Terminalia belerica – Fructus
Common name: Beleric myrobalan (E), Baheda (h)
Bibhitaki is the ‘one who keeps you away from disease’ as it is literally ‘fearless’ of all diseases. This small, dry fruit has a specific drying, astringing and strengthening action on the mucus membranes throughout the body, especially in the lungs, intestines and urinary system.
Bibhitaki is a large deciduous tree native to Indian forests and plains, growing up to 20 metres in height. It has a distinctive thick, dark green bark and a large crown canopy. Leaves are often clustered towards the ends of branches and the flowers are a greenish/yellow colouring arranged in spikes and produce a distinctive and often unpleasant odour. The fruits of this plant, which is the portion used medicinally, are green when young and then turn a yellow colour and become slightly ribbed to touch when they are mature.
How it Works
Bibhitaki is a naturally strong astringent, tonifying mucous membranes throughout the body, with a particularly strong effect within the digestive tract, improving peristaltic motion. It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce lipid volume in the blood stream, impacting upon blood cholesterol levels and heart health. Bibhitaki contains a small portion of cardiac glycosides which, alongside its ability to reduce lipid congestion, protect the functioning of the heart.
Into the Heart of Bibhitaki
Bibhitaki is a potent astringent and tonifying herb for the body’s mucous membranes. The astringent qualities of this plant make it effective at drying and removing excessive levels of congestive mucous or fluid build-up present within the body. It has a particular affinity for the digestive tract, being part of the famous Ayurvedic formula for the digestion known as Triphala. It encourages strength and tone within the digestive system, and improves digestive motion and efficiency. It’s strengthening and toning activity within the body extends to the nervous system, strengthening it during periods of excessive stress. It also strengthens and tones mucous membranes within the respiratory system, protecting it from chronic congestive mucous build up.
Lungs: Asthma, bronchitis, cough, laryngitis and where there is copious, white or clear phlegm, Bibhitaki can help to clear and dry this congestion.Also used to soothe a sore throat when mixed with honey and also used as a gargle.
Head: It has a particular affinity for the upper body and head. It clears congestion from the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Also indicated for helping to maintain hair growth.
GIT: Diarrhoea, colitis, Crohn’s disease, intestinal inflammation and parasites. It has a dual action of being both astringent and laxative that helps to increase peristalsis as well as strengthen the mucus membranes of the colon. The unripe fruits have a stronger laxative action and the ripe fruits are more astringent.
Urine: Bladder stones, cloudy urine through its ability to clear mucous congestion and/or congestion caused by infection.
Nerves: Insomnia; its astringent nature can strengthen irritated and sensitive nerves of the head.
Heart: Its cardiac glycoside content and ability to reduce stagnant congestion indicate its use for cardiac congestion and insufficiency.