Triphala literally means ‘three fruits’ and it is blended equally from all three nourishing fruits to perform the functions of healing perfectly. Its therapeutic action as a deep and enduring tissue cleanser is believed to come from it possessing five of the six tastes (all but salty).
Haritaki is a very large deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 metres in height. The flowers are a pale yellow or white and have an unpleasant odour. The fruits are nut-like, elliptical in shape, hard, ribbed and a bright green colour when picked. The tree is common throughout the forests of India and Sri Lanka.
Bibhitaki is a large deciduous tree that can reach up to 30 metres in height. The flowers are a pale green/yellow and have an unpleasant odour. The fruits used in the triphala combination are globular, grey and hairy and grow up to 2cm in diameter. The tree is commonly found throughout forests in India and Sri Lanka.
Amalaki is a small deciduous tree that can reach up to 18metres in height. Its flowers and fruit are a greenish/yellow colour. The fruits are spherical, gooseberry like, with a smooth skin. The tree is common throughout India.
Triphala helps support the body’s natural cleansing processes, helping to maintain the health of the digestive tract. It will positively influence all digestive complaints through its ability to strengthen the digestive mucosal membranes, ease congestion and encourage cleansing. It is traditionally classified as a laxative, but its laxative actions are mild and do not influence any dependency. It tones the digestive tract and encourages effective peristalsis and reduces digestive irritation. Triphala will thoroughly detoxify the digestive tract whilst also nourishing every tissue in the body. Triphala is a potent anti-oxidant, providing a deep level of cellular protection to the cells of the digestive tract.
Haritaki contains compounds known as anthraquinone laxatives that encourage a laxative action within the digestive tract. It is also rich in tannins which are astringent compounds that tonify and strengthen the digestive lining. This encourages a more effective peristaltic action and provides protection against prolapse, ulcerations and conditions such as leaky gut. Haritak is said to dry all leakages from the body! Haritaki also has a specific use in relieving digestive irritation caused by parasites or infection.
Bibhitaki is a strong astringent to the digestive mucosal membranes, providing strength and tone in a similar way to haritaki. Bibhitaki is effective at clearing mucous congestion throughout the body and acts as an effective expectorant. This herb also contains a small proportion of cardiac glycosides which can be effective for cardiac congestion and/or insufficiency.
Amalaki is sometimes shortened to ‘Amla’ which can be literally translated to ‘sour’ reflecting its taste! Amalaki is a superb rejuvenative that reduces inflammation in the digestive tract in addition to being a mild laxative. It is particularly suited to treating any digestive sensitivity. Amalaki is packed with Vitamin C and potent antioxidants that provide invaluable protection to the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. These sour properties have made amalaki an effective and potent liver cleanser and its high levels of Vitamin C make Amalaki a strong immune system restorative. Amalaki has an affinity for the blood and nourishes the heart. It can reduce elevated cholesterol levels but also encourage any arterial healing where there has been damage.
There is a popular folk saying in India that reads ‘No mother? Do not worry so long as you have Triphala.’ Indian culture believes that Triphala is able to care for the internal organs of the body as a mother cares for her children.
Traditional Ayurvedic characteristics are