Triphala

A short discussion about Triphala:

Triphala

Often, when someone has an interest in, or a need to do some internal housecleaning I recommend considering a course of Triphala.

This is very good insurance. And there’s no telling what might improve physically, mentally, emotionally, Etc. with the intelligent use of this curative/health building/wellness maintaining therapeutic effort.

Triphala is an indispensable botanical gift from the Ayurvedic tradition of East India. Ayurveda is world’s oldest, still fully intact system of healthful living and healing.

Triphala literally means ‘three fruits’ (tri = three, phala = fruits). It is a mixture composed of the three essential myrobalans. They are:

Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Properties


The properties of the Triphala are functions of the properties of its individual botanicals. The primary properties are:

1. Amalaki, i.e. the Indian gooseberry, is among the richest sources of vitamin C in the world. It is a light green fruit with a sour taste due to its acidic content. The fruit is cooling and refreshing. It also has laxative and purgative properties. Since it has good amount of vitamin C, amalaki hastens blood clotting and heals wounds. In some cases, amalaki has been used to renew lost sexual vigor in men and women with success. Amalaki (Amla) is a true and primary Rasayana (See Rasayana).

2. Bibhitaki is a bitter herb, also popularly known as behra. Like amalaki, it also has beneficial effects in healing of wounds. It is a tonic and a laxative. It can reduce fevers, and hence it is an antipyretic.

3. Haritaki is one of the mildest and safest laxatives used in Ayurvedic medicine. It prevents blood clotting. Haritaki is a stomachic; it improves the functioning of the stomach and facilitates digestion. Haritaki is used to improve all nutritional imbalances in the system, and looks after the entire digestive, absorptive, assimilative and excretory process.

Hence, Triphala which is made up of these three valuable components is a mainstay in Ayurveda. As time and research moves on, more and more scientifically verifiable health promoting properties are exposed. The roll of Triphala in stopping and preventing the growth of cancerous cells in the body is being studied in greater detail. This is just one of many examples.

The following are the general properties of Triphala:

Anti-inflammatory properties.

Regulates (Modulates) the functioning of the cardiovascular system and the liver.

Has excellent, beneficial effect on the digestive system.

Has safe and appropriate laxative properties. Actually ‘Tonifies’ the colon

Can reduce, and may ‘de-oxidize’ the cholesterol that is accumulated in the blood.

Is an expectorant.

Triphala accelerates the healing process.

With extended use, Triphala provides a safe and very complete, thorough (And appropriate) detoxification of the body [being].

By way of all of its primary functional properties Triphala acts as a ‘harmonizer’, tonic and rejuvenative.

Triphala Uses
Triphala is vastly considered as one of the most important medicines Ayurveda has ever provided to the world. The following are some of the uses for which Triphala is today clinically acclaimed:

Digestive / Elimination Problems
All the three constituents of the Triphala have laxative properties. Triphala can stimulate the mucosal lining of the gastric and the intestinal tract, and hence enhance good digestion. Triphala is certainly prescribed to people having constipation problems. By regular use of Triphala for a few days, the toxins within the intestinal tract are flushed out… Then, treatment should usually be continued for some time. Triphala is also prescribed for tonifying (i.e. regulating) the functioning of the stomach and the colon. Triphala is prescribed as an essential medicine for the elderly who are prone to have more digestive problems than the younger people. Triphala is a non-habit forming food/medicine, and it has no known side-effects even after prolonged use.

Flatulence

Triphala may be used in cases of “nasty-gas” whether fleeting or chronic. Triphala is prescribed to people who have excess acidity in their stomachs. A regular use of the Triphala helps to dissolve all the toxic acids in the stomach. This helps in the treatment of flatulence.

Gout

Due in part, to its anti-inflammatory properties, Triphala is used in the treatment of gout and other joint problems. Gout is formed when excess uric acid gets stuck (Deposits) in the joints of the bones. This is removed by Triphala, then is expelled through urination. Therefore, the conditions of gout are brought to a minimum.

