Bibhitaki is the Indian name for the a tree – and its fruit – which is known in English as Terminalia bellirica.
This large, deciduous tree is common in India and Southeast Asia where it is planted as a shade tree and often lines busy boulevards. However, its real gift isn’t shade, but rather its fruit and bark, which have been used for thousands of years as medicine.
According to Deepak Chopra, M.D., an Ayurvedic doctor and founder of the Chopra Center:
“Bibhitaki is an excellent rejuvenative with both laxative and astringent properties. It eliminates excess mucous in the body, balancing the Kapha dosha. In addition, bibhitaki is a powerful treatment for a variety of lung conditions, including bronchitis and asthma.”
You can read more about bibhitaki and its uses, including as part of Triphala, a three-fruit preparation used for health and cleansing in Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments for thousands of years, here: http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/ayurvedic-herbs-foods/triphala
WebMD.com notes that bibhitaki is used for the following problems:
- Respiratory ailments including infections, coughs and sore throats
- High cholesterol
- Digestive disorders including indigestion, constipation and diarrhea
- Sore eyes
- Chest pain and angina
In addition, it seems to have an inhibitory effect on the HIV virus though much more research is needed on the subject. Likewise some studies have shown it to be anti-malarial.
It also seems to have antioxidant and anti-aging applications and is used to protect the liver. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17049775
An excellent web article if you want to learn more about bibhitaki can be found here: http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/389-bibhitaki
It’s a pretty weighty read with a lot of scientific information but does a great job of rounding up the current research on the benefits of bibhitaki.
Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana, sliced
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 large handful spinach leaves
- 2 Tbsp sunbutter
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0%)
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides and breaking apart chunks of fruit as necessary. Pour into a glass or bowl and enjoy!