be better away from food. First thing in the morning is best.

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi Kamalesh.

From the article https://superfoodprofiles.com/haritaki-benefits-side-effects-dosage-how-to-use#Side_Effects_of_Terminalia_Chebula_Powder “The herb is specifically contraindicated in Ayurveda during pregnancy and it may also reduce breast milk production for new mothers.”

All the best,

Jim

Reply
Jim Dillan

Thank you Satya for such a helpful and detailed comment.

I think there’s a lot of good information here on Haritaki powder uses that people could try for themselves.

The pregnancy precautions are particularly important too. I covered that in the article but needs to be highlighted.

All the best in 2020 to you as well,

Jim

Reply
Khadijah

I have been using the Hari Taki fruit most recently and I’m loving it. While after about 4 days, I’m still experiencing a great deal of smelly gas, it has made my bowel movements easier and more frequent. I feel it moving around some intestinal blockages. I put three fruits in 1 gallon of water, drink it usu. in 24 hrs and then repeat with the same fruits with a second gallon once the first is gone.so far this has increased the frequency and quantity of my urination so I can tell it is effectively detoxing my body. I also feel more mentally energized, like I’m thinking clearer and like I need less sleep. I tried the powder over a year ago but the taste was difficult for me. I still taste it in the water but it isn’t nearly as bitter as the powder. My appetite is decreased and my cravings for sweets have lessened. Since taking it in water for the last four days, I’ve also noticed that my pants aren’t as tight around my waist. I suppose that means that I have lost some fat in that area or maybe that I’ve just eliminated excess waste. Same difference in my book. I have also noticed some dryness on my lips and between the hips even though I drink 1/2-1 gall of this water per day. Water quality matters too. I think this is a small side effect but overall no complaints. Overall I feel better and I have found benefit in Haritaki. Thank you for all of this information.

Reply

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