Evergreen tree growing to 65 ft (20 m). Has egg-shaped leaves, white flowers in terminal spikes, and small, 5-ribbed fruit.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to Central Asia and India, chebulic myrobalan is found throughout Iran, Pakistan, and India. The fruit is collected when ripe.
Chebulic myrobalan contains triterpenes, polyphenols, a coumarin (chebulic acid), resin, and fixed oil.
History & Folklore
Chebulic myrobalan has been used in Indian medicine for several thousand years, and the fruit has long been considered a prime remedy for all manner of digestive problems.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Laxative and astringent, the fruit gently improves bowel regularity without excessively irritating the colon. It forms part of the classic Ayurvedic Triphala formula, used chiefly as a bowel tonic. Like Chinese rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), chebulic myrobalan may be used as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The fruit’s tannins protect the gut wall from irritation and infection, and tend to reduce intestinal secretions.
Likewise, the fruit helps to counter acidic indigestion and heartburn. A decoction of chebulic myrobalan may be used as a gargle and mouthwash, as a lotion for sore and inflamed eyes, and as a douche for vaginitis and excessive vaginal discharge. The fruit has been also shown to have liver protective and anti-diabetic properties.
Do not take chebulic myrobalan during pregnancy.