Winters are almost here and so is the tussle between our body functions and immunity as it has to adapt to the changing weather. The transition in season coupled with air pollution and smog has left many people struggling with cold, cough and breathing problems already. Thanks to Ayurveda and its wonderful herbs that come to our rescue. Harad is one such herb. Harad, or haritaki, is one such herb that is renowned to boost immunity, promote healthy digestion and ease constipation. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is a tree native to southern Asia and India. Haritaki or harad choti is also known ‘the king of medicines.’ Haritaki is a drupe-like fruit, oval in shape with size varying between 2 – 4.5 cm in length and 1.2 – 2.5 cm in breadth having 5 longitudinal ridges. Depending upon its variety, it turns green – blackish in color when ripens.
Harad is known to protect against age-realted diseases. This is because it helps fight oxidative stress. It was observed that harad boosts the concentration of many well known antioxidants, like gluthione, vitamin C, gallic acid, and ellagic acid. The fruit of the harad is an effective antioxidant. It is an excellent free radical scavenger. The fruit is also used to prevent aging, and building immunity and body resistance against diseases. Harad benefits the whole digestive tract. It is said to increase appetite, improve digestion and absorption. It provides effective cure for piles, gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhoea. It can also be used for colic and wind, worms, constipation, IBS and vomitting. The unripe fruit is considered to be more of a laxative than the ripe one. Harad is also useful for infections of the gut and for parasites including amoebas. It is also said to be effective for use in inflammation of the mucous membrane and ulcers.
Now, we will discuss some of the many health benefits of Harad Choti-
- Haritaki Helps in Acne and Ulcer- Haritaki powder has antibacterial properties that make it very effective for treating acne and ulcers. Take haritaki powder and boiled water, make a paste and apply it on acne and ulcer spotted skin.
- Helps manage migraine- Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms that include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines often run in families and affect all ages. There are several Ayurvedic remedies for managing migraine. Haritaki powder is considered to be effective in managing migraine.
- Haritaki Helpful in constipation- Haritaki beneficial in digestion, it is a natural laxative and contains dietary fibers, which fights constipation. During constipation, one should take haritaki in the form of powder with water. To prepare a Haritaki powder, take haritaki fruit, remove the seed and sundry the pill, then take the peel and grind it.
- Improves heart function: Since the ancient times, haritaki has been used as a remedy for a number of conditions, including heart disease, asthma and bladder diseases. The herb has antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antiarthritic, and cardioprotective properties.Haritaki helps purify blood, making heart muscles stronger. This further helps in stopping the build-up of fat in the artery. All this ensures a reduction in blood pressure and a stronger heart.
- Prevents Diabetes- The excellent hypoglycemic property of haritaki plays a significant role in alleviating the blood sugar levels of the body. The production of insulin from the β-pancreatic cells becomes active in taking this wonder fruit. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose. Hence, regular usage of haritaki powder effectively brings down the blood glucose levels and relieves from various diabetic symptoms like frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss etc.
- Helps prevent acne: Cleansing properties of haritaki help remove toxins from the blood and control the factors that may trigger acne.
- Haritaki Prevents Cough and Cold- Haritaki provides protection from cough and cold. To cure cough and cold, one should take haritaki powder along with honey. It also cures a sore throat and gingivitis.
- Haritaki Benefits for Weight Loss- Haritaki powder helps in removing the toxins from the body and keeps digestive system on track. Haritaki is a natural blood purifier. Haritaki if taken in form of powder regulates hunger, and if combined with balanced diet and exercises leads to weight loss.