Have you heard of the amazing herbal tonic called Triphala? Unless you are fairly informed on Ayurveda, you probably haven’t heard of it before. I sure hadn’t until my Ayurvedic doctor introduced it to me. I remember her telling me it was so important and respected in Ayurvedic medicine that it is said “it can even soothe a motherless child.”
She asked me to start taking it at night, one teaspoon of powder dissolved in hot water and chugged right before bed. She said I didn’t have to drink the herbal “sludge” at the bottom, just the infused water off the top. After that, I was to pour some fresh water back in, let it sit while I slept and first thing upon waking, drink the infused water again. It tasted bitter and I was glad I didn’t need to ingest the chalky herbal sediment as well.
The first couple of nights I woke up with terrible cramps… so much so that she had me reduce to half a teaspoon until my body adjusted. What I now understand is that the Triphala was removing excess vata from my colon and producing gas bubbles. After I adjusted I was able to go back to a full teaspoon and haven’t had any troubles since.
So what is Triphala and why is it so revered? It is a powder of three herbs or fruits combined and each has a specific and beneficial effect on one of the three doshas:
- Amalaki comes from Indian gooseberry is extremely high in vitamin C and soothes pitta dosha (fire & water). It is rejuvenating, an antioxidant and is beneficial for all three doshas
- Haritaki is used throughout Asia and was said to be a favorite of the Buddha. This fruit is a very mild laxative, specifically soothing to vata dosha (air & space) and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Bibhitaki is the third fruit which is rejuvenating and detoxifying. It helps to remove excess mucus in the system and is particularly beneficial to kapha dosha (earth & water).
As you can see, each of the three fruits benefits one of the three doshas, making it a great formula for all types! It also specifically addresses digestion which is considered the origin of either health or disease depending on the state of the digestive system. The three doshas also correspond with three digestive organs: the colon is the home of vata, the stomach is the home of kapha and the small intestines are the home of pitta.
By keeping the doshas in balance in the digestive system we maintain our ability to properly process food, extract the nutrients we need, eliminate waste and maintain our overall health. So Triphala is kind of a miracle blend because it benefits us at such an important level of our health.
It also boosts our immune system, helps to reduce toxins, improves digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, aids with constipation and likely a whole lot more.
You can take Triphala regularly and it is not habit forming. I get back on my Triphala routine in the fall to help me stave off all the bugs and viruses likely coming my way. I also use it in the spring right before and during a cleanse to help get the process started.
While you can buy it in pill form, I would recommend the powder because digestion actually starts in the mouth when your tastebuds taste what you are ingesting. Triphala also happens to contain 5 of the 6 tastes within it, which is suggested in a balanced Ayurvedic diet. Those 6 tastes are: sour, pungent, bitter, astringent, sweet & salt. Salt is the one missing in Triphala but all the others are there. I order mine from Banyan Botanicals.
Take Triphala just as I described above. Start with one teaspoon and if it’s too much, cut it down to a half a teaspoon. Pour a small amount of hot water over it and let it sit until it becomes room temperature. Take it right before bed and at least a couple of hours after your last meal. Pour the second bit of water on top and let it sit overnight. Sip the water again first thing in the morning. Notice what effects it has on your digestion, elimination, energy, and mental state. I would love to hear how it works for you, so be in touch!
If you are planning to join me in my online spring cleanse, order your Triphala now and start taking it!
Happy Digestion & Spring Cleaning,