Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb.

Last updated: 09 Dec 2016

Scientific Name

Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb.


Buceras bellirica (Gaertn.) Lyons [Unresolved], Myrobalanus bellirica Gaertn. [Unresolved], Myrobalanus laurinoides (Teijsm. & Binn.) Kuntze, Terminalia bellirica var. laurinoides (Teijsm. & Binn.) C.B.Clarke, Terminalia laurinoides Teijsm. & Binn. [Invalid]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Jelawai, jelawei, mentalun, uji [2]
English Bastard myrobalan, bedda nut tree, beleric myrobalan, belleric myrabolan, belliric myraboan, bhera nut, Siamese terminalia [2]
India Akasha, akkam, aksa, aksah, aksaka, aksha, anilaghnaka, bahada, bahaira, baheda, baheduka, bahera, baheri, naheruha, baheruka, bahira, bahudda, bahuvirya, balela, balra, barra, bayrah, beda, bedaro, behada, behaira, behara, behda, behead, behedakah, behedam, behesa, berang, bhaira, bhairah, bharla, bhera, bherda, vherdha, chibhitaka, bhirda, bhuta-vasah, bhutavasa, bibhita, bibhitaka, bibhita-kah, bibhitaki, bibitaki, bibithak, billa, birha, bofera, boyar, buhura, buhuru, char-vantai, garuaraung, goting, hulluch, harya, kali, kalidruma, kalidrumah, kaligrvamah, kalinda, kalivriksha, kaliyugalaya, kalkidharmaghrah, kalpavriksha, karsaphala, karsaphalah, karshapalah, karshaphala, kasa-ghna, kuru-araung, kushika, mrgalindaka, rale-daru, sagona, sagwan, samvartaki, sanvarta, tailaphala, talaphala, tandi, tandra, tani, tarekai sippe, thaandri, thahaka, thandra chettu, thani, thankikayalu, thanni, thanrikai, thare mare, thing-van-dawt, thingvandowt, tilapushpaka, tirphala, tirphalo, tuikuk-reraw, tusha, tusham, van tai, vasanta, vasanthah, vibhitaki, vipitakaha, vishaghna, yehela, yel, yella [2]
Nepal Bahera, bahira, barro, hala, haratun, vibhitaki [2]
Sri Lanka Ahdan koddai, bulu, tanti [2]
Bangladesh Chachingti [2]
Burma Thitsein [2]
Tibetan Barura, pa ru ra [2]
Indonesia Jaha, jaha kebo, jaha sapi [2]
Thailand Haen, samo phi phek, si-ba-duu [2]
Laos Hèèn [2]
Cambodia Srâmââ piphéék [2]
Vietnam Bang hôi, bang ôc, nhú’t [2]

Geographical Distributions

Terminalia bellirica is distributed from Sri Lanka, India and Nepal through Burma (Myanmar) Indo-China and Thailand towards Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Sabah), the Lesser Sunda Islands, central Sulawesi and the Moluccas; rarely cultivated. [3]

Botanical Description

T. bellirica is a member of Combretaceae family. It is a large briefly deciduous tree that can reach up to measure 50 m tall. [3]

The bole is branchless for up to measure 20 m, up to measure 300 cm in diameter and with large buttresses. [3]

The bark surface is finely longitudinally cracked or fissured, bluish or ash-grey to pale grey-brown in color while the inner bark is yellowish in color. [3]

The leaves are broadly elliptical or obovate-elliptical in shape, with a size of measure about 4-18 cm x 2-11 cm, rounded to wedge-shaped base, rufous-sericeous but soon glabrescent and with 6-9 pairs of secondary veins. The secondary and tertiary venations are prominent on both surfaces while the petiole is measuring 2.5-9 cm long. [3]l

The flowers are in an axillary spike of measure about 3-15 cm long. The sepal tube is densely sericeous or tomentulose. [3]l

The fruit is slightly spherical to broadly ellipsoid in shape, with a size of measure about 2-2.8 cm x 1.8-2.2 cm, densely velutinous or sericeous and with 5 well-marked longitudinal ridges. [3]


T. bellirica is fairly common in monsoon forest, mixed deciduous forest or dry deciduous dipterocarp forest, sometimes associated with teak, rarely in evergreen forest, on periodically dry soils, up to 600 m altitude. [3]

Chemical Constituent

Oil extracted from T. bellirica seed kernel has been reported to contain myristic acid, palmatic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, vitamin A, B1, B2 and C. [4]

