What is Triphala?
Triphala or Triphala churna is a combination of three very beneficial fruits which has been used in traditional Ayurveda medicine for hundreds of years. Triphala is actually a Sanskrit word meaning ‘three fruits’.
Each of these fruits when eaten alone has beneficial health effects but when combined into Triphala extract, they have an even greater impact. According to researchers, Triphala contains a compound called gallic acid-a powerful antioxidant- responsible for many of its health benefits.
The three fruits used to make Triphala are:
– Amla (Embilica Officinalis) otherwise known as the Indian Gooseberry.
– Bibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica) which is also known as Vibhidaka.
– Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula) which is a nut-like fruit also known as Harad.
These days Triphala is not difficult to come across at health stores or online. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can buy all three fruits, dry them and combine them to make your own Triphala at home.
It is commonly taken as a powder combined with water or drunk as a tea. Many people find the taste unappetizing at first and may prefer ready-made Triphala capsules.
Proven Benefits of Triphala
1) For Improved Digestion
Triphala is traditionally used in Ayurveda as a digestive tonic. It helps cleanse the entire gastrointestinal system and keeps your digestive system clear of toxins.
Triphala has a mild laxative effect so can be used to treat mild cases of constipation which helps cleanse the bowels and gradually detoxify the system. Triphala also helps restore muscular function and ease of contractions in the intestinal walls.
2) For Weight Loss
Because Triphala has such a positive effect on your entire digestive system, it can also help you in the battle with your weight.
Like many herbal remedies, Triphala is certainly not a magic pill that will work immediately, but effective weight loss usually takes time and if you have the patience, taking Triphala over the course of a few months may well help you to lose a few pounds.
It is believed to work for several reasons. First of all, Triphala cleanses your system of toxins while also nourishing the lining of your intestinal tract. Simply cleaning out your system and making it healthier may help lose a few unwanted pounds.
A knock on effect of an improved digestive system is that your body will absorb nutrients more efficiently which may stave of hunger and overeating. People with poor digestive systems tend to snack on carbs which get converted into body fat and can cause weight gain.
Taking Triphala alone without making any other lifestyle changes like diet and getting more exercise is unlikely to help but if you take Triphala in conjunction with a diet plan, people have found that it aids weight loss significantly.
There is no human clinical research regarding the weight loss impact of Triphala but studies done on mice have demonstrated that it has potential.
An Indian study published in 2012 investigated the effects of Triphala on obese rats who were fed a high fed diet.
Mice given Triphala along with their high fat diet experienced a significant reduction in body weight as well as reduced cholesterol levels and improved liver function. The researchers concluded that these results suggest Triphala could counter the effects of high fat diets and had potential use in fighting obesity. (1)
3) For Energy
Another way that Triphala can help you control your weight is that it fights fatigue and gives you the boost in energy that you sometimes need to get off the couch and into the gym. Even if you are not planning to exercise, a boost in energy can help you through a long day at work or just to get the day’s tasks done.
4) For Detoxification
Triphala has also been traditionally used as to detoxify the important organs of the body. We are becoming more aware of the need to detoxify from time to time in order to give our major organs a break and to keep them in the best possible working order.
Ayurvedic practitioners say that Triphala helps cleanse the metabolic waste from all of the body’s vital organs and its tissues. Detoxing the organs means that they will be able to perform their many bodily functions more efficiently and also give you more energy.
5) To Boost your Immunity
Because of its antioxidant properties, Triphala can help give your immune system a natural lift and protect you against common seasonal complaints like the flu and colds.
It contains many important minerals and nutrients and because it cleanses your digestive system helps you to absorb those nutrients more effectively which in turn boost your immune system and protects you from illness.
6) For The Skin and Hair
As well as all of the internal benefits already discussed, Triphala can also be used to help rejuvenate your skin and strengthen your hair.
Many people that use Triphala for other reasons experience improved general skin health and improvements in skin conditions like acne and eczema. Triphala has excellent antioxidant ability which can combat damage done both internally and to the skin.
The nutrients present in Triphala may also help improve the strength and appearance of your hair. One of the fruits used to produce Triphala-amla- is known to be especially beneficial for your hair but the overall health benefits of Triphala may be equally responsible.
Poor hair is often a sign of generally poor nutrition and because Triphala helps you to absorb nutrients more effectively, it can actually have a very positive impact on the hair.
7) For the Eyes
Triphala is also great for the health of your eyes both in terms of improved vision and its ability to treat some more serious eye complaints like glaucoma and cataracts.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Triphala is often prescribed to treat a range of eye disorders including eye strain, redness and inflammation. Although taking Triphala orally is helpful, it is possible to make a simple effective eyewash with Triphala.
One study demonstrated that an eye drop made with Triphala could improve vision in those affected by computer vision syndrome. (2) Several other studies have demonstrated that Triphala has anti-cataract potential. (3)
How to Take Triphala
Ayurvedic practitioners recommend taking Triphala as a tea or simply mixed with water. There is a traditional belief that taste is vitally important to the medical benefits of the fruit.
Triphala tea is bitter and does not taste great especially when you are new to it but like many foods, many people find that they acquire a taste for it after a relatively short period.
Even though they are not recommended by traditional practitioners, Triphala capsules are an equally effective option if you really cannot tolerate the taste and they are certainly more convenient than the powder especially if you need to take it on the go. Try to avoid using sweeteners especially if you are taking it to help you lose weight.
To make Triphala tea, add a level teaspoon of Triphala powder to a cup of boiled hot water and stir it thoroughly. Let your tea sit for at least 15 minutes but preferably longer to give sufficient time for the nutrients and compounds to infuse properly. Drink it straight down rather than sipping it especially if you are not ken on its taste.
Let your tea sit for at least 15 minutes but preferably longer to give sufficient time for the nutrients and compounds to infuse properly. Drink it straight down rather than sipping it especially if you are not ken on its taste.
You can drink it several times a day for general health purposes and if you are trying to lose weight, it is recommended that you have a cup before breakfast, one after diner and another just before bed time.