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Achieving Health with Triphala
Next to weight loss, detox and cleansing are at the fore of most people’s minds when it comes to making a change to their health. Everywhere you turn, detox is the buzz word du jour.
There are may concepts of what detoxification actually means – whether it is optimizing detoxification pathways in liver function, improving methylation status, chelating heavy metals or enhancing digestion and increasing elimination or a combination of all of the above. Depending on the area of focus there are many wonderful targeted botanicals and superfoods that are recommended. There is one herbal tonic, however that is regarded as a gentle and safe tonic for general detoxification and cleansing that can be used on a daily basis yielding many benefits.
Triphala is regarded as one of the most important herbal preparations in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine. In Sanskrit, Triphala means “three fruits” and true to its name, it is a blend of amalaki or amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. Believed to restore balance to all three doshas, it is one of the most used tonics in Ayurveda for whole body rejuvenation and balancing. It has been used for thousands of years for daily, gentle cleansing particularly from the standpoint of promoting regularity and optimal digestive health. According to the energetic principles of Ayurveda, Triphala contains five of the six tastes and is sweet, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter, neutral in action and balancing for Vata, Pitta and Kapha constitutional doshas.
There is a saying in Ayurveda that “a child needs not worry even if he does not have a mother as triphala will take care of all needs and requirements.” This adage sums up Triphala’s status in Ayurvedic herbology as a multi-tasking formula that aids with many systems in the body. Beyond its central role for digestive health Triphala has also been shown to aid with metabolism, weight management, cholesterol reduction, and liver function.
The three fruits in Triphala, particularly Amla contain notable amounts of whole food vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in collagen repair and wound healing and helps in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums in addition to connective tissue formation. Vitamin C also helps the body to metabolize fats and proteins. Triphala also contains a host of antioxidants such as gallic acid, ellagic acid, quercetin and tannins.
Making it Part of Your Diet
There are several ways that I like to incorporate Triphala into my daily routine. Firstly, I like to add 1-2 teaspoons of whole food Triphala powder to my superfood breakfast smoothie every day. The second way I like to use triphala is to add 1/8-1/4 of a concentrated dual extracted supercritical, hydro-ethanolic powder to my water bottle with a teaspoon of yacon syrup. Triphala powder can also be added to yogurt, salad dressings and raw desserts. Although it does have a tangy, sour taste, it is surprisingly versatile and can act as a replacement for lemon juice for example in any recipe. If you are wondering what single addition to make to your next digestive, detox or cleansing program, there is no better tonic to consider than Triphala.
Renita Rietz is a health and nutrition writer and speaker who educates on the phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration.