Myrobalan - Buddha's Chosen Herb

myrobalan herbal medicine


Myrobalan tincture

The Buddha's Chosen Herb

Pharmaceutical Name:
Fructus Chebulae Botanical Name:
1. Terminalia chebula Retz.;
2. Terminalia chebula Retz. var. tomentella Kurt.
Common Name:Mylobalan fruit, Terminalia fruit, Chebula fruit Source of Earliest Record:
Yaoxing Lun Part Used & Method of Pharm.
Preparation: The ripe fruit is gathered from July to August and dried in the sun.
Properties & Taste:Bitter, sour, astringent and neutral
Meridians: Lung and large intestine
To astringe the intestines.
To astringe the lungs.
See below for more indications.
Indications & Combinations: Chronic diarrhea, chronic dysentery and prolapsed anus:
a) Heat syndrome.
Chebula fruit (Hezi) is used with Coptis root (Huanglian) and Costus root (Muxiang) in the formula Hezi San;
b) Deficiency and cold syndrome.
Chebula fruit (Hezi) is used with Dried ginger (Ganjiang) and Poppy capsule (Yingsu qiao).
Cough and asthma due to deficiency in lungs or chronic cough with hoarse voice.
Chebula fruit (Hezi) is used with Platycodon root (Jiegeng), Licorice root (Gancao) and Apricot seed (Xingren).
See below for more indications.
Dosage: 3-10 g (The raw herb is used for hoarse voice, the baked herb for diarrhoea.) Cautions & Contraindications:This herb is contraindicated in cases with exterior syndrome and during accumulation of damp-heat in the interior.

Myrobalan Tree (further indications)
(Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus emblica, and Terminalia belerica) are the elixirs of long life. These three fruits eliminate eye diseases and benefit the eyes, and cure such diseases as wound discharge, skin troubles, bleeding of wounds, adipose disorders, pain in the passage of urine, as well as overabundance of phlegm and blood. Among the three Terminalia chebula seems to be especially potent. The taste of T. chebula is astringent. As you chew the fruit (rather like an unripe plum) it gives a very sour taste - but has an immediate and remarkable effect on the mind and awareness (ANH). It leaves a sweet taste upon digestion. It has a slightly dry taste. It has no salty taste. It is light. It is very heat producing, helps digest food, makes the mind attentive, and brings about a hearty old age in the finest sense. It has the power to cleanse internally with great warmth. It grants long life and keenness of thought. The eye and the other senses become clear. It overcomes leprosy, discoloration of countenance and bodily appearance.

The Myrobalan Tree is described: green, beautiful, heart-gladdening and strength-bestowing, with branches, leaves and fruits; its fragrance spreads to infinite distances and its brightness illumines the earth and sky.

Ayurvedic "Triphala"

A traditional Ayurvedic formula, Triphala, combines the three most revered herbs of India into an historic, Ayurvedic herbal combination.
1. Emblica officinalis, also known as Amla, is a yellowish-green fruit about the size of a plum, with a somewhat sour taste like a lemon. High in Vitamin C, Amla offers tremendous health-promoting benefits.
2.The second ingredient is Terminalia belerica, also known as Behada. A small,
rough-texture fruit, it is about the size of a walnut. Behada is a potent herb known for a variety of health harmonizing qualities.
3. The third ingredient is Terminalia chebula, sometimes referred to as Harada. It is a small round fruit, brownish in color, historically used as a rejuvenator helping to normalize the general balance of the body.
Myrobalan, Symbol of the Greatest Herb

Myrobalan is a symbol of "the creative power of thought, which in high levels of meditative praxis can materialise the unseen worlds in the manner of the myrobalan berry concretised upon the palm of the hand." Thus this sublime fruit is not just a medicine, but in its materialisation by the will of the Buddha upon his hand, it represents blessings from unseen realms, like the healing energy radiating upon devotees in their worship. Nagavrksa means literally "snake tree" and is often used to refer to a general type of tree with golden bark. Perhaps this has healing significance.

The 5 Principal Medicines for Use by Monks
1. Ghee - from cows or she-goats or buffaloes (clarified butter).
2. Fresh butter - from cows etc.
3. Oil - sesame oil, mustard seed, oil containing honey, castor oil, oil from tallow.
4. Honey - from bees.
6. Molasses - from sugar cane. The Great Detoxification

Meditation on the seven limbs of enlightenment (mindfulness, investigation of things (dharmas), striving, joy, tranquillity, meditative trance (samadhi) equanimity. Overcome the interior poisons:
1. Lust >> Wind. (Where there is Wind in the body, there is Lust in the Mind)
2. Anger >> Excess bBile. (Where there is Excess Bile in the body, there is Anger in the Mind)
3. Delusion >> Excess Phlegm. (Where there is Excess Phlegm in the body, there is Deluded Mind).

The 4 Noble Truths of Disease
1. The truth of ill (dukha, suffering) is like a disease.
2. The truth of the origin is like the cause of the disease.
3. The truth of cessation is like the allaying of the disease.
4. The truth of the Path is like the medicine.

Herbs and Medicines
The entire Buddhist materia medica can be found in the Vinaya, Mahavagga, Section VI

Myrobalan is included in many of Herbactive's Herbal Tonics


Related Products

Single herbal tinctures

Terminalia chebula Tincture (Myrobalan Tree fruits, He Zi)




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General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ( Department of Health, UK

• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.


Pregnant/Breast-feeding mothers

Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.

Volatile Oils

Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.


A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.

Breast-feeding mothers

A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.

Paediatric Use

Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.

Perioperative use

The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ( Department of Health, UK


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