Bibhitaki, Bahera, Terminalia bellerica

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

About Bibhitaki

Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) as the name suggests, makes the persons fearless of all diseases and it keeps us away from diseases. Vibheetaki is the common synonym used for bibhitaki meaning lack of fear. Bibhitaki is one among the constituents of 'triphala'. It is a laxative and in Ayurveda, it is used for purgation therapy.

Terminalia bellirica is a large deciduous tree and is spread over the lower hills and plains of Southeast Asia. It reaches a height up to 30 m. The long, oval, alternate leaves are more crowded towards the branch ends. Flowers of bellirica are simple and solitary, may show white or yellow color and have an offensive odor. The upper part of the bellirica tree is male and the lower female. Fruits are presented in drupes and have ovoid shape. The seeds of bellirica are called as bedda nuts.

In India, two varieties of Terminalia bellirica can be seen; one with a globular fruit and the other with ovate and larger fruits.

Scientific Classification:-

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Clade - Angiosperms
  • Clade - Eudicots 
  • Clade - Rosids
  • Order - Myrtales
  • Family - Combretaceae
  • Genus - Terminalia     
  • Species - T. bellirica

Names:-

  • English names - Bahera or beleric or bastard myrobalan
  • Malayalam - Tanikaya
  • Telugu - Taadi
  • Tamil - Todikai
  • Bengali - Taida
  • Gujarati - Baheda
  • Hindi - Bahera
  • Kannada - Tare kayi

Sanskrit synonyms:-

Aksha, Karshaphala, bhootavasa, kalidruma, kaliyugalaya

Chemical Constituents:-

Chebulagic Acid, Chebulinic Acid, Gallotannins, Ellagic Acid, Anthroquinone Glycosides, Tri-Terpenoids, Bellericoside, Bellericanin, Termilignan, Thannilignan

Bibhitaki - Guna & Karma

  • Rasa (Taste) - Kashaya (Astringent)
  • Guna (property) - Ruksha (dry), Laghu (Light)
  • Veerya (Potency) - Ushna (hot)
  • On touch, it is coolant in nature (hima sparsa)
  • Vipaka (Post digestion effect) - Madhura (Sweet)
  • Action on tridosha - It pacifies all the three doshas, predominantly kapha & pitta
  • Therapeutic action - bhedanam (purgative), netra hitham (good for eyes), keshyam (good for hair), rasayana (Rejuvenative)
  • Effect on diseases - kasa (cough), krimi (worm infestation), vaiswarya (hoarseness of sound)

Bibhitaki Majja (Seed Kernel):

  • Rasa (taste) - kashaya (astringent)
  • Guna (property) - laghu (light)
  • Action on tridosha - pacifies kapha & vata
  • Therapeutic action - madakrit (narcotic)
  • Effect on diseases - trishna (excessive thirst), chardi (vomiting)
  • In Caraka Samhita, bibhitaki is classified under jwarahara dravya, kasahara dravya & virechanopaga dravya. In Susrutha Samhitha, it is under Mustadi varga.

Useful Parts

Fruits, Roots & leaves also have therapeutic importance.

Dosage

Powder: 3 to 6 gms

Classic Formulations with Bibhitaki

Triphala Churna, Bibhitaki Thaila, Lavangadi Vati, Phalatrikadi Kwatha, Arogyavardhini Vati, Navkarshik Churna

Practical Uses & Health Benefits of Bibhitaki

  • Bibhitaki is an anti atherogenic agent (which helps to reduce cholesterol). It also helps in the effective management of obesity and helps in weight loss. Bibhitaki is a natural blood purifier and contains dietary fibers. This establishes the efficacy of bibhitaki in cardio vascular disorders.
  • The laxative property and dietary fibres aid for good digestion and helps to relieve constipation. Bibhitaki in combination with Haritaki & Amalaki (triphala) is laxative in nature and used for purgation therapy. Bibhitaki helps to normalize the tone of large intestine and peristalsis.
  • Bibhitaki has cholagogic effect.
  • Regular use of bibhitaki oil is very beneficial to hair health. It is an effective remedy for dandruff and lice infection. Bibhitaki oil also prevents the premature graying of hair.
  • Bibhitaki is also a skin tonic. Skin allergies are best cured with bibhitaki. Ornamental (artificial ornaments) allergies and skin rashes by earring allergy, nose ring allergy can be cured with this. The anti-bacterial action of bibhitaki helps to heal acne and ulcer spotted skin. Bibhitaki powder is mixed with lukewarm water to form a paste. This paste is applied to the affected area. Quick healing of acne can be noted without any scar formation.
  • Bibhitaki powder is mixed with honey and this combination helps to cure cold and cough effectively. It is also used to cure gingivitis and sore throat. Excess mucus from the respiratory tract can be expelled out by the use of bibhitaki and thereby the restoring the normal cough reflex. Clinical trials have established that bibhitaki has expectorant, anti-asthmatic, antitussive and anti-spasmodic properties. 
  • Bibhitaki is a great immune booster. Regular intake of bibhitaki is really beneficial for your health.
  • Bibhitaki is an herbal remedy for diabetes. It decreases the insulin sensitivity and regulates the sugar levels in the blood.
  • Bibhitaki is also an excellent pain reliever and has anti-inflammatory action. This is best used in rheumatism.
  • Bibhitaki fruit paste is applied over eyelids to treat conjunctivitis. Myopia, cataract, corneal opacity etc. are also treated with bibhitaki.
  • Ripen bibhitaki fruit has anti-diarrheal action.
  • Bibhitaki has Adaptogenic behavior, which helps to enhance mental focus and alertness. It also helps to enhance the physical endurance.
  • Bibhitaki also helps to regulate the blood pressure.
  • Gallic acid present in bibhitaki has hepato protective function.
  • Recent clinical studies show that bibhitaki has significant role in inhibiting HIV - 1 reverse transcriptase.
  • Bibhitaki also has anti-fungal, Anti-helminthic and anti-malarial properties.
  • Gallotannins present in bibhitaki has beneficial effects on Parkinson, Alzheimer and other neuro degenerative diseases.
  • Bibhitaki fruits are better to be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. These fruits tend to decrease the breast milk. The safety profile of bibhitaki during pregnancy is still under clinical trials.
  • Oral intake of bibhitaki causes a reduction in circulating androgen, thereby extracting lower sperm motility and count. 
  • "Lodha" people of Indian subcontinent believe that bibhitaki has mind altering qualities. Ancient Hindus of India feared to sit in the shades of bibhitaki tree, as it is believed to inhabit by demons. 

The health benefits and medicinal properties of bibhitaki is innumerable. Bibhitaki is a real fighter and warrior, the one who keeps us away from all diseases.

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