Tamil Name - கண்டங்கத்திரி - Kandangathiri
Bittersweet nightshade is also known as European bittersweet or climbing nightshade. This plant grows from rhizomes and is a slender climbing or trailing perennial reaching 6 feet in length. Leaves are alternate, ovate, simple or deeply lobed, 1-1/2 to 4 inches long, and pointed at the tip. Flowers are deep purple or bluish purple with flower stalk arising between the leaf nodes or opposite the leaves. Nearly round fruits turn red when mature and stay on the vines through mid winter.
Haritaki has laxative, rejuvenative, purgative, astringent and dry properties.
The paste of its fruit is effective in reducing swelling, hastening the healing process and cleansing the wounds and ulcers.
The paste gives relief to the eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis.
Gargling with haritaki decoction helps in stomatitis, oral ulcers and sore throat.
It serves as a good astringent for loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.
The herb is used in preparing ‘Triphala’ that is used for hair wash, brush teeth in pyorrhea and treat bleeding gums.
Regular consumption of haritaki powder, fried in ghee, promotes longevity and boosts energy.
It responds well to gastrointestinal ailments, tumors, ascites, piles, enlargement of liver-spleen, worms and colitis.
Powdered haritaki, mixed with jaggery, works well in gout.
Its powder, when mixed with honey and ghee, is an effective remedy for anemia.
Haritaki is combined with sunthi powder and given with hot water to lighten asthma and hiccups.
Its decoction, when taken along with honey, is of great help in hepatitis and obesity.
The herb improves memory and is salutary in dysuria and urinary stones.
Haritaki helps in improving appetite and helps in digestion.
It is a good nervine and helps in nervous weakness and nervous irritability and promotes the receiving power of the five senses.
Since it is anti-inflammatory and astringent, it is helpful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea and vaginal discharges like leucorrhea.