Ayurveda is an ancient herbal medicinal system of India. And Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic medicine. Based on Ayurveda, there are three doshas (energies that should be balanced), namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in the body. These energies should be balanced to attain disease-free state. Its imbalance will cause diseases. The imbalance may be due to bad dietary habits. The imbalance in Vata and Pitta dosha causes chronic constipation and acidity-related issues. Triphala reduces both Vata and Pitta dosha to relieve constipation.
Knowledge of Ayurveda is said to exist for more than 3000 years. As time passes, the teaching of Ayurveda is acclaimed globally by Medical science. The study of minerals, plant and animal products form a building block of Ayurveda. The ancient studies of Ayurveda has mentioned various properties, disease-fighting abilities, and their effects on the human body.
The medicinal preparation of Ayurvedic medicine is the common basis to increase their potency and effectiveness. Herbs with different types of pharmacological actions that are combined together in different ratios and formulations for better results. One such fantastic combination of drugs is Triphala or myrobalans. It is often called the nectar of life that contains equal parts of amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki.
What Is Triphala?
The word Triphala means a combination of three fruits, and the composition is purely an herbal medicine without any chemicals. It is a frequently used medicine in the ayurvedic medical system since 5000 B.C., which showed excellent results without any side effects. Triphala is a multi-purpose medicine used for symptoms ranging from stomach ailments to dental cavities in traditional Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times.
It is also said to promote longevity and overall health. It is considered a polyherbal medicine which states that the medicine is composed of several medicinal herbs. Polyherbal formulations are popularly used in preventing disease and health promotion in traditional Ayurvedic medicinal systems. It is believed that combining synergistic herbs are more effective than any single herb or medicine that is consumed alone. It is also said that it shows good results in extra therapeutic effectiveness.
TRIPHALA HEALTH BENEFITS
Triphala is a main medicinal composition in ayurvedic medicine which is used to treat a wide range of health issues. The main attribute of the Triphala is its laxative property which cleanses the digestive system. The low dosage of Triphala can be used as a bowel tonic, yet at a higher dosage, it is used to treat gas troubles, improves the digestion process, and acts as a strong laxative.
Apart from treating gastrointestinal tract issues, Triphala is used to relieve stress, regulate diabetes, aids in weight loss, etc. The health benefits of Triphala are explained below.
Triphala is a primary herbal medicine that aids people with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes is a common chronic health issue that elevates the blood glucose level of a person. This health issue will prevent cells from absorbing glucose, and thus cells do not have efficient energy.
Amla (Indian gooseberry) is one of Triphala’s ingredients, which is a reason for Triphala’s anti-diabetic activity. It also has antioxidant properties that play a vital role in reducing blood glucose and cures nerve damage that occurs due to diabetes.
Terminalia bellirica (Bibhitaki) is also an ingredient in Triphala, which may also have an anti-diabetic ability. Bibhitaki is enriched with gallic acid, a phytochemical that increases insulin resistance and helps the cells to absorb blood sugar efficiently.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicines claims that Triphala aids in maintaining blood glucose and cholesterol levels in the human body. Gallic acid found in Terminalia bellirica increases insulin secretion in the pancreatic β-cells, which reduces sugar levels in the blood.
Rich in antioxidants
Triphala has lots of antioxidants that will perform the body’s protective function. The antioxidant components present in Triphala are Vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, and saponins. The antioxidant polyphenols will fight against free radicals. Free radicals contain oxygen molecules with uneven electrons. Due to the presence of uneven electrons, they react with other molecules and cause cell damage. If not treated, it may lead to harmful illness and aging.
Triphala has Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, which triggers WBC production (White Blood Cells) and boosts up your immunity power. These cells fight against infection, pathogens, and microbes. Due to its anti-inflammatory property, it can be used as an antidote for allergies and give complete relief from pain or discomfort. Apart from that, the antioxidant-rich Triphala will decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and premature aging.
Animal studies say that Triphala reduces inflammation and damage caused due to arthritis. Another study claims that consuming supplements with antioxidants will protect you from the risk of heart disease and reduce inflammation.
