How to Make Triphaladi Guggulu (Herbal Preperation)

Triphaladi Guggulu is an Ayurvedic preparation composed of a simple formula of only a few common yet powerful herbs to make tablets. The preparation process (that I employ) on the other hand involves extensive, intricate and labour intensive procedures.

Superior Herbal Preparation Method Rarely Practiced

Note that this preparation process (illustrated below) is rarely practiced by herbal manufactures and herbalists. The methods performed involve high amounts of attention, monitoring and flow of consciousness. 

I was instructed to prepare Triphaladi Guggulu this way by my teachers during my Dhanvantri Diksha (initation), as a preface into the field of herbal preparations (Aushadhi Vijnana).

Purification of Herbs

Most of the knowledge about the purification of herbs have been lost.

Vital Veda employs purification and preparation methods that has been passed down for many generations within the Raju Family of Vaidyas. This ensures safety and enhances potency, and is one of the factors that make our herbal products profoundly effective and treasured by so many.

This method of preparation is by superior and immensely enhances the potency and efficacy of this herbal formulation.

"What Dylan made is worth more than diamonds."
~ Dr. Padma Raju.

Indications:

Triphaladi Guggulu is used to treat an extensive array of conditions due to it's ideal composition. Some of the main uses are:

Inflammation

Anywhere in the body.

Thyroid conditions.

Obesity and cholesterol imbalance

By enkindling fat metabolism (meda agni) thus clearing out ama from the adipose channels (medavaha srotas). This prevents or reverses stagnated fat tissue, causing cravings and false hunger.

Immunity

Strengthens the whole system by removing the causes that turn accumulate into pathogens. Combats allergies, repetitive colds, boils and infections in kapha types by strengthening agni and clearing mucus toxins.

Lungs

It has an action of removing obstructions in channels (Srotorodhaghna) such as excess kapha from the plasma, chest and lungs creating asthma, bronchitis and phlegmy cough. Also for sinus congestion, nasal drip and rhinitis.

Gastrointestinal tract

Scrapes toxins (lakhana) such as ama and kapha in the GIT tract causing poor digestion and low metabolism. Helps in constipation by correcting the flow of apana vata downwards in the digestive tract. Also helps in fistula (Bhagandara) and haemorrhoids by purifying the blood and regulating the flow and direction of vata. Also helps correct low tissue metabolism (dhatu agni) which clears obstructed channels (Srotorodhaghna).

Arthritis

It's hot and dry qualities treats rheumatoid and osteoarthritis that is aggravated by cold, wet, damp conditions when vata and ama have accumulated. It has a specific action on sleshaka kapha and the synovial fluid in the joints with its scraping action (lekhana).

The Process

This preparation took me over 350 hours across 41 days to produce approximately 1200 triphaldi guggulu tablets.

Additionally, a small fraction of this I had a little help from my colleagues, which ended up being a big help.

Special mantras (primordial sounds) are chanted throughout this whole process to infuse vibrations into the highly receptive particles in the plant substances.

This preparation method is traditionally the first herbal preparation a student of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbal should prepare. It is appropriate for devoted and physically and mentally strong students. It is not for the faint hearted, nor for the impatient.

Raw Ingredients

Triphala - 3 fruits consisting of:
1. Amalaki (Embilica officinalis)
2. Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
3. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Triphala cleans the bowels, ama and regulates the flow of apana vata (downward movement in the body).

Use the whole fruits dried.

4. Guggulu (Commiphora mukul)

Guggulu scrapes the channels and clears ama out of the system. Specifically works on meda dhatu (fat tissue) and is an anti-inflammatory.

There are 5 types of guggulu. You want the Hiranya type that is commonly used for medicine. This is like gold in colour (Kanaka).

Guggulu is an oily latex/gum/resin exuded from a small tree. Use it in raw resin form.

 

Dhumapana using Guggulu Resin

Method

Step 1: Guggulu Purification - Laksha Kutanam Shodana (Banging 100,000 times)

  1. Fill a large mortar and pestle up just below the rim of the bowl (mortar) with raw guggulu resin. 
  2. Pound it 100, 000 (one hundred thousand) times.
  3. Every 10 minutes (approx.), scoop up the squashed guggulu, loosen it up, turn the guggulu inside the mortar and start another round of banging. This is also a break time to rest your arms (see video).
  4. Keeping the guggulu in the sun, while banging it or not, helps soften it and makes it easier to bang.

Counting Method:

  • Chanting mantras while doing it not only enhances the herbs, but also is a tool for counting.
  • For example, I perform minimum 8 bangs per the mantra I use.
  • I chant the mantra 108 times in a row (1 mala), and keep track of how many malas I do. So 1 malas = 108x8 bangs.
  • If banging with my left hand, I count the mantras in my right hand using a beaded mala (necklace with 108 beads).
  • If banging with my right hand, I count the mantras on my left phalanxes.
  • Obtain mantra from your guru or contact me to perform a Dhanvantri Diskha and learn this procedure in person with me in India.

