Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic herbal formula from India that consists of equal parts of three myrobalans, taken without seed: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia Belerica), and Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), with potential anti-cancer properties and is also an effective colon cleanser. In addition, triphala also props up the body’s strength. Triphala is a Sanskrit term that literally denotes “three fruits”. The three herbal fruits of triphala endorse internal cleansing, reduce conditions of stagnation and excess, and perk up digestion and absorption of nutrients. Owing to its superior dietary value, triphala possesses the capability to cleanse as well as detoxify the deepest organic levels without causing any injury or harm to the body or draining its nutritional reserves. In fact, such unique properties of triphala make it one of the most prized herbal preparations worldwide. In India, there is a popular adage saying, “A child needs not worry even he does not have a mother as triphala will take care of his requirements". This denotes that triphala takes care of the internal body organs, as a mother looks after her child. Triphala is considered to be the foundation stone of Ayurvedic medicine and comprises equal proportions of Haritaki (basically stabilizes vata, however, is tri-doshic), Bibhitaki (provides an equilibrium to kapha and pitta) and Amalaki (provides poise to pitta and kapha).
In Ayurvedic medicine, Amalaki, biologically known as Emblica Officinalis, is considered to be a supreme rejuvenator as well as a physically potent natural antioxidant. This herbal fruit is also effective in enhancing the immune system and stabilizes the pitta. On the other hand, Haritaki, known as Terminalia Chebula, is regarded as the ‘king of Tibetan medicine’. Haritaki is a standard tonic or natural stimulator for the heart, brain and longevity. Haritaki fruit is often portrayed in the extended palm of the Buddha and is known to stabilize vata. Bibhitaki, known as Terminalia Belerica, is a potent bolster that is effective in lessening the heart and liver ailments and also enhances the voice, eyesight, endorses hair growth as well as balances kapha.
Triphala for weight loss: People suffering from acute obesity are also naturally affected by blocking of the internal organs that help in eliminating food wastes and toxins from the body. In other words, critical portliness also has an effect on vital organs such as the liver as well as functions like bowels. According to the findings of a latest molecular study, triphala has been effectively used in treating obesity traditionally. Meanwhile, scientists at the BRA Centre for Biomedical Research of Delhi University in India have discovered that the dynamic molecules in triphala attach to the cellular receptor from CCK or cholecystokinin. CCK is basically a satiety (a condition of being satiated) hormone and is released by the body to specify that an individual is full. It expresses the desire to limit further food intake, as after completing a satisfying meal. In addition cholecystokinin is also quick to respond to fat.
Presently, different pharmaceutical firms are in the process of developing artificial analogs of CCK with a view to help people comprehend that they are full. In turn, they are able to be in charge of their desire for food and maintain a healthy weight. Overeating and obesity upset digestion and, at the same time, overstrain the gastrointestinal track, including the liver and bowel. Consequently, digestion is jeopardized resulting in poor absorption of nourishments, disparities and overgrowth in the intestinal microflora and putrefaction or decaying of ill-digested food. In such situations, triphala is very effective in getting rid of the stagnation of the liver as well as the intestines.
Triphala for immunity: Researches have established that triphala possesses potent antioxidant agents that significantly help in normalizing the metabolism of the cells and enable their appropriate functioning. As a result, this diminished the complete hazard of generating free radicals that are said to be the primary cause of the aging process. This herbal medication also invigorates the accurate performance of cell organelles, such as the mitochondria, golgi bodies and nucleus, all of which play a very crucial role in the appropriate operation of the cells. Latest researches conducted by scientists have demonstrated that triphala is also an anti-caner agent and it possesses the capability to eliminate tumor cells while leaving the normal cells unscathed.
Triphala for controlling diabetes: Researches as well as traditional practices have proved that triphala is a very effectual herbal medication to treat diabetes mellitus. The islet of langerhans (regions of the pancreas that contain its endocrine or hormone-producing cells) present in our pancreas emits insulin. It may be mentioned here that insulin is responsible for preserving the suitable intensity of glucose in the body. In addition, owing to its astringent flavor, triphala is also recommended for use in the hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar usually associated with diabetes). A study conducted by the American Botanical Council demonstrated that triphala genuinely lowered the intensity of blood glucose in diabetic rodents. The study deduced that the means of the action of the extracts of the three herbal fruits (triphala) for lessening the glucose content in blood is not recognized. However, triphala is likely to reduce the consequence of inflammatory cytokine (a protein that serve as messengers between cells) secretion in diabetes and this may consecutively diminish the resistance to insulin. It is amusing to note that the authors of the study found that the customary medicines that are administered to cure diabetes too have considerable antioxidant results.
