Dr Rama Prasad


Triphala - a detoxifying tonic
Caroline Robertson ND

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“When in doubt, try Triphala”, says prominent ayurvedic physician Robert Svoboda. This potent threefruit compound is a safe, effective and time-tested remedy with an incredibly versatile range of applications. It is also one of the few formulas suitable for all body-types and is mild enough to use daily without risk of side effects or dependency.


Therapeutic uses

Ayurveda teaches that the foundation of health is an efficient assimilation of nutrients and elimination of wastes. When these functions are balanced the body maintains a healthy homeostasis of optimal resilience and regenerative capacities. Triphala is Ayurveda’s principle formula to enhance one’s digestion, elimination and immunity. It is invaluable in treating digestive disorders such as constipation, gas, gastritis, malabsorption, Candida and liver toxicity. A body of modern scientifi c trials substantiate Triphala’s traditional uses.

They have verifi ed the following actions:

1. improves digestion (1)
2. is antioxidant rich (2)
3. improves circulation (cardiotonic and capillary strengthening fl avonoids)
4. potentiates adrenergic function (helps the body recover from stress)
5. contains linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid) and phospholipids (5)
6. lowers blood pressure
7. exerts a marked heart-protective and cardio-tonic effect (7, 8)
8. reduces serum cholesterol (9)
9. improves liver function and is liver protective (10, 11)
10. is anti-infl ammatory (constituents include Vit. C and quercetin)
11. is expectorant (13)
12. has anti-viral (HIV, AIDS, herpes, CMV) properties (14)
13. has anti-bacterial properties (15)
14. has anti-cancer properties (16)
15. has anti-allergy properties (17)
16. has anti-mutagenic properties (18)
17. assists in weight loss (19)

Another historically documented use for Triphala is as an eye tonic, useful in all ophthalmic conditions. All these qualities give Triphala the reputation as a powerful rejuvenative or rasayana in Sanskrit.

The three fruits

Each fruit balances an elemental pair or dosha. Phyllanthus emblica (Amalaki) reduces pitta, Terminalia chebula (Haritaki) subdues Vata and Terminalia bellerica (Vibhitaki) stabilizes Kapha. Phyllanthus, also known as ‘the nurse’, provides a rich source of Vitamin C, fl avonoids, and carotenoids. It’s astringent, cooling and anti-infl ammatory properties make it an effective herb for dyspepsia, ulcers, gastric refl ux and colitis.

Terminalia bellerica contains 40% protein and 35% cholesterol lowering linoleic oil. It’s astringent properties reduce mucous in conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and allergies. Terminalia chebula, also known as the ‘divine’ contains anthraquinones, which give Triphala its laxative effect. It is also a mild nervine and antiparasitic agent useful for irritable bowel syndrome.

Ayurvedic Remedies have made this strong tasting trio more palatable by adding natural peppermint flavour. It also comes in a unique concentrated form giving a minimal dosage maximal efficacy. So next time you need a formula either for the immune system, digestion, inflammation or the liver –try Triphala, Ayurveda’s most frequently prescribed formula.


References:
(1) Chawla Y. K., Indian J. Med. Res. 76 (suppl): 95-98, December 1982.
(2) N. Takagi and T. Sanashiro. ‘Health foods containing antioxidative and anti-allergy food materials.’ Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP
10 00,070, Jan 6th, 1996
(5) R. Khotpal, A. Kulkarni and H. Bhakare, ‘Composition of Ambadi, Akhrot and Behada seed phospholipids.’ Indian J. Pharm. Sci.
56 (5), 184-186, 1994
(7) M. Tariq, S.J. Hussain, M. Asif and M. Jahan, `Protective Effect of Fruit Extracts of Emblica officinalis and Terminalia bellerica in
Experimental Myocardial Necrosis in Rats.’ Pharmacological Laboratory, Department of Ilmul Advia, Tibiya College, Aligarh Muslim
University, Aligarh, 1977
(8) Hussain, S.J., `Screening of some Unani cardiotonic drugs’, D.U.M., Thesis, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 1975
(9) P.C. Thakur, `Emblica officinalis reduces serum, aortic and hepatic cholesterol in rabbits.’ Patna Medical College. Patna-800004
(India), 16 February 1984
(10) R. Gulati, S. Agarwal and S. S. Agarwal,’ Hepatoprotective studies on Phyllanthus emblica and quercitin.’ Indian J. Exp. Biol.
33 (4), 261-268, 1995
(13) Khorana, M.L., Rajarama Rao, M.R. and Siddiqui, H.H., J. Sci. Ind. Res., 19C (1960), 60
(14) Nakanishi, K., Chem. Pharm. Bull. (Tokyo), 13 (1965), 882; T. Yukaka, M. Kurokawa, H. Sato, Y. Yoshida, et al., ‘Prophylactic
treatment of cytomegalovirus infections with traditional herbs.’ Antiviral Res. 32 (2), 63-70, 1996; M. Kurokawa, H. Sato, et al.,
‘Effects of traditional herbal medicines against herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 and acyclovir-resistant HSV type 1 in vitro and
in vivo. ‘Wakan Iyakugaku Zasshi, 12 (3), 187-194, 1995; S. El-Mekkawey, M. Meselhy, et al., ‘Inhibitory effects of Egyptian folk
medicines on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase’. Chem. pharm. Bull. 43 (4), 641-648, 1995; T. Hozumi,
H. Oyama et al., ‘Crude drugs for treating AIDS’ Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 09 87,185, Mar. 31st, 1997
(15) Khorana, M.L., Rajarama Rao, M.R. and Siddiqui, H.H., Indian Journal of Pharmacy, 21 (1959), 331
(16) K. Tokura and S. Kagawa, ‘Anticancer agents containing chebulanin from Terminalia chebula.’ Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP
07,138,165, Sept. 24th, 1995
(17) N. Takagi and T. Sanashiro. ‘Health foods containing antioxidative and anti-allergy food materials.’ Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP
10 00,070, Jan 6th, 1996
(18) G. Rani, S. Bala and I. S. Grover, ‘Antimutagenic studies of diethyl ether extract and tannin fractions of emblica myrobalan
(Emblica officinalis) in Ames assay.’ J. Plant Sci. Res. 10 (1-4), 1-4, 1994; M. Niiawa, A. Fu, et al., ‘Effects of Chinese medicinal
plant extracts on mutagenicity of Trp-P-1.’ Nat. Med. 49(3), 329-331, 1995
(19) M. Hashimoto and Y. Nakajima, ‘Antiobesity agents, alpha-amylase inhibitors, lipase inhibitors, foods and beverages containing
plant extracts’ Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 09,227,398, Sept. 2nd, 1997



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