Harad: A herb of motherly care

Introduction

Harad is a medium to large sized tree of 20-30 metres in height of which fruits, roots and bark are used to prepare herbal medicines. The unripe fruits are green and ripe are yellowish while the dry fruits are brownish yellow and dark brown. The following shlok by Raja Vallabh Nigatu describes the quality of harad.

यस्य माता गृहेनास्ति तस्य माता हरीतकी
कदाचित्कुप्यते माता न चोदरस्था हरीतकी॥

It represents relationship of care between the mother and child. A mother takes care of her child, shields him/her from any harm and if needed also scolds or reprimands for good. But harad motherly care is such, that once consumed it cannot be sightly harmful. It will always be beneficial to the body. Hence the 21st herb of our series #SacredIndianHerbs is harad, which we can see in ayurveda has been given importance as compared to the love of mother for her child.

Scientific name: Terminalia chebula Retz
English name: Chebulic myrobalan
Hindi name: Haritaki, harad, kadukkai
Common name: Indian hog plum, Indian walnut

Harad types

Haritaki or harad are of three types.

Black or Small harad (छोटी हरड़): These are the raw harad that either sheds off or is being plucked. It is beneficial for the children.
Yellow or matured harad (पीली हरड़): These are the raw harad that changes its colour to yellow. Big harad (बड़ी हरड़): The harad that gets wholly mature and ripe are called big harad.

Harad uses and benefits

Aids in Digestion: Regular intake of harad helps to form a healthy intestinal environment and improves the functioning of digestive system. One should always take care that children should not suffer from constipation, or the food they are taking should get excreted in the form of stools. If it stays in the intestines, then it can lead to aam dosha that give rise to various diseases. Small harad act as a natural laxative. It is crushed to powder and added with honey. It can be then given to the children suffering from constipation. The dietary fibres containing in this fruit helps to fight with the constipation.

Harad for hair loss: Harad oil is popularly used on the hair to prevent lice infection and dandruff. Harad oil when mixed with cast iron and amla powder and then applied on the hair, can help to make the hair black. Also, the hair which turns white can retain their color soon. Therefore, regular application of this oil helps to rejuvenate your hair and makes the hair healthy.

Harad for water retention: Our body is made up mainly of water and when the hydration level is not balanced then our body has the tendency to retain water. Because of which people experiences swollen legs and feet after prolonged sitting. So in such cases, small harad is given to eradicate excess water from the body. Even in the cases of jaundice or ascites, other herbs can be given along with small harad for proper functioning of liver, kidneys and intestines.

Triphala: The fruits of harad are highly nutritious as they contain various vitamins, minerals and proteins. They are one of the main ingredients in many Ayurvedic formulations and are used in a combination of baheda and amla in making Triphala. Triphala can pacify all the three doshas out of which harad pacify the vata dosha, baheda-kapha dosha and amla-pitta dosha. It is consumed along with jaggery/honey/oil. Triphala when taken with Kalpa vidhi can provide you with a new life. Kalpa vidhi is done under the guidance of a practitioner in which all the doshas present in the body are balanced along with the intake of a proper diet to make our body free from all the diseases.

Brahma Rasayana: There are so many ayurvedic formulations for natural rejuvenation and out of which brahma rasayana is the choicest remedy to rejuvenate the body, prevent aging and increase lifespan. This rasayana is made by ripe harad fruits along with amla and various other herbs. It provides a life to each and every cell of the body and hence fills with new energy. Rasayana does not mean any chemical here but it indicates the rasa present in the body, that makes these rasa dhatu pure and nutritious (pushti).

Harad is well known for its ability to remove toxins from the body and keeps the digestive system in peak order. Stay healthy and hold in esteem harad as a medicinal herb.

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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

Haridwar

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