Monday, September 6, 2010

Vibhitaka - Terminalia Belerica

For thousands of years Asians alike have used Terminalia belerica for its tonic effects.  The Sanskrit name Vibhitaka means “The one who stays away from all illness”. Terminalia belerica is a large deciduous tree which is an ingredient in Triphala and has rejuvenating, cardio-protective, antacid, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Family : Combretaceae
Species : Terminalia belerica
Part Used : Fruits
Habitat : Grown throughout India, Sri Lanka

Common Name(s) : 
Beleric, Belliric Myrobalan [English]
Bulu [Sinhala]
Vibhitaka [Sanskrit]
Bahera [Hindi]
Akkam [Tamil]

Properties of Vibhitaka:
Rasa [Taste]: Kashaya [astringent]
Guna [Attribute]: Ruksha [Dry] , Laghu [Lightness]
Veerya [Potency]: Ushna [Hot]
Vipaka [Post-digestive effect]: Madhura [Sweet

Chemical composition:
Triterpenoids including belleric acid, b-sitosterol
Saponin glycosides, bellericoside and bellericanin.

Therapeutic actions:
Bhedana - Softenes the hard, impacted feces in the rectum
Netrahita - Good for eyes
Keshya -  Rejuvenates hair
Vaiswarya nashana - Useful in hoarseness of voice involving any etiology
Madakari -  Natural sedative, so very useful in disturbances like insomnia etc.
Kasahara -  Useful in management of cough
Kriminashana - Helps in management of infectious conditions in general
Trit Chardi hara - Relieves excessive thirst, nausea and vomitting
Image via

Terminalia belerica calms Pitta and Kapha and effectively frees energy flow. It cleanses digestion, blood, muscle and fatty tissue. Terminalia belerica is a highly respected Rasayana (tonic), especially for the eyes. Generally it increases the adaptability of the body. Charaka declared it ideal for balancing fire energy, Pitta and earth energy, Kapha. And also it has optimal influence on fat-metabolism and cholesterol.
Especially it helps in diseases of Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa and Medas Dhatus. Terminalia belerica works specially on throat and upper GIT, and have curative effect on hoarseness of voice, excessive thirst, nausea and vomiting. (Charaka Samhita)

Dr. Indunil Weerarathne

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