Haritaki powder is made from crushing the fruit of Terminalia chebula, or haritaki tree. The powder itself is finely ground, ranging in color from light brown to a green-tinged yellow.
This special fruit is called the “King of Herbs” by followers of Ayurvedic medicine. Its use throughout history is widespread across south and southeast Asia, where it is grown locally. In Nepal, haritaki is known as Kaddukai podi.
In powder form, haritaki has numerous benefits. Primarily prized for its range of cleansing, purifying, and rejuvenating features, most users ingest the King of Herbs to help with digestive problems (like constipation, bloating, and gas). It’s also an antibacterial to help calm some symptoms of several chronic illnesses.
Many take it as a daily supplement to encourage longevity and overall wellness. It can be consumed in a convenient capsule form or as a loose powder added to water to make tea.
If you’re looking for more information about the vast number of positive effects associated with this herb in all its forms, visit our Haritaki Benefits page. You’ll be shocked at how this one little fruit can have such powerful properties!
For now, though, we’ll go into the details specifically about haritaki powder – what it is, how it’s used, and more.
What’s the Difference Between Powder and Capsules?
Haritaki capsules contain the powder in specific, carefully measured amounts. The main difference between capsules and powder lies in the customization of dosages.
The loose powder can be freely measured and added to different liquids to form solutions and pastes. With it, you’re free to choose the dose that works right for you and your needs, as opposed to a capsule that comes in a set dose. Our capsules come in 650mg doses.
Additionally, the powder can be added to different substances (like honey or ghee) for use in balancing different doshas.
In the end, there’s no difference between the powers or ingredients in capsules versus powder. They’re just in different forms for your own convenience!
Is one better than the other?
Whether haritaki powder or capsules are better depends on your unique needs and preferences.
Capsules are great if you’re looking to take haritaki daily in a pre-proportioned dose as a supplement. Haritaki powder, on the other hand, is more versatile. You’re free to customize dosages, add it to water or other liquids, or turn it into a paste.
Many choose capsules over the powder for daily supplements, as capsules also cut down on the flavor of haritaki. On the other hand, some don’t mind the taste and choose the powder to precisely tailor their dosages.
Both capsules and powder are the same substance, but which one is better all depends on what you intend to use it for. If you’ve never taken this herb before and aren’t sure how your body will react, you may want to consider getting the powder first to start off with small amounts and then work your way up.
How Much Haritaki Powder Should I Take?
The correct dosage amount varies depending on various different factors, like your unique physical needs, toxin levels, doshic type, and preferred method of administration.
The most common amount is 500mg (equal to about 1 teaspoon) of powder, mixed with hot water and consumed daily. Regular users will be able to take more of this herb more often. For reference, our capsules contain 650mg.
However, many find that 500mg is too strong to start off with. If that’s the case with you, start off with smaller amounts. Try 1/4th teaspoon to begin with and slowly increase the amount consumed each day as your body adjusts. Haritaki powder can be taken at night or in the morning.
Was Haritaki Historically Consum”ed as a Powder?
Yes! Before capsules were invented, the fruit of the Terminalia chebula tree was dried and crushed into a fine dust and consumed in that form if not eaten intact. It was usually added to hot water to make a simple tea, similar to how it’s taken today.
This herb has a history of use going back thousands of years, with art and literature describing its powers at length. Haritaki powder was taken on its own or mixed with ground amalaki and bibhitaki to form Triphala, an important compound in Ayurvedic medicine. These substances were renowned for their cleansing and healing properties and taken as powders, which was more convenient to store and ingest.
How is Haritaki Powder Consumed Today?
Today, haritaki powder is usually consumed orally either in a convenient capsule form or as a plain powder mixed with water or another substance. It’s also sometimes added to enemas to clean out the digestive tract and lower colon. It can be mixed with a small amount of water to form a paste to be applied to minor breaks or cuts in the skin.
To make tea with haritaki powder, combine one teaspoon (or more or less, depending on your dosage requirements) to eight ounces of hot water. Mix thoroughly and then enjoy!
Many users opt to consume this substance once per night before bed as an effective way to help regulate their digestive systems. But it can also be ingested in the morning or afternoon if it keeps you awake at night or you’re dealing with particularly stubborn digestive problems.
What Does Haritaki Powder Taste Like?
Interestingly, not all people taste the same thing when consuming haritaki powder. Traditional Ayurvedic wisdom ascribes five of the six tastes to haritaki: sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent – all tastes except for saltiness.
Some find this holy herb to be entirely tasteless, but most often, many users report a bitter or astringent taste. Most find they’re able to comfortably tolerate the bitterness, though it may take some time to get used to it.
If you’re bothered by the taste, the intensity of the bitterness can be altered by 1) changing the amount of powder taken or 2) changing the amount of water used to dilute your dose of haritaki. In other words, start with a smaller amount of powder or use more water to dilute it.
