India’s great sages of herbalism believed that digestion affects everything. From a biological viewpoint this makes sense. If every organ, muscle and thought of the body depends on the nutrients we give it to work properly, then good digestion is nothing short of a monumental vital process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy1. There truly can’t be a more basic need, or a more important one.
However, in the West, when we discuss detoxification we go straight to the principle organ by anatomical standards. In this case, the liver, and from there to prescribing drugs that treat the condition or recommend ‘supplements’ that replace what’s missing in their diet. This ranges from antioxidants to amino acids and highly specialized vitamin or herbal combinations to aid the chemical process of detoxification. Unfortunately, this process completely bypasses what should be our first question – why are the nutrients missing? Certainly, diet is a consideration. But, at least in the West, food is prevalent and the tell-tale signs of malnutrition are rarely seen. Ayurveda suggested thousands of years ago that the organ to target first is the digestive tract.
India’s system of healthcare gave us a timeless trio for proper digestive support, and one which was most often the first step in herbal treatment: Triphala. Triphala has far reaching and scientifically validated effects on the digestive system. The studies are mounting and seem to show that this ancient trio of herbs, and one of herbalism’s oldest formulas, affects the intestines, bowels and colon in the way that enzymes, fiber, and probiotics work today.
Triphala, which translates to “Three Fruits” or “Three Sours,” contains equal parts of three offerings from the myrobalan tree family:
– Amla fruit, or “Amalaki” (Phyllanthus emblica)
– Belleric myrobalan, or “Bibhitaki” (Terminalia bellerica)
– Chebulic myrobalan, or “Haritaki” (Terminalia chebula)
These three sour fruits provide digestive energy by supporting normal peristalsis, the body’s regular contraction and relaxation of muscles in the digestive tract. They provide natural, non-habit forming support for flatulence, sluggishness and occasional constipation. A good way to think of Triphala is the reboot step for a sluggish computer. For thousands of years, Triphala has reawakened digestive regularity in a non-purging, non-cramping, gentle manner. Ayurveda believed that Triphala worked by removing undigested waste/food from the intestinal wall, a product that called ‘ama’ which translates loosely into ‘toxins’. They believed that ‘ama’ would disrupt the absorption of nutrients from food which fed the vital force and the organ systems that support the detox process. This aligned with the maxim in Ayurveda which is that ‘herbs have no healing power; they can only remind the body how to heal itself’.
Research supporting Triphala’s positive effect on digestion can be seen in a three-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical in which 50 participants were given 1 caplet per day of Himalaya Pure Herbs Triphala before food. Participants taking Triphala had bowel movements increase 2.5 times over the first 7 days vs. no change in the placebo group. In addition they also had significantly less flatulence.3
The gained efficiency in digestion now paves the way, for both better absorption of food, and also for supplements that support the detox process which brings us to our next product – LiverCare.
The liver performs over 500 functions and detox is only 1 of them. So, if you’re concerned that the body is not detoxing efficiently, you should be equally concerned about the other 499 functions your liver may not be doing well either.
Himalaya’s prized formula is the #1 selling liver support formula in the world and is prescribed or sold every 1/8th of a second somewhere on the planet.
LiverCare has over 250 human clinical trials supporting its positive affect on liver functionality with many of them published in medical journals. The studies on LiverCare have shown a variety of effects on the liver’s health, such as reducing liver enzyme levels (a sign of improved liver function) as well as improving protein creation and retention! So, in line with the Ayurvedic paradigm of healing the system instead of the symptom, LiverCare has shown a vast array of possibilities in terms of improving liver performance.
Traditional herbalism saw all of our health challenges begin with an improper digestive system. They suggested that if we were to review our health we might be able to backtrack and realize that digestive inconsistencies often prelude other imbalances.
With the tried-and-true combo of Triphala and LiverCare, we can finally bring our busy lives and not-so-healthy eating habits back into balance with traditional “food herbs” that have been supporting and soothing us since our cooking pots were made out of clay.
Triphala and LiverCare is a timeless answer to a modern detox dilemma.
1 National Institutes of Health, “Why is Digestion Important?” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/#why
2 Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Trikatu: an open label, prospective clinical study (unpublished), Dilip Kumar Goswami, MD, Guwahati Ayurvedic Medical College, Guwahati, India
3 Clinical evaluation of Triphala: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, The Antiseptic, 2010 (1), 33-34.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Omar Cruz is a botanical researcher, author and clinical herbalist serving the industry for almost 20 years. Omar combines a cultural background of southwestern herbalism with his knowledge and passion for pharmacognosy in an effort to bridge traditional herbalism with western medicine. He has also dedicated several years to the study of Tibetan Ayurveda, which is a combination of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is the co-author of several textbooks, including “A Botanical Protocol Manual for Health Care Practitioners,” and “Traditional Medicines from the Earth (2nd Edition).” An invited lecturer at medical universities and teaching hospitals throughout the country, Omar now serves as Clinical Herbalist and National Educator for Himalaya Herbal Healthcare’s western hemisphere corporate office in Sugar Land, Texas.