Triphala Powder, An Ayurvedic Formula for Healthy Bowels

Triphala Powder, An Ayurvedic Formula for Healthy Bowels


Triphala Powder, An Ayurvedic Formula for
Healthy Bowels Triphala powder is a specific Ayurvedic formulation
composed of three dried fruits: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki. It is one of India’s most valued and commonly
utilized household herbs. Used on a daily basis as a digestive tonic
and for improved bowel regularity, it is believed to eliminate the root cause of many diseases
that often begin from stagnant conditions and gastrointestinal imbalance. Each of the dried ground fruits that make
up the powder or “triphala churna” are known to collectively work to positively potentiate
the qualities of each other, uniquely offering both nutritive as well as colon cleansing
properties. Consuming triphala tea or tablets therefore
helps to gently clear intestinal excess, while simultaneously strengthening digestion and
one’s ability to assimilate nutrients. Triphala’s distinctive therapeutic actions
are due in part to its special flavor characteristics which include the five tastes: sweet, sour,
pungent, bitter and astringent. For this reason, triphala is considered a
“tridoshic” herbal formula, a term referring to the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In the Ayurvedic system these are the primary
constitutional forces that govern the human body. Triphala powder is not energetically too cold
or too hot, and is thus well-tolerated by all three body types. Because of its versatility and appropriateness
for a wide range of people, it is one of the most frequently prescribed herbal formulations
used extensively by Ayurvedic practitioners since the beginning of Vedic times as both
a straight herb or an ingredient in many other alchemical compounds. Triphala can be considered a rasayana tonic
because of its rejuvenating attributes that enhance one’s strength and regulate immunity. It is notably high in a number of antioxidants,
like phenolic constituents and vitamin C, which have been shown to act as immunomodulators
as well as prevent oxidative stress. Bowel irregularity and chronic constipation
are common conditions that afflict many individuals worldwide. Herbal laxatives, as a result are one of the
most popular products in the health supplement industry. Unlike strong purgatives, however, triphala
is safe for long-term use or can be prescribed when symptoms arise. It is traditionally used as a powder, called
triphala churna, stirred into hot water and consumed as a steeped lukewarm powder-infused
liquid. It is generally recommended that you take
triphala supplements or “tea” on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and/or
an hour before bed, for several months once or twice daily for highest health benefits. The amount of triphala powder can be adjusted
according to one’s health goals and objectives. Triphala can be used in smaller doses for
its nutritive and cleansing attributes that can gently remove excess “ama” or toxins from
the body, working as a mild blood purifier without causing intense detox reactions. Or likewise, it can be employed in larger
doses to promote stronger laxative qualities to alleviate constipated bowels and intestinal
stagnation. In addition, triphala powder supplementation
is regarded as a potent medicinal substance for its antiarthritic, anti-inflammatory and
antiviral qualities. It is known to be beneficial for body weight
management, reducing serum cholesterol, increasing dental hygiene, clearing the skin and improving
the eyesight. The results of a study published in Alternative
Therapies in Health and Medicine revealed that triphala and its constituents can counter
the effects of high dietary fat intake and have “the potential for use as antiobesity
agents with desirable lipid-profile modulating properties.” While triphala enhances the process of digestion
and elimination, it also as a side-effect improves the functioning of the liver, gallbladder
and kidneys by purifying the blood and opening up the detoxification pathways. Triphala powder consumed daily in warm water
can be a highly effective treatment for removing congestion and reducing stress on these eliminatory
channels and organ systems. What is Triphala Powder? The term triphala literally means “three fruits”,
tri (three) and phala (fruit). This is because it is not a plant itself but
an herbal formulation that consists of three specific and rather unusual looking fruits
indigenous to the subcontinent of India. These are amalaki (Emblica officinalis), haritaki
(Terminalia chebula) and bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica). Each of these dried fruits possess different
properties that help to provide for its well-rounded attributes and synergistic effects. Triphala powder, usually created from equal
proportions of these dried fruits, is one of the foundational herbal formulas of Ayurveda,
the traditional system of East Indian medicine. Its referenced use is found in many ancient
Hindu texts, like the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, where it is infused as straight
“triphala churna” powder into hot water and consumed as a warm tea-like liquid, or is
likewise utilized as an ingredient in many complex Ayurvedic preparations. According to the book Rasayana, Ayurvedic
Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation, there are differing opinions about proportions used
for triphala formulations. Traditionally, one part of each of the three
fruits, by weight, is standard, but other recipes include: One part haritaki, two parts bibhitaki and
three parts amalaki, by weight. One part haritaki, two parts bibhitaki and
four parts amalaki, by weight. About Triphala Fruits: Amalaki, Haritaki and
