Yellow Myrobalan (Terminalia Chebula)
The Terminalia Chebula (Yellow Myrobalan) tree is indigenous to India, Nepal and China and can grow up to 30m (98ft) tall. It is found primarily in the foothills of the Himalayas. Terminalia Chebula is mentioned within ancient Hindu mythology and has been growing in India for centuries. Dedicated to Lord Shiva himself, it holds large significance within India.
The tree grows white and yellow flowers with a strong and unpleasant odour. It produces a drupe fruit, also known as a stone fruit, which can range from a yellow to an orangey-brown colour. The fruit has an outer fleshy part that surrounds a kernel, and is harvested between the months of January and March.
Seven different types of fruits are recognised from this tree, depending upon the region the tree grows. Both climate and soil have an effect on the extracted shade.
Unripe Yellow Myrobalan fruits may be pickled or boiled, then mixed with sugar to create a sweet syrupy confectionary. To make the dye powder, the fruit is dried and grinded.
Yellow Myrobalan has often been used as a primary component for cotton dyeing in India, because it serves as a mordant (used to set the dye) prior to creating brown and black cotton fabrics. Yellow Myrobalan extract, over dyed with True Indigo, makes a beautiful teal colour.
Known as ‘the mother of all herbs’ in Ayurveda, this common plant has 52 medicinal uses. Terminalia Chebula, Yellow Myrobalan or Haritaki as it is also known in Hindi are all species from the Terminalia Chebula tree.
Haritaki is known for its rejuvenating and cleansing properties for the body and is used especially for stomach ailments. Haritaki is included in a range of Ayurvedic medicines for cleaning the bowels, detoxification of body tissue and treating skin diseases.
Grounded Haritaki powder can be fried with ghee and eaten to promote longevity and increase energy. Alone it can help to ease acne, sunburns, rashes and eczema when applied on the skin creating a clearer complexion and a natural glow to the body.