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Ayurveda Sumit Raina  

Triphala : Ingredients, Types, Benefits, Indications and More

The word “Triphala” literally means the combination of three fruits in Hindi and Sanskrit languages.

If you’ve ever heard of Ayurveda, you have definitely heard of this medicinal preparation. It is one of the most widely used and most popular medication in Ayurveda system of medicine.

What Is Triphala ?

Triphala has been in practice in India for thousands of years.

Due to its several health benefits, Triphala has become increasingly popular around the world.

It is the combination of three dried fruits viz.

  1. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  2. Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica)
  3. Amlaki (Phyllanthus emblica)

We will be discussing these plants separately in our DravyaGuna section.

Now, coming back to Triphala;

It finds the mention in several ancient Ayurvedic classics like the Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and almost all the Nighantus (Ayurvedic monographs of medicinal plants).

Ingredients and Used Part

Triphala is a mixture of three herbal ingredients and their used parts are as follow ;

  1. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) – Fruit Rind
  2. Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) – Fruit Rind
  3. Amlaki/Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) – Fruit

All these ingredients are taken in equal quantity (according to weight).

According to their number, the quantity differs; 1 Haritaki, 2 Vibhitaki and 4 Amlaki fruits are taken, dried under shade and then powdered and filtered to get a fine powder. Then it is used for therapeutic purposes.

It is pertinent to mention here that although the quantity of these three ingredients differ but the weight is equal. As one fruit of Haritaki equals to two fruits of Vibhitaki and four fruits of Amlaki.

(All these weights are with respect to their dried fruits)

Types Of Triphala

Triphala is gaining popularity and is being widely used not only in it’s native country India but also in western countries.

But, is it really the only Triphala which is mentioned in texts ?

No, there are 4 (Four) types of Triphala mentioned in various Ayurvedic Classics and the most popular Triphala that we know is made up of Haritaki, Vibhitaki and Amlaki.

It is originally mentioned as the Maha OR Mehati Triphala In the original and ancient texts of Ayurveda, which means the bigger or larger fruits.

Triphala that are mentioned in Ayurveda are :

  1. Maha Triphala [Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) ; Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica) & Amlaki (Phyllanthus emblica)]
  2. Swalp Triphala [Gambhari (Gmelina arborea) ; Khajur (Phoenix sylvestris) & Parushaka (Grewia asiatica)]
  3. Madhur Triphala [Gambhari (Gmelina arborea) ; Khajur (Phoenix sylvestris) & Draksha (Vitis vinifera)]
  4. Sugandhi Triphala [Jatiphala (Myristica fragrans) ; Lavang (Syzigium aromaticum) & Puga (Areca catechu)]

Here we will be discussing the uses and properties of Maha Triphala which is commonly interpreted by the name “Triphala”

Benefits

Triphala is found helpful not only in a diseased person but also in someone who seeks overall healthy body and happy soul.

Following are some of the health benefits of Triphala proved by modern researches :

  • Can be used as a natural laxative
  • Aids weight loss
  • Protects from Dental Disease and Cavities
  • May protect against certain cancers
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties

Some classical mentioned benefits of Triphala in Ayurveda texts are :

  • Kapha-Pitta hara
  • Useful in treating diabetes
  • Can be used in skin disorders
  • Promotes better eye sight
  • Ignites digestive fire
  • Promotes one’s appetite
  • Cures Intermittent fever

How To Use Triphala ?

Triphala is available for purchase at health stores, food stores and online.

It is available in many forms, including capsule, powder or liquid.

It is suggested to take Triphala between meals on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Triphala powder can be mixed with warm water and honey and taken before meals.

This powder can also be mixed with ghee, a type of clarified butter, and added to warm water for a soothing drink. Additionally, it can be mixed with honey to form an edible paste.

Large doses of it can cause digestive symptoms like diarrhea, so it’s best to start with a smaller dose and gradually work your way up to the recommended intake.

Though Triphala is considered safe for most people, check with your doctor before taking it to ensure safety and proper usage.

External Application

  • As Hair wash Powder – Triphala should be mixed with licorice and then used as a hair wash powder. It helps in preventing premature greying of hair, dandruff and hair fall.
  • As Eye Wash – Triphala churnam should be mixed with 2 cups of water and boiled till it is reduced to half cup and then filtered. This liquid can be used as eye wash incase of eye infection.

Triphala as a Rasayana (Rejuvenation Drug)

There are four types of Triphala Rasayana mentioned by Acharya Charak [Ch.Chi.1]. They are –

  1. Afer the digestion of food, the churna (powder) of 1 Haritaki should be taken. Before meal, the churna (powder) of 2 Vibhitaki should be taken and immediately after meal, the churna (powder) of 4 amla should be taken with honey and ghee for 1 year.
  2. A paste of Triphala is should be made and spread over a new iron vessel overnight. Next day it should be mixed with water mixed with honey and this should be taken early morning for 1 year.
  3. Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza Glabra), Vamshlochana, Pippali (Piper longum), honey, ghee and mishri along with Triphala for one year is Rasayana (Rejuvenation) therapy.
  4. The bhasma of all the metals, powder of meetha vach (Acorus calamus), honey, ghee, vidang (Embelia ribes), pippali (Piper longum) and salt mixed with Triphala if taken one 1 year is also Rasayana.

Side Effects | Contraindications

There are no known side effects of Triphala. But, no side effects doesn’t mean that one can consume any quantity of Triphala.

Remember there is always a overdose for any medication.

If you are a patient of high blood pressure (Hypertension), a child or a lactating mother, before taking Triphala consult an Ayurvedic Doctor for it’s proper dosage and indication.

Conclusion

Triphala is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that has become a popular herbal remedy for many ailments.

Studies show it can help prevent inflammation, and test-tube studies have demonstrated a possible protective effect against certain cancers.

It’s also used as a natural alternative treatment for constipation and dental issues like excess plaque and gum inflammation. It may even help with weight loss.

With so many purported health benefits, Triphala may be a worthwhile natural remedy to add your routine.

Classical Mentions

१. पथ्याविभीतधात्रीणां फलैः स्यात् त्रिफला समैः I फलत्रिकंच त्रिफला सा वरा च प्रकीर्तिता II त्रिफला कफपित्तघ्नी मेह्कुष्ठहरा सरा I चक्षुष्या दीपनी रुच्या विषमज्वरनाशिनी II  [भा.प्र.नि.१/४२-४३]  

२. स्वल्पा काश्मर्यखर्जूरपरूषकफलैर्भवेत I [प.प्र.३/१४१] 

३. जातिफलं पूगफलं लवंगकलिकाफलम् I सुगन्धित्रिफला ज्ञेया सुरभित्रिफला च स II [रा.नि.२२/५]    

४. द्राक्षाकाश्मर्यखर्जूरफलानि मिलितानि तु | मधुरत्रिफला ज्ञेया मधुरादिफलत्रयम || [रा.नि.मि.४]  

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2 thoughts on “Triphala : Ingredients, Types, Benefits, Indications and More

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