What is Triphala?
“Tri” means three, and “phala” means fruit. Triphala is a formula of three potent super fruits that have a wide range of activity: Amalaki, Haritaki and Bibhitaki. As it was formulated thousands of years ago and is the most popular formula of all, it is most likely the most sought out and appreciated herbal formula in the world, ever.
Are fruits normally so beneficial?
Fruits, especially organic and/or wild, do tend to be amongst the healthiest items in our diet, but some fruits are far more potent than others. To me the most interesting action of triphala is the systemic confluence of factors making this the number one formula in the world for the last many millennia. There is a craze in the west these days, which is all about the importance of consuming superfoods and especially superfruits. Some of these superfruits, like Goji and Noni, were known and used in India for thousands of years. However, what fruit does the Medicine Buddha hold in his hand? Haritaki! What besides Tulsi is the only herb in India that has a National Holiday devoted to it in appreciation for what an incredible Dhatri, nurse, it is? Amalaki! What is the key herb in KayaKalpa, the legendary treatment that supports healthy aging of your bodymind? Amalaki!
How many five taste substances do you know? Maybe Schizandra berries? Amla and Haritaki are 5 taste herbs, which is really rare and Bibhitaki is a three taste herb. Especially renown to support colon health, Triphala is the original superfruits!!
So Triphala is basically a colon cleanser?
It is true that Triphala is amongst the best formulas for ensuring total colon health, including all the ways that “cleaning” can happen. And, because Triphala so thoroughly and successfully supports systemic health in dozens of other ways as well, to call Triphala only a mere “colon cleanser” is true… and truly as silly as calling a Ferrari a paperweight. Yes, Ferraris do make great paperweights, and a Ferrari, like Triphala is so vastly more than that, for instance, deep support for the entire digestive function.
What facets of digestion does Triphala support and optimize?
Triphala is known for its effect on the G.I. tract in general and specifically for the colon. It helps maintain balance in all three areas of digestion:
- The dissolving of the food in the stomach
- The breaking down of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the small intestine
- The assimilation of nutrients in the colon
Being an adaptogenic formula, Triphala also increases resilience to daily stresses
How does Triphala compare with other superfruits?
One main measure of a superfruit is its ability to support healthy antioxidant function. One of the scales to measure this is called the TEAC score. It is a linear scale with fruits like blueberries scoring about 10 and raspberries scoring about 15. However, the Triphala fruits are literally off the charts, with Haritaki coming in at an astounding 679! Nothing really comes close.
What should I take Triphala with?
A glass of warm water is a typical vehicle for Triphala
When should I take it?
To optimize its ability to support natural healthy detoxing take it right before bed. To optimize it ability to act as a strengthening tonic, take it first thing in the morning.
Can I take Triphala with Tulsi Tea?
Yes, Tulsi is an excellent “vehicle” for Triphala, working synergistically to amplify at least a dozen of the Triphala’s actions, for instance increasing its ability to support healthy antioxidant function.
Can you use it daily?
Yes, Triphala is designed to be balanced in many ways. It is balanced across all types of individual constitutions, so any person with any constitution can use it. It is also balanced between being a detoxing cleanse and a strengthening tonic, so you can use it daily because it supports deep natural homeostasis.
There are many herbs that people use to clean the colon, like Senna and Cascara Sagrada that are actually quite agitating, habit forming, and potentially harmful if used continuously over too much time. Senna and Cascara Sagrada are very useful herbs, but they really should be used only a couple times per year, during one’s spring and fall cleanses. All the rest of the year Triphala is usually your best bet and ally!
How does it cleanse the colon?
As with any great herbal formula, there are a multitude of mechanisms of how Triphala helps to clean the colon, from a mild laxative action of the Haritaki, to the ability of the Amla to support healthy pH levels, the metabolic enhancements produced by the Bibhitaki, to the large quantities of tannins in Triphala whose strong astringent actions increase tone in all the tissue and support overall function.
Can I use Triphala while pregnant?
When you are pregnant you typically do not want to take anything that sends too much energy downward, as this can trigger the birth to occur. Because Haritaki has a laxative action, a strong downward energy at higher doses, if Triphala is taken during pregnancy it is taken in small doses, like 1 or maybe 2 capsules.
I have been told by Ayurvedic teachers that one should always take the powder form of Triphala directly into my mouth and not in capsules. Is this true?
Yes and no. Often when we actually taste our medicine, that tasting is itself part of the medicine, signaling other places in the body and eliciting healthy responses. Thus usually tasting your herbs amplifies their effectiveness to some extent. So yes, it is true. However, as any experienced clinician will tell you, compliance is king, and many people would rather not take the very bitter/astringent/sour Triphala than take it as a powder directly onto their tongue. So no, it is not true. Rather the way that the person will actually take the medicine is the best way to take it. Otherwise it is nothing more than another bottle on the shelf.
If I am taking 2 capsules daily, is it better to take them both at once or one in the AM, one in the PM? If I take both at once, is AM or PM best?
As mentioned earlier, Triphala is one of the few formulas that is balanced between being a detoxifying cleanse and a strengthening tonic. Usually you have to choose one or the other therapy. So the question of when to take Triphala is based on which action you want to amplify: Tonic or cleansing? If you want to take it more to help keep your colon functioning well, then take it last thing at night, right before bed. If you want to take it so as to amplify its strengthening adaptogenic tonic action, then take it first thing in the morning.
I understand there are many varieties of Haritaki. Which do you use?
We use the fruit pulp only, not the toxic seed, of organic wild green 6 lobed vijaya haritaki that is responsibly wildcrafted from the jungles of central India by Santal tribals specially trained by ORGANIC INDIA.
How does Triphala support healthy pH levels?
The three fruits of Triphala all are very alkaline and hence reduce what is called Amlapitta in Ayurveda. Amla especially is excellent at promoting a healthy balance between “aggressive” digestive factors function, the acids and enzymes, and the “protective” digestive factors, like supporting healthy stomach structures and resilience.
The therapeutic range of triphala is very wide, from 0.5 g to 10 g. How is this possible?
The therapeutic range of air, when it comes to tires, is very wide, depending on how full or flat the tire is, from .5 PSI to easily 50 PSI. In the same way, Triphala, like many herbs, needs to be taken in low doses over long periods of time to be effective for certain health facets DEPENDING on the terrain of the person. Triphala is suitable for the long term use required for creating and also for maintaining deeper states of balance, and Triphala is also used for maintaining balance in many acute conditions.
What is the best Triphala to use?
Make sure that your Triphala supplier uses responsible certified organic wild-crafted Triphala fruits as they are significantly more powerful. Wild Triphala fruits are far superior to cultivated Triphala fruits. Most of the Triphala fruits are harvested in the Madhya Pradesh forests in central India, and if it is not certified organic it means that the product may be wild but most likely is bought straight from the Forestry department in which case it may be low quality.
Buying organic Triphala ensures it comes straight from one of the 50,000 Tribal people that we have trained in responsible and clean harvesting of the 3 Triphala fruits.
Do you use the whole fruit?
Be aware that the seeds of the Triphala fruits are toxic and should never be used. Many companies just put the whole fruit into a hopper and grind it up, which means you are buying 30% Triphala and 70% toxic seeds. Make sure your Triphala source uses the fruit pulp only!
The dose of Triphala that I require seems to change, where sometimes I take 3 at night and other times 5 or 6. Is this due to a variation in the strength of the product?
I know that the “right dose” of Triphala varies per person per day (or night as it goes) depending on their level of stress, exercise and the quality of their diet that day. In my experience people get to know their dose depending on the day or night they had before, with their dose varying from as much as 2 to 10 capsules.