Ayur-Triphala by Douglas Laboratories is an Ayurvedic herbal formula from dried fruit of 3 plants, with properties to support immune health, detoxification, digestion, and cardiovascular health.
Triphala, a cornerstone of ayurvedic medicine, is a composite herbal preparation containing equal proportions of three fruits Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellirica. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Terminalia bellerica has been used as a “health-harmonizer” in combination with Terminalia chebula and Emblica officinalis. This combination is also used to support cholesterol and heart tissue maintenance.
Orally, Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula are used for lipids and digestive conditions, including both diarrhea and constipation, and indigestion. The applicable part of Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula is the fruit. The astringent properties of Terminalia bellerica and Terminalia chebula are attributed to their beneficial support in bowel regularity and digestion. Terminalia bellerica also contains gallic acid, and is thought to have hepatoprotective properties.
An ethanolic extract of Terminalia chebula containing gallic acid and its ethyl ester may have activity for microbial balance. The gallic acid and chebulagic acid in Terminalia chebula may have immune-supportive properties for T lymphocytes. Emblica officinalis, also called Indian gooseberry, is a native deciduous tree in India and the Middle East.
Indian gooseberry has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Reference to Indian gooseberry appeared in an Ayurvedic medicine text in the seventh century. Indian gooseberry has a wide variety of health benefits.
Preliminary evidence suggests that Indian gooseberry fruit and juice may support total serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides, and phospholipids without affecting high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
In addition, numerous additional therapeutic uses described both in the Ayurvedic medical literature and anecdotally are being validated scientifically.
As both Ayurveda and Western medicine agree that health and disease begin in the gut,1,3 Triphalarepresents an essential foundational formula as it promotes efficient digestion, absorption, elimination, and rejuvenation. Numerous references in well-respected Ayurvedic medical texts make clear that Triphala is revered as a multiuse therapeutic and perhaps even panacea historically.1,2
In addition to laxative action, Triphala research has found the formula to be potentially effective for several clinical uses such as appetite stimulation, reduction of hyperacidity, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, antibacterial, antimutagenic, adaptogenic, hypoglycemic, antineoplastic, chemoprotective, and radioprotective effects, and prevention of dental caries.
Polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome and thereby promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes. The bioactivity of Triphala is elicited by gut microbiota to generate a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Triphala is translated as “three fruits”, as it consists of the fruits of the amalaki, bibhataki, and haritaki trees. To prepare Triphala, the fruits are first dried, ground into powder form and then combined in three equal parts. The compounds in each of the three fruits of Triphala are thought to have beneficial effects on the human body. Let’s take a look at each one in turn:
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis): The fruit of the amalaki has a very high vitamin C content. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is lauded for its antioxidant and anti-aging effects.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): The fruit of the Haritaki tree contains high tannin levels. Tannins have been shown to have natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities. Haritaki is viewed in Ayurvedic medicine as providing immune system support and is often recommended as an overall body panacea. In the area of digestion, haritaki is thought to have antispasmodic effects, and therefore would be recommended for use in easing abdominal pain and normalizing bowel movements.
Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica): The fruit of the bibhataki tree contains levels of gallic acid, tannic acid, and glycosides. These compounds are thought to give bibhataki antioxidant and antispasmodic qualities.