Notes:

  • This will take days. It took me 6 days of basically full time banging (kutanam).
  • Switch hands when you get tired. I switched about every 1-2 malas.
  • This is one of the more laborious steps. It is only for the strong (especially strong triceps, forearms and tough hands).
  • Keep the guggulu inside the mortar and pestle with a lid covered when not in use to protect from dust. Such as overnight.
  • This is a very powerful purification method for guggulu that is hardly practiced. Hand banged is way more effective to enhance potency than using machines.

Step 2: Triphala Kashayam (Decoction)

  1. Take 1kg of raw dried triphala fruits (equal parts of the 3 fruits).
  2. Grind or bang lightly to a coarse consistency (pictured). You can use food processor for this.
  • Boil 1L of the coarse triphala in 10L of water and reduce to half (5L).
  • Strain and you have a decoction.
  • The coarse triphala holds a lot of water, so squeeze it out inside a muslin cloth to get as much as possible.
  • Keep the coarse triphala for other uses.

Step 3: Boiling Guggulu in Triphala Kashayam

Tie the guggulu in a bolus with a thin material such as a muslin cloth. I ended up with about 700 grams.

  • Fully submerge the bolus in the pot but don't let it touch the bottom because that will burn it.
  • Boil on high heat. Be careful so that it doesn't bubble over.
  • The guggulu will exude out of the bolus, into the kashayam.
  • The kashaym will eventually evaporate and you will be left with a slimy like tar substance.
  • You will probably need to keep transferring this process into a smaller pot, 2-3 times, as you will need a smaller pot so that the bolus is submerged as much as possible.
  • Continue this process till the guggulu fully exits the muslin cloth. This can take up to 20 pots for the amount of Guggulu I used (700gm), so perhaps use less.

Step 4: Drying the Triphaladi Guggulu Paste

  • When the matter in the pot is thick, vicious and seems the kashayam / water content has been mostly evaporated (as much as possible), pour it onto a clean plate.
  • You want it to be on a large plate and multiple plates so that it is a thin layer so that it dries quicker.
  • Cover the plate with a clean glass (ideal) or a tight clean cotton cloth, then leave in the sun to dry up the remaining water content and harden. The cover is to prevent dust from coming in. If using cotton ensure it does not touch the paste. Keep the paste very clean.
  • Take it inside at night time to avoid moon (water) exposure.
  • Drying time can range from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on how thick the paste is and the climate.
  • Drying is finished when the paste is hard but you can still squish it if you push hard. It shouldn't be to hard so that you can still manipulate the paste to roll into tablets.

Step 5: Rolling Into Tablets

This step is a little challenging and laborious.

  • Using a knife or sharp scraper, scrape some paste off the plate.
  • Collect the right amount of paste to then roll into one spherical tablet.
  • Put back on a plate for potentially more drying if it is to sticky and water content is not fully removed.
  • When ready, package in containers!

Notes:

  • If the paste is to sticky to work with, add some triphala powder and bang with the paste. 
  • I made large tablets (vati), therefore I prescribe 1 tablet 2x/day before meals.

Vital Veda's precious Triphaladi Guggulu Vati is available for people and for those who really need it.

Enquire within.

Honey – Nectar or Poison?

Honey, nature’s sweet nectar, was considered by the ancient Vedic sages as one of the most exceptional food items available to mankind. It constitutes unique medicinal properties par excellence. And all this certainly still prevails today, but only when used properly.

In stark contrast, honey when heated is considered fatal and is classified as poison. Not only did ancient vedic sages clearly warn civilisations about this, but now modern science is proving ancient wisdom by confirming the toxicity of heated honey.

I understand that these words condemning heated honey seem harsh, radical and perhaps rather shocking. But many sages (who are considered authentic authorities on the science of life that is Ayurveda) used these exact words for this topic. And by the way, this language was rarely used.

I personally consider heated honey as the #1 Biggest Flaw in The Post Modern Era Diet.

The Importance of Honey

Honey is a medicine, not so much a food.

Honey is only good in little quantities. This is “because of properties like difficult digestibility, dryness and astringency.”(1)

If undigested, honey is very hard to eliminate out of the body. If it doesn’t eliminate, it lodges in the body as ama (undigested food material), which is the root cause of most illnesses. Ama clogs the channels of the body, obstructing metabolic activity, preventing nutrients from being delivered to cells and hampering proper waste elimination.

“Nothing is as troublesome as the Ama caused by improper intake of honey.”
~ Charaka, Ancient Sage.

