Triphala, meaning three fruits in Sanskrit, consists of Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). (For more on Amalaki, see my post Uses of Amalaki Powder.) Typically dried then powdered, and sometimes pressed into capsule form, triphala is used widely in India’s Ayurveda health system for both prevention and cure; it is a natural antioxidant. The most common application is digestive issues. Triphala choorna, or Three Fruit Powder, is used in preparation of Ayurveda treatments, internally, and externally.
Triphala powder is used for Ayurveda preparations of:
- Dhooma Pana (medicated smoking), and
- Shirovasti (retaining of medicated oil over the head).
Externally, triphala can be used on the eyes and as a mouthwash.
- Eye inflammation–make a decoction of triphala (boil the powder until dissolved), allow to cool, then rinse closed eyes to relieve inflammatory conditions.
- Reducing Kapha of the mouth and other senses–dissolve triphala powder in water to make a decoction, allow to settle then gargle or hold in the mouth for as long as possible. This is used in preventing and curing excessive Kapha of the mouth, namely mouth ulcers,stiff tongue, lack of taste, stiff mandible, and toothache, as well as of the sensory organs, including diseases of the eyes, ears, or nose.
As mentioned earlier, when used internally, the primary effect is on the digestive tract.
- Obesity–to reduce or prevent obesity, mix 10g triphala powder into warm water, add honey to taste, and drink after meals.
- Indigestion–to prevent indigestion, add 3g triphala powder to warm water and drink daily after dinner/before bed.
Internally, triphala powder works to increase digestive fire, eliminate food stagnation and buildup, and aid passage of solid wastes (some consider it a mild laxative.) Triphala is a strong detoxifier that simultaneously strengthens and nourishes the body, and is notable in preventing metabolic syndrome.
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