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Effective Ayurvedic herbs: Triphala. Used for well over 2,000 years, triphala is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. In India, it’s considered the greatest and most versatile of all herbal formulations.What is triphala or triphala churna? It’s a traditional herbal formulation made from the dried powder of three different fruits. The name comes from combining the Sanskrit words “tri” meaning three, “phala” meaning fruit and “churcha,” which means powder.Triphala contains gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid, which are all strong antioxidants. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal abilities.Triphala’s purported uses include the natural treatment of cancer, infections, gastrointestinal issues, inflammation, high cholesterol, immune system malfunction and even cancer.Weight Loss-In conditions of excess weight, triphala can be used as part of a weight loss program that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Proper digestion and elimination are important factors in achieving long-term success in maintaining an optimal body weight. Triphala also promotes healthy eating habits and cravings by supplying the body with the full spectrum of natural tastes. By promoting healthy absorption and assimilation of nutrients, triphala keeps the body feeling properly nourished and balanced.Triphala Tea-To take triphala as a tea, make a decoction by adding ½ teaspoon of triphala powder to a cup of hot water. Stir and allow the tea to cool, and drink. Triphala contains five of the six tastes recognized in Ayurveda sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent.Triphala is usually taken on an empty stomach, most commonly in the evening before bed. Some prefer to take it first thing in the morning, especially if taking it at bedtime makes one urinate at night.Digestion-As you can see, each component of Triphala is beneficial to a specific, corresponding piece of the tri-dosha experience that is you. The biggest impact is perhaps the health benefits as they relate to digestion. This mixture encourages balanced, full elimination, by pulling stagnated Ama or toxic residue from the digestive tract and increasing the colon’s absorption functions. The colon is seen as the seat of Vata, so medicine that helps the function of the colon is beneficial to general Vata disorders. Several bowel diseases start out as Vata imbalances, even if later fueled by Pitta or Kapha issues. Triphala’s balancing effect on the “wind” of your digestive tract can not only get things moving but also help your bowels find the appropriate pace for optimal absorption.Basically, Triphala promotes digestive regularity.Taste as an Emotional Barometer-You can use your ability to taste as a tool to balance not only your physical body but also your emotional life. There is no separation between your physical body and your mind. In order to truly see food as medicine and the signals from your body as messages of conscious awareness, you have to take everything, including the signals from the tongue, as valid sources of information. While these signals are biological in nature, the psychology of taste should be taken into consideration, too.Since Triphala is essentially clueing you in on a deficiency in your diet, you may exhibit this deficiency in your emotional or mental life as well. For example, a bitter taste may mean that it’s time to draw your mind inward and discipline your life in certain directions. A pungent taste from Triphala may mean that there’s room for more enthusiasm or vigor in your life.
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