The best yogavahi (catalyst)

Which means it amplifies the properties of the herbs added to it.(2)

The chief Anupana (Vehicle of Administration)

All herbs need a vehicle to effectively deliver it to the part of body that it is intended for. There are many Anupana’s such as ghee, milk, decoctions, water, sugar, wine and more. Honey is the main Anuapana in Ayurvedic medicine.

Thus, the best way to get your regular dose of honey is to incorporate it into your regular herbal intake.
(see below for other ways to take honey).

Good for the Eyes

Improves the eyesight. Very useful for itchy eyes, trachoma, conjunctivitis, glaucoma and other similar diseases.(1)

Honey is an excellent ‘scraper’ - whether it be scraping undigested food material in the digestive tract, to then be eliminated, or the mature cataracts (when the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque) to stop the growth of the membrane.

It is to be used regularly internally but most effective when applied into the eyes via a specific Ayurvedic herbal preparation. (contact Vital Veda to order Netra Amrit Eye Drops).

Heart Health

Honey is wonderful for the heart. While it’s sweetness give pleasure to pacify the emotional heart, the scraping quality removes the ama that is blocking heart vowels and arteries.

Heart Tonic Remedy - Honey + amalaki juice + lemon juice + mango juice + arjuna kashayam (optional).

Honey Heals the Skin

Topically applying honey to wounds(1), burns, cuts, skin diseases(1) and ulcers(1) is an easy home remedy to clean the area and hasten healing.

Wound Healing Remedy - Mix some turmeric powder with honey to increase the antiseptic effect and stop bleeding(1). Topically apply on skin lesion.

Digestion

  • Honey is considered a boon for those with low digestion (Manda Agni). This is because it scrapes away the kapha coating on top of the pitta (kapha avarana).
  • It helps with diarrhoea and regulates acid levels.
  • It is a vital ingredient during Panchakarma when conducting purification treatments such as Basti (enema) and Vamana (emesis).

Respiratory Health

Honey is highly beneficial in the support of lung health and treatment of all imbalances of the lungs. Honey contains a mixture of "higher" alcohols and ethereal oil that emit soothing and beneficial vapours. Couple this with a combination of Ayurvedic respiratory herbs to breath at ease.

 

Cough

Honey soothes the inflamed mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract and relieves irritating cough and symptoms like difficulty in swallowing. Honey is also one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods for inflammation anywhere in the body.

Cough and Cold Home Remedy – Honey and spice paste.

Weight Loss, Obesity and Diabetes

Honey is Kapha Nisaraka.
“Sara” = Essence.
“Ni” = Take away.
Honey, with its astringent quality, in small amounts, takes away the essence of kapha. Kapha is the factor for fluids, excess fat and heaviness in the body.
Another quality of honey is Stambhana (Stopping). Honey stops the overproduction of the bodily tissues.

Weight Loss Remedy - Boil water at night. The next morning add 1tsp honey + 1tsp lemon juice to the room temperature water and drink first thing after brushing teeth and scraping tongue.

Aphrodisiac and Ojas Booster

Due to a sweet taste and sweet post-digestive effect, honey (when taken right) is one of the few foods that metabolises so well that it nourishes all the tissues and quickly and directly nourishes and builds Ojas (vital essence). Due to it’s yogavahi (catalyst) quality, combined with aphrodisiac herbs it is effective for low libido, premature ejaculation, low sperm count and reproduction.

Ojas Builder and Immunisation for Babies - Swarna Prasha (honey + ghee + gold bhasma) - (available at Vital Veda clinic).

Other benefits:

“Madhu (honey) breaks up solidified materials inside the body, relieves thirst, mitigates kapha, poison, hiccup, bleeding disease, skin diseases, diabetes, worms, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, cough, diarrhoea; cleanses the ulcers, unifies fractures, heals wound.”(1)

Ways to Take Honey:

  • Incorporate into herbal preparations.
  • By itself as a tonic - If you do not take herbs, you can take 1tsp of raw honey first thing in the morning. (Sweet should be the first taste of the day).
  • Fruit + Honey - Drizzle honey on seasonal fruit. Honey + grapefruit is a great breakfast for weight loss. (make sure to eat the white pith of the grapefruit!).
  • Yoghurt + Honey - Yoghurt is one of the heaviest foods available. Thus Ayurveda says “it should not be taken alone without, sugar, green gram soup, honey or amalaki”(3) to make it more easily digestible. Honey and yoghurt is a great snack.

Honey’s Poisonous Potential

On the other hand, honey can easily acquire a poisonous quality. All it takes is heat.

When honey is heated past body temperature (37 degrees celsius) it becomes poison.

