Botanically known as Terminalia chebula
Myrobalan is a deciduous, mid-sized tree up to 25m tall with a short cylindrical trunk and rounded crown with spreading branches. It has a dark brown bark and small greenish flowers that have an unpleasant smell. The fruit is inverted egg shaped with a pit in the middle and pulp surrounding it. The best Myrobalan is found in Salem (India).
Part of Plant Used
The skin and pulp of the Myrobalan fruit are used. They are collected as they start turning yellow and ripe and are sun-dried. They are transported as whole fruits, crushed without the stones.
It occurs on a variety of soil, clayey as well as sandy. Fairly tolerant of frost and drought and withstands fire. Occurs naturally in sub-Himalayan region of Nepal and northern India through Bruma, Thailand, Indochina and south China.
Dyeing/Mordanting with Myrobalan
Myrobalan represents the most useful combined source of tannins and colorants. It gives a beige colour when used without a mordant. It was used industrially to dye blacks and greys with the use of iron mordant. It is used as an essential ingredient to pre- mordant red fibres and fabrics.
* Also can be used as Soap Making Colorant and Candle Making Colorant.