Protects against Cancer
Triphala has a cytotoxic property which is involved in killing or preventing cancer cells. The Triphala aqueous extract reduces the multiplication of breast and prostate cancer cells.
Chemical analysis of the extract shows that it has a high level of polyphenols and gallic acid that plays a significant role in inducing cytotoxicity of cancer cells. Extensive research on Triphala have said that it provides effective results in preventing and curing breast, colon, skin, pancreas, cervical, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lymphatic cancers.
Other experimental research done on mice prevents the growth of cancer cells in the lymphatic, stomach, and pancreatic area.
Improve digestive health
Triphala is known since the ancient period for its natural laxative potential. It is helpful for loose stools and provides better bowel movements to eliminate waste. And so it aids in treating constipation problems. It also strengthens the digestive tract by improving good bacteria count in the intestinal tract and treats Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Few research suggests that Triphala helps in stomach ulcers’ healing process and maintains healthy enzymes in the stomach.
Other research has said that Triphala prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut and improves the development of useful bacteria to enhance gut health.
Also, when treating gastrointestinal disorders, Triphala reduced constipation, abdominal pain, gas flatulence and improved bowel movements. In an animal study, It lowers intestinal inflammation and repairs intestinal damage.
Improves dental health
Triphala has a powerful effect on the gums and teeth by clearing oral germs from the mouth, thus aids in maintaining overall dental health. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent plaque formation that leads to cavities and gingivitis. Triphala also reduces or inhibits Candida fungal growth in the mouth. The tannins and other plant compounds found in Triphala possess antioxidant properties that can heal mouth sores.
The Indian Journal of Dental Research’s paper says that the mouthwash prepared with Triphala and water is an effective medical mouthwash that has chlorhexidine. It prevents plaque, gingivitis and kills germs in the oral cavity.
Another research found that washing the mouth with Triphala treats various oral health problems, namely gingivitis, plaque, sores, and fungal infections.
Research in the Journal of Periodontology claimed that adults using Triphala mouthwash twice a day for 60 days would reduce oral plaque, oral bacteria, and gingivitis.
Better hair and skincare
Triphala improves hair quality because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Intaking Triphala and applying Triphala paste to your hair helps to clean the scalp. Consuming Triphala will enhance digestive system health; therefore, it makes your hair healthy and shiny.
Triphala is helpful in the treatment of skin problems such as acne and eczema with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The research found that Triphala protects the skin cells by rebuilding skin protein, retains moisture, and treats inflammation.
Another article says that Triphala may increase collagen formation, minimize bacteria on the skin, and cure acne, pimples.
Helps in weight loss
Triphala helps you to lose excess fat around your abdomen and thigh, which helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Further, it eliminates the risk of diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol level.
Based on the mice’s experimental study, providing mice with a high-fat diet, Triphala had decreased bodys’ weight, fat, triglycerides, and bad (LDL) cholesterol. And, the treated mice have increased good (HDL) cholesterol level and shown further improvement in the liver enzymes and also found oral glucose tolerance.
Another study says that experimenting 62 obese adults with a 10-gram Triphala powder for few weeks experienced weight loss.
The ingredients present in Triphala are enriched with antioxidants such as vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that damage the cells, and thus slows down or prevents aging-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Triphala helps to maintain good eye vision and also protects from severe eye ailments with its ocular improving property. Sometimes, the medicinal advisor also recommends Triphala water to clean eyes.
The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine researched the effect of Triphala in chemically-induced cataracts in rats. The rats treated with Triphala have an effective result with cataract.
Arthritis and gout
Triphala’s anti-inflammatory properties help treat arthritis and gout symptoms (one type of arthritis). An experimental study done on rats has claimed that Triphala reduces inflammation due to arthritis. Triphala prevents the breakdown of bone and cartilage and reduces inflammation in rats with arthritis.
Another research found that it has an anti-inflammatory effect that treats gout in animals. It has also decreased uric acid level and inflammation.
