Komintana is a deciduous tree reaching a height of 25 meters or more, with a diameter of 80 centimeters. Leaves are alternate to subopposite, ovate, 7 to 10 centimeters long, 4 to 7 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, usually somewhat rounded at the base, and equipped with fairly long stalks. Flowers are somewhat yellow and fragrant, borne in large numbers in compound inflorescences. Fruit is drupe-like, yellow to green, turning blackish when dry, elliptical, about 2 centimeters long, with longitudinal ridges.
- In most or all provinces in Luzon and in Mindoro, Bancalan, Ticao, Leyte, Masbate, Negros and Mindanao In forests at low and medium altitudes.
- Also occurs in Borneo and Celebes.
- Widely distributed in India, Burma, and Stri Lanka.
- Terminalia chebula contains tannin, chebulic acid, glycosides, sugar, triterpenoids, steroids, small quantities of phosphoric acid.
- Major bioactive constituents are tannins, anthraquinones, chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, chebulic acid, ellagic acid and gallic acid.
The other minor compounds include corilegin, β-D-glucogallin, glucose and sorbitol. Polyphenolic compounds, triterpene glycosides, terchebulin, punicalagin, terflavin A, flavonoids, reducing sugars and starch are other constituents of the fruit. Also yields terpenene glycosides, arjungenin and arjunglucoside-I, 18 amino acids and a small quantity of phosphoric, succinic, syringic and quinic acids.
- Fruit is astringent.
- Considered adaptogenic, anthelmintic, expectorant, laxative, nervine, stomachic and tonic.
- Studies have demonstrated antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antiproliferative, radioprotective, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, radioprotective, anticaries, antidiabetic, wound healing activity. (13)
- Decoction of fruit used for thrush and as gargle for mucous membrane inflammations of the mouth.
- Decoction of fruit also used for obstinate diarrhea.
- In India, used for digestive disorders, diarrhea, irregular fevers, flatulence, cough, wound infetions, and urinary tract infections.
- Used for renal calculi, dysuria, and urinary retention. Used as blood purifier, gargle for sore throat, gum ulcers, and muscular rheumatism. Used for fever, cough, and asthma. (16)
- Elsewhere, used for asthma, piles and cough.
- Extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathic medicine.
- In Ayurveda, used for asthma, sore throat, vomiting, hiccups. Fruit, fresh or reconstituted, taken before meals stimulates digestion; taken after meals, for diseases caused by aggravation of vayu, pitta, and kapha.
• Hypoglycemic / Antioxidant: Study of methanolic extracts of T chebula, T belerica, Emblica officinalis and their combination, "Triphala" were found to inhibit lipid peroxide formation and to scavenge hydroxyl and superoxide radicals in vitro. Orally, the extracts significantly reduced the blood sugar in normal and alloxan diabetic rats within 4 hours, an effect that was sustained with daily administration.(1)
• Chebulagic Acid / Apoptosis Inducing / Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the methanolic extracts of fruits yielded chebulagic acid. Chebulagic acid showed potent COX-LOX dual inhibition activity and also showed anti-proliferative activity against various cell lines. Further mechanistic study showed induction of apoptosis in COLO-205 cells. (2)
• Glucose Lowering / Metabolic Syndrome: Study of fruit extract of T chebula showed significant and dose-dependent glucose lowering in the rat model of metabolic syndrome. (3)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Tyrosinase Activity: In a study of 5 medicinal plants to evaluate free radical scavenging activity, T chebula and Q infectoria significantly inhibited tyrosinase activity and DPPG radical. (4)
• Herb-Drug Interaction: A report describes two relapses of depression in a patient well controlled with sertraline monotherapy in close temporal relationship with starting an ayurvedic herbal mixture. The herbal plant responsible for the interaction is suspected to be either Terminalia chebula or Commiphora wighteii. (5)
• Chebulagic Acid / Alpha- Glucosidase Inhibitor: Chebulagic acid, isolated from T chebula, showed significant alpha-glucosidase inhibition. Results suggest a use for chebulagic acid in the management of T2 diabetes.
• Triphala / Anti-Stress: Study investigated the effect of Triphala (T. chebula, T belerica, E officinalis) against cold stress-induced alterations in rats. An increase in LPO (lipid peroxidation) and cortisone levels were observed. Results suggest Triphala supplementation can be regarded as protective against stress.
