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What is Triphala?

Jan 11, 2018
What is Triphala?

Triphala is an old but still relevant Ayurvedic herbal formulation. It consists of three fruits grown in the Indian subcontinent. It is noted to promote internal cleansing, nourish and rejuvenate the tissue and support healthy digestion. It is also considered a natural antioxidant.

Three ingredients

Triphala consists of these three fruits:

1. Amalaki/Amla
Coming from the deciduous tree Phyllanthus emblica, Amalaki or amla is also referred to as the Indian gooseberry. It is known to be an excellent source of antioxidants. It has also been linked to the development of healthy bones, lowering of bad cholesterol, and supporting the healthy function of the pancreas.

2. Bibhitaki
The fruit of the Terminalia bellirica tree widely grown in Southeast Asia, it is known to promote healthy bones and muscles. The pulp of the fruit is said to be astringent and laxative, and often prescribed by Hindu physicians for throat and chest infections.

3. Haritaki
This fruit comes from the Terminalia plant that is native in Asia, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Also known as myrobalan, it is said to promote good health particularly improved digestion.

Health benefits of triphala

1. Improves digestion.
Perhaps the most often-cited health benefit of triphala pertains to its ability to improve digestion. Triphala is considered as a laxative and can thus stimulate bowel movements. People who are having bowel movement issues and digestive problems may take a tablespoon of triphala before going to bed. This can help in cleansing the stomach, relieving flatulence and ensuring clearer and more regular bowel movements.

It is also recommended for people who have constipation. Drinking a glass full of warm water mixed with two teaspoons of triphala powder a night can relieve constipation.

2. Detoxifying the body.
Another benefit of taking triphala is that it can detoxify the body. It can cleanse the colon and liver, purify the blood and nourish the muscles. It can also make one’s skin glow.

To detoxify the body with triphala, simply mix two teaspoons of triphala powder in a glass of water and add a teaspoon of crushed ginger. Allow the concoction to stand for eight hours before straining it and adding a dash of lemon. This homemade detoxifier is now ready for consumption.

3. Lowers cholesterol.
One study that was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Society of Japan indicated that triphala can lower the bad cholesterol in animal subjects.

Other health benefits of triphala are natural arthritic pain relief and weight loss.

How to use Triphala

In India, triphala is commonly ingested as a tea. Ayurveda practitioners believe that tasting is an essential part of the healing process, so making triphala tea is the best way to fully taste the herb.

To make tripahala tea, add half teaspoon of triphala powder to a cup of hot water. Stir this well and let the tea to cool before drinking.

Triphala contains five tastes recognized in Ayurveda--- astringent, bitter, pungent, sour and sweet. It doesn’t have the salty taste. Since the Western diet lacks bitter and astringent taste, it is common for people who are used to the said diet to find the triphala tea to be unpleasant.

But eventually, the taste will evolve to the point that some people may find the tea to be sweet.

Triphala is often taken on an empty stomach, usually in the evening before heading bed. It is also a common practice to drink triphala tea first thing in the morning.

Aside from triphala tea, triphala is also available in tablet and liquid extract forms. A common dosage is two tablets before bed or early in the morning. This is a convenient method for people who are always on the go or can’t take the taste of triphala tea.

Another convenient way of taking tripahala is through liquid extract. It is easy to assimilate too, aside from having a long shelf life. Ayurvedic practitioners typically recommend adding a few drops of triphala to 1 to 2 ounces of water or juice and to be taken 1-3 times a day.

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