My clinical experience using the Ayurvedic formula Triphala is extensive, based on literally thousands of cases over the course or 25 years. It is only within the last three years that I can proclaim it to be as near a specific for IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease as one can find.
I discovered this use for it quite by accident working with a patient with the worst case of ulcerative colitis I have ever encountered. Because this was a condition of extreme diarrhea, I initially never thought to prescribe Triphala because of its known laxative properties; Triphala is also a specific treatment for laxative-dependent constipation, so it seems counterintuitive to employ it in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, which is basically an intractable type of diarrhea. Even though I had read that Triphala was good for both constipation and diarrhea, I didn’t want to exacerbate an already bad inflammatory condition.
To step back for a moment, I’ve written about Triphala extensively before, but to briefly recap, I use Triphala as a foundation formula appropriate for all diseases. It is detoxifying, astringent, and laxative. Literally millions of people in India and now throughout the world use it, and there have been no serious adverse effects to its regular use, whether daily, or weekly. Triphala perfectly balances the chemistry of the entire GI tract so that healthy flora will flourish. Triphala helps us to eliminate all that we don’t need while retaining what we do.
A patient came to me who had suffered for years with the worse case of ulcerative colitis I’ve ever encountered clinically. I shared his full story on a blog here. I was only able to occasionally relieve his symptoms with Chinese herbs, health supplements and a severely restricted diet avoid all sugar, refined foods, dairy and grains. Even with periods of surcease, his condition would recur and we’d have to come up with a completely different game plan to help him recover.
But after just three days on two “00” sized capsules every waking hour during the day, he was symptom-free!
It seemed that indeed, the ancient recommendations for Triphala being good for both constipation and diarrhea were correct.
I shared this story with a number of colleagues and students and they all reported the same results. They were curing the incurables, IBS and Crohn’s disease. The only difference was that they were able to achieve these positive results with a far more modest disease level and regime. They simply gave 3 “00” capsules three times daily and they got the same results as I did giving 2 capsules hourly.
Most recently, I gave it to a woman who had medically diagnosed Crohn’s disease as well as rheumatoid arthritis for which I prescribed other herbs. In this case I only prescribed 3 “00” sized capsules of Triphala three times daily. This was enough to completely stop her Crohn’s disease symptoms within three days.
Her rheumatoid arthritis symptoms were resolved by her embarking on a 10-day kitchari fast and the Chinese formula Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang (Du huo angelica and loranthes combination) in pill form. However it was the Triphala that completely stopped all symptoms of Crohn’s disease which had plagued her for years previous. While I am reluctant to use the word “cure,” she continues symptom-free for more than six months and continues to take Triphala now at the modest dose of only 2 “00” sized capsules 2 or 3 times daily, she claims that she is cured of her Crohn’s disease.
With the exception of the occasional day or even week off of all supplements which is a good idea generally, she has not stopped taking Triphala. Why should she? In India, Triphala is considered safe for all young and old and is even given to infants. It is a regular household item. As the saying there goes, “No mother? No worry, so long as you have Triphala.”
IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are such terrible diseases affecting 10 to 15% of the population in the US, which is anywhere from 25 to 45 million people. If only all these sufferers and their gastroenterologists knew about this single safe and most effective formula, consider how many might benefit.
I have no way of knowing whether it will work for everyone, but I do know it is safe based on my own and my colleagues’ and my many students’ experience. A bottle of Triphala powder or capsules doesn’t cost much; if there is a chance it can heal these inflammatory bowel conditions, it is worth a try with little sacrifice.
Elderberry Juice for IBS?
Besides Triphala for IBS, I recently came across a single case of an individual who suffered from severe symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and cured himself with elderberry juice. This is a heretofore unknown use of the famous elderberry previously only considered as a treatment for colds and flu. What I found interesting about this was that like Triphala, elderberry is a fruit that contains both laxative and astringent properties. Perhaps this once sacred herb of the ancient Celts is a northern European counterpart as an effective herb for IBS. Let us know about your experiences with Triphala and/or elderberries for IBS.