• Anti-Caries: A concentrated aqueous extract prepared from the fruit of TC, used as a mouth rinse, suggests it to be an effective anticaries agent. (6)
• Immunomodulatory: Aqueous fruit extract of Terminalia chebula produced an increase in humoral antibody titer and delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice. It suggests an extract with promising immunostimulant properties. (7) Study investigated the immunomodulatory activity of an alcohol extract of T. chebula dried ripe fruits at the cellular level. Results showed immunomodulatory activity as evidenced by increase in concentration of antioxidant enzymes, GSH, T and B cells.There was also enhancement of melatonin in the pineal gland as well as levels of cytokines such as IL-2, IL-10, and TNF-α. (27)
• Prokinetic / Increased Gastric Emptying: In a study on prokinetic and antikinetic activities, Terminalia chebula was found to increase gastric emptying. Results suggest it may be a useful alternative to prokinetic drugs. (8)
• Anti-Ulcer: The anti-ulcer activity of a methanolic extract of TC was investigated in pylorus-ligated and ethanol-induced ulcer models in rats. Results indicate the fruit extract to have potential anti-ulcer activity on both models. Its antiulcerogenic and ulcer healing properties may be due to antisecretory activity. (9)
• Antidiabetic / Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins are carbohydrate-linked protein macromolecules in the cell surface of animal cells. Impaired metabolism of glycoproteins plays an important role in the pathogenesis of DM (Knecht et al, 1990). Study evaluated the effect of fruit extract of TC on plasma and tissue glycoprotein components of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Study showed a decrease in plasma insulin and C-peptide levels in diabetic rats. The efficacy of the fruit extract was comparable to glibenclamide.(10)
• Antioxidant / Radioprotector: Study of an aqueous extract of T. chebula showed potent antioxidant activity and probable radioprotector activity with ability to protect cellular organelles from radiation-induced damage. (12)
• Antimicrobial: Study of a fruit extract of T. chebula showed antimicrobial activity against both gram negative bacteria (E. coli, S. flexineria, and P. aeruginosa) and gram-positive bacteria (B. subtilis, S. aureus, and S. epidermis). (13)
• Effect on Metallobetalactamas: ESBL (extended spectrum of ß lactamase) is one of the most important resistance mechanisms for ß lactam antibiotics like penicillin and cephalosporins. An aqueous extract from Terminalia chebula was found to be effective on MBL which were produced by eleven isolates of Pseudomonas and eight isolates of Acinetobacter. (14)
• Anticonvulsant / Fruits: Study of an ethanolic extract of fruits showed anticonvulsant activity. Phytochemical screening yielded glycosides, carbohydrates, flavonoids, proteins, steroids and tannins. The anticonvulsant activity was attributed to the antioxidant property of the constituents. (16) Ethanolic extract of T. chebula fruits showed anticonvulsant activity with reduction of seizure duration produced by maximal electroshock and delayed latency of seizures produced by pentylenetetrazole and picrotoxin. (29)
• Anti-Acne / Antibacterial / Terminalis chebula and Terminalia bellerica: Study evaluated the extracts of Terminalia chebula Retz and Terminalia bellirica Linn. for anti-acne property. The herbal anti-acne test extracts were prepared as single and combination formulations against Acne vulgaris. The combination of actives with 20% alcoholic T. bellirica and 20% T. chebula was found to be more effective against Acne vulgaris. (17)
• Antinociceptive / Fruits: Various extracts of T. chebula and T. bellerica were evaluated for analgesic activities using the tail immersion model in mice. Ethanolic extracts both exhibited an analgesic response. Results indicate the fruits could be potential candidate of isolation of natural analgesic agents for the management of chronic pain. (18)
• Mutagenicity / Oral Toxicity Study: In an oral toxicity study, the single oral dose of the an EtOAc extract at 2000 mg/kg did not produce mortality or abnormal lesions in the internal organs of rats. In the bacterial mutation assay, up to 5000 µg/mL concentration of the EtOAc soluble portion, the number of colonies did not increase with or without metabolic activation. (20)
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated various organic and aqueous extracts of T. chebula against fibroblast and keratinocytes cells. Results showed bioactive components from the various organic and aqueous extracts could be used for enhancing the rate of wound healing by increasing cell proliferation and increasing free-radical scavenging ability. (21)
