Last in our series to cleanse and detoxify is triphala, the three fruits. It includes three plum-like fruits that are astringent and high in tannins. It seems appropriate to end this miniseries with fruits that are common, abundant and nutrient-rich in South Asian cultures. Why not explore an Ayurvedic formulation that focuses on the lower intestines, the end of the line, so to speak? And remember to pair your foods and herbs with yoga breathing and asanas to increase the impact.
Origin and culinary and traditional medicine uses of triphala
THE HECTIC HOLIDAYS
In this three-month series, learn to pair simple herbal and yoga techniques to build immunity, counter holiday stress and start the New Year cleansed, detoxed and armed to activate your resolutions.
NOVEMBER: Double your body strength with simple yoga postures to stimulate your dynamic immune system:
DECEMBER: Anti-stress herbs and calming yoga and breathing exercises:
JANUARY: Detox herbs to recalibrate, rebalance and activate resolutions:
EAT TO HEAL: Previous articles covering the numerous benefits of herbs and foods:
Each fruit possesses a great number of beneficial plant chemicals. When studied individually in test tubes, in animals or in people, the favorable effects are large and all encompassing. The three fruit extracts demonstrate powerful antioxidant capacity. They effectively scavenge and eliminate free radicals that can cause great damage on a molecular level. More recent and promising experimental studies are reviewed in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and confirm that triphala plant chemicals act as potent antineoplastic, radioprotective and chemoprotective agents. In a recent article in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, triphala powder, when administered according to Ayurvedic principles, significantly stimulated the immune response in a clinical Phase I study.
Yoga for detoxification
Take your yoga postures to a higher level. Continue to engage in all the forward bends, bridge poses and standing and seated twists that gently massage and stimulate your abdominal area. But now remember your yoga teacher’s pleas to pay attention to your breath. Use your breath as an anchor to center. And remember to be mindful of the quality of your breath just like you are mindful of your food. For breath, too, is your food.
For a reliable source for organic plants, botanicals and spices, try Frontier; for Ayurvedic products, try Banyan Botanicals. Before taking any substances, always consult with your chosen health-care professional. To ensure proper yoga training, seek the advice of a certified yoga specialist.
Photo: A rishi documenting traditional healing systems. Credit: Sarah Khan