Terminalia bellerica is a perennial tree that grows 60-80 feet in height. The leaves are broad and oval. It is 10-12 cm long and 7-12 cm wide. The trunk is vertical and brown in colour. The leaves crowd towards the end of the branch. They have pointed tips. The flowers appear on the upper and lower part of the stem. The upper flowers are male while the lower flowers are bisexual. These are simple and solitary and appear in the month of May. It has gray coloured drupes that have an ovoid shape. They give the leaves of Baheda as fodder to the cattle.
The common name for this plant is Baheda or Bibhitaki. It is also known as Beleric or bastard myrobalan.
The botanical name for this plant is Terminalia bellerica. It belongs to the Combretaceae family.
Geographical places where Terminalia bellerica plant grows
This tree grows profusely in South Asia regions such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, and India. In India, we find it in the dry forest regions of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujrat, Odisha, and Assam.
Terminalia bellerica medicinal uses for curing diseases
The Baheda fruit contains many useful ingredients such as tannins, ethyl acid, beta cetosterol, and elegiac acid. This is used in Triphala as one of the three main ingredients.
- Purgative: The fruit shows laxative action and so finds use in cleaning the colon and the stomach. It removes unwanted food and bacteria left behind in the stomach and makes the person healthy. The improved digestion and metabolism help make the person vigorous.
- Rejuvenating: The rejuvenating action is due to the way the fruit augments the metabolic activity.
- Helpful for curing asthma: The Bibhitaki fruit can cure respiratory disorders. For asthma, boil 6 pieces of Agarwood in 2 liters of water. Once this becomes 1 liter, add 1 liter of cow milk and gingelly oil. Boil again to remove the water completely. Take half a cup each of Terminalia bellerica and liquorice root powder. Add this to the hot liquid. Once it cools, strain and set aside. This oil is used to massage the scalp before you have your bath.
- Cures coughs and colds: Use a decoction of the powdered fruit to get relief from cold and cough. It removes the phlegm in the airways and promotes good breathing.
- Promotes hair growth: The bibhitaki is filled with many wonderful properties. And one of them is that it promotes the hair health. It delays premature graying of hair and improves the condition of the scalp. You can prepare an oil to massage your scalp. Soak 4-5 cups of Agarwood chips in water overnight. The next morning boil the water until it reduces to one-fourth or one-fifth the amount. Add 500 ml each of coconut oil along with 1 cup each of stinging nettle, ginseng, and Rosemary leaves. Boil until the water is removed entirely. Cool, strain, and use it twice a week.
- Gives relief from inflammation: The fruit shows remarkable action for bringing down inflammation and swellings. This will help those suffering from arthritis. To make the oil for massaging, take 3 cups of Agarwood pieces and soak in 2 litres of water. Leave it overnight. Next day, boil the water until it reduces to half a litre. Now, grind the pieces to paste and then boil the mixture again for at least 10 minutes. Add half a litre each of cow milk and coconut oil. Now add 1 cup of the rinds of Terminalia Bellerica and 1 cup of turmeric. To this, add 2 cups each of Southernwood flower and Cassia Auriculata. Add a pinch of saffron flowers and boil the mixture for 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and store. Massage with this oil twice a week before your bath.
- Cure conjunctivitis: For treating conjunctivitis of the eyes, prepare a paste of the bibhitaki powder and apply the poultice over the eyelids. Leave this on for one or two hours. This will help cure conjunctivitis.
- Aphrodisiac: The fruit promotes sexual wellness and is used in Ayurvedic preparations regularly. You can have the powder in milk. Add honey and have it before going to bed.
- Prevents aging: The nutrient rich goodness of Baheda helps prevent aging. Use the powder in water twice a day.
- Cures piles: Put 1 tablespoon of the powder of the dried Baheda fruit in half a bucket of warm water. Stir the water. Pour into a shallow basin and sit in it so that your backside is in hot water. Stay that way for 10 minutes before you have your bath.
- Get rid of worm infestations: Take half a spoon of the Baheda powder with warm water before your meal. This will get rid of the worms in your intestine.
- Astringent: The astringent nature of bibhitaki will help you give a firm tone to the skin. Due to this property, one can use it to cure diarrhea.
- Used for excessive thirst: When you have excessive vomiting due to stomach upset or infection by a stomach virus, you can use the bibhitaki powder to cure the feeling of nausea. It will quench the feeling of thirst and prevent vomiting.
- Promotes immunity: The fruit promotes the health of the immune system. You become resistant to diseases and infections. This is due to the way it fights free radicals and other pathogens. Its antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial action helps prevent any untoward action by germs and bacteria.
- Helps lower cholesterol: You can have the powder with honey once a day before your meal. This will lower the cholesterol level and make you healthy.
- Used as mouthwash: Possessing good anti-bacterial properties, the bibhitaki is a wonderful mouthwash. You can get rid of plaque and mouth ulcers by using the extract or powder of the fruit.
- Cures dysuria: It promotes good blood flow in the abdomen region. This helps to flush out the toxins and help to deal with dysuria successfully.
- Helps deal with disorders of the lungs: The baheda removes the phlegm from the lungs and the airways. It energizes the system and helps the person become strong.
- Pacifies doshas: Terminalia bellerica augments the health by pacifying the Pitta and Kapha doshas.
Also Read: Home remedies for piles
Any Ayurvedic product will take time to show its action. However, when you experience any negative reaction, do not continue the use of the medicine.