Stress and anxiety
Triphala has an adaptogenic property that reduces the stress response of the body. Some researches have proved that Triphala protects against stress. Animal studies said that it aids in reversing actions caused by stress.h
Triphala Ingredient and Its Composition
Triphala is a mixture of three dried fruits that are native to India. The following three ingredients are mixed in the ratio of 1:1:1 to prepare an effective herbal Triphala.
Amla otherwise called Indian gooseberry is like a VIP in Ayurvedic medicine. Amla is the oldest edible fruit which is a native plant of India. Indian gooseberries or Amla are the edible fruit yielded from small to medium-sized trees that grow all over India irrespective of region.
This gooseberry has a sharp sour taste and a texture of the fiber. So in order to make Amla consumable or less irritant, it is often pickled, soaked in sugar, honey, or saltwater, and or cooked into dishes to increase palatability.
The extract of Amla and its fruit itself is used in ayurvedic treatment to treat symptoms like constipation and cancer prevention. They are excellent nutritious food that is high in vitamin C, amino acids, and minerals. Amla also holds some compounds like phenols, tannins, phyllembelic acid, rutin, emblicol, and curcuminoids.
Some test-tube studies suggest that Indian gooseberries or Amla are immune to cancer and are a preventive medicine (Not a cure). Some studies have shown that amla extract inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the ovary and cervix. However, it is not valid evidence that Indian gooseberries prevents cancer in humans.
Amla is one of divya aushadhi or referred to as a sacred plant in Puranas. Hindu mythology has a saying that Amla originated from drops of holy nectar (amrita) which fell on earth accidentally during samruda manthan, churning of the cosmic ocean.
Amla has five of the known six ayurvedic tastes sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, and pungent. It is tri dosha pacifying, anti-aging (vayasthapana), builds inner immunity (ojas), removes cough (kasaghna), hair tonic (keshya) and is good for eyes (chakshusya). Amla earns the best medicinal name like Dhatri or mother for its allrounder capability.
Taste (Rasa): Sweet(Madhur), Pungent(Katu) , Bitter (Tikta), Astringent (Kashay), Sour (Amal)
Physical Property (Guna): Heavy (Guru), Cold (Sheeta)
Potency (Virya): Cold (Sheeta)
Property After Digestion (Vipaka): Sweet (Madhur)
Amalaki or Emblica Officinalis(Botanical name) is the richest source of ‘Vitamin C’. In Ayurveda, it is used as a ‘Rasayana therapy’(Rejuvenative therapy). It has a good content of calcium that works well with the other two myrobalans, i.e., Haritaki and Bhibhitaki. Vitamin C quantity in Amla is 30 times more than that of vitamin C in oranges. It is a natural colon cleanser without any known side effects. It enhances the body by providing nutrition and removes toxins from the body.
Bibhitaki tree is widely distributed in southeast Asia, with a botanical name of Terminalia bellirica. The name of the herb is known as Bibitaki in Ayurvedic medicine, in which the fruit of the tree is used to cure common issues like bacterial and viral infections.
The composition of Bibhitaki has tannins, gallic acid, ellagic acid, lignans, and flavonoids, along with many other powerful plant compounds that are important for their medicinal qualities. The herbal remedy of Bibhitaki helps in the treatment of variou medical problems.
Bibhitaki, the name indicates that it will take away the fear of diseases. According to Hindus, Bibhitaki is believed as a residential place of Lord Shani, and therefore it is planted in almost all Saneeswara temples.
Further, it provides numerous health benefits such as strengthening the hair, prevents premature greying, eliminates cough, hoarseness of voice, removes mucous from the intestinal wall, tones the intestinal wall, and increases the bowel. High gallic acid and ellagic acid show beneficial effects on blood sugar levels and body weight.
