by Shanti Gowans
The most common Ayurvedic prescription in India today is a gentle but powerful herbal gut-healer called triphala. With origins dating back 6,000 years, Ayurvedic medicine’s ancient healers have understood the importance of the gut or millenea. And they are right. Most medical disorders can be traced back to your gut.
If you don’t keep your gut healthy, you could end up with a condition called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’, which can cause many chronic diseases… serious health issues, such as celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Sadly, Western medicine barely recognises Leaky Gut Syndrome, even though it afflicts millions of people. A leaky gut can be the source of real discomfort. It often goes hand in hand with multiple allergies, as well as asthma, eczema, headaches, sinusitis, gas, bloating, gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Here is how it happens:
The lining of your gut is similar to a fine net, built of just a single layer of cells. It is this barrier that keeps food in your digestive system until it can be broken down safely.
If your gut is healthy, tiny holes in the lining allow nutrients to pass through. This is how your body absorbs vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients.
The problem is, the modern world is hostile to your gut. Antibiotics, steroids and other prescription drugs wipe out the delicate gut microflora in your small intestine. These are the good guys you need to crowd out the “bad bacteria.”
Additionally, and to compound matters, making it worse, a western diet of processed starches, sugars and food additives, such as emulsifiers, feed bad bacteria and break down the integrity of these tiny intestinal holes.
When you have a leaky gut, these tiny holes become misshapen and enlarge. Large undigested food molecules, yeasts, bacteria, toxins and invading pathogens can now flow freely into your bloodstream and damage your body.
If you have allergies, it may be a sign that you have a leaky gut…
Your body treats all that “sewage” as foreign invaders. Gradually, you develop reactions to foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, grains, eggs, and more.
Now, every time you eat these foods, your body launches an immune reaction. This leads to chronic inflammation throughout your body, the root of all chronic disease. But Ayurvedic doctors know exactly how to treat a leaky gut, as well as the diseases and conditions that spring from it. The first choice of medication is a herbal remedy called ‘triphala’. It is named from two Sanskrit words that literally mean ‘three fruits’. Triphala is made by blending the dried and powdered rinds and flesh of amlaki (or Indian gooseberry), haritaki (from the terminalia tree) and bibhitaki (from the bahera tree).
This combination forms a powerful gastric healer and acts as a gentle, safe and highly effective detoxifier for the intestine, colon, blood and liver, and an ancient intervention for constipation.
It is packed with antioxidants such as gallic, ellagic and chebulinic acids, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal properties. And it is rich in vitamin C. Ayurvedic doctors prescribe it for almost everything gut related and more, from constipation and indigestion to gastroenteritis to cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, liver and pancreatic disorders and cancer. (A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute confirms that triphala prevents and slows the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors. Studies also confirm triphala can repair the large intestinal holes caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. It tightens your gut wall and rebalances intestinal mucus, which is key to protecting you from further intestinal attacks).
You can buy triphala powder from Shanti Yoga Health Institute Australia, and simply prepare a soothing cup of triphala tea. Add ½ teaspoon of triphala powder into a cup of hot water. Taken on its own, it can taste very bitter. Try adding a little rice malt/maple syrup and ghee (Indian clarified butter) to the mix. Always take triphala on an empty stomach before meals or at bedtime.
Triphala can also be purchased as a supplement in tablet form or as a liquid extract.