Used for well over 2,000 years, triphala is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. In India, it’s considered the greatest and most versatile of all herbal formulations.
What is triphala or triphala churna? It’s a traditional herbal formulation made from the dried powder of three different fruits. The name comes from combining the Sanskrit words “tri” meaning three, “phala” meaning fruit and “churcha,” which means powder.
Triphala contains gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid, which are all strong antioxidants. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal abilities.
Triphala Health Benefits
- Cancer Fighter - A 2015 study looked at the antiproliferative (stops the growth of cancer cells) and proapoptotic (encouraging the programmed cell death of cancer cells) effects of triphala on colon cancer cells and human colon cancer stem cells. They found that the methanol extract of triphala contains a variety of phenolics including naringenin, quercetin, homoorientin, and isorhamnetin.
- Natural Laxative, Colon Cleanser & Possible Colitis Helper - Natural laxatives like triphala tend to be gentler than over-the-counter laxatives, nourish the digestive tract and help produce regular bowel movements. Triphala can help to naturally cleanse the colon. Having regular bowel movements are important for removing bacteria, heavy metal detox and eliminating excess fatty acids from the body.
- Weight Loss - There is no shortage of triphala weight loss articles to be read, but can triphala really help with weight loss or is it just hype? Since triphala can encourage regular bowel movements, it makes sense that it could help with weight management and studies are proving triphala’s ability to fight obesity.
- Lower Cholesterol - Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones. As a result, cholesterol is actually crucial in healthy amounts, but when it’s too high, it can be problematic. Cholesterol can combine with fat, calcium and other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque then slowly builds up and hardens in the arteries, causing them to narrow. This buildup of plaque, a condition called atherosclerosis, can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
- Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Arthritis - Triphala’s high antioxidant and polyphenol content make it an excellent anti-inflammatory. Almost every disease involves some degree of inflammation. Arthritis is definitely an inflammatory disease; it’s an inflammation of one or more joints, which causes pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.
How to Use Triphala
- Triphala should be available at your local health store or else it can easily be purchased online.
- It can be found in supplement form as a powder, capsule, tablet or liquid extract.
- Triphala is usually taken on an empty stomach and can be ingested in a few different ways.
- The powder can be used to make a tea by adding a half-teaspoon of powder to a cup of hot water. Stir well and wait for it to cool. You can also combine the powder with honey or ghee before a meal.
- Tablets and capsules are typically taken once or twice a day, before food. For a liquid supplement, you will typically be directed to take 30 drops in water or juice, 1–3 times daily.
- As a digestive tonic and laxative, triphala is best taken in the evening, about two hours after eating, and at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Whether you buy a powder, capsule or tablet, dosing directions should be provided on the packaging.
- In general, a larger dosing has more laxative effects while a smaller dose tends to be more gradually blood purifying.