T. bellirica has been reported to contain bellericanin, β-glucogallin, β-sitosterol, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, linoleic acid, tannic acid, and tannins. [5]

Plant Part Used

Fruits [6]

Traditional Use

T. bellerica or Vibhitka is most commonly used, alongside T. chebula and E. officinalis, in the formulation Triphala, which itself has been used for a huge variety of ailments for generations in Ayurvedic medicine. When used alone, Vibhitaki is commonly used in treatment of various gastrointestinal complaints. [7]

The fruit of Vibhitaki is also used in a variety of throat disorders, including cough, hoarseness, as well as eye disorders, possibly due to its action as an antibacterial. Oil from the fruit is used topically in cases of rheumatism and to promote healthy hair. The astringent nature of the dried fruit is also used in cases of dropsy, piles and diarrhoea. [7]

Preclinical Data


Antimutagenic activity

Chloroform and acetone extract of T. bellirica has been reported to exhibit antimutagenic activity. A significant inhibition of 98.7% was observed with acetone extract against the revertants induced by S9-dependent mutagen, 2AF, in co-incubation mode of treatment. [8]

Hepatoprotective activity

T. bellirica fruit extract and its active ingredient, gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid) has been demonstrated to exhibit hepatoprotective activity at different doses against carbon tetrachloride intoxication. Toxicant caused significant increase in the activities of serum transaminases and serum alkaline phosphatase. Hepatic lipid peroxidation level increased significantly whereas significant depletion was observed in reduced glutathione level after carbon tetrachloride administration. [9]

Gallic acid isolated from the fruit of T. bellirica has been reported to exhibit hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced physiological and biochemical alterations in the liver. [10] In other experiment, the hepatoprotective effects of T. bellerica are a result of lowered lipid peroxidation and triglyceride levels in the liver, suggesting both a preventative and a restorative effect. [11]

Anti-atherosclerosis activity

T. bellirica extract has been reported to exhibit anti-atherosclerosis activity in rabbits. Lowered lipid levels in the heart were a result of treatment of atherosclerosis and high cholesterol with T. bellerica in rabbits. [12]

Antibacterial activity

Additionally, T. bellerica has displayed antibacterial activity, according to an in vivo and in vitro study. T. bellerica was studied for its effect on salmonella, and it displayed a bactericidal effect at higher doses, while lower doses prevented any further bacterial growth. [13]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

Based on pharmacology, caution should be used by those with liver disease or by those taking medicines metabolized by the liver. [11]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of T. bellirica [3]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Dec 09]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-8200807.
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 528.
  3. Fundter JM, de Graaf NR, Hildebrand JW, van Valkenburg JLCH. Terminalia bellirica (Gaertner) Roxb. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publisher, 1991; p. 118-120.
  4. Molla MTH, Alam MT, Islam MAU. Physico-chemical and nutritional studies of Terminalia belerica Roxb. seed oil and seed kernel. J Bio Sci. 2007;15:117-126.
  5. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Terminalia bellirica (Combretaceae). [homepage on the Internet]. c1992-2016 [cited 2016 Dec 09]. Available from: https://phytochem.nal.usda.gov/phytochem/plants/show/1965?et=.
  6. Nadkarni AK. Indian materia medica. Volume 1. 3rd ed. Bombay: Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd; 1982.
  7. Kapoor LD. CRC handbook of Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2001; p. 321.
  8. Kaur S, Arora S, Kaur K, Kumar S. The in vitro antimutagenic activity of Triphala—An Indian herbal drug. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002;40(4):527-534.
  9. Jadon A, Bhadauria M, Shukla S. Protective effect of Terminalia belerica Roxb. and gallic acid against carbon tetrachloride induced damage in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;109(2):214-218.
  10. Anand KK, Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandran BK, Gupta VN, Bhardwaj V. 3,4,5-trihydroxy benzoic acid (gallic acid), the hepatoprotective principle in the fruits of Terminalia belerica-bioassay guided activity. Pharmacol Res. 1997;36(4):315-321.
  11. Anand KK, Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandran BK, Gupta VN. Hepatoprotective studies of a fraction from the fruits of Terminalia belerica Roxb. on experimental liver injury in rodents. Phytother Res. 1994;8(5):287-292.
  12. Shaila HP, Udupa AL, Udupa SL. Preventive actions of Terminalia belerica in experimentally induced atherosclerosis. Int J Cardiol. 1995;49(2):101-106.
  13. Madani A, Jain SK. Anti-Salmonella activity of Terminalia belerica: In vitro and in vivo studies. Indian J Exp Biol. 2008;46(12):817-821.