“When in doubt, give Triphala” could easily be the Ayurvedic motto. Triphala (Trifala), which means the three fruits, is one of the main Ayurvedic compounds. It can be used to shampoo the hair or wash the body; as an emetic or a laxative; as nose, ear, or eye drops; as a gargle or a snuff; or as a decoction for enema.
When eaten it gently scrapes ama away , and also rejuvenates the membrane lining the digestive tract. Triphala helps calm inflammations, scrapes excess fat from the body, and balances all three doshas. It is the best laxative and bowel tonic; a balanced Rasayana ; and an effective astringent for external use.
Triphala is a mixture of three of the most important Ayurvedic herbs:
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is rejuvenative for Vata,
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) for Pitta;
Bibitaki (Terminalia belerica)for Kapha.
Triphala may taste quite bitter or sour at first but Ayurveda believes strongly in taking powdered herbs through the mouth. Receiving signals from the tongue our digestive system releases the right enzymes to properly absorb the food, medicine or herb. That’s why it is so important to let the medicine go through the whole digestive tract instead of dropping a capsule into the stomach.
Of primary importance is the use of Triphala as a bowel regulator, for which it is considered to be as safe as a food, and not habit forming even when taken on a daily basis.
Regular, daily use of triphala will promote normal appetite, good digestion, an increase in red blood cells and hemoglobin, and aid in the removal of undesirable fat.