The Benefits of Triphala
Triphala literally means “three fruits.” It is made from equal amounts of three powerful Ayurvedic herbs. These three herbs are called Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki in Sanskrit, the language of Ayurveda and the Vedic classics of ancient India. The botanical names of Triphala’s ingredients in Latin are Amla, Chebulic Myrobalan, and Belleric Myrobalan. The benefits of Triphala are profound.
What are the Benefits of Triphala?
Triphala is Detoxifying
Triphala is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its detoxifying properties.. One of the benefits of Triphala is that it cleanses and tonify the gut. Another benefit of Triphala is that it helps detoxify the liver, intestines and blood. Triphala also helps regulate elimination and the flushing of toxins from the body.
Triphala is Safe for Long Term Use
What I love about Triphala is that its not a laxative, but a stool softener. And it is super high in antioxidents and Vitamin C. So rather than damage the gut like laxatives, like laxatives do, Triphala stregnthens gut function.
Laxatives like Senna, Rhubarb, Aloe, and Cascara Sagarda, are only safe for short term. But Triphala may be used over long periods extending into even years. Why?
Triphala Enhances Digestive Fire and Improves Absorption of Nutrients
One of the main benefits of Triphala is that it enhances the digestive fire, called Agni in Ayurveda. Agni is one of bases for health. It is the root of all transformation and digestion of food and experience. In Chinese Medicine this is called the Spleen Qi’s Hun Hua, the transformation of food into energy, or Qi. It also includes the concept of Ministerial Fire and the Triple burner that we find in acupuncture theory.
Triphala also supports absorption of tnutrients from the foods you eat Because of this Triphal is deeply nourishing for all the seven types of body tissue (dhatus) named in Ayurvedic medicine.
Triphala is a Rejuvenative
Ayurveda has a category of medicinals called Rasayana or Rejuvenatives that are used to promote longevity and radiant health. These are similar to the Chinese Medicine concept of the Jing tonics. One of the benefits of Triphala is that it is in this category.
In fact, Amla fruit, one of the three herbs found in this formula (and also the leading herb in the restorative formula Chavanaprash) is found in Buddhist art in the right hand of the “Medicine Buddha.” Amla has high levels of a very bio-available form of Vitamin C as well.
Who Should Use Triphala?
Triphala is safe for everyone from 2 year olds to seniors. Its excellent for both acute and chronic bowel problems :
- Gas and bloating after meals, during Pre-menstrum
- Irregular bowel movements such as going a day without elimination, or even just going at different times each day.
- Acute/Chronic Constipation: Lack of urge or presence of urge, but with dry, hard, difficult-to-pass stools, or a feeling of incomplete elimination (snakes or rocks!)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Alternating Diarrhea and constipation, with painful intestinal cramps, similar to menstrual cramps in quality, and with bowel movements often urgent, and preceded by feverish sensation or chills.
- Ulcerative Colitis: This needs to be diagnosed by a bio-medicine physician in order to rule out more ominous disorders. This is, however, a serious and life-threatening disorder. Natural Medicine, including Triphala, and other herbals increase the efficacy of any treatment plan. Must be combined with other herbs like Boswellia. I also use the Chinese Medicine formula Perilla and Mentha
- Acne and skin disorders: Especially if there is constipation, Triphala is a starting point for cleansing the liver, blood, and intestines of toxins. This can be taken along with other herbals specific for your skin disorder.
What’s the Best Way to Maximize the Benefits of Triphala?
- Chronic constipation, take 2 to 3 caps one hour before bed. If this is ineffective, take 1 to 2 with meals, up to 9 per day.
- As a rejuvenative, take 1 to 2 capsules with meals.
- For dosha balancing.
Trifal is Tri-doshic, meaning it is balancing for all three doshas. It is also Sattvic, meaning it balances the vital and emotional self.For Vata: Mix with a tsp. honey and take
- Pitta: Mix with a tsp. ghee and take
- Kapha: Mix with 6 oz. of water
- Vata: Mix with a tsp of honey and take
What is Good Quality Triphala?
Good quality Triphala is strong tasting. When you put a little Triphala in your hand and taste it, it should be very sour and astringent, with a faintly sweet, subtly salty, slightly bitter taste.
The Best Brand of Triphala
My favorite Triphala is Ayush brand. They call theirs “Trifal”
Ayush’s herbal products are the best I have found. Ayush is owned by a practicing Ayurvedic physician in Seattle, who is from India. Dr. Sodhi manufactures all his products under traditional methods in modern laboratory settings.
I receive regular independent lab tests demonstrating their products free of heavy metal contamination. Contamination with heavy metals is a big problem with Ayurvedic herbal products. This is due to soil contamination. It could also be due to contamination in the manufacturing process, from vessels containing lead, for example.
I have tried other products and found them to be of less complex flavor, or with no flavor at all.
Finally, Ayush’s herbals are concentrated, so that they are very easily digested with high bio-availability.
Over the last 30 years I have given Triphala to more than a thousand patients. I have used Triphala, acupuncture, and chinese herbal medicine to cure many cases of even lifelong, severe chronic constipation. Give it a try.
copyright eyton j. shalom, l.ac san diego, ca 2016 use with permission