Have you heard of the saying that good things come in small packages? The same seems to apply when it comes down to body size. In today’s society, slim seems to be the new standard for beauty and obviously, many people are willing to do whatever it takes to shed a few extra pounds.
Far from the need to be fashionable, managing your weight is actually one step towards a healthy life. Weight gain puts you at a high risk of health complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoarthritis among others. It is therefore paramount to not only work towards attaining healthy weight but also put effort in maintaining it.
A complete overhaul of your lifestyle is a good option for weight loss but an expensive one. Alternatively, you can adopt nutritional practices that can help you achieve your goals without spending a fortune. One such practice is
What is Triphala?
The name Triphala means, “three fruits”. This refers to the three components that form the supplement, which are Emblica Officinalis, Terminalia Chebula, and Terminalia Belerica. These ingredients are all known medicinal plants that have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine.
- Emblica Officinalis (also known as Amalaki or Indian gooseberry) is known for its laxative and purgative properties. It is also extremely high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. The herb also aids in healing and blood clotting functions. It also breaks down fat accumulations and cholesterol.
- Terminalia Chebula (also known as Haritaki) is a mild and safe laxative. It prevents blood clotting and improves stomach and digestive function. Terminalia Chebula is commonly used to correct nutritional imbalances and streamline digestion.
- Terminalia Belerica (also known as Bibhitaki) is another Ayurvedic laxative. Additionally, it is beneficial to wound healing and has the ability to reduce fevers.
Triphala and weight loss
There are different reasons put forth to explain the marked increase in obesity cases all over the world. These reasons range from sedentary living, genetics, junk food, medication, etc. One thing is common however; weight gain occurs when the intake of fats is more than the body can synthesize. Triphala, unlike most products, deals with weight gain from the inside out. Is there any evidence?
People struggling with obesity participated in a 12 weeks study. They were aged 16-60 years. Each of them took either 5gms of placebo or 5gms of Triphala, two times a day. At the end of the study, the group that used Triphala experienced reduced body fat levels in the hips and waist unlike in the placebo group. So, how does Triphala help you lose weight?
1. Enhancing digestion and detoxification
Triphala is packed with laxative abilities. When you take it, it helps in the faster movement of food in the digestive tract leading to the need for frequent bowel movement. This cleans the colon of waste products like heavy metals, bacteria, and excess fats. The flushing of these toxins together with the mucus lining the colon from your body registers progressive weight loss.
In a study done by The Agha Khan University Medical College, researchers set out to test the effect of P. Emblica, also known as amla fruit on indigestion and constipation. Amla is a constituent of Triphala powder. They observed that feeding guinea pigs, mice and rabbits with extracts of the fruit triggered laxative activities which increased bowel movements. The study therefore gave logical basis for the medicinal use of Amla as a laxative.
2. Fighting the urge to overeat
Excessive intake of processed foods leads to obesity. Controlling your food intake is therefore a step in the direction of weight management; except it is not such an easy thing to do. Here is where Triphala comes in; when your digestive system is cleansed and your nutritional uptake operating at its optimum levels, your body absorbs nutrients from the food you eat more efficiently hence reducing the indication of hunger and compulsion to eat more.
3. Lowering cholesterol
Cholesterol exists as either good or bad. Cholesterol which is produced by the liver helps normalize the functioning of hormones and cells. When the liver produces more than enough cholesterol, the extra becomes poisonous to your body. The excess is therefore deposited in your body manifesting as weight gain. Furthermore, the cholesterol causes atherosclerosis which is dangerous constriction of artery walls due to fatty deposits.
Does Triphala lower cholesterol? The Japanese pharmaceutical Society tested the efficacy of Triphala on high levels of cholesterol. One of the three fruits in Triphala, Terminalia bellerica or the Bibhitaki, was able to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. The lowered levels of toxic cholesterol translate to
4. Boosts your energy
Weight gain closely associates with fatigue, general tiredness, and decreased energy levels. Thanks to Triphala’s gallic acid, and antihyperlipidemic features, it was proven potent in weight loss. The weight loss fades the fatigue and boosts your energy, leading to an active lifestyle. The active lifestyle kills the vicious cycle of gaining weight since the body breaks more fats to produce more power and very little if any remains unutilized.
