Vibhitaki, Karshaphala, Kalidruma
tree, called Vibhitaki in Sanskrit, meaning fearless,
was avoided by the Hindus of Northern India, who would
not sit in its shade as it is supposed to be inhabited
by demons. As long as the influence of Arabian medicine
prevailed, it was used medicinally in Europe, having
been introduced by the Arabs from India.
a large deciduous tree. Leaves are alternate, broadly
elliptic or elliptic-obovate, puberulous when young but
glabrous on maturity and the nerves are prominent on
both surfaces. Flowers are in axillary, spender spikes
longer than the petioles but shorter than the leaves.
Calyx lobes are pubescent outside. The fruits are green
and inflated when young and yellowish and shrink (nearly
seen as ribbed) when mature. The nut is stony.
Morphology Description (Habit)
A tall tree,
with characteristic bark. The stems are straight, frequently
buttressed when large; the leaves, broadly elliptic, clustered
towards the ends of branches; the flowers are solitary, simple,
axillary spikes; the fruits, are globular and obscurely
gallic acid, ellagic acid, ethyl gallate, galloyl glucose,
possesses antibacterial properties. It is employed in dropsy,
piles and diarrhea. While using herbal eye drops containing
T.bellirica, encouraging results have been obtained in cases
of myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract,
chronic and acute infective conditions. The fruit possesses
myocardial depressive activity.
·Karma: Vatakaphaharam, bhedhanam, rasayanam,
promotes eyesight and hair growth; the fresh whole fruit is diuretic,
anodyne, styptic, narcotic, digestive, anthelminthic, aperient,
expectorant, antipyretic and antiemetic; the fresh seed pulp is
considered to be madakari (intoxicating), astringent,
lithotriptic, anthelminthic and expectorant; the dried whole fruit is
·Prabhava: rasayana for Kapha (Dash 1991, 9-10; Frawley
and Lad 1986, 164; Nadkarni 1976, 1203-04; Varrier 1996, 258)
laryngitis, cough, catarrh,
gastric ulcers, hemorrhoids, chronic
parasites, cholelithiasis, ophthalmia, headache,
alopecia and premature
edema, rheumatism (topical), wounds (topical) (Dash 1991, 9-10; Frawley
and Lad 1986, 164; Kirtikar and Basu 1993, 1018-1019; Nadkarni 1976,
1203-04; Varrier 1996, 258)
Vatakopa (Frawley and Lad 1986, 164).
·Churna: 250 – 500 mg t.i.d.
·Kashaya: 50 mL mL t.i.d.
·Tincture: crushed dried fruit, 1:4, 50%; 1 – 2 mL t.i.d.
An extract of Terminalia bellerica showed significant inhibitory
activity on human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase, with
IC50 < or = 50 micrograms/ml (el-Mekkawy et al 1995). Four lignans (termilignan,
thannilignan, hydroxy-3',4'-(methylenedioxy) flavan, anolignan B)
possessed demonstrable anti-HIV-1 in vitro (Valsaraj et al 1997).
Four lignans (termilignan, thannilignan,
hydroxy-3',4'-[methylenedioxy] flavan, and anolignan B) possessed
demonstrable antimalarial activity in vitro (Valsaraj et al 1997).
Two polyphenolic fractions isolated from T. bellerica were
significantly effective against mutagenic effects in Salmonella
typhimurium. Interaction of the polyphenols with S9 proteins may be the
probable cause of the inhibitory effect (Padam et al 1996).
Four lignans (termilignan, thannilignan,
hydroxy-3',4'-(methylenedioxy) flavan, and
anolignan B) possessed demonstrable antifungal activity in vitro (Valsaraj
et al 1997).
Vibhitaka is a stimulating astringent, and has a wide
application in any condition of atony, prolapse, and relaxation of the
mucosa. For coughs, sore throats,
laryngitis and dyspepsia the churna
may be taken with honey. In the treatment of dry, irritative coughs
Nadkarni recommends a linctus of equal parts Vibhitaka, Saindhava
(rock salt), Pippali (Piper longum), and Maricha (Piper nigrum)
Frawley and Lad
mention that Vibhitaka is useful in the treatment of
cholelithiasis and urinary lithiasis, liquefying and expelling the
stones (1986, 164). It is useful in the treatment uterine and colonic
prolapse, and hemorrhage (Varier 1996, 258). The mature, dried fruit of
Vibhitaka is effective in the treatment of
and parasites, but in the latter case should be taken along with
purgatives such as Senna (Cassia angustifolia) as Vibhitaka
can be constipate (Varier 1996, 258). A decoction of the fruit may be
taken internally and can be used externally as an eyewash in the
treatment of ophthalmological disorders (Nadkarni 1976, 1204). Vaidya
Mana Bhajracharya indicates that the fresh fruit pulp is used as a
collyrium in the treatment of nontraumatic corneal ulcer (avranashukla)
(1997, 85). Varier mentions that the oil from the seeds is trichogenous,
and can be used topically for leucoderma and skin diseases (1996, 258).
Vibhitaka is most commonly found as an ingredient in Triphala,
usually mixed in equal parts with Haritaki and
Bhattacharya, Mana, Alan Tillotson and Robert Abel. 1997. Ayurvedic
Ophthalmology: A Recension of the Shalakya Tantra of Videhadhipati
Janaka. Unpublished manuscript.
Dash, Bhagwan. 1991. Materia Medica of Ayurveda. New Delhi: B.
Frawley, David and Vasant Lad. 1986. The Yoga Of Herbs: An Ayurvedic
Guide to Herbal Medicine. Santa Fe: Lotus Press.Kirtikar KR and BD
Basu. 1993. Indian Medicinal Plants. 2nd ed. Vol. 1-4. 1935.
Reprint. Delhi: Periodical Experts.
Nadkarni, Dr. K.M. 1976. The Indian Materia Medica, with Ayurvedic,
Unani and Home Remedies. Revised and enlarged by A.K. Nadkarni.
1954. Reprint. Bombay: Bombay Popular Prakashan PVP.
Padam, S.K. et al. 1996. Antimutagenic effects of polyphenols isolated
from Terminalia bellerica myroblan in Salmonella typhimurium Indian J
Exp Biol. Feb;34(2):98-102.
Valsaraj, R. et al. 1997. New anti-HIV-1,
antimalarial, and antifungal
compounds from Terminalia bellerica. J Nat Prod. Jul;60(7):739-42
Varrier, P.S. 1996. Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500
species. Edited by PK Warrier, Vata /
Pitta / Kapha Nambiar and C Ramankutty. vol 5.
Hyderabad: Orient Longman.
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