What is Triphala?
After hearing the word Triphala, the mind goes to Ayurveda - the ancient Indian herbal medicinal system. The thousands of years old text shows how the remedy is an integral part of the natives' life, first introduced in Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.
Derived from Sanskrit, the word ‘Triphala’ is further divided into two, ‘tri,’ which means ‘three,’ and ‘phala,’ which means ‘fruit,’ so it aptly becomes “three fruits,” basically dry ones.
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis or Indian Gooseberry): is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and is known for its rejuvenating and immune-boosting properties.
- Bibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica): has a cleansing effect on the digestive system and supports healthy digestion.
- Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula): known for its mild laxative properties and is often used to promote regular bowel movements.
If one engages with modern doctors or with Ayurvedic physicians, they commonly believe that our body performance is directly linked to the gut’s health. That's the reason the traditional practices promote the intake of Triphala. Let’s delve deep to know the benefits of Triphala, how to consume it, and in which form this phenomenal remedy be taken:
Triphala health benefits
For digestive tract
Triphala promotes a strong digestive tract through its unique blend of three fruits, each contributing to digestive health:
- Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula): It helps stimulate the digestive fire (Agni) and aids in the proper breakdown and assimilation of food.
- Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis): Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it protects the digestive tract from oxidative damage. It helps soothe inflammation and supports the healing of the digestive lining.
- Bibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica): The stringent properties of bibhitika help tone the digestive tissues, providing support and strength to the digestive tract.
Their combined mixture of Triphala offers a gentle yet effective way to cleanse and nourish the digestive system.
Triphala aids liver function by promoting digestive health, leading to better nutrient absorption and liver regeneration. It stimulates bile production for efficient fat metabolism, offers antioxidants, and promotes healthy inflammation that protects the liver from damage caused by toxins and free radicals. These combined benefits contribute to improved liver health and overall well-being.
For dental care
- Antimicrobial Properties: Triphala contains bioactive compounds with antimicrobial properties, such as tannins, which combat harmful bacteria in the mouth, promoting gum health and reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Astringent Properties: The astringent properties of Triphala help tone the oral tissues.
- Breath Freshening: Triphala's antimicrobial effects reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, refreshing breath and contributing to oral hygiene.
Triphala's richness in vitamin A aids in curing ocular health problems, damage from UV rays, prolonged screen time, and pollutants. Maintaining healthy eye muscles and offering antioxidant protection against oxidative stress helps preserve clear vision.
In today's changing environment, stress levels are often heightened due to increased work demands and imbalanced work-life schedules. Triphala's positive impact on digestive health becomes particularly relevant in managing stress. As stress can adversely affect the digestive system, Triphala's ability to support digestive well-being plays a crucial role in mitigating stress-related symptoms. By nurturing a healthy gut-brain axis, Triphala indirectly aids in maintaining emotional well-being. It offers a natural and holistic approach to enhancing the sense of wellness and vitality, even amidst challenging work-life dynamics.
Triphala benefits for hair
The key cause that led to the formation of dandruff on the scalp is a fungus named Malassezia. Triphala has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help in limiting the proliferation of these fungi, reducing dandruff. These are:
- Tannis - Cleanse the scalp by removing excess oil, dirt, and dead cells, which helps in dandruff’s growth.
- Gallic acid - Promotes the growth of antifungal compounds that reduce the growth of fungi and bacteria like Candida spp or Staphylococcus spp.
- Chebulagic acid - The antifungal properties of the acid helps control the multiplication of various fungi and promotes scalp health.
- Ellagic acid - Having antioxidant and antifungal elements- reduces dandruff expansion.
- Bellebic acid - Exhibits antimicrobial properties that can help control the growth of fungi and bacteria on the scalp, including those associated with dandruff.
Combating hair loss
Triphala has antioxidants, like vitamin C and various polyphenols, which protect hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals. These radicals contribute to hair loss, and the antioxidants counter these radicals. Moreover, it balances tridoshas since any imbalance in these results in hair fall and even prevents the premature greying of hair.
Increases collagen production
Collagen is a protein that is found in skin, hair, and other tissues in the body. As we age, its production reduces, leading to hair loss and sagging. However, using Triphala strengthens collagen’s growth since it produces fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen formation. This way, you get healthy and nourished hair.