How to prepare Triphala for weight loss?
To combat weight gain, Triphala is best consumed orally irrespective of the form in which it exists as long as it’s fit for consumption. You must however consult a physician before using Triphala and more especially if you are under medication. How do you prepare Triphala for weight loss?
- Make Triphala tea:
Step 1: In a cup of hot water, add ½ teaspoonful Triphala powder
Step 2: Let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes and then drink it.
For best results in weight loss, take the Triphala tea minutes before sleeping or early in the morning.
If you cannot stand the taste of the natural powder, feel free to add sweeteners like sugar or honey or alter the taste with lemons. You can also add it to fresh juice.
- Make Flaxseed and Triphala Tea
- Organic flax seed
- Triphala powder
- Psyllium fiber
Step 1: Put a bowl of water on the stove
Step 2: Just before the water starts boiling add a teaspoonful of each ingredient and let them cook to satisfaction.
Step 3: Get the mixture off the stove and set it aside until it’s warm. Drink a glass of it.
- Take Triphala in capsule/tablet form
The recommended dosage is 2 100mgs tablets per day; one in the morning and the other before sleeping. Take the tablets with warm water since the water gets it efficiently processed. A pill may cause nausea since you get to taste the content but then it sets the digestion in motion faster. A capsule allows you to swallow without tasting.
ffects of Triphala
- Stomach bloating and gases in case of your body’s inability to synthesize Triphala
- High doses may lead to diarrhea
- Miscarriage due to its laxative effect on the abdomen
- Digestive complications resulting from irritation of the colon by excess use of Triphala
- Allergies caused by intolerance to Triphala’s components
- Triphala may increases the negative reaction of other medications hence the need to consult a physician
Relationship between Ayurvedic medicine and Triphala
Ayurvedic medicine is an old, holistic medical system that traces its origin back to India. The system focuses on your entire well-being that is dependent on the balance between body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurvedic treatment relies on the power of natural herbs such as Triphala, metals, minerals and animal products and the incorporation of healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle for optimum health.
Where does Triphala come in? Ayrvedic Medicine operates on three foundational concepts also known as doshas. These are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They are believed to be the regulating forces of nature which are responsible for all physiological processes.
Triphala is believed to have beneficial effect on all the three concepts/doshas which makes it a critical component of Ayurveda medicine.
Planetary Herbals is a USA-based brand. Its marketing edge for this particular Triphala is as a gastrointestinal cleanser. The brand has produced several Ayurvedic products. However, this specific one is not USDA approved. You can order Planetary Herbals Triphala either from Amazon or from the producer’s website.
On the downside, this product does not ship out of the US. In addition to the Triphala are the following ingredients, silica, modified glucose gum, and magnesium stearate among others. The recommended dosage for this Triphala is 2 tablets of 100mg, early in the morning and before sleeping.
Pros: available as tablets, the official website is accessible, positive customer feedback.
Cons: shipping is limited to the USA, it is not USDA approved, added ingredients.
In Banyan Botanical’s packaging are 90 Triphala tablets. With over 20 years of operation, Banyan Botanicals has various Ayurvedic solutions you can trust. Their supplements range from rejuvenative dietary to detoxifiers. Additionally, their Triphala helps you manage weight while evening out your complexion.
You can take the tablets as per the medic’s prescription or 1 to 2 tablets of 500mg. The Triphala does not lose efficacy for two years since the date of manufacture. Nevertheless, this product is not for use by nursing or pregnant mothers. If you are under any medication, the product requires you to consult a doctor before using it. Banyan Botanicals Triphala also contains gum acacia and rice flour as additional ingredients.
Pros: has USDA’s approval, comes with official website backing, discounted bulk purchase, positive client feedback.
Cons: taste is a turn-off, contains added ingredients.
Weight loss is a subject that many people grapple with in the current times when excess weight is on the rise all over the world. While there are many ways to maintain healthy weight, the best results come with a combination of strategies. Triphala powder offers you an opportunity to deal with body fat from inside out. The best part is that it is natural, safe and supported by tones of scientific evidence.