When I was traveling in India, I had the privilege of studying Ayurvedic medicine with traditional Master Healers. My plane landed in Mumbai. From there, I made the 800-mile trip to Kerala down on the southwestern-most tip of the Indian peninsula. With origins dating back 6,000 years, Kerala is the birthplace of Ayurvedic medicine. I spent a lot of time at the AyurMana or “ancient healing house.” This is the oldest existing school of Ayurvedic medicine in the world. It was there that I observed how quickly Ayurvedic doctors brought the conversations with their patients around to the gut.
In fact, the most common Ayurvedic prescription in India today is a gentle but powerful herbal gut-healer called triphala — although few people in the West have ever even heard of it. I’m going to tell you all about the astonishing healing power of triphala in a minute. Ancient healers have always understood the importance of the gut. And they’re 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.
I’m talking about serious health issues, like celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Sadly, western doctors still haven’t got the message. Western medicine barely recognizes Leaky Gut Syndrome — even though it afflicts millions of people.
On top of all that, 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’s how it happens…
The lining of your gut is like a fine net built of just a single layer of cells. It’s 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. That’s how your body absorbs vitamins, minerals and other vital molecules.
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.”
And worse, our western diet of processed starches, sugars and food additives, like 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 bigger.
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” like foreign invaders. Gradually, you get reactions to foods like 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. They use triphala.
Its name comes 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 fix for constipation.
It’s packed with antioxidants like gallic, ellagic and chebulinic acids, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal properties. And it’s chock-full of vitamin C.1
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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.2
A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute confirms that triphala prevents and slows the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors.3
Studies also confirm triphala can repair the large intestinal holes caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. It tightens your gut wall and rebalances intestinal mucus. That’s key to protecting you from further intestinal attacks.4
Make a soothing cup of triphala tea
Because of its popularity in India, you can buy triphala powder in almost any Indian grocery store And it’s simple to prepare:
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 honey and ghee (Indian clarified butter) to the mix.
Always take triphala on an empty stomach before meals or at bedtime.
Triphala also comes as a supplement and as a liquid extract.
I recommend 1,000 mg a day. Or, if you opt for the liquid extract, take one dropper full in 1—2 ounces of water or juice, one to three times daily before food.
Al Sears, MD, CNS