Bibhitaki 1) Amalaki or Amla – Is a type of berry, also
referred to as Indian gooseberry, is from the species Emblica officinalis (or Phyllanthus
emblica), a sacred Hindu tree believed to be protected by the God Vishnu. The amla tree is ritually worshiped on the
Hindu holiday called Amalaki Ekadashi. All parts of the tree are useful, but the
dried ground fruit is particularly applied in medicinal preparations. It is also used fresh as an ingredient in
chutney. Of the three fruits, amla is the one most
commonly used as a super fruit variety, because of its concentrated source of natural vitamin
C content. Amla fruit is cooling in nature, helpful for
balancing Pitta when excess heat or inflammation is present. It is cleansing to the body and is known to
improve liver function and boost immunity. It is composed of the primary tastes sour
and astringent with secondary bitter, pungent and sweet flavors. Some of the phytochemical compounds include:
nicotinic acid, riboflavin, tannins, carotene as well as vitamin C. 2) Haritaki – Is a small ribbed nut-like fruit
from the tree species Terminalia chebula. The center seed is usually removed and the
fleshy firm pulp is the part dried to make haritaki powder. It has a heating energy and is identified
by its scraping actions which help to eliminate toxins. There are approximately seven different varieties
of haritaki fruits, including vijaya, rohini, abhaya, putana, amrita, chetaki and jivanti. The vijaya variety is usually the one preferred
over others when making triphala churna. It is comprised of the tastes: sweet, sour,
pungent, bitter and astringent. Haritaki is considered one of the best herbs
for balancing the Vata dosha. Some of the phytochemical compounds include:
anthraquinones, tannins and other polyphenolic compounds, like glycosides and triterpenes. 3) Bibhitaki – Also referred to as beleric,
is the fruit of the Terminalia belerica tree species. The fruit pulp has a laxative effect and helps
to clear excess mucus accumulation or “ama” from the body. Bibhitaki additionally contains high amounts
of polyunsaturated oil content. It is viewed as a good herb for Kapha constitutions
and is primarily astringent in taste with a secondary sweet, bitter and pungent flavor. Some of the phytochemical compounds include:
gallic acid, tannic acid and glycosides. Health Benefits of Triphala Supports Bowel Functions Ayurveda aims at treating the root cause of
disease, not merely alleviating various symptoms. Often, the foundation of this begins in balancing
digestive and eliminatory disorders before they start to accumulate, block detoxification
pathways and disrupt the flow of other bodily organ systems. This is a preventative approach to illness
and disease widely practiced in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems. Frequently, symptoms like chronic bloating,
gas, fatigue, constipation, food cravings, abdominal pain, candida, hormonal imbalance,
allergies, headaches and inflammatory disorders can be a sign that there is obstruction and
congestion, especially in the large intestine and colon region. In Ayurveda, the colon is viewed as the seat
of Vata, so herbs like triphala can be very helpful for Vata disorders like constipation
or too much “wind” in the digestive tract, which causes bloating and flatulence. It can be used in a dose dependent manner
as a gentle, mild or strong laxative. Because of its tridoshic nature, it is appropriate,
however, for a wide range of people when constipation or irregular bowel elimination is an issue. Regular daily bowel movements are a vital
component to health and wellness and a critical part of the detoxification process. Triphala not only helps to support healthy
bowel functions and proper stool defecation, as we mentioned, it is additionally purifying
to the blood and two other eliminatory organs, the liver and the kidneys. Triphala, however, is different than other
types of herbal laxatives in that it combines both a purgative quality as well as a nutritional
component. Containing constituents like bitter anthroquinones,
it gently works to stimulate peristaltic actions directly or through the secretion of bile
via the gall bladder and liver. It is not, however, depleting to the body
with long-term use like other herbal laxatives like senna, cascara sagrada or rhubarb. Unlike these varieties, triphala powders and
tablets are also not habit-forming. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda
and Integrative Medicine comparing the use of both triphala and senna, it was stated
that “Triphala gently cleanses the colon and relives symptoms like anorectal blockage,
sensation of incomplete evacuation, flatulence, and bloating.” In contrast to senna, a strong purgative,
triphala powder “strengthens and tones up the musculature of the bowel and does not
cause dependence.” Triphala Powder as a Digestive Tonic Consuming triphala powder as a warm tea mixture
supports one’s “digestive fire”, so that nutrition can be absorbed and waste materials eliminated. Triphala is also considered to be more of
a tonic because of its antioxidant compounds, like vitamin C, as well as its polyunsaturated
omega oils. In addition to providing bowel regularity,
it also benefits several areas of digestion such as helping to break down food in the
stomach, the catabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the small intestine and
the absorption of any remaining nutrients in the colon. Digestion is where it all begins. If we can keep this system running smoothly
through good dietary practices, sattvic food choices as well as periodic cleansing protocols,
we can often prevent many unnecessary related health issues further down the road. For this reason, triphala is recommended and
