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Terminalia chebula is a species of Terminalia, native to southern Asia from India and Nepal east to southwestern China. It is a deciduous tree growing to 30-metre tall, with a trunk up to 1-metre in diameter. The leaves are alternate to sub opposite in arrangement, oval, 7–8-centimetre long and 4.5–10-centimetre broad with a 1–3-centimetre petiole. The fruit is drupe-like, 2–4.5-centimetre long and 1.2–2.5-centimetre broad, blackish, with five longitudinal ridges.
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Botanical Names
Terminalia chebula
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Abhaya, Hareetaki Bengali : Hirda, Haritaki Gujarati : Hinraj, Pulo-harde Hindi : Harahra, Harad, Harar Malayalam : Kadduka, Katukka Marathi : Harda Kannada : Alalekayi Tamil : Kaddukai Telugu : Karrakaya, Karaka
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include Tannins, anthraquinones, chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, chebulic acid, ellagic acid and gallic acid. Fruits also possess corilegin, -D-glucogallin, glucose, Sorbitol, Polyphenolic compounds, triterpene glycosides, terchebulin, flavonoids etc.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Terminalia chebula is generally known as Haritaki in India. It is rejuvenative, laxative, astringent, anthelmintic, expectorant, tonic, carminative, and appetite stimulant in nature. It is used in leprosy patients (including skin disorders), anemia, narcosis, piles, chronic, intermittent fever, heart disease, diarrhea, anorexia, cough and excessive secretion of mucus, and a range of other complaints and symptoms. Terminalia chebula is reported to be antioxidant, hepato-protective, antimicrobial, adaptogenic and anti-inflammatory. Terminalia chebula is also known as Black myrobalan, has reported to have antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities. It is active against cancer cells and Helicobactor pyroli. It is also useful as an anticarries agent. It is used in dermal wound healing and improving gastrointestinal motility. Terminalia chebula is also reported to use in anaphylactic shock and in diabetes mellitus. Scientific studies have also demonstrated that both aqueous and ethanolic extract of T. chebula has strong anti-bacterial activity against the uropathogen Escherichia coli. Gallic acid and its ethyl ester isolated from ethanolic extract of T. chebula showed anti-bacterial activity against methicillin resistance Staphylococcus aureus. It has also growth inhibitory action against Salmonella typhi and intestinal pathogenic bacteria.
Health Benefits
Terminila chebula is a medicinal plant widely distributed through out India. The dried ripe fruit of T. chebula also know as black myrobalan has widely been used in the treatment of asthma, sore throat, vomiting, hiccough, bleeding, piles, diarrhoea, gout, heart and bladder diseases. Terminalia chebula fruit is an ingredient of Trifala, a well known formulation of Ayurveda used as laxative, hypolipidaemic and antioxidant agent. Antiviral and antibacterial actions of the fruit have also been validated scientifically. Haritaki is an effective purgative when taken as a powder; the whole dried fruit decoction is useful in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. Haritaki increases awareness, and has a nourishing, restorative effect on the central nervous system. Haritaki improves digestion, promotes the absorption of nutrients, and regulates colon function. Moreover the antimicrobial activity of the aqueous extract of T. chebula against S. typhimurium invitro and invivio has also been reported.
Research References
1. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov • Antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Terminalia belerica. Roxb.Sabu MC, Kuttan R.Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, India, 680 553. • Anti-Salmonella activity of Terminalia belerica: in vitro and in vivo studies.Madani A, Jain SK.Department of Biotechnology, Hamdard University, New Delhi 110 062, India. 2. www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper060research.html • Growth-inhibiting activity of active component isolated from Terminalia chebula fruits against intestinal bacteria.(J Food Prot. 2006 Sep;69(9):2205-9). • Antidiabetic and renoprotective effects of the chloroform extract of Terminalia chebula Retz. seeds in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.(BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 May 7;6:17). • Terminalia chebula (fruit) prevents liver toxicity caused by sub-chronic administration of rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide in combination. (Hum Exp Toxicol. 2006 Mar; 25(3):111-8). • Studies on the aqueous extract of Terminalia chebula as a potent antioxidant and a probable radioprotector.(:Phytomedicine. 2004 Sep;11(6):530-8) • Cytoprotective effect on oxidative stress and inhibitory effect on cellular aging of Terminalia chebula fruit.:Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):737-41. • Statistical optimization of tannase production from Penicillium variable using fruits (chebulic myrobalan) of Terminalia chebula.:Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2004 Feb;39(Pt 1):99-106. • Inhibition of cancer cell growth by crude extract and the phenolics of Terminalia chebula retz. fruit.:J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Aug;81(3):327-36.Saleem A, Husheem M, H?rk?nen P, Pihlaja K.Department of Chemistry, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 10, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland. • Inhibition of HIV-1 integrase by galloyl glucoses from Terminalia chebula and flavonol glycoside gallates from Euphorbia pekinensis.:Planta Med. 2002 May;68(5):457-9. • Antimutagenicity of hydrolyzable tannins from Terminalia chebula in Salmonella typhimurium.:Mutat Res. 1998 Nov 9;419(1-3):169-79 • Antibacterial activity of black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula Retz) against Helicobacter pylori:Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2001 Jul;18(1):85-8.Malekzadeh F, Ehsanifar H, Shahamat M, Levin M, Colwell RR.Department of Microbiology and Biological Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
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