Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A digestive tonic and detoxifying supplement that can act as a great general health tonic…
The term “Triphala” literally translates to “three fruits”.  This is an Ayurvedic herbal mixture of the fruits of: Amla (Emblica officinalis or Phyllanthus emblica), Bihara (Terminalia belerica), and Harada (Terminalia chebula).  It is used as a colon cleanser, digestive, detoxifier and laxative in the natural healthcare community.
There is one popular folk saying in India: "No mother? Do not worry so long as you have Triphala."  In Indian culture, this herbal remedy has long been used to boost overall health, promote detoxification and help promote weight loss.


Amla has traditionally been used to treat ulcers, and inflammation in the digestive tract.  It is an excellent source of natural vitamin C and bioflavonoids essential to immune and blood vessel health.  More recent research has also found it to have antimicrobial properties and to help reduce inflammatory conditions and to act as a potential anti-cancer agent.  Further research is required to further support these effects.

Bihara has been associated with the earth and water elements in Ayurvedic medicine, it helps to reduce allergies and balance excess mucous production in the body.  It is also used to nourish the digestive, urinary and respiratory tracts.

Harada fruit has laxative, astringent, digestive lubricant and antispasmodic and calming effects.  Because of this it has traditionally been used to treat both constipation and nervousness, and anxiety.  Its antispasmodic properties can also help it to lower blood pressure.  This herb is associated with detoxification in Indian culture, and has strong purgative laxative effects.


Triphala is considered a great digestive tonic.  It is a purgative laxative and colon cleanser that works similarly to Senna.  Interestingly, this combination of herbs also acts as a fibre bulk laxative and a demulcent, which is a more gentle and soft means of relieving constipation by bulking the stool and lubricating the digestive tract.  Combining these two laxative effects means that Triphala is good for those with liver and gallbladder congestion and for those with constipation.  It stimulates gallbladder function, which can help to flush out both the liver and gallbladder and also helps to promote better overall digestion.

Detoxifying and Antibacterial
In addition to it ability to act as a laxative, which allows the body to more effectively shed its own toxins, the herbs in Triphala are also alternatives  which means that they directly act to purify the blood.  The herbs in Triphala have also been clinically proven to have antibacterial activity that is similar to a number of commonly used antibiotics.  Thus, this herbal remedy can help to eliminate any low-grade bacterial infections in the body, particularly in the digestive tract.  This can further help to normalize digestive function. 

Triphala contains high levels of vitamin C and linoleic acid (an essential oil), so it can act as a nutritive tonic in addition to its laxative abilities.  Thus, although it is stimulating to the digestive tract and promotes stool passage, it is also able to provide nutrition and tonify the body to prevent depletion from the process of detoxification.

How do I take Triphala?
This herbal remedy can be found in powder and in capsules or tablets.  The dose depends on the desired effect; lower doses tend to be a gentle and gradual blood-purifying effect, while larger doses act as a laxative, with the largest doses being extremely purgative.  Because of its simulative laxative ability, larger doses should not be continued for longer than 7 days.  Powder can be taken at ½ - 3tsp in a cup of water up to 3 times daily.  Capsules can be taken according to the dosing instructions on the bottle.  Start with the lowest dose and slowly increase to prevent diarrhea, and to give your digestive tract time to adapt.  Be sure to drink sufficient water with your dosing and take this supplement away from medication and other supplements.

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