The bitter taste may fade and become slightly sweet after water consumption. Some mix the herb with honey to ease themselves into the taste, combining roughly a tablespoon of honey per quarter teaspoon of powder. If the taste is still too overwhelming for you, consider trying the capsule form.
It’s important to note, though, that many Ayurvedic practitioners don’t advise the continued use of sweeteners with haritaki powder. Allowing yourself to fully taste the rainbow of flavors present in this King of Herbs is an important part of the experience.
What Can I Mix With Haritaki Powder?
To make the consumption of this supplement easier, it’s recommended to mix the powder with plain, filtered water. But there are other possible mixtures, too! Possible substances for mixture include:
- Purified water
- Ghee (for vata problems)
- Raw sugar (for kapha problems)
- Rock salt (for pitta problems)
That’s right, there are special mixtures depending on the specific types of problems you’re experiencing and your most prominent dosha.
Perhaps most famous is the use of haritaki for rectifying vata imbalances, which refer to various types of gastrointestinal or digestive distress, like gas, constipating, bloating, and a weak agni.
Combining haritaki powder with ghee (clarified butter) is meant to soothe and balance out these problems. Raw sugar (the more organic and unprocessed, the better) is suitable for pacifying kapha problems, such as brain fog or some symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
Finally, rock salt added to haritaki powder helps with pitta imbalances, which range from diarrhea to various types of inflammation.
Do not mix haritaki powder with alcohol under any circumstances. Any positive benefits derived from this herb will be negated if consumed with alcohol, due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol. If you’re hungover or have recently been drinking, you also shouldn’t take haritaki powder.
Furthermore, haritaki powder should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women, and therefore should not ever be combined with breastmilk.
Ultimately, because of its cleansing powers, it’s easy to become dehydrated from taking this powerful King of Herbs. You should always make sure to drink plenty of water, either with the supplement or directly after.
Can You Cook with Haritaki Powder?
The fruit from Terminalia chebula is often pickled or preserved, but generally, the crushed form of the fruit has not been historically used for cooking or added to food recipes. This may be as a way to prevent adverse side effects resulting from bad combinations or otherwise diminishing the power of haritaki. The bitter, astringent taste may also combine unpleasantly with the taste of food.
Because haritaki is a herb of cleansing and purity, it’s recommended to consume it in a way that best respects its purity. That means taking haritaki powder in a basic water mixture or in one of the ways listed above. Making tea with it is about as far as advanced as preparation of this supplement gets.
After all, haritaki is a way of purging the body of ama, which is essentially toxins accumulated over time in the digestive tract. These toxins result primarily from impure or undigested food, so it’s best not to add to the waste by cooking dinner with your haritaki. After your evening meal, drink the haritaki tea right before bedtime.
How Do I Make a Paste with Haritaki Powder?
Incredibly, this special herb can be used for more than just regular consumption! A primary benefit of the loose powder is the ability to use it in pastes.
Haritaki has long been thought to possess certain antibacterial and antifungal properties. One unique use of haritaki powder is mixing it with a small amount of water to make a paste to place over small wounds, cuts, ulcers, or other instances of skin irritation.
After thoroughly cleaning the wound with water, mix a few drops of water with a scoop of powder until a paste is formed. Gently place this paste around the wound to soothe irritation and act as an antifungal. You can also opt to rinse the wound with a liquid solution of water and powder.
This paste can also be used to soothe irritation of acne and boils. Simply clean your face as normal and apply the paste over areas of inflammation. Repeat daily until the redness and swelling fades.
Can I Use Haritaki Powder for Enemas?
Absolutely. Some haritaki enthusiasts will use this herb as part of a standard enema routine in the morning, as a way to further purify their bodies.
In addition to drinking it in a tea, haritaki powder mixed with water can be used as a colonic solution for maximum cleansing. Simply add a small amount to your enema liquid. This allows the purification capabilities of the powder to be harnessed more thoroughly than regular ingestion.
To unlock the full benefits of haritaki powder for digestive cleansing, consider drinking the haritaki tea alongside using it in an enema. Experts swear by the power of this combination for purging the body of toxins and impaction.
5 Surprising Facts You May Not Know About Haritaki Powder
There’s more to this powerful substance than what’s on the surface. Here are six quick facts about the powder made from the King of Herbs.
- Ayurvedic practitioners have used haritaki powder since at least the 7th century
- Haritaki powder is often combined with amalaki and bibhitaki to make the compound Triphala
- The powder, when either ingested or used in an enema, enhances digestion and is thought to cure almost all intestinal problems
- Paramahamsa Nithyananda, one of the most well-known Hindu swamis, has touted haritaki powder as an essential everyday supplement
- Haritaki powder is 100% vegan and gluten-free
What is the Future of Haritaki?
Scientific research behind haritaki is ongoing, but there have already been promising results describing just how this special substance can affect our bodies.
As Ayurvedic practitioners already know, though, haritaki powder has centuries of believers behind it and continues to attract people to its powerful remedies.