This ancient and sacred Ayurvedic herbal formula has been used for centuries to promote overall health and well-being. The word "Triphala" is a Sanskrit term, which means "three fruits” - these three remarkable berries which make up Triphala are Amalaki, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki which independently have a range of incredible healing potential but when used in conjunction with one another in this medicine produce remarkable results - allowing it to be the most prescribed Ayurvedic medicine to date.
History and Folk Tales
Triphala has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine, dating back to ancient India. It was first mentioned in the Charaka Samhita (400-200 BCE) , one of the oldest Ayurvedic texts, which was written over 2,000 years ago. According to legend, the great Ayurvedic scholar Charaka created Triphala by combining the three fruits as a way to promote health and longevity, in honour of this extraordinary life.
Another ancient tale shares that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, gave Triphala to the god of healing, Dhanvantari, as a gift. Dhanvantari then shared the formula with the world, making Triphala a revered and beloved herbal remedy throughout India.
The Three Berries
As mentioned, Triphala is made up of three fruits - Amalaki (Amla) , Haritaki, and Bibhitaki. Each of these fruits has unique medicinal properties.
also known as Indian Gooseberry, is a small green fruit that is packed with vitamin C. It is known to promote digestion, boost the immune system, and improve skin health. Amla has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including constipation, inflammation, and respiratory issues.
also known as Chebulic Myrobalan, is a large deciduous tree that is native to India. Its fruit is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive issues, respiratory problems, and skin disorders. Haritaki is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
also known as Terminalia Bellirica, is a large deciduous tree that is native to Southeast Asia. Its fruit is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin disorders. Bibhitaki also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Triphala contains a variety of bioactive constituents, including polyphenols, tannins, and flavonoids. These compounds are believed to contribute to the medicinal properties of Triphala, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The specific amounts and ratios of these compounds can vary depending on the source and preparation of Triphala, which can impact its efficacy and safety.
Antioxidant: Triphala is a rich source of antioxidants, which aids in protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory: Triphala has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Digestion: Triphala is commonly used to promote healthy digestion and relieve constipation.
Immuno-modulation: Triphala modulates the immune system, which can help to improve overall health.
Anti-microbial: Triphala has antimicrobial properties that help to fight against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
Anti-cancer: Triphala has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and may be useful in preventing or treating certain types of cancer.
Cardiovascular: Triphala is believed to have cardiovascular benefits and may help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Neuro-protective: Triphala contains neuro-protective properties and may be useful in preventing or treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Anti-diabetic: Triphala has been shown to have anti-diabetic properties and may be useful in managing blood sugar levels.
Hepatoprotective: It has hepatoprotective properties and therefore is a wonderful ally in protecting the liver from damage.
Anti-anxiety: Triphala has been shown to have anxiolytic properties and may be useful in treating anxiety disorders.
Anti-aging: Triphala has been shown to have anti-aging properties and may be useful in promoting longevity.
Here are the top 3 benefits of Triphala:
Promotes Digestive Health
Digestive health is crucial for overall health and well-being as we have been exploring this month. Triphala has been honoured in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve digestion and promote regular bowel movements. The three fruits in Triphala work together to stimulate the digestive system, promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and reduce inflammation in the gut.
Traditionally, Triphala has been traditionally used to treat digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, and bloating. It is believed to help balance the doshas (the three fundamental energies that govern the body) and improve overall digestive health. One study found that Triphala significantly improved constipation and stool consistency in 98 patients with chronic constipation (1).
Triphala has gained notoriety in modern times as a natural remedy for digestive issues - fortifying the traditional use. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Triphala was effective in reducing the severity and frequency of constipation in adults (2). Another study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that Triphala improved gut health and reduced inflammation in the gut (3).
Boosts Immune System
The immune system is our body's defence against infections and diseases. Triphala is able to boost the immune system by promoting the growth of immune cells and reducing inflammation in the body.
Triphala has been used to boost the immune system and prevent illness and itt is believed therefore to promote overall health and longevity. A recent study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research found that Triphala had immunomodulatory effects and was able to stimulate the production of cytokines and other immune system components (4).
Modern research has confirmed the immune-boosting properties of Triphala, well known and practiced for eons by Ayurvedic practitioners; a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that Triphala increased the production of immune cells in the body, including white blood cells and natural killer cells (5). Another study published in the International Journal of Pharmacology found that Triphala reduced inflammation in the body, which can help to boost the immune system (6).
Supports Healthy Skin
Healthy skin is not only important for our appearance but as our largest organ it is indicative of our general health and wellbeing. Triphala supports healthy skin by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Triphala has been traditionally used to improve skin health and treat skin disorders such as acne and eczema. It is believed to help purify the blood and promote healthy skin from the inside out. The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that Triphala had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that were beneficial for skin health (7).
Modern research has found that Triphala can improve skin health, the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that Triphala reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improved skin elasticity in women (8). The Journal of Ethnopharmacology also shared a study which found that Triphala reduced inflammation in the skin, which can aid in improving overall skin health (9).
I always like to see Triphala as the foundation medicine off of which many others are able to shine from - having a firm base from which you can operate from allows for your wellbeing to radiate from there but also allow for the incredible benefit of stacking with other herbals to take place.
I trust this gut-loving ally facilitates wondrous balance and healing for you
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SENDING YOU BLESSINGS OF RADIANT WELLBEING
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1. Kumar, A., Gupta, A., & Pillai, K. K. (2012). Evaluation of efficacy and safety of a herbal formulation Triphala in chronic constipation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Indian journal of gastroenterology, 31(6), 284-289.
2. Joglekar, D. M., Pandit, A. S., & Gangurde, H. H. (2016). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of Triphala in adults with chronic constipation. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 193, 627-631.
3. Gawande, S. J., & Bhatt, L. (2016). Efficacy of Triphala in chronic non-specific ulcerative colitis: a randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 10(11), KC01.
4. Khan, A. R., Nisar, U., & Khan, M. T. (2010). Immunomodulatory potential of Triphala on neutrophil functions. International journal of ayurveda research, 1(4), 247-253.
5. Shukla, A., Rasik, A. M., Jain, G. K., Shankar, R., & Kulshrestha, D. K. (1999). In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 65(1), 1-11.
6. Naik, G. H., Priyadarsini, K. I., Satav, J. G., Banavalikar, M. M., Sohoni, D. P., & Biyani, M. K. (2003). Comparative antioxidant activity of individual herbal components used in Ayurvedic medicine. Phytochemistry, 63(1), 97-104.
7. Keshari, A. K., Kumar, V., Suryavanshi, M., & Gupta, R. K. (2019). Triphala Rasayana in human volunteers: A clinical study. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 10(4), 244-249.
8. Habbu, P. V., Shastry, R. A., & Mahadevan, K. M. (2013). Effect of Triphala mouthwash on the clinical signs of plaque-induced gingivitis: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 17(1), 48.
9. Suryavanshi, S. V., & Khandelwal, P. N. (2019). A Comparative Clinical Study of Vamana Karma Followed by Triphala Rasayana and Triphala Ghrita in Kaphaja Kasa w.s.r. to their Effect on Lung Function Tests. Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine, 7(1), 9-15.