Baheda: An herb with diverse health benefits


Baheda, the twenty second episode of series #SacredIndianHerbs is a large deciduous and evergreen tree, which goes of height upto 30 m and found mostly in the foothills of Himalaya. The flowers are white or greenish yellow with axillary spikes, while the fruits are globe shaped. The fruit of baheda resembles the fruit of Harad, however ridges are absent in them. In Sanskrit, the tree is known as ‘vibhitaka’ which means fearless, indicating its magnificent property to fear away the diseases and maintaining great health.

Scientific name: Terminalia bellerica
English name: Belliric myrobalan
Hindi name: Baheda, Bibhitaki

The parts of the plant used are fruits peel, seeds, seed kernel and bark of the tree. A yellow colored shining oil comes from the seed’s kernel that is effective for reducing pain and swelling. The bark of baheda plant contains tannin, while fruit peel cures throat and respiratory problems. So let’s read in detail how these parts aids in maintaining health and are used to combat various diseases.

Baheda fruit peel

Respiratory system: It is often believed that asthma in a person dies with his death. But embracing the principles of ayurveda along with yoga practice, can help to get rid of such chronic diseases in the most natural ways. Baheda is one such ayurvedic herb which is very beneficial for the patients of asthma, that smoothes the bronchial spasms and releases the mucus present in the respiratory passage. Moreover, a mature or ripe baheda fruit either in fresh form or dry form is a very effective herb in treating problems caused due to cold. If baheda peel is taken and put in mouth for sometime; it reduces the cough, eradicates the deposited phlegm and clear the air passages. Thus allows the patient to breathe freely.

Digestive system: Baheda has been traditionally used to heal and nourish the intestinal tract. It is beneficial for patients suffering from digestive system disorders such as diarrhea. To treat diarrhea, baheda is peeled off and is dried under sunlight. Burn the peels to ash and consume it along with honey for 3-4 times a day. Also, it is the most effective and safest remedy to cure amoebic or other parasitic diarrhea. You can also consume it along with your ongoing medications for the same. Therefore, baheda helps to cure various diseases that can plague your digestive tract.

Baheda seeds

The modern study showed that Baheda seeds has an enormous range of pharmacological activities. So Baheda overall is said to be an esteem herb with diverse biological potentials and has a great scope for further new area health benefits. Some of them are described as under :

Healthy hair: Baheda seed oil prevents you from hair problems such as hair fall and whitening of hair. It will also help to retain its natural color and promotes hair growth. Instead of using chemical products, it is a more beneficial and cost effective remedy. Thus as a home remedy, mix baheda seed oil with sesame oil and heat it on slight flame for sometime. Store and apply the same on your hair and scalp.

Cure shingles: Shingles is a viral infection causing painful rashes that can occur anywhere on the body. These may affect the eyes too which leads to eye problems and even blindness. For treating shingles, take the seeds/bark of baheda and rub them like sandalwood to form a paste. Apply this paste on the white portion of the affected site of the eyes and then wrap a cotton gauze over it. This use can also be effective for treating the damaged conjunctiva (black part of the eye).

Heal wounds/bruises: In case of routine injuries or mishaps, baheda peel along with its seeds is very beneficial. Grind the peel and seeds of baheda to form powder. Add water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the affected sites and cover with cotton gauze. You will notice that within a day it will help to reduce swelling and pain at the site of injury. Moreover, the skin tone will retain its original form in a few days. But in case of open wounds from which the blood is oozing out, you should avoid applying the paste.

Triphala: A rejuvenating formula

No other combination of herbs finds such repeated mention in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as triphala. Triphala as mentioned in amla and harad articles too, is a classic ayurvedic formula that consists of three fruits which has many benefits and is a rasayana. There are various ways in which triphala can be consumed. Triphala powder when taken along with honey or milk maintain the strength in a person and prevents premature ageing. In case of viral diseases, you might experience watery and red eyes. For such conditions, leave 5g triphala powder soaked in 1 glass of water overnight. Filter this water with the cotton cloth to avoid particles and rinse your eyes next day morning. The viral conjunctivitis along with various other minor eye problems will be effectively cured.

So, in this way we saw how baheda fruits and its seeds are favourable for hair and skin, and helps to treat swelling, diarrhea, asthma and other pharmacological conditions. If everyone gets to know and become aware about these miraculous herbs, then there will be less need of modern medicine and surgical treatments. Choice is yours !


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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri


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