Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark

Tummy Tonic

The Ayurvedic cure-all triphala can boost sluggish digestion.

By Eva Herriott

health57story

In an effort to stay healthy, you probably take strides to keep organs such as the lungs and heart in top form, through practices like pranayama and meditation. But it might pay to set your sights lower.

"Some 80 percent of all degenerative, chronic diseases have their origin in inefficient digestion, assimilation, or metabolism," says Dr. Rama Kant Mishra, an Indian-born Ayurvedic physician and researcher. "If we are unable to properly digest and assimilate the food we eat, the body will not receive the nourishment it needs to maintain and regenerate itself. Moreover, digestive dysfunction creates ama, a toxic byproduct, which can wreak havoc on normal bodily functioning if allowed to accumulate over time."

To strengthen the digestive fires, ayurvedic physicians traditionally recommend a potent herbal mixture called triphala. A combination of amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki, triphala strengthens the digestive process, provides nutrients, and pushes out toxins from the body. With a mild laxative effect, it enhances the health of the gastrointestinal tract by rejuvenating the membrane lining of the intestines and by stimulating bile production. Triphala improves liver function, helps purify the blood, and removes accumulated toxins. It is also high in vitamin C and linoleic oil.

Triphala also helps address a wide range of disorders, from irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and diarrhea, to anemia, eye disease, skin disorders, yeast infections, and problems related to the female cycle. According to Dr. Mishra, most anyone can benefit from taking triphala, although it is contraindicated for pregnant women, people with chronic liver conditions, and for those taking blood-thinning drugs. In rare cases, if a lot of ama has accumulated in the body, nausea or a skin rash may develop when you first begin taking triphala as impurities are pushed out. If that happens, stop taking the herb and consult with an ayurvedic doctor before taking it again.

Take the herb for about six months at a time, and then take a four-week break before continuing. If you take triphala in powder form, 1/2 teaspoon every evening before bedtime is recommended. If you take it in pill form, follow the recommendations on the bottle. Monitor your daily bowel movements. If they get too loose, it's time to cut back on the dose.

Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark
Full Name
Address 1
Address 2
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email (req):

Reader Comments

mcurtin3@yahoo.co.uk

Would like to know if it is safe to take triphala for me, I am currently on 75mgs of aspirin nu seals and lipitor to keep cholesterol under control.

sneha

what is the benefits of triphala

Add a Comment »

Your Name:

Comment:

Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
sd14 San Diego
Sheraton San Diego
July 10-14, 2014
Register
2014 new york live New York
Hilton New York
April 24-28, 2014
Register

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions