Nutritionally fortified and palatable organic Harad Powder: an innovative herbal product

Demonstrating  Nutritionally Fortified Organic Harad Powder, An Innovative Herbal Product  With Natural Supplement  For Sustainable Trade

Demonstrating Nutritionally Fortified Organic Harad Powder, An Innovative Herbal Product With Natural Supplement For Sustainable Trade

Countless genera of plants are used mainly as herbal preparations in the indigenous systems of medicine in different countries which have stood up to the tests of time that even the modern forms of medicines have not been able to replace. Let’s explore the potential of one of such medicinal plants which is known as Harad in the sub-continent.

According to Indian mythology, Harad (Terminalia chebula), a medicinal plant, which claims to cure all diseases, originated from the drops of ambrosia which fell on earth while Indra (Lord of Rain) was drinking it. Terminalia chebula, also known as the ‘King of Medicine’ in Tibet is always placed at the top of the list in Ayurvedic Materia Medica due to its extraordinary power of healing.

Terminalia Chebula has been extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani & Homoeopathy and has become cynosure of modern medicine as it possesses a wide variety of properties viz antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiviral, anticarcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, radioprotective, antispasmodic & antipurgative. If Harad is taken after food, it helps to eliminate all the toxic effects due to food poisoning and merely chewing it leads to improved digestion.

The observed health benefits may be credited to the presence of various phyto chemicals like polyphenols, terpenes, anthocyanins, flavonoids, alkaloids and Glycosides, but they in turn make it extremely bitter. Thus the palatability of this medicine which is quite bitter limits its scope in deriving health benefits for the consumers. Hence the problem lies in the fact that its use as medicine gets limited. So to enhance the palatability  and to reduce the perceived bitterness a new formulation of Terminalia chebula powder was prepared by adding natural supplements so that the products becomes acceptable to the consumers across the world while retaining its nutritional richness.

In the present study to enhance the palatability of organically harvested Harad, a formulation was planned under which a preparation of its fruit powder was made by adding powder of another fruits like Indian Gooseberry (Emblica offcinalis), Balam Kheera (Kigelia africana) as natural nutrient supplements and asafoetida, cumin, carom and rock salt were added as taste enhancer.

Emblica officinalis or Indian Gooseberry are widely used in the Indian system of medicine and believed to increase defence against diseases. The use of its fruit as an antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antipyretic, analgesic, cytoprotective, antitussive and as gastroprotective are also reviewed.

On the other side Kigellia africana a native of Africa is well known traditionally for variety of medicinal purposes. The plant is traditionally used in anticancer, antiulcer, anti respiratory and skin related ailments. It is also used to treat body weakness, leprosy, worm infestation and tumours etc. It has strong anti‐oxidative effects against hepatotoxicity induced by paracetamol toxicity.  The anti‐oxidant actions of Kigelia africana have been attributed to the abundance of flavonoids and saponins in the fruits.

Thus an innovative product was prepared by adding Indian Goose berry and Kigelia pinnata fruit powder on drying as a natural supplement to the Terminalia chebula fruit’s powder along with taste enhancers.

On performing chemical and sensory evaluation the product which was added with natural supplements was found to be nutritionally richer as well as tastier than the raw Harad powder with rock salt and asafoetida, cumin and carom seeds. The value added product had a higher percentage of calcium and iron besides antioxidants. The product scored over the conventional Harad powder due to its higher energy value and exclusive protein content which was otherwise absent in the conventional Harad powder.

Hence nutritionally richer and tastier value added product enhanced the scope of Terminalia chebula among the consumers for deriving its natural health benefits across the world which otherwise get limited by its bitterness. The study also leaves the scope for further enhancing the nutritional status of the Harad powder and its taste by new combinations and permutations.

Thus the present novel product combining the herbal plants native to India and Africa can further boost up its market value over conventional Harad formulations leading to an improved trade at the global level.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Dr Chandrashekhar Sanwal (Indian Forest Service – India) – chandra.sanwal(at)gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


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126 thoughts on “Nutritionally fortified and palatable organic Harad Powder: an innovative herbal product

  1. Natural medicines has always been good. The problem today is the continuous use of these plants without thinking ofreplacing them. This is a good idea because not only are you looking at the medicinal importance but also its sustainability

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  2. I would had loved a situation where other components would not be mixed. By not mixing you retain the original harad but after mixing you have something else though it tastes better. thats my view. in my own view why not concetrate the original thing package like they do ampiclox, that way time, money, and lot is saved to.acheive same problem of doing away with bitterness.

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    • Many thanks for your precious comment. In fact Harad tastes very bitter and the powder is available in Indian market very easily but consumption is not akin to its medicinal value hence the new formulation was tried which was found nutritionally richer as well as palatable. In fact it was liked both by old and youngs. Yes you rightly raised the question of originality hence this herbal product has more than 80 per cent Harad only. Again thanks for the remarks.

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  3. Dear Dr. Sanwal the plant is really world known for its benefits but its bitter taste is a problem. Your value added product is surely going to solve the issue it seems. All the very best.

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  4. Wonderful work Sir.
    This type of work is encouraging for us.
    Otherwise youngsters doesn’t know about the medicinal qualities of Harad.
    Thank you Sir

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  5. This type of work is encouraging for us. Otherwise youngsters doesn’t know about the medicinal qualities of Harad.
    Thank you sir

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  6. Harad helps in curing many stomach ailments and very poplar in rural communities. Dr Chandarsekhar has done a great job by value addition of such a valuable fruit which can be used for almost all stomach ailments. This innovative approach can adopted by rural people for their sustainable livelihood

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  7. Harad is one of the important gradient of Triphla. Popularizing its use through such innovation idea in enhancing its nutritional value and taste as compare to raw hard will help peoples to cure severe stomach ailments.

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  8. Harad is traditionally known for its medicinal properties.V alue addition through innovative approach may leads livelihood support for rural community by adopting plantation of this species.

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    • My dear sir rightly said further we can improve the taste and nutrtional value while retaining its original properties. I hope the Dr Y S Parmar university of Horticulture and Forestry Solan India can consider to work upon it. I expect you to take the project ahead. Many thanks Sir.

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  9. Dr Sanwal complied a good information about this plants as well as traditional knowledge and organic cultivation much need in present and future of medicinal and Aromatic Plants .

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