Triphala is one of the most widely used herbal formula and regular use is celebrated for removing waste and treating many common conditions such as arthritis, impure blood, obesity, general sickness, old age, headaches, eyesight and many other ailments that all cluster around cellular degeneration, inflammation, poor digestion, and oxidative stress. Amalaki gives longevity, increased memory, balanced intellect, health and youthful energy, lustrous skin and body and it is also cherished as a psychic and spiritual medicine, imparting well-being, clarity, and peace with prolonged use. Such formula often combines ghee and honey with ashwagandha for a profound tonic and restorative formula. As well as being considered a nootropic for memory and intelligence, it is said to reduce the propensity for headaches, migraines and such tension and stress that causes and triggers such symptoms. It is a supreme digestive aid, expectorant for chronic coughs, is useful in diabetes, eye diseases and is used widely in hair tonics as well. Studies on its use as anabolic agent show positive effects on cellular regeneration, lean body mass, and balancing body weight. It is a well-studied potent antioxidant, digestive aid, antimicrobial, antimutagenic and immunomodulator exhibiting aids in dire conditions. Triphala is composed of the three fruits:

Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica) also known as emblic, emblic myrobalan, myrobalan, Indian gooseberry, Malacca tree, or amla, from the Sanskrit amalaki, is used traditionally for healthy functioning of the liver, heart, brain, and lungs. It’s also a component of a popular Ayurvedic remedy called triphala. It is considered best among Rasayana, or Achararasayana and has names such as Shreepala or ‘fruit of prosperity,’ Shiva ‘auspicious, nectar’ Divyadhara ‘basis for divine quality’ and many other names meaning ‘arresting old age’, ‘mother like’ and ‘invigorating.’ It is held in such high esteem and is an ingredient in the famous Triphala or three fruits (with Terminalia bellirica and T. chebula).

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is named Haritaki as from the ‘abode of Hara’ (Hara is a name for Lord Shiva). It is called Vijaya, victorious or conquers all diseases, Rohini, heals the wounds, Amrita, nectar, and too many other high titles to mention that hail this herb as giving long life, health, energy, sexual virility, divine blessings, peace and spiritual nourishment. It is the fruit held by Lord Buddha in his lap, as well as many of the sages from Padmasambhav and Nagarjuna, etc. These herbs are also used in the treatment of the holy mercury (parad) which is the ‘semen of Shiva’ and in the purification of the herbal-mineral and metallic medicines discussed in future issues of this series. It is superior for rejuvenation protocols, as its effect is like a mother’s care for the baby in the womb, providing pure nutrients and health. It is used for digestive aids, detox, purging ama wastes from the system, biofilms, bad blood, toxins and is a laxative in proper dosages but also regulates bowel movements. It is the most esteemed rasayana for longevity, for cardiotonic, spleen disorders, cholesterol, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, antiviral, and the most excellent immune boosting herb.

Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellircia) also called Bibhitaki is the third fruit in Triphala and another potent rasayana. Studies have shown its antimicrobial powers effective against strains of malaria, HIV, and is effective in purging the effects of viral respiratory infection. Studies confirm folk uses for antifungal purges of Candida and is also beneficial in breathing and asthma. It is used in formula for deep breathing and pranayama and too many yogic formula to mention in this brief entry. Its use for purging the body is effective in fasting protocols and priming to take the visionary herbs or the deeper medicines for maximum bioavailability. Bibhitaki belongs to the three main groups of herbs – Jwarahara, the herbs used to ease fever. Kasahara, herbs used to remedy cold and cough and Virechanopaga, herbs used in Panchakarma Detoxification. The ayurvedic formulation is well-known to pacify the Kapha and Vata doshas. Several studies have disclosed that bioactive compounds of the fruit are credited to have anti-depressant traits that are potent to combat stress and anxiety.