Triphala is a Sanskrit word that means three fruits, triphala is a combination of 3 fruits from three trees, Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Vibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica), Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), It is the most popular Ayurvedic herbal formula of India.
Definition of each triphala’s fruits
Amalaki (emblica officinalis): Known as Indian gooseberry or amla, is considered one of the best rejuvenating herbs inAyurveda. It’s a strong natural antioxidant containing 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice. In India, amalaki is known as the “nurse herb” because it strengthens the immune system and cools the body, balancing the Pitta dosha.
Haritaki (terminalia chebula) has the strongest laxative powers of the three fruits contained in triphala. In Tibet, haritaki is so highly revered that in their sacred paintings, it’s often depicted in the extended palm of the medicine Buddha. The herb also has astringent properties and balances Vata.
Bibhitaki (terminalia belerica) is an excellent rejuvenative with both laxative and astringent properties. It eliminates excess mucous in the body, balancing the Kapha dosha. In addition, bibhitaki is a powerful treatment for a variety of lung conditions, including bronchitis and asthma.
Study of Triphala
Studies performed since 2000 suggest that Triphala may be antioxidant, antimutagenic, antineoplastic, chemoprotective, radioprotective, and chemopreventive. Furthermore, a recent report reviews the evidence of Triphala for treating and preventing cancer.
Triphala’s historical use as a digestive cleanser has been backed up with numerous modern scientific studies.
Triphala churna (powder) is a mild laxative, which cleanses and tonifies the gastro-intestinal tract.Triphala is known as a cleaning agent, including a blood cleanser. Because of its high vitamin content, Triphala is often used as a food supplement like vitamins are in Western countries. In fact, the benefits of this herb are so well known that a well known Indian saying goes like this: “You do not have a mother? Don’t worry, as long as you have Triphala in your life!”. In recent years, a number of research studies have found new uses for this herb, including treatment for various forms of cancer. It is also found to have high antioxidant qualities, and is even useful for treatment against noise and stress induced conditions
Because of its high nutritional content, Ayurvedic doctors generally do not regard Triphala as a mere laxative. Some of the scientific research and practical experience of people who have used it down through the ages has demonstrated that Triphala is an effective blood purifier that 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, it is regarded as a kind of universal panacea and is the most commonly prescribed herbal formula.
The Benefits of Triphala
Has been found to act as a complete body cleanser. Not only does Triphala help to detoxify and cleanse the colon, it also purifies the blood and removes toxins from the liver. Other cleansing benefits of Triphala include reducing some forms of cholesterol (serum cholesterol), and reduces high blood pressure.
The plant’s popularity in India stems from the vegetarian diet of much of this country’s population, requiring a laxative that does not counteract with the diet of these people. Triphala is categorized as a purgative form of laxative, i.e. an herb type of intestinal stimulant that works similar to Senna and Rhubarb. Purgative preparations are often needed by people who have certain degrees of liver and gall bladder congestion. As Triphala is known as a cleaning agent, including a blood cleanser, the herb is very beneficial for these people. The herb also has a high nutritional value, including high levels of vitamin C.
Triphala, said to contain three different ‘fruits’ is well known in ancient Indian folklore, and is widely used by natural healers experienced in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, which literally translated means ‘long life practice’. The fruits, Harada, Amla, and Bihara, relate to the three sections or ‘humors’ of Indian medicine. Harada, which is bitter tasting, is best known for its laxative qualities as well as being an astringent and antispasmodic. Amla, which is high in Vitamin C (20 times more than citrus fruit) is sour tasting and is considered good for inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Because of its high vitamin content, Triphala is often used as a food supplement like vitamins are in Western countries. In fact, the benefits of this herb are so well known that a well known Indian saying goes like this: “You do not have a mother? Don’t worry, as long as you have Triphala in your life!”
General triphala benefits
Triphala for all tridoshic diseases, constipation, diarrhea, eyes cleansing or detoxing the colon, good for Kapha conditions, gas, distantion, diabetes, parasites.
- Feeling pure, light & revitalized
- Removing toxins, accumulations, gas & distention without irritating the colon
- Reducing Fibromyalgia pain
- Nourishing your nervous system, blood & muscle
- Improving Adrenal function
- Nourishing the bones, nervous system, & reproductive organs
- Strengthening immune system
- Eliminating excess mucous
- Astringent properties
- Reducing noise & stress induced conditions
- Laxative properties
- Potent healing properties
- Fighting Scabies
- Being a great rejuvenator & antioxidant
- Increasing digestion, assimilation & reduce fat
- Helping a variety of lung conditions, including bronchitis & asthma
- Improves digestion
- Reduces serum cholesterol
- Improves circulation (potentiates adrenergic function)
- Contains 31% linoleic acid
- Exerts a marked cardio-protective effect
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Improves liver function
- Has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
- Expectorant, hypotensive
Triphala benefits of each fruits
Amalaki or Amla (Emblica Officinalis)
- Is a fruit rich in vitamin C that builds immunity and an effective antioxidant that removes harmful toxins from the body.
- Amla helps to strengthen and nourish the lungs and the respiratory tract by removing mucus. Vitamin C in Amla helps to maintain good reproductive health in both males and females, in whom it further helps to regulate menstrual cycles.
- Amla induces iron that aids blood circulation and maintains proper functioning of the heart.
- Its detox function helps in the formation of fresh tissues leading to a glowing skin.
Vibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica)
- Vibhitaki acts as a blood purifier and curbs haemorrhage
- It is an internal cleanser removing harmful toxins and excess fats out of the body
- Its anti-viral and anti-bacterial abilities nurtures voice quality and improves eyesight
- Hair roots are strengthened and it enriches hair colour.
Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)
- Haritaki has five rasas, or tastes, being sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent
- It stimulates the functioning of the digestive system and sensory organs
- It is an effective in combating piles, anaemia, gastro-intestinal problems and gall stones
Triphala Side Effects:
Precautions: Not recommended for acute diarrhea or during pregnancy. Very underweight persons should avoid using this product as it will decrease weight.
Some potential triphala side effects include diarrhea or an increased amount of gastrointestinal gas. In some cases, a person may have difficulty sleeping after taking the medicine. The severity of these side effects depends on the dosage taken.
A high dosage of triphala may induce several unwanted side effects. Diarrhea is the most common, if the supplement is taken in a large quantity. This is also more common among first time users. If the dose is repeated, then this may lead to continuous diarrhea over a period of time, so it’s important for triphala to be taken at the recommended doses.
A lower dose can still produce side effects, although this is often just an increased amount of gas in the intestines. It can still cause diarrhea, however. For this reason, triphala is a nutritional supplement that should be avoided by pregnant women.
An example of one of the several indirect triphala side effects is that it can cause dehydration due to diarrhea. A person suffering from diarrhea will lose a lot of fluid very quickly and is at risk of becoming dehydrated. The person will feel very weak and should drink more fluids as soon as possible, since dehydration can be a dangerous problem.
Another indirect side effect is damage to the colon muscles. Again, this is due to the diarrhea that a large dosage can induce. If this occurs over a prolonged period of time, then it can put excess strain on the muscles in the colon, which can cause problems. Although this is a rare side effect, it is still one to be aware of. Usually, as long as the stated dosage is adhered to, then the most severe effects won’t occur, although this varies between different people.
Triphala is reported to have a number of health benefits, such as an increased level of digestion and appetite, as well as being an effective detoxification substance. Research has shown that it does indeed have health benefits when it comes to detoxification. There is also some evidence that the substance may work as an anti-cancer chemical to some extent.
The traditional way of ingesting triphala is as a tea. This method allows one to taste the herb fully, and taste is considered by Ayurveda to be an important part of the healing process. Taste starts the digestive process, and sends signals to the body as to what to expect, already initiating your body’s own inner pharmacy. To take triphala as a tea, make a decoction by adding ½ teaspoon of triphala powder to a cup of hot water. Stir and allow the tea to cool and drink. Triphala contains five of the six tastes recognized in Ayurveda (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent), only missing the salty taste. Perhaps because the Western diet is so lacking in bitter and astringent, these are the two most prominent tastes for most people, which can make drinking the tea somewhat unpleasant initially. Over time, as the system becomes more balanced, it is not uncommon for the taste one perceives to evolve into a sweet experience. Triphala is usually taken on an empty stomach, most commonly in the evening before bed. Some prefer to take it first thing in the morning, especially if taking it at bedtime makes one urinate at night.
A common amount to take would be two tablets (1000 mgs) before bed or upon rising in the morning. This can be a more convenient method, especially for those that travel a lot, have a shortage of time, or do not like the taste of Triphala tea. Many Ayurvedic practitioners prefer to give their patients tablets over capsules as there is still some mild tasting of the herb that occurs, sending signals to the digestive system, as explained above in the Triphala Tea section.
How to store Triphala powder?
Keep your Triphala powder in a cool, dark, dry place.
When does Triphala expires ?
The expiration date must be printed on the bottle, depending where and how you store it can last up to 2 years.
Triphala is most commonly purchased as a powder or as a tablet. The advantage of buying it in bulk is that it is significantly cheaper on a per use basis and it allows one to take the herbs in the most traditional way – as a tea. Tablets are considered by many to be a quicker, more convenient method of taking the herbs along with providing the option of not having to taste the herbs. Many Ayurvedic practitioners feel that their clients are more likely to take the herbs if they are provided in tablet form.
When choosing a supplier of Triphala there are a variety of questions to consider relating to quality of the herbs, the values of the company and the price you pay.
Is the supplier able to trace the herbs back to the field they were grown in?
Traceability of the herbs from field to shelf allows the supplier to know where and how the herbs were grown and when they were harvested.
Are the fruits grown in optimal locations?
Location does play a role in quality. Like the grapes in wine, herbs tend to vary in quality and taste depending on the conditions they are grown in. Banyan sources our triphala ingredients from areas where the fruit trees thrive naturally.
Are the fruits sustainably harvested?
The three fruits that combine to make Triphala grow on large trees and are relatively abundant in many parts of India. Where and how the fruits are harvested makes a big difference in sustainability. They can be harvested on private farms where sustainability can be managed, or they may be wild-harvested from the forest legally, and sometimes they are taken illegally, threatening long-term sustainability. To ensure sustainability, Banyan sources amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki that have been cultivated on privately owned farms.
Are the farmers looked after for their labor?
Harvesting and processing the fruits in triphala is labor intensive. It includes the picking of the fruits by highly skilled tree climbers, washing, drying and removing the pits. Banyan strongly believes in maintaining socially responsible relationships with our farmers.
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