In our modern society it’s very common to feel tired, low-energy, sleepy even, and get hooked on caffeine or energy drinks to get us through the day.
We hardly ever consider that lack of energy may be food related.
Food is our literal fuel, our bodies need proper nutrition to function. Sometimes even healthy foods consumed improperly can lead to liver issues, lower immune response or hormonal imbalance and that can surface as low energy.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the body is considered to be ruled by three elemental forces that work on mind, body, and spirit to keep that energy flowing at optimum levels.
Ayurvedic medicine seeks to balance the mind with the body through nutrition and meditation.
You may not believe in the spiritual side of Ayurveda (although science backs the benefits of meditation,) but we cannot deny there is a connection between our mind, body, and energy. These balancing forces, known as doshas in Ayurveda are Vatta (air+ether), Pitta (fire+water), and Kapha (water+earth.)
What does that have to do with Triphala Powder?
I get it, you just want to know what’s special about this “Triphala Powder,” and why you never heard of it before! Don’t worry, that’s why we wanted to talk about Ayurveda:
Triphala powder is a polyherbal mix used in Ayurvedic medicine for energetic “doshic balance” made out of three powerfully antioxidant fruits native to India: bibhitaki, amalaki, and haritaki.
It has been traditionally used as a mild laxative, energy booster, bowel regulator, tonic, cleanser, blood purifier and as an eyewash to counter conjunctivitis, as well as alleviating liver conditions and leucorrhoea.
Triphala powder balances the three doshas (according to Ayurveda) with the properties of these three fruits and restores health in the body by activating the detoxification, elimination, and blood filtration systems.
Nevertheless, whether it balances the dosha or not, it does seem to have healing properties with extra therapeutic effectiveness, given that it leverages the medicinal power of each fruit and amplifies it with the combination.
According to research, Triphala benefits the immune system, digestive tract, teeth, and more! In fact, when you see what Triphala powder is used for, you’ll want to get some too.
Let’s dive into this lesser known medicinal fruit-based herbal combo, in this post:
Beyond its digestive and laxative capabilities, Triphala powder has been leveraged in Ayurvedic therapeutic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties, oral health benefits, and according to some research anti-cancer capacities. Recent research reveals the medicinal properties of each fruit.
Triphala (the three fruits) is made out equal amounts of dried fruits, including:
Scientifically terminalia chebula also known as the Tibetan "king of medicine,” it is believed to balance “Vata” (although good for all doshas) and it has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has hepatoprotective capacities that support body detox and has been used to treat asthma, ulcers, stomach issues, and even heart disease.
Active Chemical Compounds:
Scientifically emblica officinalis is an Indian gooseberry and has been used in Ayurvedic healing as a “prized rejuvenator” believed to balance Pitta. These fruits are very sour in taste and are usually soaked in sugar or cooked to make them tastier. They are full of Vitamin C and are believed to lower cholesterol, have cooling effects, support liver function, assist immune response, and be full of antioxidant properties.
Active Chemical Compounds:
Scientifically terminalia bellerica also known as “the one who keeps away disease” it is supposed to balance Kapha and it is considered an Ayurvedic anti-aging fruit as well. It has detoxifying properties for the blood, and restorative capacities for muscles, although it is mostly used for its antibacterial and antiviral qualities, and it is also a hepatoprotective and antioxidant-rich fruit.
Active Chemical Compounds:
Triphala powder benefits are rooted in the combination of three potent fruits chock-full of antioxidants. Because the fruits combined as Triphala have Vitamin C, polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, and saponins they fight oxidative stress from free radicals that damage healthy tissue. In animal studies, Triphala benefits included reducing inflammation on rats affected with arthritis.
Further human studies are needed, but the science is getting closer to figuring out how the Triphala powder combination works using the antioxidants against inflammation.
In a review of Triphala benefits and Triphala powder individual components in regards to their immunomodulatory effects, researchers found that:
The review lists multiple other studies showing the positive impact of Triphala powder on the immune response.
