Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic remedy that has a good number of adherents who vouch for its gentle way of providing countless health benefits and curing various disease conditions. With the Ayurveda way of life spreading far and wide, it is no wonder that almost everyone knows of Ayurvedic remedies like ashwagandha churna, shatavari churna, asokarishta, chyavanprash, and Triphala to name a few. Not many in the west knew of these a few decades ago. While the exorbitant cost of conventional treatment and the adverse side effects of the conventional drugs forced everyone to look for an alternative, the rapid increase in the number of people affected by chronic lifestyle diseases and the ineffective treatment rendered by the conventional system was yet another reason that intensified this search.
It was the effectiveness of Ayurvedic system in treating some of the lifestyle diseases that led to the rapid proliferation of this old medicinal system the world over. Its time tested remedies have been effective in curing a number of so called ‘incurable’ diseases. Naturally, some Ayurveda formulations have become household names. Triphala is one such time tested remedy.
What is Triphala?
|Constituents of Triphala|
Indian Gooseberry (Amalaki)
This fruit is cultivated throughout India. It is found in home gardens as well as grown commercially in a large scale. It is well known for its Vitamin C content and can be used as a Vitamin C supplement. It is used medicinally for treating anemia, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, jaundice, weak memory to name a few.
Terminalia Chebula (Haritaki)
An important constituent in a number of Ayurvedic formulations, Terminalia Chebula (Haritaki) is used in treating asthma, vomiting, biliousness, bleeding piles, bladder diseases, heart conditions etc. It is an excellent laxative. It is also used in treating dysentery and diarrhea.
Terminalia Bellerica (Bibhitaki)
This fruit is found in deciduous forests of India and Burma. The bark of the tree is used in treating asthma and vitiligo. It is useful in treating bronchitis, sore throat and diseases of urinary bladder. The powder of this herb helps arrest bleeding. The oil made using this herb helps luscious hair growth.
What is Triphala Churna?
The powder obtained on crushing the dry fruits and mixing them in required proportions is called Triphala Powder or ‘Triphala Churna’. The usual proportion of ingredients is 1:1:1. The three fruits are dried and finely powdered and then mixed in equal proportion by weight. This is the general Triphala formulation available in the market.
Health Benefits of Triphala
- Used as a mild and gentle laxative for chronic constipation.
- Rich in anti-oxidants, relieves oxidative pressure.
- Gently detoxifies the body and restores the efficacy of the digestive tract.
- Aids digestion
- Cures sore throat.
- Improves immunity.
- Improves eyesight.
- Helps proper assimilation of food.
- Improves liver function.
- Relieves arthritic pain and reduces inflammation in the joints.
- Helps lose weight
- Helps keep diabetes in check
- Helps fight cancer
- Takes care of allergies
- Helps hair growth
- Eliminates dandruff.
- Brings down excessive cholesterol to normal levels.
- Nourishes skin
- Clears dark circles around eyes
- Improves hair color
- Clears acne
With such a wide range of medicinal property in its possession, it is no wonder Triphala is used extensively in Ayurveda for treating various disease conditions. Now we will see briefly the medicinal benefits of Triphala powder.
It is the non habit forming and non addictive nature of Triphala that has endeared most of its enthusiasts. Most would have encountered the remedy the first time as a solution for their constipation. The first choice of an Ayurvedic physician for constipation is Triphala unless the disease conditions suggest otherwise. Triphala activates the secretion of the digestive juices in stomach. It also stimulates the peristaltic movement of the large intestines, thus relieving constipation and cleansing the colon.
For chronic conditions a dose of this powerful remedy (3-5 gm) is taken and mixed in warm water and taken three times a day. A smaller dose (2-3gm) is recommended as a preventative in case there is a tendency to constipate often. This dosage relieves constipation and eases bowel movement.
aids Weight Loss
|Triphala for Weight Loss|
Triphala stimulates liver and improves the ability to get rid of toxins from our body. Triphala’s action as a colon cleanser helps weight loss as a healthy colon gets rid of waste in an efficient manner. Also Triphala helps in proper assimilation of food as well as elimination of waste matter. It also fights chronic inflammation usually observed in obese people, thus helping the body to get back into fat burning mode. Being a laxative and cleanser, it expels toxin and excess water resulting in a quick and safe weight loss.
Triphala for Cancer
Triphala is found to stop the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Triphala is an excellent scavenger of free radicals and has radio protective properties. This leads to a sort of cancer cell death (cytotoxicity of cancer cells). Further studies on the efficacy of Triphala in combating various types of cancer are ongoing in India and other countries. Breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic and blood cancer respond very well to Triphala.
|Triphala for Skin Care|
Triphala for Skin care
It is well known fact that accumulation of toxins over a period of time impedes the normal functioning of various organs and also manifests as skin eruptions, boils and other skin diseases. With Triphala being a gentle laxative and excellent detoxifier, it is only reasonable to expect regular intake of Triphala to benefit the skin. Triphala can also be applied externally to remove skin blemishes. It adds glow and vitality to the skin.
Indian gooseberry (amlaki) is rich in Vitamin C. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help the skin regain its lost vitality. Chebulic myrobalan (haritaki) is a well-known laxative that keeps constipation at bay. It eases bowel movement and increases frequency of stools. It also clears fungal infection of the skin. Terminalia bellerica (bibhitaki) is a well known purgative. It promotes hair growth and cures premature greying. It improves immunity and promotes good health.
Triphala for Eyes
Eyesight diminishes with age, due to certain diseases like diabetes, or due to decreasing immunity. Triphala improves immunity and Triphala decoction cooled and strained can be used as eyewash to take care of various conditions like red eyes, conjunctivitis, glaucoma etc.
How to take Triphala?
This wonder remedy was taken in powder form since it came into existence. The taste of the powder is not easily palatable and hence with widespread usage, more easily palatable forms like tablet, capsule and syrup were introduced.
Triphala powder is called Triphala churna. This can be taken once a day, either in the morning or at night. Ideal dosage would be 1-2 teaspoonfuls per day. Mix the powder in hot water and allow it to room temperature. Drink the remedy warm. For best results it is advised to take the powder well in advance of breakfast or dinner, say 30-45 minutes.
Triphala tablets offer the same benefits as the powder sans the difficult taste and reach the stomach more easily. Two tablets make a spoonful of Triphala powder. It is not advised to take Triphala in any form when suffering from diarrhea.
A completely harmless and easy to use alternative to the churna and tablet/capsule is the Triphala juice. Triphala juice can be prepared using 8 ounces of warm water. A lemon is squeezed to this water and a tablespoon of honey is also added. Now one tablespoon of Triphala powder is added to this water and mixed thoroughly. Triphala juice is ready for consumption. Taking Triphala in this form aids weight loss.
When Triphala powder is added to hot coconut or sesame oil and then allowed to cool to room temperature the ensuing oil is called Triphala oil. This oil has excellent wound healing properties. The oil can be applied on non-healing chronic ulcers. Regular application helps heal the ulcers. This oil can also be used to take care of skin blemishes, rashes and other conditions.
Side effects of Triphala
Most of the side effects occur due to a prolonged excessive dosage of Triphala. Although Triphala is safe for consumption, care should be taken when taken along with conventional medications as this can cause undesirable effects. Hence it is advised that you consult with your physician before taking this remedy.
Ayurveda physicians recommend pregnant women to not take Triphala. Also Triphala should not be taken when suffering from diarrhea. In some rare cases Triphala can cause allergic reactions like breathing obstruction, itching and rashes on skin, swelling of throat etc. Some may experience insomnia and find it difficult to fall asleep in the initial phase which can gradually fade away with regular usage. In case of experiencing any mild discomfort, it is advised to stop taking the medicament and start again after a few days at a lower dose.
The health benefits of taking Triphala is huge and the side effects if any can be totally eliminated with a judicious adjustment of the dosage. An Ayurvedic expert can guide you in the right direction.
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