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Terminalia

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Terminalia arjuna, Terminalia bellirica (T. belerica),Terminalia chebula Family: Combretaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Arjuna, Axjun, Argun (T. arjuna); Behada, Bahera (Bahira), Balera (T. belerica); Hara, Harada, Hirala, Myrobalan, Haritaki (T.chebula); Bala harade (T.chebula black variety).

History

Arjuna bark has been used in Indian medicine for at least 3000 years as a remedy for heart ailments. T.chebula also has been used by this culture as a digestive aid. This species, referred to as "King of Medicine" by Tibetans, is often depicted in the extended palm of Buddha.The E. officinalis/T. chebula/T. belerica herbal combination product is said to have been formulated by Ayurvedic physicians thousands of years ago .

Botany :- The Terminalia species are evergreen trees. T. arjuna reaches about 10 m, has light-yellow flowers and cone-shaped leaves.T. belerica has clustered oval leaves and greenish, foulsmelling flowers with brown, hairy fruit about the size of walnuts. T.chebula grows about 21 m in height with white flowers and small, ribbed fruits.

T.arjuna is used for its bark. In other Terminalia species,the fruit is the plant part used.For example, in India, 100,000 metric tons of T.chebula fruit was produced in 1 year.

A traditional Ayurvedic herbal combination dating back 5000 years is a mixture of 3 herbs, 2 of which are terminalia species: T. belerica (for healthharmonizing qualities), T. chebula (to normalize body balance), and Emblica officinalis.

Uses of Terminalia

T. arjuna's traditional use as a cardiotonic has been confirmed by tlodem research. It also has been used as an aphrodisiac, diuretic, and for earaches. It may play a role as an anti-atherogenic, and has reduced cholesterol. T. belerica has been used in treating liver disorders and as a primary treatment for digestive and respiratory (eg, cough, sore throat) problems. Other uses include the following: as an astringent, laxative,lotion for sore eyes,and retroviral reverse transcriptase inhibitory activity in murine leukemia enzymes. T. chebula is used in Indian medicine to treat digestive problems. Other uses include as a mouthwash/gargle, astringent, and douche for vaginitis.T. chebula and T. belerica have demonstrated antimicrobial properties. Certain Terminalia species demonstrate antifungal and antiviral activities.

Side Effects of Terminalia

Few toxicity reports exist; do not use during pregnancy.
Toxicology

Few reports were found from recent literature searches regarding Terminalia species and toxicity. One source warns against taking T. belerica and T. chebula during pregnancy.

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