Plants and their parts have been used for millennia to promote health and cure disease. While only part of the Ayurvedic treatment armamentarium they are nonetheless important. They are everywhere and they come to us through the bounty of Mother Nature. Here we consider three fruits, used individually, and in a traditional Ayurvedic compound, called triphala. Many traditional compounds also contain triphala, a testament to its wide usefulness.

Triphala is the dried form of three fruits--all indigenous to India. They are: haritaki = Chebulic myrobalan, amalaki = Emblica officinalis, bhibitaki = Beleric myrobalan. Haritaki has been called the destroyer of disease. It is useful in many disorders, including--diabetes, cough, worms, edema, skin conditions, yeast infection, bronchitis, hepatitis, splenomegaly, kidney stones, eczema, hemorrhoids, gulma, hiccough. While it is balancing to all three doshas, it is particularly useful in balancing vata. It has an action which promotes the clearing of all channels in the body. Amalaki has been described as the highest known natural source of vitamin C. But this form of ascorbic acid is actually alkaline in the small intestine, therefore it is particularly useful in balancing pitta dosha. It is moreover, balancing to all three doshas and has all tastes except salt. Amalaki is useful as a skin and eye wash to help maintain vitality and it helps promote hair growth. Other indications include bleeding hemorrhoids, anemia, diabetes, gout, obesity, diabetes-- all types, hyperacidity, eczema, psoriasis, hoarse voice, sore throat, inflammation, hiccoughs, hepatitis B, nonspecific urethritis, sterility, anemia, gingivitis, glaucoma, , diarrhea, constipation, active fistula, hair loss, multiple voice, and threatening melanoma. Bhibitaki is particularly balancing to kapha dosha from its astringent taste. Other indications include: asthma, cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, stones, chronic diarrhea, parasites, eye and skin diseases, hiccoughs, dysentery. As part of triphala used in liver and gastro-intestinal tract disorders. Oil from the kernel used as dressing for hair, externally for rheumatism. Taken all together this formulation, as triphala, is good for headache, biliousness, dyspepsia, constipation, piles, enlarged liver, and ascites. It is part of many important classical healing compounds. It removes ama from the gastro-intestinal tract and from deep tissues. It helps to restore and maintain tone and peristalsis of the intestines. It has a slight laxative value which helps the body to eliminate regularly but without dependency. It eliminates excess pitta in the GI tract from the body while helping vata to move wastes down and out of the body. This may be the only laxative that does not build physiological dependency with use. By removing toxins it aids in the proper absorption of minerals and other nutrients. And because of its high vitamin C content it is used to help prevent the affects of aging. This formulation is recommended for most people in health and in disease for the duration of life. In summary it helps:

Contraindications: pregnancy, fever, diarrhea

(C) Copyright 1998 Michael Dick All Rights Reserved