• Chebulinic Acid Extraction / Anti-Cancer: Study reports on the extraction of chebulinic acid from Terminalia chebula by Soxhlet extraction and its purification by Column chromatography. Chebulinic acid has shown many bioactivities including inhibition of cancer cell growth, inhibition of contractile responses of cardiovascular muscles, antifungal and antibacterial activities, among others. On in-vitro evaluation of anti-cancer activity on Colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cancer cell lines, maximum percentage inhibition of cncer cell lines was 41.2% at dose of 2000µg/ml. (22)
• Antioxidant / Antidiabetogenic / Fruits: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of Terminalia chebula fruits on STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed TC extract significantly controlled the alteration in levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides, and both enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants. There was a significant decrease in blood glucose le vels and glycosylated hemoglobin. Results were comparable to glibenclamide. The presence of bioactive fruit ingredients may be responsible for the antioxidant properties, which may be partially responsible for the antidiabetogenic activity. (23)
• Antibacterial / Anticaries Mouthrinse / Antidiabetogenic / Fruits: Study evaluated an ethanol extract for antibacterial effect against Streptococcus mutans. Results showed the mouthrinse formulated from the ethanol extract of T. chebula possessed substantial antibacterial activity and can be used as an effective anticaries agent. (24)
• Apoptosis in Lung Cancer Cells: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of T. chebula and its main pathway by MTT methods against human lung cancer (A549) and mouse lung cancer cell line LLC. Results suggest T. chebula acts by regulating Bcl-2 family protein-mediated mitochondrial pathway. (25)
• Antiarthritic / Fruits: Study evaluated the anti-arthritic activity of acetone extract of fruits in wistar rats in an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis induced by intradermal injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA). Results showed the extract of fruits had a better effect on controlling CFA induced arthritis. TCE showed good reduction of paw edema and joint thickness, with a reduction in ESR and RF values comparable to the dexamethasone treated group. (26)
• Antibacterial / Fruits: Study evaluated the in-vitro antibacterial property of T. chebula against a wide spectrum of human pathogenic strains conducted for finished textile samples. Results showed bacterial inhibition and suggests potential application in traditional medicine and an alternative ecofriendly potential against human pathogenic bacterial strains in wound beds. (28)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Fruits: Study evaluated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of ethanolic extract of T. chebula fruits in experimental animal models. Results showed significant analgesic activity by hot plate method and significant anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan induced paw edema method. (30)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Analgesic / Fruits: Study evaluated the antioxidant, analgesic, and cytotoxic activity of a methanolic extract of T. chebula fruits. Results showed significant activities in all antioxidant assays used. On analgesic testing using acetic acid-nduced writhing, there was maximum 44.17% inhibition (p<0.05) of writing reaction compared to diclofenac (66.96%). The extract showed moderate cytotoxicity in brine shrimp lethality bioassay with an LC50 value of 97.36 µg/mL. (31)
• Anti-Aging Benefits / Preventive and Restorative: Study evaluated the skin benefits of a hydrolyzable, tannin-enriched T. chebula fruit extract. The extract used for the study was standadized for total hydrolyzable tannins (>50%) as well as chebulinic and chebulagic acids, constituents that have been ascribed biological activities. Results indicate that a defined, water-soluble TC fruit extract can be used topically for preventive and restorative anti-aging and skin tone-evening effects. (32)
• Neuronal Cell Protection Against Ischemia / Antioxidative / Anti-Inflammatory:: Study evaluated a fruit extract for potential to protect neuronal cells against ischemia and related diseases by reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation in rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) using in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation by reoxygenation (OGD-R) ischemia and hydrogen peroxide induced cell death. Results suggest the extract has potential as a natural herbal medicine to protect cells from ischemic damage, possibly through inhibition of oxidative and inflammatory processes. (33)
• Spasmogenic / Seeds: Study evaluated the spasmogenic action of T. chebula seeds on a rat ileum model. Results showed the excitatory effects of ATC on ileal contractile frequency and tension are probably mediated through Ca2+ channels activation. Findings support the use of ATC for the treatment of constipation. (34)
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