It should come as no surprise that science is discovering more information daily as they investigate and verify the wisdom of ancient cultures from China, South Africa, Australia, and India already knew for centuries or even thousands of years. This is the case for many adaptogenic plants, like we have mentioned before. Triphala is a formula fused in equal portions from three fruits - Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki - that combine to create incredibly surprising contributions to the body.
The keys to this trio
Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine, suggests that we must have our ‘doshas’ in harmony – dosha being the personality type predominant in each person. There are 3: pitta, vata and kapha – and they are responsible for our physical, mental, emotional, and energetic health. From the perspective in which we view the manifestation of physical ailments and diseases, Ayurveda makes a lot of sense.
Each of us has a dominant dosha, and each dosha has specific dietary and lifestyle requirements to optimally develop. Certain superfoods work for all doshas because they promote internal balance. This is where Triphala comes into the picture.
In Ayurveda, although one type of dosha is dominant, each of us has a bit of all three. Because of this, each of the ‘rasayanas’ (rejuvenating plants included in the Triphala combination) supports one of the doshas – but combined, they work together to enhance each other’s favorable qualities for an integral health boost. (1)
Amalaki, for example, helps balance the Pitta dosha and combats cell aging with large amounts of vitamin C. Also lowers cholesterol. (2)
Haritaki supports the Vata dosha and focuses on brain and heart health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also supports intestinal health by adapting to the physical needs of the body, acting as either a laxative or an anti-diarrheal. (3)
Bibhitaki, on the other hand, focuses on the Kapha dosha and helps detoxify the body, eliminate excess mucus, and support bone health and our defenses. (4)
Proven benefits of Triphala
This potent combination contributes greatly to the digestive process, cleansing our body and healing the gut. Science has proven Triphala contains a mixture of a large number of antioxidants, vitamin C and anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory and antimicrobial properties, among others. (5)
- Triphala greatly aids stomach health in several ways, by improving digestion and absorption of nutrients from food, reducing acidity, cleansing the colon, and relaxing the bile ducts. (1)
- It is used as a mild laxative because it stimulates bowel movements. Its polyphenols have been found to balance the microbiome or intestinal flora, helping to keep toxic bacteria and microbes from thriving. This effect within the microbiome is reflected in the rest of the body with less inflammation, increased immunity, and overall stronger health. (1)
- Triphala even helps regenerate tissues and heal wounds (6). A study conducted by a laboratory in India used a triphala-based ointment on infected rats. It was shown to be effective against bacteria, aid in healing, stimulate collagen production, and provide antioxidants. Therefore, it may be an excellent topical therapeutic option for infected wounds.
- Research has shown its potential to help control blood sugar. Some studies have even shown that Triphala may have similar results to some pharmaceutical diabetic medications in lowering blood glucose levels. (7)
- Triphala supports cardiovascular health as well. Several animal studies have proven it lowers total and LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering triglycerides, among other facets that help maintain a healthy heart. (1)
- It aids in blood circulation and increases the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. (1)
- Studies show that triphala helps prevent tooth decay. (8)
- Its antioxidant effects also support eye health. (1)
- Some animal studies have shown that triphala protects against stress, avoiding the metabolic changes stress can produce such as an increase of fat and a hormonal imbalance. This is likely due to triphala’s antioxidant properties. (9)
Currently, there are no known negative effects for Triphala in the correct dose, which is usually between 500mg to 1000mg a day. The Charaka-Samhita, one of the fundamental books in Ayurveda, recommends a daily mixture of triphala, honey and ghee or clarified butter to help live healthy for 100 years (1). Even if we do not stick around quite that long, the truth is that Triphala’s support to our health is amazing!
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