used more often than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation, as a straight powder or as an
ingredient in many traditional herbal preparations. One of the best parts about triphala is that
it can be taken for its cleansing actions without having to significantly alter dietary
practices. Of course, we always encourage a health promoting
diet and lifestyle along with occasional cleansing regimes but, generally speaking, daily use
of triphala tea or tablets over a 1-3 month period can complement most any diet. Triphala for Weight Loss and Lipid Lowering
Properties Triphala powder is a popular herbal remedy
for increasing weight loss when excess body weight or obesity is a chronic issue. Often times these conditions are associated
with bowel congestion which further impedes digestive assimilation and liver function. Although modifying one’s diet and exercise
activities is highly advised in any weight loss program, triphala can be taken twice
daily for several months as a supplemental adjunct for increased effectiveness. The complete taste spectrum that triphala
fruits provide, naturally promotes increased absorption of nutrients, which helps to satisfy
the appetite and eliminate food cravings. Triphala powder steeped in hot water or mixed
into warm water is therefore frequently recommended over tablets or capsules so that taste sensations
can be activated in the mouth. In research analyzing triphala’s actions as
an antiobesity agent, it was demonstrated to counter the effects of a high fat diet
and was shown to have lipid lowering effects on LDL and total serum cholesterol levels. Triphala Guggulu Another classic Ayurvedic preparation for
weight management is called “Triphala Guggulu.” This is a combination of long pepper, the
three triphala fruits and guggulu. Guggulu is a type of plant resin known for
its detoxifying actions and is particularly beneficial for increasing digestive fire,
encouraging healthy metabolism and removing excess Kapha from the body. High in Antioxidants Triphala powder, being a combination of three
different fruit varieties, contains a well-rounded amount of antioxidants. It is rich in polyphenols, glycosides, alkaloids
and tannins, such as chebulagic acid and gallic acid. According to one study, its specific antioxidative
effect is “more efficient due to the combined activity of the individual components.” These compounds help to reduce oxidative stress
and prevent free radical damage. The specific substances in triphala powders
and supplements also act as immune system modulators, increasing or decreasing immune
response depending on what is most appropriate. In a study published in the Indian Journal
of Pharmaceutical Sciences, it was reported that “the use of triphala and its three individual
constituents as potential immunostimulants and/or immunosuppressants further suggests
them to be a better alternative for allopathic immunomodulators.” In other research, the use of triphala powder
was identified to significantly increase beneficial immune cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes and
natural killer cells. One study conducted on arthritis in mice,
it was concluded that “The results obtained clearly indicate the fact that the Indian
Ayurvedic herbal formulation triphala has promising anti-inflammatory activity.” Benefits to the Eyes and Skin Triphala powder is also widely utilized for
improving the health of the eyes and for use as supplemental treatment for certain eye
diseases like conjunctivitis and early stages of cataracts and glaucoma. This is predominantly due to its antioxidant-rich
compounds like vitamin C and carotene, as well as its blood purifying attributes. As we discuss on our cleansing herbs page,
liver cleansing substances often go hand in hand with eyesight and skin improvements. In research evaluating the anticataract potential
of triphala it was demonstrated that “triphala prevents selenite-induced experimental cataractogenesis
in vitro and in vivo.” According to the book Rasayana, Ayurvedic
Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation, “It is alleged that regular use of this compound
for 5–6 months can improve eyesight to such an extent that glasses may not be required.” The three fruits in triphala powder are incorporated
in a well-known vision improving Ayurvedic formulation called Saptamrita Lauha. Filtered triphala teas can also be used topically
as an eyewash using an eye cup or as drops to fortify visual functions and lessen strain
on the eyes. In clinical research comparing triphala eye
drops and the intake of Saptamrita Lauha tablets, both were shown effective for “computer vision
syndrome” by increasing “ocular strength.” Triphala’s antioxidant content and liver cleansing
properties, not only help increase eye health, but also provide beneficial effects at clearing
skin disorders often associated with toxic overload and liver stagnation. It can be used internally with turmeric powder
to intensify these features. Amalaki or amla fruit, being one of the highest
sources of vitamin C, also significantly adds to these skin healing qualities. Good for Dental Hygiene Triphala contains antimicrobial properties
that have been confirmed effective for improving dental hygiene and can be used in water as
a type of natural mouthwash. In the 2014 Journal Periodontal & Implant
Science, it was shown that “triphala mouthwash (herbal) is an effective antiplaque agent
like 0.2% chlorhexidine. It is significantly useful in reducing plaque
accumulation and gingival inflammation [gingivitis], thereby controlling periodontal diseases in
every patient. It is also cost effective, easily available,
and well tolerable with no reported side effects.” (Source) The Taste of Triphala Powder Triphala powder, being a tridoshic formula,