In a number of test tubes, animal and human cell studies Triphala benefits have included cancer protection, with researchers calling it “a novel anticancer drug” that shows promising power against pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and more. Scientists believe that the high content of gallic acid and other potent antioxidant phenols could be responsible for these anticancerous capabilities.
A human cell study showed that Triphala benefits the epidermis and dermal fibroblasts (the cells that help skin recover from injuries) by inducing collagen production and supporting protecting those skin cells from foreign agents. This in addition to the antioxidant content of the three fruits combined in Triphala powder, could explain its Ayurvedic “anti-aging” properties.
The role of Triphala powder in dentistry is varied and very interesting: it has been used in root canal irrigation due to its antimicrobial efficacy, shown anti-cavities properties by preventing acid accumulation on the surface of the tooth and therefore enamel breakdown, reduced plaque and gingivitis as a mouth wash (combined with chlorhexidine), and more.
It may support oral health leveraging antimicrobial capacities that protect teeth against demineralization.
A study with 150 individuals with diabetes revealed that Triphala powder reduced blood glucose levels. Additionally, other studies have noticed it can inhibit glycolytic enzymes, and could modulate lipid profiles, thus reducing visceral fat in patients also affected with obesity.
In Ayurveda (the science of life) Triphala is used as a laxative, and studies show it is an effective alternative to over the counter ones. In fact, this clinical study treated patients with Triphala, senna extract, and isabol husk for “functional constipation” and patients saw more complete evacuations and less painful straining.
In a clinical study of 62 obese subjects a 10g a day doses of Triphala powder, subjects were able to see reduced waist circumference, fat loss, and decreased hip to waist ratio after three months.
Further research is required, but initial testing shows that this powder extract might have liver detox properties; a study on Swiss albino mice showed that subjects “exhibited significant hepatoprotective activity.” This may account for its energy-boosting properties (that dosha alignment in Ayurveda,) because low-energy and fatigue are often symptoms of unhealthy liver function.
Mice with a paracetamol-induced renal (kidney) and hepatic (liver) toxicity were divided into two groups, the group pre-treated with Triphala showed resistance against the toxic effects of the paracetamol, even “preserving normal functions of the liver and renal cellular membrane.” It’s very promising considering paracetamol is an over the counter drug many people unwittingly abuse.
Triphala benefits are very varied and it is considered very safe to use, however, it is always important to note that there might be Triphala side-effects to be aware of:
Due to its natural laxative effects, it is possible that in healthy individuals Triphala powder could cause diarrhea and abdominal distress. It is additionally not recommended for pregnant women or lactating mothers, because there are no sufficient studies to prove its safety. Similarly, it is not recommended for young children.
Finally, people with bleeding disorders, or taking blood thinners, are advised to take extra caution or avoid completely; Triphala has been noted to interfere with blood thinning medication.
What is Triphala used for then? Triphala is used for many things and depending on your goals it might be great to support liver detox functions, weight loss, reduce constipation, or improve oral health.
The recommended dose is 500 mg to 1g a day, and it can be taken as a supplement, pill or in powder form mixed with warm water as tea.
Ayurvedic medicine has long held many secrets disregarded by western medicine, but today we’re taking stock and recognizing the healing powers of plants and fruits; food is the best -preventative- medicine! And as you can see, taking this ancient knowledge to the test we’re having amazing findings.
You may have never heard of Triphala powder before, or perhaps you did and wondered “what is Triphala used for anyway?” but now you can see why this potent mix of extraordinary antioxidant-packed fruits is making its way to the health stores and medicine cabinets across America!
Triphala powder might help you achieve your weight loss goals, boost your energy, and kick-start your immune system - what’s not to love? Potentially balance mind, body, and spirit with this Ayurvedic wonder and botanical superfood! Be sure to share with a friend and let them know how Triphala can help them.
Psst: We’ve included Triphala powder in our latest superfood blend, Organifi Liver Detox. It's mixed with other amazing super-foods that support liver detox, boost energy, and make you feel hella-good!
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