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Terminalia bellerica

Terminalia bellerica


No documentation.

Vernacular Name



The leaves, when young, are covered in small, erect hairs, but turn glabrous with age. Roughly 3 to 8 inches long, the leaves are ovate, and either adjacent or opposite one another on the thin, straight stem. T. bellerica bears small, subglobose fruit, which are most the most commonly used plant part in medicine. The fruit, when ripe, grow to be roughly an inch and a half in diameter, and have a light green color. When dried, the fruit of T. bellerica becomes very hard and reveals the five-sided nature of the fruit.

Chemical Constituents

Bellericanin, Beta-glucogallin, Beta-sitosterol, Chebulinic acid, gallic acid, linoleic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, palmatic acid, stearic acid, tannic acid, tannins, and Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. [3][4]

Plant Part Used

Fruit. [2]

Traditional Use

Terminalia bellerica or Vibhitka is most commonly used, alongside T. chebula and E. officinalis, in the formulation Triphala, which itself has been used for a huge variety of ailments for generations in Ayurvedic medicine. When used alone, Vibhitaki is commonly used in treament of various gastrointestinal complaints. [1] Its ablilty to treat digestive complaints is likely due the general acceptance of Vibhitaki as an antibacterial. [5] In addition to its role in stimulating gastrointestinal health, Vibhitaki has also been indicated as useful treatment in various hepatic disorders as well, which is a defining characteristic of its counterparts in Triphala. [6] The fruit of Vibhitaki is also used in a variety of throat disorders, including cough, hoarseness, as well as eye disorders, possibly due to its action as an antibacterial. [1] Oil from the fruit is used topically in cases of rheumatism and to promote healthy hair. The astringent nature of the dried fruit is also used in cases of dropsy, piles and diarrhea. [1] 



A majority of the modern studies of Terminalia bellerica have been executed in order to prove or disprove the herbs efficacy as a hepatoprotective. Animal studies have shown that the benefits of T. bellerica to the liver are primarily due to the levels of gallic acid in the fruit. [7][8] The hepatoprotective effects of T. bellerica are a result of lowered lipid peroxidation and triglyceride levels in the liver, suggesting both a preventative and a restorative effect. [9] 

The lowered lipid peroxidation effect of T. bellerica has also demonstrated benefits to the cardiovascular system. Lowered lipid levels in the heart were a result of treatment of atherosclerosis and high cholesterol with T. bellerica in rabbits. [10] 

Additionally, T. bellerica has displayed antibacterial activity, according to an in vivo and in vitro study. T. bellerica was studied for its effect on salmonella, and it displayed a bactericidal effect at higher doses, while lower doses prevented any further bacterial growth. [11]


No documentation.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, caution should be used by those with liver disease or by those taking medicines metabolized by the liver. [9]

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

No documentation.


Not to be used with children or with pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

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  1)  Botanical Info


  1. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2001.321.
  2. Nadkarni AK, Indian Materia Medica, Volume 1. 3rd Edition. Bombay: Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd;1982.
  3. Md Tamzid Hossain Molla, MT Alam, M A-U Islam. Physio-chemical and nutritional studies of Terminalia belerica roxb. seed oil and seed kernel. J Bio Sci.2007; (15):117-126.
  4. Duke J. Terminalia bellerica: Species information. Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available from: [Accessed on 3 May 2009].
  5. Herbal Monograph – Terminalia bellerica. The Himalaya Drug Company. 2002. Available from: . [Accessed on 4 May 2009].
  6. Kaura S, Arora S, Kaura K, Kumarb S. The in vitro antimutagenic activity of Triphala — an Indian herbal drug Food and Chemical Toxicology.40(4).April2002.527-534.
  7. Jadon A, Bhadauria M, Shukla S. Protective effect of Terminalia belerica Roxb. and gallic acid against carbon tetrachloride induced damage in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 19Jan 2007;109(2):214-218.
  8. Anand KK, Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandan BK, Gupta VN, Bhardwaj V. 3,4,5-Trihydroxy benzoic acid (gallic acid), the hepatoprotective principle in the fruits of Terminalia belerica-bioassay guided activity. Pharmacol Res. Oct1997;36(4):315-321.
  9. Anand KK, Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandran BK, Gupta VN. Hepatoprotective studies of a fraction from the fruits of Terminalia belerica Roxb. on experimental liver injury in rodents. Phytother Res.1994; 8 (5):287-292.
  10. Shaila HP, Udupa AL, Udupa SL. Preventive actions of Terminalia belerica in experimentally induced atherosclerosis. Int J Cardiol. Apr1995;49(2):101-106.
  11. Madani A, Jain SK. Anti-Salmonella activity of Terminalia belerica: in vitro and in vivo studies. Indian J Exp Biol. Dec2008;46(12):817-821.

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