Botanical Name: Terminalia Belerica
Common Name: Beleric Myrobalan, Vibhitaki, Bibhitaki or Baheda
Hindi: Baheda, Bahera
Tamil: Thandrikkai, Thanrikkai, Thandrikai
Kannada: Tarekai, Shantikayi
Bengali: Bayada, Baheda
Assamese: Bhomora, Bhomra, Bhaira
Kashmiri: Babelo, Balali
Vibhitaki, Bibhitaki or Baheda are common names of Terminalia bellirica. The literal meaning of Bibhitaka in Sanskrit is one that keeps away from the diseases. It belongs to family Combretaceae.
The other medicinal tree belonging to Combretaceae are Rangoon creeper or MadhuMalti, Arjuna, Haritaki etc. Bibhitaki tree is found throughout India and its fruits, leaves and bark are used in Traditional medicine system for treatment of diseases. The fruits are useful in treatment of many digestive disorders such as diarrhoea, dyspepsia, biliousness etc.
Baheda fruits are also useful in treatment of cough, bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections, tropical pulmonary eosinophilia and allergic eruptions. It is one of the three fruits, in Ayurvedic preparation Triphala (Tri=Three, Phala=Fruits). For medicinal purpose the dried pericarp of fruit is used.
It is big and handsome tree about 60-80 feet. Erect, long trunk. 3-8 inch long, alternate square and oval leaves. Either white or yellowish flowers. Fruits are less than one inch in diameter, nearly five angled after drying, grayish, which contain one seed. New leaves appear in February-March, flowers appear in May. Fruits are ripened during January-February.
Terminalia belerica or Vibhitaka is found throughout Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia, up to 900 m elevation.
Traditional Uses of of Bibhitaki
Bahera fruits are very useful in treatment of diseases due to kapha and pitta dosha. In excess it increases vata inside body. The Fruits are bitter, analgesic, astringent, brain tonic, expectorant and laxative.
In aggravation of Kapha in body, the oral intake of bahera helps to clear kapha due to the astringent and expectorant action. It is an excellent remedy for catarrhal condition, congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma, and sore throats.
The laxative action of fresh fruits is more compared to dried fruits. The dried fruits are useful in treating piles, diarrhoea, dysentery, parasitic worms, as these are binding and astringent.
Vibhitaki fruits have liver protecting action and useful in jaundice and gall bladder stones.
The fruits are good for brain and heart. These have ability to lower cholesterol level.
The fruits are also used externally. These are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. The paste is applied on cuts, wounds, and skin diseases. The pulp of fresh fruit is applied on corneal ulcers.
For medicinal purpose, the powder of dried Bahera fruit is taken in dosage of 3-6 grams. For cough, cold and throat problems, it is taken with honey.