Triphala is the most popular Ayurvedic herbal formula of India and works as both an effective colon cleanse and nutritional supplement.
One of the most well-known benefits is digestive and bowel regularity, but many Ayurvedic practitioners recommend it to help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, dosha balancing, nervous system support, blood purification and general wellness.
The herbal concoction that’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda means “the three fruits.” It’s comprised of the Indian fruits amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki. These dried fruits are well-known as amla, harad, and baheda as a part of Ayurveda medicine. Each fruit is beneficial to a specific, corresponding piece of the tri-dosha constitution that is the basis of Ayurveda.
The three fruits have been scientifically studied and confirm some of the known traditional benefits. These include lowering cholesterol, reducing high blood pressure, improving circulation, and regulating digestion and bowel movements without laxative dependency.
Amalaki, one of Ayurveda’s prized rejuvenators since ancient times, has been shown to help lower cholesterol. It’s loaded with vitamin C and good for balancing Pitta dosha. It is a cooling tonic, astringent, mildly laxative, alterative, and antipyretic.
Bibhitaki, known as “the one who keeps away disease,” has detoxifying qualities for the blood, muscles, and fatty tissue of the body. It is astringent, tonic, digestive and anti-spasmodic and may benefit conditions involving excess mucous in the system, help with quality bone formation and considered an ancient rejuvenator with multiple benefits for Kapha.
Haritaki, considered the Tibetan “king of medicine,” is believed to have a variety of positive health benefits for the heart and brain. It can be used as a laxative, but also has anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory properties and can help calm Vata dosha.
In India, it’s widely believed Triphala is able to support and renew the internal organs of the body by gentle cleansing, eliminating stagnation and internal toxins, and improving digestion and absorption of nutrients.
It’s traditionally used as a bowel tonic and often prescribed as a natural laxative, also helping with weight loss, constipation and the prevention of bowel diseases.
Triphala encourages regular elimination by removing toxic residue from the digestive tract and increasing the colon’s absorption functions. It also assists the body in maintaining and gaining strength through good nutrition as well as eliminating waste. Unlike other herbs, Triphala is naturally able to support both processes simultaneously.
Triphala is one of two Ayurvedic formulations that are specific for eliminating Ama, a kind of sticky buildup of material that clogs the circulatory channels, and cholesterol from the body. It also has high nutritional content, and scientific research and ancient Ayurvedic uses have demonstrated that Triphala is an effective blood purifier.
It stimulates bile secretion as it detoxifies the liver, helps digestion and assimilation, and significantly reduces serum cholesterol and lipid levels throughout the body. As a result, Ayurveda doctors regard it as a universal remedy for disease prevention and the most commonly prescribed herbal formula in India.
Triphala can help with dosha balancing due to its relationship with your ability to taste, and your Rasa Dhatu, or plasma. The quality of your plasma impacts your ability to taste. Healthy, nourishing plasma to feed your other body tissues requires a steady supply of all six tastes. Triphala contains the following tastes: Sour, pungent, bitter, astringent, and sweet. When you take it, you should experience a different taste each time. The theory goes that whatever you taste reflects what is missing in your plasma and therefore your diet or your emotional life.
Triphala is also widely taken for eye diseases including the treatment of conjunctivitis, progressive myopia, the early stages of glaucoma and cataracts and can be administered as an eye wash.
You can take Triphala daily or weekly as a powder mixed with water or tablet supplement. Larger doses help for laxative purposes; smaller doses are used to prevent sickness and purify blood. You should take it as directed or talk to your health practitioner. In some cases, excessive intake of Triphala can cause some side effects like diarrhea and dehydration.
This article is educational in nature. Benefits of Triphala have not been evaluated by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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by Marla R. Miller