Triphala : An Ayurvedic Panacea

triphala2

Triphala is the most popular ayurvedic formula in the world, and worth checking out for those interested in yoga, meditation, natural medicine or vegetarianism.

It is a safe and unique compound made of three fruits (tri = three; phala = fruits) that acts to cleanse the liver, blood, colon and digestive system. It is also very high in Vitamin C.

Triphala is probably best (and safest) herbal remedy for those suffering from bowel irregularity. Due to its high nutritional value, it gently cleanses and detoxifies at the deepest organic levels without depleting or weakening the body. It is non-habit forming and actually strengthens and tones the colon.

In India, the common expression about this formula is : “No Mama? Triphala!” (referring to the formula’s ability to take care of your whole body, as a mother would.)

Benefits of Triphala:

  • Assists in gentle and natural internal cleansing
  • Maintains the balance of the three doshas
  • Improves digestion and the assimilation of nutrients
  • Effective blood purifier; improves liver function
  • Gently maintains bowel regularity
  • Improves circulation; reduces acne or skin erruptions
  • Nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues of the body
  • Reduces excess body weight
  • Reduces high blood pressure ; lowers serum cholesterol
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral
  • Boosts immune system and fights infections
  • Natural anti-oxidant

The three fruits of Triphala (HaradaAmla and Bihara) each correspond to the “three doshas” or “three constitutions” of ayurveda:

  • Amla (acts on pitta dosha): cooling tonic, astringent, mildly laxative, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, alterative, antipyretic. Used to treat ulcers, inflammation of the stomach and intestines, constipation, diarrhea, liver congestion, skin eruptions, infections and burning sensations. 
  • Bibitaki (acts on Kapha dosha): astringent, tonic, digestive and anti-spasmodic. Purifies and balances excess mucus in the lungs, allergies and hiccoughs.
  • Haritaki (acts on vata dosha, or all 3 doshas) : laxative, astringent, lubricant, antiparasitical, alterative, antispasmodic and nervine properties. Regarded as the most sacred herb of the Himalayas. Feeds the brain and nerves and imparts the energy of pure awareness. Removes toxins and helps remove excess weight, promotes voice and vision. Used to treat constipation, nervousness, anxiety and feelings of physical heaviness.

amla

Contra-Indications

Do not take triphala in the case of pregnancy, diarrhea or dysentery. Generally, it should not be taken by breast-feeding women. There are no known drug interactions with the herbs that make up Triphala, although some studies do report findings that would advise caution in people taking blood-thinning medicines.

How to Take Triphala

  • BY TABLET : Triphala tablets are the most convenient (although slightly more expensive) way to take triphala. Take 2-3 tablets 1-3 times a day. This is the most convenient way, but it does not have the healing benefits of taste.
  • BY SPOONFUL: Before bed, place 1 teaspoon of triphala powder on the back of your tongue and chase with a cup of warm water, 1-2 hours after a meal. Alternatively, you can stir the powder into the warm water and drink.
  • INFUSION: Stir one teaspoon of triphala powder into a large glass of water. Leave out overnight and drink first thing in the morning, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the glass. Refill the glass with water and stir again. In the evening before bed, drink the entire glass of water, leaving the sediment at the bottom. Rise the cup and refill for the following morning.

 

  • AS A JAM: Mix 1 tsp of triphala powder with 1 tbsp of ghee and 1 tbsp of raw honey. Take with warm water. Best for vata dosha. Or, you can combine 1/2 a teaspoon of triphala with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Eat with a spoon and chase with a cup of warm water.
  • For a laxative effect, a larger dose can be taken with warm water (ie. 2-3 teaspoons before bed).
  • Taking triphala on an empty stomach can cause nausea.

 

Where to Buy

Triphala powder is widely available at health food stores, as well as through Satya Spices and Banyan Botanicals.

 

References

Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A,, N.D.

Banyan Botanicals : Certified Organic Triphala : A Balancing Formula for Detoxification and Rejuvenation

The Yoga of Herbs, Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad

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