Triphala is a herbal mixture that has been used in India for centuries as a natural medicine. This includes complaints of the gastrointestinal system, but also stress and to stabilize the blood sugar level. Research in humans and rodents, among others, has already shown that Triphala has strong medicinal properties. This traditional supplement can also be used in horses: for example, for insulin resistance.
What is Triphala?
Triphala is a powder made from three different (dried) fruits from the Himalayan region. It is a well-known herbal medicine from the Aryuvedic tradition. The fruits that are in Triphala are: Amalaki or Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Quite a bit of research has been done in recent years into the effectiveness of Triphala in a number of conditions. Indian gooseberry stimulates digestion, has a laxative and anti-inflammatory effect. Bibhitaki is used for bacterial and viral infections and supports the intestinal mucosa and lung tissue. Haritaki is used in India for constipation, dementia and diabetes. It promotes metabolism and absorption of nutrients.
Triphala in horses with Insulin Resistance
Triphala can affect sugar metabolism. It is therefore being investigated as a potential alternative to the treatments of diabetes in humans. Several studies have already been done in animals. Triphala influences fat storage and fat percentage and leads to weight loss. In addition, subjects’ blood levels for cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins decreased significantly after 45 days of taking Triphala. The influence on the insulin level is especially interesting. Both after fasting and after eating sugars, insulin levels were markedly better with Triphala. This indicates that this herbal powder can contribute to better processing of sugars and fewer problems due to insulin resistance. This is good news for many horses. The blood sugar level then shoots up much less after eating carbohydrates. In addition, Triphala inhibits a number of enzymes that cause damage in, for example, blood vessels because they bind proteins and sugars.
Triphala and the intestines
Triphala has a high content of antioxidants, especially flavonoids. Thanks to these substances, Triphala supports general stomach and intestinal health. In rats, stress-related stomach problems were suppressed during research, and colic was reduced in another study. In humans, a beneficial effect has been found on abdominal pain, constipation, excessive acid formation and gas formation. Triphala can help horses maintain the acid-base balance in the stomach. Horses with a lot of gas can also benefit from Triphala.
Triphala against stress
Triphala can also play a role in stress, studies have shown. Acute stress is usually not a big problem for a horse. The horse is startled by something and then calms down again. But long-term, chronic, stress affects all kinds of life processes. The horse is then in a constant state of alert. Chronic stress can arise, for example, from a lack of social contact or free movement. Chronic stress is reflected in the hormone balance, which causes high levels of cortisol to circulate in the blood. Chronic stress eventually causes all kinds of biochemical changes in the body, which can cause problems. Triphala helps to restore balance in the body and lower levels of cortisol. This herbal mixture also strengthens the immune system, making it less unbalanced during stress. All in all, Triphala seems to be protective against stress.
Conclusion: Triphala good for intestines and sugar levels
Triphala is a powder made from three types of dried fruits. It is an ancient natural medicine from the Aruyvedic tradition. Triphala can be used well in horses to support digestion. This ranges from the acid-base balance in the stomach, via support for the intestinal mucosa to a better processing of glucose and a less violent insulin response. The blood sugar level remains better balanced, the hormone level is healthier and Triphala also supports weight loss. In addition, Triphala has an anti-inflammatory effect. A great supplement for horses that quickly become overweight, have intestinal problems or struggle with insulin resistance!
Christine Tara Peterson, Kate Denniston, and Deepak Chopra. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Aug 2017.607-614. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2017.0083
Rayudu V, Raju AB. Effect of Triphala on dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis in rats. Ayu 2014;35:333–338. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4427837/
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Kalaiselvan S, Rasool MK. Triphala herbal extract suppresses inflammatory responses in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and adjuvant-induced arthritic rats via inhibition of NF-kappaB pathway. J Immunotoxicol 2016;13:509–525.