is very versatile and balancing to all three body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Triphala’s healing qualities are in part due
to its mentioned combination of flavors which include bitter, sour, sweet, pungent and astringent. In Ayurveda, the sense of taste, or “Rasa”,
is considered an important element which when balanced nourishes plasma and feeds the bodily
tissues. These taste dynamics are what allows triphala
to work on many levels, providing a cleansing yet tonifying effect. In this regard, it is traditionally consumed
as a powder in warm water so that the sense of taste is activated. It is believed that each individual experiences
their own unique triphala flavor, depending on what is most needed, with each taste having
different effects on the body. These taste sensations can also shift with
use as one’s health improves. The potent antioxidants and nutritional compounds
found in amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki give triphala a potent flavor that is not likely
to be very pleasing to the palette. For many Westerners who predominantly lack
the bitter and astringent taste in the diet, drinking the tea can be initially strong tasting
as these qualities will often be pronounced. Taste perception usually evolves over time,
however, as one becomes more balanced. Types of Triphala Bulk Powder – Commonly made from equal parts
of the three dried fruits: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki. Tablets or Capsules – Created from the powder
in compressed or encapsulated form. Liquid Extracts – Liquid extracts are less
common but available as an alcohol tincture. Formulations – Triphala is frequently used
in many traditional Ayurvedic preparations. Recommended Organic Triphala Brands Banyan Botanicals – organic powder, tablets
and liquid extract Lost Empire Herbs (Formerly Super Man Herbs)
– organic powder Organic India – organic capsules and powder
Mountain Rose Herbs -organic powder and capsules Planetary Herbals – organic tablets
Starwest Botanicals – organic powder How to Use By far, the #1 way to use straight triphala
is as a warm tea. This is essentially created by infusing triphala
powder in hot or warm water and allowing it to sit for at least 20 minutes. It is also customarily left to infuse for
longer periods or overnight and rewarmed for morning use. This is said to “blend the taste of the fruits.” As we mentioned, drinking triphala powder
in water allows one to completely “taste” the herb, an important aspect to activating
beneficial properties. Although the triphala tea infusions are sometimes
strained, we feel it is best to consume the powder which will end up settling to the bottom
of your glass. While it is not the most pleasant tasting
experience, this powder can be quickly gulped for increased benefits. Triphala can also be blended with other herbs
like tulsi or pau d’arco, cinnamon and many others for improving flavor and increasing
assimilation. In some customs the powder is also reused
a second time. This can be achieved by making triphala tea
in the morning, steeping it for the day, consuming the strained liquid in the evening and then
infusing the remaining powder again in hot water, so it will be ready the next morning. The second best option to using bulk triphala
powder is taking a pure triphala supplement in capsule or tablet form. Tablets are recommended over capsules as there
is some mild taste that occurs which helps to activate the digestive system. Triphala liquid extracts are another alternative
to triphala tea and also provide beneficial taste qualities. Alcohol-based tinctures, however, should be
avoided when there is burning sensation in the stomach or high Pitta in the digestive
tract. Lukewarm triphala tea or supplements should
be consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and/or a few hours before bedtime. Common Ingredient in Ayurvedic Preparations Triphala is also a common ingredient in countless
Ayurvedic preparations and is often combined with other Ayurvedic herbs, like turmeric,
long pepper, gotu kola, ashwagandha. It is also alchemically blended with a host
of other substances like madhuca, vacha, rock salt, arrowroot, iron, gold and frequently
mixed with ingredients such as honey and ghee. Dosage Regulation Amounts and doses may vary according to your
health goals and body weight, but usually 1/2-1 teaspoon is used in 1 cup of hot or
warm water twice daily. Generally, larger dose amounts of up to 1
tablespoon will provide more laxative qualities, whereas smaller amounts around 1/4 teaspoon
act as gentle rejuvenating blood purifiers. Triphala is usually well-tolerated by most
people, but because there can be different reactions to the same dose of triphala, it
is important to regulate the amount consumed according to one’s bowel movements, either
increasing or decreasing depending on stool structure. It may take several days to personally regulate
appropriate dosage. You would typically use less powder in cases
when loose stools are evident and more triphala powder when constipated. Precautions: Consult your healthcare practitioner before
using triphala powder if pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive. Excessive amounts can cause gastrointestinal
side-effects and loose stools, but usually subside when dose amount is reduced. Seek the advice of your physician before use
if you are taking prescription medications or have a serious medical condition.

One Reply to “Triphala Powder, An Ayurvedic Formula for Healthy Bowels”

  1. Hello .i need to ask ..i have VAGINSL YEAST INFECTION .CANDIDA .how do i use triphala to cure Candida .n hw much shud i eat ?? plz reply as soon as possible

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