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The Bedda nut tree grows to heights of 30 meters and has broad elliptic leaves that are clustered towards the ends of the branches. The bark is a brownish grey color. The tree blossoms in early summer, and some find the flower’s odor to be offensive. The Bedda nuts begin to ripen in early summer and are green to grey, with a sweet kernel inside. Bedda nuts should not be eaten without adequate instruction as they have narcotic effects that may prove toxic in large doses.
Fresh Bedda nuts are available in late summer into fall.
Bedda nuts are the fruit from the deciduous tree botanically classified as Terminalia bellirica, and also commonly known as Behada, Beleric or Bibhitaki. The tree grows throughout India and has been revered throughout history for its healing benefits. Auyrvedic medicine promotes Bedda nut for pain relief, throat ailments, conjunctivitis, appetite loss, high blood pressure and for overall immune health. Oils derived from the Bedda nut are used as a hair dye.