Liver Disorders
Triphala helps in the proper functioning of the liver and the pancreas. It regulates the bile duct and treats sluggishness of the liver. Triphala is a support to the liver in performing most of its physiological functions. It is a common medicine prescribed to patients of hepatitis.

Nervous Disorders
Triphala is prescribed in nervous problems including Alzheimer’s due to its cooling and toning properties. It can repair the degenerated nerves and bring the nervous system back to a normal state of functioning.

Obesity / Diabetes
Amalaki (A Major Rasayana) is especially known to disintegrate the fatty and “Dead Cell’ accumulation in the body. Thus, Triphala can reduce the excess weight in obese people. In addition, regular use of the Triphala can also heal several of the complications of obesity. Since Triphala can dissolve the serum cholesterol, it decreases the chances of cardiovascular problems. The acrid and bitter components of Triphala are also effective in the treatment and control of diabetes mellitus, to which obese people are particularly prone, and everyone eating the SAD (Standard American [western] Diet) is automatically “self-producing.

Ocular Problems
Triphala has beneficial effects in the treatment of eye infections like conjunctivitis and visual problems like cataract and glaucoma. Triphala is also prescribed to treat eye problems such as fatigue, redness and soreness of the eyes and VDT (Computer) eyes. It is used as eyewash in these cases. Triphala should generally be used internally as well, when using topically.

Acne and various skin conditions. Obviously most skin issues come from within, where Triphala is doing its thing.

Poly-functional
Triphala may be considered in almost any situation where balance-of-health is lacking, especially if any dysfunction of digestive, and/or eliminative abilities are present.

Precautions

Triphala does not have any major side-effects. But it may be avoided or used prudently by pregnant woman. People having complaints of diarrhea and dysentery must also restrict the use of Triphala.
Triphala is recommended and used more often than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation. Popular for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the body while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it, Triphala supports the proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory and genitourinary systems.

Triphala is traditionally used for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It is commonly taken for sluggishness, constipation, bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, and indigestion. It acts to gently stoke the digestive fire while removing excess toxins from the intestines. This action helps produce the internal “Clean Burn”, so foundational to overall wellness.

Triphala supports healthy digestion and proper elimination, foundational keys to overall wellness.

Traditionally, and often recommended [by Billy], is the use of Triphala daily, for several months. Used in this way, Triphala will “Loosen-up the junk”, open channels of elimination, first at the superficial levels, eventually working its therapeutic magic all the way down to the cellular level… “To the very marrow of the host”.

*Rasayana

Rasayana, a Sanskrit word (literally meaning: Path (ayana) of the Juice (rasa), or Elixir vitae), is used to describe chemistry and alchemy, and chemistry is generally called Rasayan Shastra in Sanskrit.

Rasayana describes a botanical preparation that promotes a youthful state of physical and mental health and expands happiness. Rasayana herbs have high levels of both safety for daily use and effectiveness. They are given to small children as tonics, and are also taken by the middle-aged and elderly to increase longevity.

Rasayanas affect the body in a general way, i.e . . . . They may affect the immune system rather than specific organs directly. They are nontoxic in normal doses and are amphoteric, in that they won’t over-tonify the body.

Rasayana therapy enriches one with nutrients end energies to help attain longevity, memory, intelligence, health, youthfulness, and excellence of luster, complexion & voice, optimum development of physique and sense organs, mastery over phonetics, respectability and brilliance.

Additional Triphala info:
Triphala (”three fruits”), an herbal (Botanical) compound originating in India, has been found to act as a complete body cleanser. Not only does Triphala help to detoxify and cleanse the colon, it also purifies the blood and removes toxins from the liver. Other cleansing benefits of Triphala include reducing some forms of cholesterol (serum cholesterol), and reducing high blood pressure.

