The Chemistry inside Spices & Herbs: Research and Development – Volume II

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Terminalia chebula: An Update

Author(s): Ojaskumar D. Agrawal and Yogesh A. Kulkarni *

Pp: 229-260 (32)

Doi: 10.2174/9781681089492122020012

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Various plants and shrubs with enormous medicinal values are easily found in India. These are mostly used in routine home remedies and the treatment of various diseases or ailments. Since the ancient era, medicinal plants are being used in various traditional systems of medicine to treat minor to major diseases or disorders. Considering their valuable contribution at various levels of treatment, these medicinal plants have gained importance and emerged as one of the most cost-effective remedies in the current health care system. Ayurveda, an ancient system of Indian medicine, has mentioned several important medicinal plants; out of all these, Terminalia chebula has owned its importance because of its phytoconstituents and potent action on enormous diseases. It is also an important part of Triphala churna, which is one of the important formulations in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The current review focuses on the phytochemistry and pharmacological effects of Terminalia chebula. The literature search was performed using various datasets like EBSCO, PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, and selected websites, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Terminalia chebula shows the presence of tannins like ellagic acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate, chebulinic acid, tannic acid, chebulin, arjungenin, arjunglucoside I, terflavin A, punicalagin, and luteolin, which is mainly responsible for showing their pharmacological effects. The various parts of the plant have been reported for the treatment of various ailments. It has laxative, antiseptic, antidiabetic, and hepatoprotective properties. It is also used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis. Half ripe fruits are used as purgative and ripe fruit as tonic, astringent, antipyretic, expectorant, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, allergic eruptions, biliousness, cough, and leprosy. The dry powder form of fruit is used for emesis, hoarseness of voice, and worm infestation, as an anthelmintic, asthma, useful in hepatitis, eye diseases, and piles. Kernels of Terminalia chebula have been reported as anodyne. 
Kernel oil has been reported for its purgative action. Gum of the bark is a painkiller and laxative. In conclusion, Terminalia chebula contains important phytochemicals like tannins, gallic acid, and ellagic acid. These indicate that the plant and its different parts have a wide range of pharmacological effects. This book chapter provides detailed information on the recent studies for pharmacological activities of T. chebula and its active components.

Keywords: Ayurvedic medicine, Ellagic acid, Gallic acid, Phytoconstituents, Terminalia chebula.

© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy