One of the most well-known and popular Ayurvedic blends, triphala is favoured for its rejuvenating and detoxifying properties. Whether you are looking to boost the digestive system, support the natural internal cleansing process, or stimulate healthy weight loss, triphala is an effective formula. It is a potent antioxidant and contains numerous benefits for all three dosha types.
What is Triphala?
In Sanskrit, triphala means “three fruits.” It is comprised of a blend of amalaki (emblika officinalis), bibhitaki (terminalia belerica), and haritaki (terminalia chebula). While each of these fruits can be taken individually for their own unique medicinal potency, the mixture of these three fruits is very widely used and highly regarded within Ayurveda. Amalaki is best known for strengthening the liver and immune system. Bibhitaki is particularly beneficial for the respiratory system, and when taken on it’s own it is known as a lung rasayana (rejuvenative). Haritaki is found in almost all ayurvedic blends aimed at detoxifying or weight loss. It is described as being able to “scrape” toxins from the body. When combined, these three herbs create a super blend that has numerous potent healing qualities. Triphala is most commonly used to aid the digestive process and support healthy bowel movements. It is sometimes referred to as the “bowel tonic” of ayurveda. Triphala is an adaptogen, meaning it has the capacity to root out areas of stress and respond accordingly. It’s adaptogenic and tridoshic nature makes triphala a very well-rounded healing formula suitable for a broad spectrum of needs and symptoms.
- Supports the digestive system
- Stimulates agni (the digestive fire), improving metabolism
- Assists gentle detoxification
- Aids nutrient absorption
- Cleanses the colon and digestive tract
- Stimulates healthy bowel movements
- Maintains regularity
- A naturally rich source of antioxidants
- Encourages the proper functioning of the respiratory, reproductive, urinary, and cardiovascular systems
- Nourishes the nervous system
- Supports liver health and the immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Aids weight loss
- Lowers cholesterol
When to Take Triphala
Triphala can be used as a supplement to promote general wellbeing, particularly for those who need a little bit of digestive support. Triphala can also be taken as part of a detoxification program or cleanse.
How to Use It
Traditionally triphala is consumed in tea form. According to Ayurveda, the taste of herbs stimulates the digestive system and prepares the other bodily systems for what is to come. By drinking herbs in tea form, the taste itself plays a significant role in the healing process. Triphala tea is prepared by stirring ½ teaspoon of triphala powder into a cup of hot (but not boiling) water. It is bitter and astringent in taste — two of the flavours most lacking in our Western diet. For this reason, many people find its taste to be unpleasant at first. However, as the system becomes more balanced the palate will grow accustomed to the strong taste. Triphala tea is usually taken on an empty stomach either at night just before bed or in the morning upon first waking up. Triphala is also commonly found as a tablet. This tends to be the prefered method of taking triphala, both for convenience and to avoid any unpleasant taste. Some brands also produce a triphala liquid extract to be mixed into water and consumed two or three times per day. The benefits of a liquid extract are quick assimilation and a long shelf life.
If you are pregnant or nursing, triphala is not advised. Other contraindications include diarrhea or dysentery. Whilst there are no known drug interactions with triphala or its component parts, doctors urge caution for those taking any blood thinning medication. When considering any herbal addition to your regimen, it is important to do your research. If you are currently taking any medications or have specific health concerns to take into account, it is best to check with your doctor or personal healthcare practitioner before implementing a new medicine.