Triphala is categorized by some authorities as a purgative form of laxative, i.e. a plant source type of intestinal stimulant that works similar to Senna and Rhubarb. Triphala however, is a very well-rounded health-adjunct as compared to these. Purgative preparations are often needed by people who have certain degrees of liver and gall bladder congestion. As Triphala is known as a cleaning agent, including a blood cleanser, the herb is very beneficial for these people. The compound also has a high nutritional value, including high levels of vitamin C.
Triphala, “three fruits” is well known in ancient Indian folklore, and is widely used by natural health care practitioners experienced in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, which literally translated means ‘long life practice’. The fruits, Harada, Amla, and Bihara, relate to the three sections or ‘humors’ of Indian medicine. Harada, which is bitter tasting, is best known for its laxative qualities as well as being an astringent and antispasmodic. Amla, which is super high in heat stable Vitamin C (20+ times more than citrus fruit) is sour tasting and is considered good for inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

Because of its high nutrient content, Triphala is often used as a food supplement like vitamins are in Western countries.
In recent years, a number of research studies have found new uses for this compound, including treatment for various forms of cancer. It is also found to have high antioxidant qualities, and is even useful for treatment against noise and stress induced conditions.

Triphala, an ancient botanical blend, is one of the most commonly used herbal remedies in the Ayurvedic system of healing. Ayurvedic medicine originated in ancient India, has developed over thousands of years, and is [one of] the oldest systems of healing. Thus Triphala is one of the longest-used botanical remedies in the world. Triphala, meaning “three fruits,” is made from the fruits of three trees that grow throughout India and the Middle East, including amalaki fruit (Embelica officinalis), bibhitaki fruit (Terminalia belerica), and haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula). In preparing Triphala, these fruits are dried, ground into powder, and then blended together according to the precise guidelines of Ayurvedic tradition.
Amalaki fruit, also called amla or Indian gooseberry, is renowned as one of the best rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is my feeling that Amalaki is among the finest foods produced by Planet Earth! It contains more vitamin C than almost any other fruit, consisting of nearly 3,000 mg of vitamin C per piece. It has been nicknamed the “nurse herb” in India, because of its widespread effectiveness against sickness and its cooling and balancing effects on the body. Haritaki is also considered one of the most useful of Ayurvedic herbs, particularly for its rejuvenating, warming, and balancing effects. Combined with bibhitaki fruit, another tonifying and warming herb, these three compounds are believed to have healing and balancing effects on all three of the principal body types or constitutions (termed doshas) in Ayurvedic medicine. As a balanced formula, Triphala can be effectively used by most people and is prescribed for a variety of health conditions.

General Use
Triphala is taken as a general health tonic, useful for all body types and a variety of conditions. It is commonly prescribed to tone and strengthen the digestive system, particularly in cases of weak digestion and constipation. Triphala is a gentle laxative that can be used daily and is not habit-forming, and has no adverse effects on the intestinal flora (the microorganisms that aid digestion). It is said to improve the function of the stomach and intestines, and is also prescribed for cases of excess stomach acid. Triphala regulates and detoxifies the bowels, improves overall health by increasing the efficiency and absorption of digestion, and reduces gas. It has a balancing effect on the body’s metabolism, and is prescribed to restore (And normalize) appetite. The herbal compound also helps the body to eliminate excess fat, by improving metabolism. Because of its gentle properties, Triphala is recommended as a digestive aid for the elderly and for those with sensitive stomachs.
In addition to restoring the balance of the digestive tract, Triphala is used as a blood builder and purifier, and may increase red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Some healers prescribe it for diabetes, for its balancing effect on blood sugar levels. It also has anti-cholesterol and anti-mucus properties in the body. Triphala is can help strengthen the kidneys and liver, and is prescribed for hepatitis sufferers.
Triphala is a good source of vitamin C and is believed to improve the function of the immune system. The herbs in Triphala have anti-inflammatory properties. The remedy is prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the body, and other inflammatory conditions. Triphala is said to have a calming and tonic effect on the nervous system, and is recommended for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative disorders of the nervous system.

Another use for Triphala is to strengthen the eyes, particularly in cases of cataracts, glaucoma, and conjunctivitis. It can be used as an eyewash and may reduce soreness and redness in the eyes. Triphala can also be applied topically to the skin to speed the healing of bruises and sunburn.

Preparations
Triphala is available as a powder and in tablets and capsules as well. For those who do not like very strong and bitter tastes, tablets or capsules are recommended. Triphala can be taken daily. As a digestive tonic and laxative, it is best taken in the evening, about two hours after eating, and at least 30 minutes before bedtime. No food should be eaten for one and a half hours after ingestion. Tablets and capsules can be swallowed, while the powder can be mixed thoroughly in a small amount of warm water. The powder can also be simmered in water and drunk as a medicinal tea.

Individuals should start with small amounts of Triphala, a quarter-teaspoon of the powder or one tablet, gradually increasing the dosage until finding the optimal dosage. No more than one teaspoon of the powder or four to six tablets or capsules should be taken per day. The dosage should be reduced in cases of stomach upset or diarrhea.

As Triphala is not addictive, it can be taken over long periods of time. It is recommended that every three months, users stop taking it for two to three weeks, to give the body a rest and to maintain the effectiveness of the remedy.

When used as eyewash, one teaspoon of Triphala powder can be added to one cup of boiled and cooled water. The solids should be removed by straining through a dense cloth. The eyewash can be applied to the eyes three times per day. For topical application to the skin, the powder can be mixed with a small amount of water to make an easily applied paste.

Precautions

Triphala is not recommended during pregnancy or nursing, and should not be used with cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
Side Effects
The use of Triphala may increase intestinal gas at first, as a possible by-product of the cleansing and detoxification effects in the digestive tract. Loose stools or diarrhea may indicate too high a dosage (Saturation level), and the amount ingested may be reduced.

Interactions

There are no known interactions between Triphala and standard Western prescription drugs as of 2006.

Triphala is used to promote appetite and digestion, increase the number of red blood cells, and aid in removal of undesirable fat in the body. When dissolved in one’s mouth, Triphala can be used to clear congestion and headaches. Other claimed benefits include helping maintain normal blood sugar levels, as well as improvement in skin tone and color.

A popular folk saying in India is, “No mother? Do not worry so long as you have Triphala.” The reason is that Indian people believe that Triphala is able to care for the internal organs of the body as a mother cares for her children. Each of the three herbal fruits of Triphala takes care of the body by gently promoting internal cleansing of all conditions of stagnation and excess while at the same time it improves digestion and assimilation.

Some Contemporary Research on Triphala

Recent medical research conducted by several leading academic institutions in India such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Jawaharlal Nehru University has revealed that Triphala has a significant medicinal value as a potential detoxifying and anti-Cancer agent.

In a study entitled ‘Potential of traditional Ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, as a novel anticancer drug’ published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer Letters, scientists at the Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, found that Triphala had the ability to induce cytotoxicity (cell death) in tumor cells but spared the normal cells.
Similarly, a December 2005 report in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research from the Radiation and Cancer Biology Laboratory at Jawaharlal Nehru University noted that Triphala was effective in reducing tumor incidences and increasing the antioxidant status of animals.

Another report from the Department of Botanical Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, found that “Triphala” showed a significant cytotoxic effect on cancer cell-lines and the effect was similar on all cancer cell lines used in this study.” The results, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in February 2005, reveal that the results may be due to the action of gallic acid-a major polyphenol observed in “Triphala”. The same authors had previously reported that Triphala “had promising antimutagenic/anticarcinogenic potential.”
In February 2006, scientists from the Dr. A.L. Mudaliar Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, reported supplementation with Triphala prevents the noise-stress induced changes in the antioxidant as well as cell-mediated immune response in rats. What this means is that Triphala is an anti stress agent. This study concludes that Triphala restores the noise-stress induced changes because of its antioxidant properties.
Antioxidant studies conducted at The Radiation Chemistry and Chemical Dynamics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay revealed that all three constituents of Triphala are active and they exhibit slightly different activities under different conditions and the mixture, Triphala, is expected to be more efficient due to the combined activity of the individual components. The findings were reported in the July 2005 issue of Phytotherapy Research. Two months later, scientists from BARC reported on the radio-protective ability of a component of Triphala.
Similar results were also reported from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, when scientists claimed that “Triphala, an ayurvedic rasayana drug, resulted in an increase in the radiation tolerance by 1.4 Gray of gamma-irradiation”. They concluded that while Triphala provided protection against both gastrointestinal and hemopoetic death, the animals did not survive up to 30 days post-irradiation beyond 11 Gy irradiation.

