Triphala Benefits

Triphala
Latin Name

Emblica officinalis, Terminalia bellirica, Terminalia chebula

Also Known As

Triphala churna

Origin

India

Parts Used

Fruits without the seeds

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

One of the most revered remedies in Ayurvedic healing, Triphala is an ancient herbal blend that has been used for thousands of years to support overall vibrant health.

Literally meaning “three fruits”, Triphala is an exotic blend of Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. It is considered effective for all of the “dosha” constitutions and has been traditionally used to support digestion, to assist in natural cleansing, to maintain bowel regularity and to nourish and rejuvenate the tissues.

It is also deemed highly important in balancing the three doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Triphala contains the following tastes: sour, pungent, bitter, astringent and sweet. According to Ayurveda, you must try to get a steady supply of all the unique tastes to nourish different aspects of the body. It is recommended to take half a teaspoon of Triphala at night and with each dose you will experience a different taste. The theory is that whatever you taste within Triphala is missing from your diet and you can use this information to create better meal plans, incorporating these missing tastes to bring more harmony to the body.

The far reaching actions of Triphala are greater than the sum of its parts, however the three fruit powders are as follows:-

Amalaki

Of the three fruits Amalaki is probably the most studied by modern science. It is a fantastic source of vitamin C (around 500mg per 100g) and anti-oxidants. It has also been shown to regulate the immune response.

Bibhitaki

Traditionally used for cleansing the blood and reducing inflammation, it contains high quantities of tannins and aromatic oils as well as anti-oxidants.

Haritaki

A close relative of Bibhitaki, Haritaki appears in ancient Ayurvedic texts where is is said to be more beneficial to mankind than a mother is to a child. A mother may get angry with her children, but "Haritaki never hurts those who eat it." Unfortunately, there are few scientific studies on its medicinal properties, however this fruit contains antioxidants and water based preparations, shown to be an effective in an anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Triphala Benefits

Digestive Health

Used since ancient times as a remedy for digestive complaints and to promote optimum digestive health, Triphala helps to reduce inflammation in the intestines and repair intestinal damage.

Each of the three individual fruits of the blend have specific actions on the digestive system. Amalaki supports the overall digestive process, bibhitaki promotes absorption and haritaki aids in the elimination process. This synergistic effect exerts a powerful action on the digestive system, helping to create a healthy environment that allows the body to extract higher levels of important nutrients from food.

Triphala has also been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. According to research published in the “Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine”, polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome, thereby promoting the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus whilst inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes.

Other Triphala research has found it to be effective for appetite stimulation, reduction of hyperacidity, anti-inflammatory and laxative.

Healthy Weight Loss

Triphala aids in the production of the hormone cholecystokinin – a compound that signals to the brain that the stomach is full.

In a 12 week study of obese subjects from ages 16 to 60, it was found that significant weight loss was achieved after daily supplementation of 5 grams of Triphala. There was also a significant decrease in the waist and hip circumference of the subjects in the Triphala group.

Oral Health

Triphala has been used in India for centuries as a mouthwash, used to prevent and treat gingivitis (gum disease) and to keep the mouth and teeth healthy and clean.

A common prescription medicine for gingivitis is Chlorhexidine – a strong anti-microbial solution that has many side effects including tongue swelling, decreased taste, increased tartar, tooth and tongue staining, mouth sores and an increased risk of gingivitis. Ironically, it can actually contribute to the progression of gum disease rather than resolve it!

A 2017 study published in the “Indian Journal of Dental Research” found that a Triphala extract mouthwash was as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation with no reported side effects.

Immune System

Triphala is extremely rich in antioxidants that support a healthy immune response. It boosts the immune system by increasing the release of neutrophils and killer T cell to where they are needed in an immune event.

If the immune system is overactive, Triphala supports immunosuppression by slowing down lymphocyte proliferation, cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity.

This ability to up-regulate or down-regulate the immune system makes Triphala a powerful adaptogen and immunomodulator.

Typical Use

Organic Triphala Powder

Can be added to boiling water before use, the amount to use varies depending on application.

Suggested Serving: 1 – 2 teaspoons once a week progressing to 1 – 2 teaspoons every evening or the equivalent amounts split into 3 servings per day.

Folklore and History

Triphala's oldest historical reference is to be found in the Sushrut Samhitas, which originate from about 1500 BC.

Then, in the first century AD, it was mentioned by a famous Ayurvedic physician to the King of the Kushan Empire (modern day Kashmir) called Charka. Charka prepared Triphala for the King who, as a result, lived to the ripe old age of 100. Indeed other references from this time indicate that Triphala was at that time a household name.

Triphala
Precautions

In large doses or if your body is not used to it Triphala can cause flatulence and or loose stools.