Bibhitaka (Terminalia bellirica)

Bibhitaka (Terminalia bellirica): The Astringent Medicinal Fruit

Basonym of Drug: The medicinal herb known as Bibhitaka is scientifically referred to as Terminalia bellirica.

Main Synonyms: In Ayurveda, Bibhitaka is known by various synonyms, including:

  1. Vibheetaki
  2. Bahira
  3. Karshaphala
  4. Aksha
  5. Bhaira

Regional Name: Bibhitaka is also known by different names in various regional languages. Some common regional names include:

  • Hindi: Baheda
  • Bengali: Bahera
  • Kannada: Tarekayi
  • Malayalam: Thandrikka
  • Marathi: Baheda
  • Tamil: Thandrikai
  • Telugu: Tanikaya

Botanical Name: The botanical name of Bibhitaka is Terminalia bellirica.

Family: Bibhitaka belongs to the Combretaceae family.

Classification of Dravya (Gana) as described in Charak and Sushrut: In the classical Ayurvedic texts of Charak and Sushrut, Bibhitaka is classified as follows:

  • Charak: Bibhitaka is categorized under the group of “Tikta Skandha,” meaning it has a bitter taste and astringent quality.
  • Sushrut: In Sushrut Samhita, Bibhitaka is classified as “Kapha Vata Shamak” (pacifies Kapha and Vata doshas).

External Morphology: Bibhitaka is a large deciduous tree with green, elliptic leaves and yellowish-green flowers. The fruit of Bibhitaka is small, greenish-yellow when ripe, and has a hard, woody outer shell.

Useful Parts: The useful part of Bibhitaka is the fruit.

Important Phytoconstituents: Bibhitaka contains various bioactive compounds, including tannins, flavonoids, and gallic acid, which contribute to its medicinal properties.

Rasa Panchaka: The Rasa Panchaka (five tastes) of Bibhitaka is as follows:

  • Rasa (Taste): Astringent (Kashaya)
  • Guna (Quality): Light (Laghu), Dry (Ruksha)
  • Virya (Potency): Cold (Shita)
  • Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): Sweet (Madhura)

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala: Bibhitaka primarily pacifies the Kapha dosha and Vata dosha. It acts on the Rakta (blood) and the Asthi (bone) dhatus and has an effect on the Mutra (urine).

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications): Bibhitaka is utilized in Ayurvedic medicine for various therapeutic purposes, including:

  • Respiratory Health: Bibhitaka is used in formulations to support respiratory health and manage conditions like cough and asthma.

  • Digestive Disorders: It aids in improving digestion and is used in managing conditions like constipation.

  • Eye Health: Bibhitaka is used in eye treatments to promote eye health and manage certain eye conditions.

  • Skin Disorders: It is used externally for managing skin conditions like wounds and inflammation.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose): Bibhitaka is commonly administered in various forms, including powder, decoction, and medicated oils. The dosage and administration depend on the specific condition and the individual’s constitution. Commonly used forms and doses include:

  • Bibhitaka Churna (Powder): 3-6 grams, once or twice a day.
  • Bibhitaka Kwath (Decoction): 50-100 ml, once or twice a day.
  • Bibhitaka Taila (Medicated Oil): Used externally for skin and eye treatments.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations): Bibhitaka is an essential ingredient in various Ayurvedic formulations used for respiratory, digestive, and eye health. Some important formulations include:

  1. Triphala Churna: A popular formulation containing Bibhitaka along with Haritaki and Amalaki, used for digestive health.
  2. Dhanvantari Taila: An oil preparation containing Bibhitaka, used for eye treatments.
  3. Talisadi Churna: A powder containing Bibhitaka, used for respiratory and cough issues.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects): Bibhitaka is generally safe when used in appropriate doses under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner. However, excessive internal use may cause mild digestive discomfort in some individuals.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures): Bibhitaka is a valuable herb when used correctly. Proper dosing and considering an individual’s specific health conditions are essential aspects of its therapeutic application.

Shodhana (If Required): Bibhitaka does not typically require shodhana (purification) procedures.

Bibhitaka, the astringent medicinal fruit, holds significant importance in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is used for various therapeutic purposes and forms an integral part of many Ayurvedic formulations. As with any herbal remedy, it is essential to use Bibhitaka under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for optimal benefits and safety.

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