This preparation is known to be a safe hypoglycemic agent. Triphala prevents aging, imparts immunity and improves mental faculties. It helps to detoxify the liver, restore digestion and purify blood. Triphala is widely used in a large number of medicinal preparations. It is also a laxative that rejuvenates the membrane lining the digestive tract and contributes to effective cleansing of the colon, a key condition in Ayurveda to maintaining optimum health.

When consumed for a long period, it helps reduce excess weight. It promotes good colon health and acts as a laxative without causing cramps or irritation. It gently stimulates the intestinal walls and restores tone to the colon, thus helping in the elimination process, providing a colon cleansing effect. Its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activity is useful in the treatment of ophthalmia. It helps in healing ulcers in cases of Pyoderma gangrenosum and in the treatment of Lipoma. It has shown in-vitro anti-oxidant activity. It is effective in preventing superoxide induced hemolysis of the red blood cells. It also prevents lipid peroxidation induced by Fe3+/ADP/Ascorbate system in liver mitochondria.


ACTION

Triphala provides overall support for the digestive function and helps ensure that the digestive tract works at the optimal level.

Triphala aids in digestion, relieves constipation, and helps regularizes the digestive system.

Triphala rejuvenates the digestive tract membrane and contributes to effective cleansing of the colon.

Triphala slows the undesirable effects of aging, imparts immunity, and improves mental faculties.

Triphala helps to detoxify the liver and purify blood.

Triphala possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties useful in the treatment of opthalmia.

Ayurvedic Energetics:

Rasa (taste): sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent
Virya (action): neutral
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for all doshas
Herbal Actions:
alterative, analgesic, anthelmintic, antibacterial, antibilious, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiviral, carminative, decongestant, depurative, digestant, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, nutritive, opthalmic, purgative, rejuvenative, stomachic, vulnerary

Traditional Uses:
acne fever indigestion parasites
allergies flatulence liver disorders rheumatism
ama flu loss of appetite skin irritations
asthma general debility malabsorption stye
biliousness gout mental ama sugar addictions
bronchitis hemorrhoids nausea toxemia
constipation high cholesterol obesity ulcers
edema hyperglycemia overeating uri. tract disorders
eye disorders hyperuricemia overweight

Possible Contraindications:

Pregnancy, diarrhea

Nutrient-rich Triphala (or three fruits) regulates, strengthens, tones, and cleanses your digestive system (And Entire Body/Being) without stripping or depleting your body of vital nutrients or inappropriately “Dumping Energy” which may be the result when using more “Western/Allopathic” products or therapies.

Triphala is really good stuff!

~~~

* Rasayana
Literally means rejuvenation i.e. the therapy that rejuvenates or regenerates body- mind, prevents decay and postpones aging.

* Antipyretic
(Also called Febrifuge or Refrigerant): A substance that reduces fever and cools the body.

* Purgative
A substance that promotes bowel movement and increased intestinal peristalsis.

Billy

“`

Product examples/suggestions:

Planetary Herbals, Triphala, 1000 mg, 180 Tablets.

Ayurveda Organics, Triphala, Digestive Colon Support, 108 Veggie Caps

These can be found on-line at iHerb.com

http://www.iherb.com/Search.aspx?c=1&kw=triphala

Heck, you can get a whole pound of traditional, ORGANIC Triphala from our own Wholistic Wellness Botanical for less that ten bucks, or as little as four ounces (And that’s plenty to hold you for a while) for about three dollars.

Just go to the Dr Billy Health home page DrBillyHealth.com and click on Wholistic Wellness Botanical or click this link:
Wholistic Wellness Botanical

Or click on the Mountain Rose Herbs links or icons on any page and search for ‘Triphala’ .

 

 

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