A moderate sized to large (large in good soil, and moderate in dry rocky places) deciduous tree with a cylindrical bole, rounded crown and spreading branches; leaves ovate, elliptic or obovate, glabrous to tawny-villous beneath with a pair of large glands at the of the petiole; fruits glabrous, shining, ellipsoidal, obovoid or ovoid drupes, yellow to orange brown in colour, faintly angled, upto 3.75 cm long; seeds hard,pale yellow.
Chebulin from flowers. Plamitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic and behenic acids from fruit kernels. Fruits contain about 30% of an astringent substance; astringency is due to the characteristic principle chebulnic acid. Also contain tannic acid 20-40%, gallic acid, resin etc. and a purgative glycoside of anthraquinone derivative.
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