There are not many herbs you can say are effective for your spiritual, physical and mental health but Triphala is one of them. Triphala is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine and in India it is considered the greatest and most versatile of all herbal formulations. It has the unique ability to detoxify and at the same time deeply nourish and strengthen the body.
It doesn’t matter what your imbalance, it is appropriate for almost everyone (except pregnant people) and is an all-round good medicine!
The name Triphala means “the three fruits” and is comprised of amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki.
Amalaki is considered to be the fruit for longevity because of its rejuvenating qualities.
Some of the benefits of Amalaki:
- It is loaded with vitamin C and is said to have 20 times the vitamin C of an orange
- Helps to heal, soothe and repair the intestinal wall
- Is a beneficial tonic for the heart and respiratory system
- Promotes healthy eyes, hair, skin and nails
- Helps internal cleansing and elimination
- Promotes youthfulness, overall health and well being
- Regulates the immune system
- Natural antioxidant
- Rejuvenates all the tissues of the body and promotes energy
- Cleanses and protects the liver
- A brain tonic that promotes memory, balanced emotions and clarity of mind
While it is useful for all doshas (one of three energies that define every persons makeup), it is particularly effective for balancing Pitta.
Bibhitaki means “the one that keeps you away from disease”.
Some of the benefits of Bibhitaki:
- Astringing and strengthening to the mucus membranes of the body especially lungs, intestines and urinary system
- Helps with excess fat, feeling very cold and weight gain
- Promotes hair growth
- Removes mucus from the lungs making it useful for bronchitis, coughs and congestion
- It clears congestion from the eyes, ears, nose and throat
- It can strengthen irritated nerves of the head making it helpful for insomnia
- Indicated for cardiac congestion
- Diabetes and blood sugar issues
- Both astringent and laxative it removes mucus and toxins from the wall of the gut making it useful for parasites, Crohns disease, colitis, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, parasites and pooping ☺
While it is benefits all doshas, it is particularly effective for balancing Kapha.
Haritaki means “Life Giver”. Haritaki feeds the brain and can help to increase energy, wisdom and intelligence.
Some of the benefits of Haritaki:
- Feeds the brain and nerves and helps with nervous system disorders
- Regulates the colon treating both constipation and diarrhea
- It cleanses and detoxifies
- It dispels the fear of death, dying and disease
- Helps with weight loss
- Increases energy
- Awakens intuitive abilities
- Stimulates the digestive system to work better
- Increases memory and brain function
- Helps the aging process
While it benefits all doshas, it is particularly effective for balancing Vata.
Each fruit is a powerhouse of benefits all on its own so you can imagine how effective they are combined in equal parts in Triphala!
This formula up regulates the genes that are good for you and down regulates the genes that are harmful. Like most plants Triphala is intelligent enough to know exactly what to do!
So what can you use Triphala for?
Triphala is most commonly known for its use as a gentle bowel tonic. It is good for reducing pain. It regulates blood pressure. It improves liver function. It’s beneficial for insulin resistance. It will connect you with a greater consciousness. It helps relieve anxiety, depression and anger. It makes your belly happy and improves digestion over time. It makes you poop like a champion (not too much, not too little). It helps keep you slim and maintain and regulate healthy weight and body fat. It helps with asthma and bronchitis. It protects against certain cancers. It has a positive effect on your sexual vitality. It helps keep your teeth healthy. It keeps you young and feeling good. It helps you sleep better. It might help you grow some hair. It cleanses, tones, strengthens, calms and rejuvenates all tissues of the body and brings you into balance.
Ideally everyone should take Triphala! I mean seriously why wouldn’t you take it?
I know what you are thinking. But Kelley, I’ve got a cupboard full of pills already and half of them I don’t even remember why I’m taking!! The need for supplements will vary widely from person to person. We all have different nutrient needs and body imbalances but the bottom line is this is one of those formulas that I think everyone can benefit from.
When you take herbs it is different than taking pharmaceuticals. Herbs have an innate intelligence and energy that they share with us when we take them. The effects on your body when taking herbs can be immediate or more subtle. It all depends on what is going on in your body and the herbs you are taking. The most important thing is actually taking your herbs! That’s the only way they can help you!
The easiest way to supplement with Triphala is by taking it as a tablet. Make sure you let the tablet sit in your mouth a second so you can get the taste of the herbs before swallowing! If you prefer, you can take it as a powder which is the traditional way to use it. The powder is great if you have the time to measure out and take the appropriate amount, not a big deal but a little more effort. Plus it’s not one of the best tasting powders! My favorite choice for either option is Banyan Botanicals.
When you take tablets as opposed to capsules you are able to taste the herbs. Tasting the herbs is an important aspect because digestion begins in the mouth with the sense of taste. Since digestion is the foundation of health, being able to taste your herbs is super important. Not only that, you get a greater exchange between the herbs and your body when you taste them!
There are no side effects to taking Triphala (except that when you first start taking it you MAY have increased gas due to its cleansing and detoxing effects but nothing serious) and it is not habit forming.
A toast to summer and a long and healthy life.
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