triphala Amalaki Bibhitaki and Haritaki.

Triphala for Better Digestion and Optimal Weight

Feeling sluggish and out of balance? This Ayurvedic formula can help you restore your digestive tract and beat gas, bloating, and fatigue.

In This Article

The Benefits of Feeling Balanced

While we have record numbers of Americans with weight concerns, it’s not the number on the scale that matters. It’s how you feel in your skin! It’s about the underlying imbalances in your digestion and metabolism that impact energy, vitality, and the efficiency of getting nutrients in and waste out. Yes, weight-related health concerns are on the rise, but our attention should shift from the symptoms to the cause, which is the very premise of Ayurveda.

A few years ago, I saw a patient whom I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. She had a history of digestive concerns, including bloating, gas, and indigestion. During my visit with her, she told me she had lost 50 pounds by doing what I had suggested 10 years ago to treat her digestive woes, which was to take an herbal formula called Triphala after each meal, along with following a healthy diet.

While this is certainly not the typical result I see with patients using this formula, today there is some compelling evidence to explain how Triphala actually supports balanced weight.

The Science Behind Triphala

In a study published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, mice were divided into 6 groups, given different diets and supplements, and monitored for 10 weeks:

  • Group 1: Fed a normal diet
  • Group 2: Fed a high-fat diet
  • Group 3: Fed a high-fat diet plus supplemental triphala
  • Group 4: Fed a high-fat diet plus supplemental amalaki
  • Group 5: Fed a high-fat diet plus supplemental haritaki
  • Group 6: Fed a high-fat diet plus supplemental bibhitaki

The team measured food and energy intake daily during the course of the experiment, along with the body weight of each mouse every third day.

The results were amazing. All of the groups lost significant amounts of belly fat—with the exception of Groups 1 and 2.1 Clearly, supplementing with these herbs has a significantly measurable effect.

Hansel Shotsoflouis for Unsplash

How Triphala Works

During each meal, you produce a certain amount of mucus that helps lubricate your digestive tract. Over time, some of this digestive mucus builds up, clogging the little hair-like villi that help your body absorb nutrients and remove toxic substances.

Triphala, an Ayurvedic herbal formula, helps to cleanse the mucus off of the digestive villi, making for a more efficient digestive process. This formula is made up of three fruits that support elimination.1,6,7

  • Amalaki supports your intestinal skin
  • Bibhitaki pulls old mucus off the intestinal wall
  • Haritaki strengthens your intestinal muscles, so they can contract more efficiently when your bowels need to move

See also Ayurveda + Digestion 101: The 3 Steps to Feeling Great After Eating

Optimize Your Digestion with Triphala

Triphala is not classified as a laxative that creates dependencies, which is why I feel comfortable giving it to my patients. Taking this formula after each meal acts as a digestive sweep to pull residual mucus off the intestinal wall, leaving the villi cleansed and ready to absorb and assimilate the next meal. Once you start having a daily bowel movement within one hour of waking, you have re-vamped your digestion and can wean off of Triphala. The patient who lost 50 pounds using Triphala to support healthy digestion continued to use it until she reached a healthy weight for her.

Some clients with deep digestive vata imbalances and dried out intestines need a more complex formula that includes the ingredients in Triphala plus slippery elm and licorice, which are demulcents that support the natural lubrication and sliminess of the intestinal tract. With this formula, called Elim I, I am able to get most folks relief form their intestinal distress.

The problem may also be farther upstream and related to bile production in the liver. Read my article on liver and gallbladder health to help troubleshoot your own digestion.

Below are some symptoms related to sluggish digestion and elimination that Triphala may support:1,6,7

  • Mild and occasional headaches
  • Occasional constipation
  • Mild sore throat
  • Occasional swollen hands or feet
  • Mild rashes or itchy skin
  • Sore joints and stiffness upon waking
  • Swollen breasts with menstruation
  • Gas and bloating
  • Cellulite
  • Elevated histamine irritation due to common environmental allergies
  • Mild fatigue
  • Unwanted belly fat
  • Recent moles or liver spots
  • Dry skin

If you experience any of these, perhaps your digestive system is not as efficient as you think.

triphala for immunity and digestion

For best results, take one to two 500mg capsules of  LifeSpa Whole Herb Triphala after meals.

Note: The results shared in this article are not typical or expected for short- to medium-term use of Triphala. While supplementing with Triphala can help support healthy weight loss, the only tried and true method of losing substantial amounts of weight is changing one’s diet and exercise in accordance with the supervision of a certified health professional. Triphala is best for sluggish elimination and is not indicated for looser stools.

See also When to Use Whole Herbs vs. Extracts