Family: Combretaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Haritaki, Hartaki.

Tribal Name: Horttal, Oittal (Chakma); Kaho (Mogh); Artak (Garo).

English Name: Black Myrobalan, Chebulic Myrobalan, Ink Nut, Gall nut.

Description of the Plant:
A medium-sized to large, deciduous tree, 25-30 m high. Leaves sub-opposite or alternate, ovate-oblong or elliptic, 7-18 cm long, shortly acuminate, base rounded or cuneate. Flowers small, 4 mm across, yellowish-white, sessile in terminal or in the axillary short spikes from the uppermost leaves. Fruit a drupe, ovoid from a cuneate base, 2.5-5.0 cm long, more or less 5-angled.

Using Information:
Fruits are stomachic, tonic, carminative, expectorant and antidysenteric; useful in asthma, sore throat, stomatitis, heart diseases, bleeding piles, leucoderma, constipation, painful menstruation and indigestion; applied externally to chronic ulcers and wounds. It is also used in fever, urinary diseases, rheumatism, flatulence, hiccup, colic, and enlarged spleen and liver. The unripe fruit is astringent and aperient, useful in dysentery and diarrhoea. The ripe fruit is purgative, tonic and carminative; good in ophthalmia, diseases of the spleen and piles. Powdered fruit is useful in carious teeth, bleeding and ulcerated gums. Bark is diuretic and cardiotonic.

Ethanolic extract of the leaf possesses wide range of antibacterial and antifungal properties (Anwar et al., 2007 & Begum et al., 2007). Some antibacterial compounds have been isolated from the fruits. Chebulin present in the fruit exerts antispasmodic activity on smooth muscles (Ghani, 2003).


Chemical Constituents:
Tannins, steroidal triterpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides, resins, proteins, amino acids, reducing sugars and minerals are present in the plant. Fruits contain about 30% of an astringent substance which is a mixture of tannins, tannic acid, betulinic acid, chebulinic acid, chebulin, chebulic acid, luteoic acid and other organic acids, β-sitosterol and sugars. Anthraquinone-like purgative principles also occur in the fruits. Kernel yields 30% oil composed of fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic and behenic acids. Bark and leaves contain β-sitosterol, tannins, d-catechol, gallic and ellagic acids. Nuts also contain tannins and chebulagic, chebulinic and gallic acids and gorilagin (Ghani, 2003). Flowers contain chebulin (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990).

Dhaka, Chittagong, Tangail; cultivated in many parts of the country.

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