Taste (Rasa): Astringent (Kashaya)
Physical Property (Guna): Dry (Ruksha), Light (Laghu)
Potency (Virya): Hot (Ushna)
Property After Digestion (Vipaka): Sweet (Madhur)
Action on tridosha: It pacifies all the three doshas, predominantly Kapha & pitta
These powerful herbs have a variety of uses and may help treat a wide array of medical issues. Some researches have shown that Bibhitaki has anti-inflammatory properties too. Studies show that 500 mg of Terminalia bellirica reduced uric acid levels in patients with gout (a condition of inflammation in the human body due to the unnecessary amount of uric acid circulated in the body). It also acts as an agent to treat diabetes and blood sugar dysregulation.
The botanical name of the medicinal tree Haritaki is Terminalia chebula that is distributed widely throughout the Middle East, India, Srilanka, China, and Thailand.
The small green fruit from the Haritaki plant is used as ayurvedic herbal medicine, and it is the main component of Triphala.
The composition of Haritaki are phytochemicals such as terpenes, anthocyanins, polyphenols, and flavonoids. And it provides powerful health benefits since ancient days in treating or preventing heart disease, constipation, rejuvenation, nervous issues, cures disorders of voice, destroys worms, improving eyesight, asthma, ulcers, and stomach ailments. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Taste (Rasa): Pungent (Katu), Bitter (Tikta), Astringent (Kashay), Sweet (Madhur), Sour (Amal)
Physical Property (Guna): Light (Laghu), Dry (Ruksha)
Potency (Virya): Hot (Ushna)
Property After Digestion (Vipaka): Sweet (Madhur)
This tree was grown as the residence of Lord Vishnu by Hindus. According to them, this tree has originated from the seven drops of nectar that fell from the mouth of Lord Vishnu, that give rise to the seven varieties of Haritaki. It is also related to Lord Shiva, and dedicated to him after its creation. This herb holds a sacred place, that is mentioned in Vedas.
It calms Kapha and pitta dosha, and cures diseases related to plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa), and fat (medas). Acharya Charaka has indicated that consuming the Triphala Rasayana (Triphala with honey and ghee) regularly will make you live for hundred years without diseases.
Some people prefer to consume Triphala along with food, but it is recommended to consume Triphala in the morning before taking food to get a better result.
Nutrition found in one teaspoon (2.8 grams) of Triphala
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugar: 0 grams
Possible Side Effects of Triphala
Triphala is a natural ayurvedic detoxifying composition. The consumption of Triphala acts as a detoxifier, and it releases a toxic substance from the deeper tissues of the body. The released toxin enters into the bloodstream. When a vast amount of toxins are released at a time, it can cause headache, skin rash, nausea, gas troubles, upset stomach, or diarrhea in some people.
--> If you are facing diarrhea or other issues, better reduce the dose. If it causes any problem even when consumed in minimum damage then stop consuming Triphala.
-->Triphala must be avoided by pregnant women, feeding mothers, and children as its safety is not ensured.
--> Avoid using Triphala if you are a patient consuming chronic medications for diabetes and hypertension.
Dosage and How to use
Triphala is available in tablet, powder, or liquid forms. You can buy Triphala based on your convenience.
--> Triphala capsules and tablets are sold in 500mg to 1000mg doses; the dosage mentioned here is not the amount of extract of individual ingredients. The manufacturing formula of Triphala supplements gets different based on the manufacturer. Most Triphala capsule manufacturers suggest one to two tablets daily.
-->To prepare Triphala churna (tea), make a decoction with 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala powder and a cup of water. Heat the mixture and allow it to cool, and then drink it. Triphala is usually preferred to consume on an empty stomach.
--> Triphala juice can be mixed with water and then used as a mouthwash.
--> The Triphala powder is mixed with coconut oil and can give a massage on the scalp for hair treatments.
--> Consuming Triphala in liquid form is a convenient way to intake Triphala, and this liquid extract has a long life. This extract is prepared from the same organic fruits which are used in making tablets. It is extracted using non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) and gluten-free alcohol. You have to mix about 1–2 ounces of water to Triphala and drink it one to three times daily.
Triphala is an excellent Ayurvedic restorative medicine that has many healing properties. Recent scientific proofs have corroborated the modern world with the health benefits of Ayurvedic medicines. If you want a powerful supplement for your body that boosts your health, then consider using Triphala to make you free from disease.