Triphala benefits for skin
Balances pH level
Triphala has components - Gallic acid, Chebulagic acid, and Ellagic acid, protecting the skin from bacteria and harmful chemicals in the atmosphere. Having such compounds applied to the skin neutralizes the toxicity, giving you a radiant complexion.
With its mild exfoliating properties, Triphala offers a gentle yet effective cleansing action for the skin. Its natural compounds slough off dead skin cells, promoting a smoother. It efficiently removes dirt, excess oil, and impurities that accumulate on the skin, helping to unclog pores and prevent acne breakouts.
Skin rejuvenating properties
The antioxidants and vitamin-C properties, primarily found in the Amalaki, are crucial for collagen stimulation. Collagen provides firmness to the skin and promotes elasticity by reducing the visible sign of aging. Moreover, Tannic - tightens the skin and tones it, reducing the fine lines. Even the moisturizing properties help to retain skin moisture, preventing dryness and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by dehydrated skin.
Triphala's natural compounds provide exfoliation, helping remove dead skin cells and reducing pigmented spots for a radiant complexion. The presence of tannins contributes to skin lightening, diminishing dark spots' intensity. Moreover, it supports skin regeneration promoting fresher-looking skin and gradual pigmentation reduction over time.
How to Use Triphala?
Churan is the most common and versatile form of Triphala; it promotes digestive health, boosts immunity, and supports detoxification. Having a longer shelf life, churan does not need to be refrigerated and is easy to travel with.
How to Consume:-
Mix half to one teaspoon of Triphala churna with warm water, and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning or before bedtime. You can also mix it with honey or add it to your favorite smoothies or juices.
- It nourishes the skin, promotes hair health, and aids in relieving certain skin conditions.
- Massaging the body with warm Triphala oil has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body and is also used in aromatherapy.
- Plus, specific Ayurvedic treatments, such as Abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil massage) and Shirodhara (pouring warm oil on the forehead), for their therapeutic properties.
How to Use:-
Apply a few drops of Triphala oil to the affected skin or scalp area and massage gently. For hair care, you can apply it to the scalp, leave it on for some time, and then wash it off with a mild shampoo.
- One can use it both internally, by drinking it, and externally, for rinsing the mouth, gargling, or applying to certain skin conditions.
- It is quickly absorbed by the body, allowing for faster assimilation of its beneficial components.
- Used in traditional Ayurvedic therapies and treatments, including cleansing procedures like Panchakarma, where it is used for its detoxification properties.
How to Consume:-
Boil one teaspoon of Triphala churna in a cup of water until it reduces to about half. Let it cool slightly, strain the decoction, and drink it while it's warm. You can consume it on an empty stomach in the morning or before bedtime.
- The calcination process in making Bhasma breaks down substances into a refined form for easy absorption, ensuring effective utilization of their therapeutic properties.
- Bhasmas, due to their enhanced potency and bioavailability, can effectively target specific ailments or imbalances in the body better than their raw or herbal counterparts.
- Bhasmas are often combined with other herbal or mineral ingredients in Ayurvedic formulations. Their refined and potent nature allows for synergistic effects when combined with other therapeutic agents.
How to Consume:-
Triphala Bhasma is traditionally taken with an Anupana, which can be honey, ghee, or water. The Anupana is chosen based on the specific health condition and the individual's needs and is usually taken before or after meals.
Triphala Ghritha (Ghee)
- Triphala Ghrita is particularly beneficial for digestive health. The ghee base helps soothe and nourish the digestive system, while Triphala supports regular bowel movements and gut health.
- Ghee is known for its calming and nourishing properties, which can complement the therapeutic effects of Triphala and provide a nurturing effect on the body.
How to Consume:-
Triphala ghritha is taken orally, and the dosage varies based on individual health needs. It is typically consumed on an empty stomach in the morning or as prescribed by an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Whether in the ancient age or in this fast-moving world, what cannot be defied is the varied benefits of Triphala. The multifaceted roles it plays in promoting health make it the herbal remedy utilized across generations. Moreover, the kind of lifestyle we are living and the food we are having strengthens its relevance.