Triphala: multifunctional Ayurvedic formula.


Some Ayurvedic herbal formulas are taken long-term to strengthen the body. They are similar to the way vitamins or supplements are taken, and the most commonly used of these formulas is called Triphala.

Triphala means "three fruits" in Sanskrit. It consists of equal amounts of three fruits: haritaki, amalaki, and bibhitaki. Haritaki is good for Vata, amalaki is good for Pitta, and bibhitaki is good for Kapha. Triphala contains five of the six Ayurvedic tastes; the only taste it doesn't have is salty. By taking Triphala daily, you're incorporating all six tastes into your diet because you're most likely including the salty taste in your foods.

The flavor that stands out the most when you taste Triphala will match the flavor missing in your diet. Generally, "normal" diets lack the bitter taste, and many people may find this taste more prominent. This can indicate that Triphala is helping detoxify the liver. There's a saying that if you take Triphala long-term, as yogis and yoginis do, you'll reach a point where your body is so purified and balanced that Triphala will taste sweet to you.

Triphala is a formula that rejuvenates all tissues and detoxifies all body systems gently, especially the digestive system. Many know Triphala as a digestive formula for its action to strengthen and detoxify the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, and especially the large intestine. Almost all laxative herbs, such as senna, work to evacuate the colon by irritating it. This is not beneficial for the colon in the long run. Triphala has the gift of strengthening the colon so it evacuates as it should, but without irritation. This formula from India is also a nutritive tonic for the skin, eyes, and hair.

If you want to start taking Triphala, the best way is in powder form, as this establishes a closer relationship with the herbs: you can see, smell, and taste them. Pregnant women should not take it. Adults can take it in the following way unless their Ayurvedic Counselor gives them a different dosage: 1/4 teaspoon of the powder dissolved in half a cup of warm water before going to bed at night. If Triphala causes you any discomfort, consult your Ayurvedic Counselor to adjust the dosage and/or the timing.

Let us know when it tastes sweet to you!

By Iris Campion.

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