Welcome to day fourteen of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
Triphala has many health benefits: ‘tri’ meaning three and ‘phala’ meaning fruit. It is a combination of three fruits that are dried and then powdered. While Triphala boasts a wide range of brilliant properties, the fact it is extremely high in anti-oxidants is the reason that I wanted to discuss it with you today.
What’s in Triphala?
The three fruits used in Triphala are all native to India: bibhitaki, haritaki and amalaki. Each fruit is thought to positively impact the body’s three doshas. Bibhitaki is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes and irregular blood sugar, while haritaki is rich in vitamin C and boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Meanwhile, amalaki (also known as the Indian Gooseberry) is super high in vitamin C. Due to its anti-oxidants, it has a great free-radical scavenging property. Amalaki is also really helpful for the digestive system; it promotes both easy bowel movements and proper assimilation.
As well as its great anti-oxidants, Triphala also has the ability to balance the mucus in the intestines. Therefore, if there is excess mucus, it will help to clear and regulate it. Triphala also has a really fantastic tonifying property; it is really quite gentle in all of this, which is unusual for herbs that are used for the intestinal tract.
In Ayurveda, we recommend Triphala is taken at night before bed.
How much Triphala should I take?
The dosage varies: if you are using Triphala powder, use somewhere between a quarter to one whole teaspoon, then mix it into a cup of warm water and drink.
Triphala does have quite an acquired taste. It contains five out of the six tastes, as we refer to them in Ayurveda: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent (it doesn’t have salt). The astringent and the sour tastes are quite prominent, so when you first take it into the mouth, you can get quite a puckering and sour taste. However, once you’ve swallowed it, you really get that sweet taste coming through.
In Ayurveda, we tend to recommend Triphala in its powdered form.
First, it starts working on the digestive tract as soon as it enters the mouth. Second, it is really good for gum health; I have spoken in a previous blog about the importance of this (which you can read by clicking here). Having said that, if you try Triphala in its powdered form and do not like it, you can buy it in tablet form instead. There are some really great suppliers, try a version combined with rose from Maharishi Ayurveda.
Triphala as a Rasayana (rejuvenator)
Another way we can take Triphala is in the morning for a rasayana (or rejuvenated) effect. We can combine it with some local honey (which I have also discussed in a previous blog), and ghee. Take half a teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of ghee, then combine it together with a quarter to half a teaspoon of Triphala powder. Mix it into a paste and eat it to enjoy its great rejuvenating and immune-supporting properties.
If you are unsure if Triphala is suitable for you, it is best to have a chat with an Ayurvedic practitioner, such as myself. However, we do not recommend it during pregnancy.
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share how Triphala has helped you? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.