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Triphala (the three fruits) is an Ayurvedic, polyherbal preparation comprising three ingredients. The ingredients are all fruits, and they’re all native to India: bibhitaki, amalaki, and haritaki. Each fruit is thought to positively impact the body’s three doshas. In Ayurvedic medicine, doshas are elemental forces believed to permeate body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurveda is a centuries-old Indian medicinal system. Triphala has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It’s thought to support bowel health and aid digestion. As an antioxidant, it’s also thought to detoxify the body and support the immune system.
Triphala is not appropriate for everyone to use. Based on where it’s manufactured, it may also contain toxins, such as mercury and lead, making some supplements unsafe for human consumption.
Forms and uses
Triphala is very high in antioxidants. It’s touted for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral abilities, and it’s prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners for a wide variety of ailments. These include strengthening the immune system, promoting oral health, and treating fatigue, gastric distress, pneumonia, cancer, and AIDS. Triphala has been studied in the laboratory and on animals, but not extensively on humans.
Triphala is available commercially in supplement form, as a pill, and as a liquid extract. The liquid extract is typically meant for external use and should never be put into the eyes, unless it’s specifically prescribed for this purpose.
Triphala supplements have varying daily dosages based upon the manufacturer. It’s important to follow package directions exactly.
Triphala supplements may be most effective when taken right before bed with a large glass of warm water. Some people prefer to take this supplement on an empty stomach, while others prefer to take it with food. Discuss these options with your doctor.
Triphala is also available in powder form. The powder is meant to be dissolved in warm water and consumed as tea. It may also be used as an oral swish, like a mouthwash. Triphala may have a bitter taste, but it can be mixed with honey or lemon without diminishing its effects.
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