Botanical name: Terminalia bellirica
Itis a large deciduous tree common on plains and lower hills in Southeast Asia, where it is also grown as an avenue tree.
The leaves are about 15 cm long and crowded toward the ends of the branches. It is considered a good fodder for cattle. Terminalia bellirica seeds have an oil content of 40%, whose fatty-acid methyl ester meets all of the major biodiesel requirements. The seeds are called bedda nuts.
In traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Beleric is known as “Bibhitaki” (Marathi: ” Behada or Bhenda “) (Terminalia bellirica). In its fruit form, it is used in the popular Indian herbal rasayana treatment triphala. In Sanskrit it is called vibhīdaka विभीदक.
This tree, in Sanskrit Vibhita and Vibhitaka (fearless), is avoided by the Hindus of Northern India, who will not sit in its shade, as it is supposed to be inhabited by demons. As a constituent of the triphala (three fruits), i.e., emblic, beleric and chebulic myrobalans, it is employed in a great number of diseases, and the kernel is sometimes used as an external application to inflamed parts.
On account of its medicinal properties the tree bears the Sanskrit synonym of Anila-ghnaka, or “wind-killing”.
Beleric is a rejuvenative and laxative. It proves beneficial for hair, throat and eyes.
Beleric seed oil or fruit paste is applied on swollen and painful parts.
The seed oil gives excellent results in skin diseases and premature graying of hair.
Fruit pieces are baked and chewed for cough, cold, hoarseness of voice and asthma.
Beleric fruits and kernels are used in making medicated hair oil, used to alleviate pain and burning sensation, boost hair growth and impart black color to the hair.
The paste of the fruit is applied on eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis. The herb is used in various eye ailments, such as myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract, chronic and acute infective conditions.
Beleric helps in loss of appetite, flatulence, thirst, piles and worms.
The ripened fruit acts as an astringent and anti-diarrheal. The decoction of the kernels is used in case of excessive thirst and vomiting.
Beleric plant alleviates cough, relieves blocked phlegm, controls bleeding in the sputum and eases bronchospasms.
It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.