The wonders of Triphala…

by Rexanne Diehl, Siddha Vaidya and Ayurvedic practitioner

Triphala is one of the oldest time-tested compounds known to Ayurveda. It's a blend of three fruits: Haritakti, Bibhitaki and Amalaki. They are known to have a large number of nutrients that assist with digestion, tonification, and mild detoxification.

In Ayurveda, it's been suggested that daily intake of a small amount of Triphala is one of the best practices one can do to keep the immune system (ojas) health in a good place. It has been known to stimulate and regulate agni (digestive fire), assist in assimilation of nutrients from food, and also support the nervous system, which allows the body and mind to relax and come into balance.

Triphala is unique, as it provides a combination of nutritional and cleansing properties. The nutritional components of these three fruits are (but are not limited to): vitamin C, linoleic oil, antioxidants, and other nutrients that make the mixture tonifying.


Triphala has also been known for its ability to help with digestion, constipation, blood pressure regulation, overall anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, circulation, and liver function. It has a mild detox effect that doesn’t deplete the body’s strength. It uniquely cleanses and detoxifies at the deepest organic levels of the body, which is what makes it a remarkable herbal combination.

Triphala should not be confused with purgative herbs, such as psyllium, senna, rhubarb, and cascara. These herbs often cause stimulation to the peristaltic action in the liver, gall bladder, and intestines. This causes the elimination of large volumes of fecal matter in a very short period of time, often leaving the body depleted and with side effects such as head aches, rashes, and emotional expressions. It is highly unlikely that this will occur while taking in Triphala, which gently eliminates toxins from your body on a daily basis through your own natural bowel function.

In the event that you don't eliminate daily, Triphala has been known to assist in regulating bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also has been known to eliminate gas and allows for better absorption of nutrients. It's ideal for those who experience sluggish digestion and are leading sedentary lives.

Ayurveda promotes good health by recommending practices each day to maintain the body's strength and establish gentle, regular elimination, as opposed to doing intense “cleansing” for short periods of time once or twice a year. The approach is undramatic, simple, passive, and offers support and nourishment.

It's been said that a small amount of daily passive cleansing is much more effective than an intense detox purgation program once or twice a year. It's also been said that if one eats with all six tastes at every meal and maintains good eating habits, the body will naturally detox itself daily.

Who can benefit by taking Triphala?

Almost everyone. According to Ayurveda, it's considered one of the most balanced compounds, designed to support each person who's using proper intake procedures.

What would make this compound inappropriate?

Dosage, high pitta conditions, extreme debilitation and cleansing; according to Ayurveda, a critical aspect of being successful using herbs, and one that's often overlooked, is the proper dosage, when and how much is taken.

Triphala is not to be looked at as a supplement. It does not supplement or replace good wholesome food. True, it does offer nutrition but it is an herbal compound with a specific action on the colon.

It also would be inappropriate if you suffer from high pitta (fire) conditions and extreme vata (air) dryness in your GI tract. A few examples would be ulcers, hemorrhoids or diarrhea. It is also inappropriate if you are on a “cleanse” utilizing raw foods, fasting or intense use of purgation methods. If any of the proper conditions are incorrect, the herb becomes a hindrance and doesn’t offer benefits to the body.

How much Triphala should one take?

The right answer is “it depends.” In Ayurveda, each individual has a predominate dosha. Vata (air), Pitta (fire), or Kapha (earth and water). The right amount for your particular body will depend on your dosha and the time of year.

How does one take Triphala?

Again, it depends. However, it is generally taken at night with the appropriate medium. For example, warm water, slightly warmed ghee, or slightly warm sesame oil.

When would be an inappropriate time to take Triphala?

Never take Triphala with food, cold smoothies or with cold water. It is dependent on the proper carrier to allow this herbal compound to be most affective.

Triphala is a wonderful herbal compound that serves as a nutritional support as well as a path to detoxification. It has a brilliant approach to supporting the body while offering gentle cleansing action. This kind of action is a pivotal component of the Ayurvedic medical system. Every aspect of this system offers balance when it is taken with the care and by the advisement of a knowledgeable practitioner.

If you'd like to find out more about this amazing herb and to discover if Triphala is appropriate for you, come into HAALo on Fridays and talk with Rexanne.

rexanneRexanne Diehl has worked in the holistic healthcare arena for more than 15 years. She draws from a wealth of knowledge and experience in both Western and Eastern healing traditions. Rexanne offers clients a uniquely integrated healthcare approach perfectly suited to today’s high-stress culture.


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