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Triphala for Weight Loss

Updated on April 28, 2013

Triphala is an ancient Ayurvedic mixture that has been used for thousands of years to treat various disorders. It is most well known for its laxative benefits, but the benefits go well beyond this to detoxifying the body, reducing a number of health ailments, and for weight loss.

Ayurvedic doctors have long known that disease, many times, starts in the gut. When the gut is working efficiently, the body is able to absorb all of the vital nutrients it needs, and the body will have a strong immune system to ward off disease. The standard American diet (SAD) is wreaking havoc with our intestinal system, and triphala may just be the cure.

An old saying in India is “if you don’t have a mother, make sure you take Triphala”, as this herb cares for all of the organs of the body as only a mother could.

Triphala is one of the most widely used supplements in Ayurvedic Medicine.

Triphala translates into “three fruit”, and is comprised of equal parts of three super-fruit found in India.

  • Amalaki (or Amla- the Indian gooseberry) known as the rejuvenator and is a very powerful antioxidant, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body. It has been shown through research to stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and can also increase lean muscle mass.

  • Haritaki ( or Harar) is known as the herb to promote longevity, by supporting the rejuvenation of all cells in the body, including the skin. It cleanses the colon process in by removing toxins and gently stimulating the gut.

  • Bibhitaki (Bahera) is best known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also beneficial in the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) which reduces accumulated fat and fluid in the body


Each one of these fruits has significant health benefits individually, and when they are combined in the form of triphala, they work as an even more powerful tonic to detoxify the body, helping to achieve an ideal weight. Triphala is not just a gentle laxative but is a powerful body stimulant that promotes health and manages overall condition of the body. It detoxifies and cleans the body to rejuvenate all the body organs, making it young and energetic again.

Dr Oz recently highlighted triphala when discussing the top 5 Ayruvedic treatments for weight loss with Dr Kulreet Chaudhary. She was surprised this herb had never been featured on his show. He admitted to not being familiar with it, but had his research team do the complete workup. He was quite impressed. He sighted a study that tested 62 people in a double blinded randomized control study. The people were randomly divided into two groups of 31 people. Each group was roughly equal, with overweight people between the age of 16 and 60. The male female ratio was equal. Each group was asked not to change anything about their lifestyle- diet or exercise for the 12 week study. One group took 2 Triphala before bedtime, while the other group took a placebo. After 12 weeks, the triphala group lost on average 9 pounds, while the other group gained one pound.

One theory of why it is so successful, is when we are eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), the digestive system is overloaded with slow moving, devoid from fiber, nutrition poor food. Our body is generally hungry for what the body needs, so we are constantly hungry on the SAD diet, craving nutrients. When the gut is working efficiently, when taking triphala, the body can absorb all of the nutrients it needs, which lessens the hunger. This leads to weight loss.

There are 2 methods to take triphala- powder form or capsule. Dr Chaudhary recommends the powder form, as the taste is very important in Ayurvedic medicine, to begin the entire process of healing. She admits, to the North American palate, it is not easy to swallow, so the capsules can be substituted. Always chose organic triphala.

If the powder is to be consumed, she suggests making this mixture, and taking 1 hour before bedtime.

To 1/2 cup of warm water, add the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala powder
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored, uncolored psyllium fiber
  • 1 teaspoon ground organic flax seeds

When consumed regularly, it can help reduce excess weight. It promotes good colon health and acts as a gentle laxative without causing cramps or irritation. It gently stimulates the intestinal walls and restores tone to the colon, thus helping in the elimination process, providing a colon cleansing effect. It is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.

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