- What other names is Terminalia known by?
- What is Terminalia?
- How does Terminalia work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Terminalia.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Terminalia arjuna has been used to balance the three "humors": kapha, pitta, and vata. It has also been used for asthma, bile duct disorders, scorpion stings, and poisonings.
The bark of Terminalia arjuna has been used in India for more than 3000 years, primarily as a heart remedy. An Indian physician named Vagbhata has been credited as the first to use this product for heart conditions in the seventh century A.D. Research on terminalia has been going on since the 1930s, but studies have provided mixed results. Its role, if any, in heart disease still remains uncertain.
Nevertheless, people today use Terminalia arjuna for disorders of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), including heart disease and related chest pain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is also used as "a water pill," and for earaches, dysentery, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diseases of the urinary tract, and to increase sexual desire.
Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula are both used for high cholesterol and digestive disorders, including both diarrhea and constipation, and indigestion. They have also been used for HIV infection.
Terminalia bellerica is used to protect the liver and to treat respiratory conditions, including respiratory tract infections, cough, and sore throat.
Terminalia chebula is used for dysentery.
Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula are used as a lotion for sore eyes.
Terminalia chebula is also used topically as a mouthwash and gargle.
Intravaginally, Terminalia chebula is used as a douche for treating vaginal infections.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Terminalia bellerica has been used as a "health-harmonizer" in combination with Terminalia chebula and Emblica officinalis. This combination is also used to lower cholesterol and to prevent death of heart tissue.
Possibly Effective for...
- Chest pain (angina). Some research shows that taking Terminalia by mouth with conventional medications improves symptoms in people experiencing chest pain after a heart attack.
- Congestive heart failure (CHF). Some research shows that taking Terminalia by mouth with conventional medications for 2 weeks improves symptoms in people with CHF.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- HIV infection.
- Lung conditions.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Urinary problems.
- Water retention.
- Other conditions.
Quick GuideHeart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
Not enough is known about the safety of Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula. It's best to avoid use until more is known.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy: There is some evidence that Terminalia arjuna is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy. The safety of the other two species during pregnancy is unknown. It's best to avoid using any terminalia species.
Breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of Terminalia if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Terminalia might lower blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Surgery: Terminalia might decrease blood sugar levels and interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop taking Terminalia at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Terminalia might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Terminalia along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. But more evidence is needed to know if this interaction is a big concern. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase),
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Healthy Heart Resources
Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011