By Richard A. Masla, Ayurvedic Practitioner
Triphala has recently received great popularity around the world, but in India is has been renowned for thousands of years. Triphala is believed by most people to be a simple Ayurvedic remedy for constipation. In fact, Triphala is a Rasayana or a rejuvenator. Rasayanas affect the body in a general way tonifying and supporting good health, they promote vitality and longevity.
• Balances Elimination
• Cleanses Toxins
• Supports Digestion and Overall Well-Being
The regular use of Triphala will support the development of proper digestion and regulates elimination without causing any laxative dependency. It gently supports detoxification of the tissues of the body. Triphala is an effective blood purifier that stimulates bile secretion as it detoxifies the liver. It also increases the red blood cells and hemoglobin.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian herbal medicinal science supports the benefits of triphala. The main benefits are for acidity, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disturbances and liver problems. Triphala is also beneficial for people who are suffering from high cholesterol and high blood pressure problems. It may also be helpful for treatment of atherosclerosis and anemic conditions.
Triphala is a combination of the dried fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, and Emblica officinalis in equal proportions. These are popularly known in India as haritaki, bibutaki and amalaki. Amalaki contains the highest natural known source of vitamin C; twenty times more than an orange, this makes it a very powerful antioxidant. Triphala is the most commonly used Ayurvedic formula. Its synergistic combination of herbs is added to many classic Ayurvedic formulas to increase their actions.
In a study titled '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, Bhadha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai found that Triphala had the ability to induce cytotoxicity (cell death) in tumor cells but spared the normal cells.
I have been using triphala regularly for many years personally and in my practice at the Ayurveda Health Retreat. There are no long term studies that make any ill affects known. The dosage is ½ to 1 teaspoon with water at bed time or 2-3 500 mg tablets. You may take it safely for 6 months, then give yourself a few weeks off and resume again. It is contraindicated during pregnancy and is not to be taken along with psyllium husks or with strong laxative herbs like senna leaf.