 

“100 litres of honey can be spoiled with 1 drop of hot water. Poison.”
Vaidya J.R. Raju

When heated, the molecules in honey metamorphose into glue-like structures and that adhere to the gut membrane, clogging the channels and producing ama. This ama becomes a sly nuisance that is very difficult to remove from the body.

“It takes many Panchakarma’s to remove heated honey.”
~ Vaidya J.R. Raju.

Now modern science is proving ancient wisdom. A study showed that when honey is heated, it produces a chemical called hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde (HMF), a substance linked in certain forms to toxicity and possible links to carcinogenic effects.

The heat melts the microscopic globules of wax, which is where bees store this toxic chemical (and possibly more). This wax which encases the toxic substances is only eliminated straight out the body if it is not heated.

Beware of Heated Honey

  • Don’t add honey to any food or drink that is hot including tea, chai, porridge, honey soy chicken, honey cake etc. You are safer to leave this out all together rather then letting the food or drink “cool down.” - Remember, 37 degrees celsius.
  • Honey as an ingredient in packaged foods - Care should be taken to avoid cereals, breads, baked goods, sauces, bars and other “health food” products that include honey which has been cooked. Read the labels.
  • What is the source of your honey? - Speak to the bee keeper. Find out how they extract the honey. If the honey is cold-extracted or unheated, this is medicine. However most honey sold in mainstream supermarkets are toxic.

Ayurveda is so strict on this that it even prohibits honey during fever and hot summers.

Who is to say that heated honey is not a primary cause in diseases like colon cancer, infertility, children dying at birth or soon after birth? It will be a while till science conducts studies like these.

Other Notes About Honey

  • Honey gets better with age. I recommend only use honey that is at least 2 months old. This increases the activity levels. If it crystallises this is a good thing. Make sure to store well in a glass container. Start collecting!
  • Beware, “Honey mixed with equal quantities of ghee causes death.” ~ Every major ancient ayurvedic text.
honey collection
My honey collection from 2014. I still hold some of these that are getting good age to them! I save them for when strong medicines are required and for Ayurvedic baby immunisations.

If you have eaten heated honey in the past like most westerners, fear not! you are strong. Even heated honey in very little quantity can be digested to some extent by with those of good physiology. But now you are aware, you can continue to detoxify and further imbue vitality.

“Even Brahman cannot cure the heated honey.”
Vaidya Dr. Raju
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good;”
~ Proverbs 24:13, The Bible

Honey Brand Recommendations:

  • Jelly bush honey from Vital Veda's personal collection..
  • Amber Drop Honey - Discount code: VITALVEDA
  • Maharishi Honey - These guys use a Natural Law based approach to apiculture. They have the bees facing east, play them vedic chants and work closely with the environment. This honey is another level. If you are in Australia order through The Medicine Man.

Get collecting!

References
(1) Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, ch. 6,(86-93).
(2) Caraka Samhita, ch. 26, (249)
(3) Caraka Samhita, ch. 7, (61-62)

feature photo: Cereal Mag

Related Listening


Nature Deficit Disorder

Yep it's actually a thing.

This contemporary phenomenon, “Nature Deficit Disorder,” is slightly controversial in the medical industry in regards to it being recognised as a mental disorder.

Richard Louv, an author who came up with this “phrase” has stated:

“Nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world.”

And boy what health costs it can have…

  • Youngers generations are being at risk of having a shorter lifespan.
  • Behavioural problems are developing as well as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression. Studies from the University of Illinois is showing a strong link to ADD, and recently studies in USA showed classrooms and other forms of education that used outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produced significant student gain in social studies, science, language, arts and math.
  • Eye problems like myopia (short-sighted) due to lack of exposure to bright (natural outdoor) light are at jeopardy.(3,4).
  • Childhood obesity is a growing problem and an influential cause of it is separation from nature.(5)
  • A Harvard study showed a strong correlation with mental health as women living in the greenest environments were happier and less depressed.(1,2).

According to Ayurveda, spending time in the nature or green space around plants builds “Ojas” – a substance linked to longevity, vitality and radiant health.

A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.

It could be in your garden, or a park. It could be regularly hiking, bush walking, camping or meditating on a beach — it all builds Ojas.

Another one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole food and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of certain foods even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas more directly and quickly.

Depleted Ojas leaves the body vulnerable to disease.

Regularly employing these methods to building Ojas is an important action to overcome fatigue and increase vitality.

Check out this article:

Ojas: Invigorate your Vitality

“When you feel life coming down on you, Like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society, Adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest waters And remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”
~ Xavier Rudd

Photo: Routeburn Track, NZ  by Dylan Smith

References
(1) http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10363/
(2) https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158317.html
(3) New research an eye opener on cause of myopia". 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
(4) Nature Deficit Disorder, No Child Left Inside Archived January 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
(5) National Environmental Education Foundation