Triphala for blood purification, blood circulation and blood pressure: As triphala has a strong inclination towards micro-organisms, such as bacteria, virus, fungi, they are unable to cause any harm in the body and are turn inactive. Such astringent or caustic aspect of triphala enables it to purify the blood and, at the same time, help in preserving the appropriate density of the blood. Therefore, triphala has proved to be an effective herbal medication in getting rid of all ailments borne by the blood, and hence, also eliminating all skin problems. In addition, triphala has been found to diminish serum cholesterol as well as bring down high blood pressure. This blend of three herbal fruits also enhances the performance of the liver significantly and augments circulation of blood to all parts of the body. At the same time, triphala is capable of providing an extraordinary fortification against all types of cardiovascular ailments. Triphala also lessens the probability of any type of fat accumulation in the arteries, thereby diminishing the hazards of problems related to the heart that is induced owing to arteriosclerosis.
Triphala in correcting eye disorders: It may be noted that the use of triphala is also widespread for healing ophthalmic ailments. And this also includes the treatment of eye ailments like progressive myopia, conjunctivitis, cataracts as well as the initial stages of glaucoma (an eye disease that damages the optic nerves and impairs vision. At times it may also lead to blindness).
Before wrapping up the subject, it needs to be mentioned that the use of triphala, a combination of three herbal fruits, is the most widespread combine used in Ayurvedic medications since ages. If one goes through the Ayurvedic literature, he or she will find that the use of triphala fills volumes of pages. In addition to being an all-purpose stimulant or tonic, triphala is a mild laxative, serves as a nourishing substance for the eye, skin and liver and is also a common detoxifying agent that cleanses the body of all toxins.
Triphala for colon cleansing: According to the findings of a recent survey conducted globally, triphala was considered to be the most outstanding colon cleanser available anywhere in the world. In fact, all the three herbal fruits contained in triphala possess laxative properties and are also effective in getting the body rid of all toxins. For centuries, colon cleansing has been known to be an established practice to revitalize the body. Here it is important to mention that colon cleansing is actually a process by which all toxic substances and decomposed food residues are removed from the walls of the intestines. While colon cleansing thwarts colon cancer, other benefits of the practice include divesting oneself of hemorrhoids, constipation, parasites, acne, flatulence, foul breath and stinking body. In addition, colon cleansing is also effective in getting relief from headaches, depression and irritability.
Ayurvedic physicians had formulated the triphala several thousand years back and millions of people have used and benefited from this herbal preparation since then. Even today, most medical practitioners consider triphala to be the most effective as well as the safest laxative and colon cleanser found anywhere. While most other colon cleansers or tonics are exhaustive in nature, triphala is placid, non-habit forming as well as an efficient revitalizing agent. This blend of three herbal fruits enhances the absorption of the ingested food in the intestines, especially in duodenum - the part of the digestive system where majority of the assimilation occurs.
In addition, triphala also possesses the property to induce the secretion of several gastric enzymes that aids in transforming compound foodstuff into more simple digestible variety. Triphala also promotes the peristaltic action (the progressive wave of contraction and relaxation of a tubular muscular system, especially the alimentary canal) of the intestinal lining owing to its anthraquinones and other bitters that also helps in suitable movement of food at different levels of the alimentary canal. Moreover, the Ayurvedic formulation of these three herbal fruits also aids in softening the stool and in this manner facilitates the evacuation of the bowel more effortlessly. For many people, triphala is laxative owing to the anthraquinones, while the stabilization of the tannins naturally present in the herbal medication has a toning result. It may be mentioned here that triphala’s advantages for the digestive system make it a genuinely very effective herbal medication for treating the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis.
Dr. Sanjeev Sood is Prof. & Head of Panchakarma Department, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar and visiting faculty EISRA - Holland, ICAU - Belgium
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