Triphala - The Best Ways to Take

Posted by Lala Naidu on

Triphala is a cornerstone of gastrointestinal and rejuvenative treatment and is one of the most used Ayurvedic herbal formulas – alone or often part of more complex Ayurvedic herbal formulas.

Triphala, meaning 3 fruits, consists of the fruits of the three plants Amalaki, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki, generally in equal proportions and has been used in traditional medicine in India for over 1000 years. According to the great ancient Ayurvedic physician Charak, taking the Triphala Rasayana (Triphala with honey and ghee) daily has the potential to make a person live for one hundred years devoid of old age and disease.1

Let’s look at the 3 fruits in this formula:

  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) – also known as Indian gooseberry or amla is considered one of the most powerful rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. More recently it has been promoted in the US as a superfood because of it’s highly bioavailable Vitamin-C content and immunomodulating properties. Amla is cooling and cleansing, and therefore pacifying to pitta. (image of amalaki)
  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) – heating and scraping action, also held in high esteem for its properties to prevent and cure disease, corrects the flow of vata downwards. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Medicine Buddha is often seen holding a blooming haritaki plant. (image of haritaki and medicine buddha)
  • Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) – laxative effect clears ama or toxins from the body, good herb for kapha. (image of bibhitaki)

Triphala is well known as a digestive tonic and laxative, however, the complexity of the herbs, including containing five of the six tastes, allows for many applications.

  • In smaller amounts it’s nutritive and cleansing and removes ama from the body while simultaneously strengthening digestion and ones ability to assimilate nutrients.
  • It’s a purgative stimulating peristaltic action, thou, not depleting like other herbal laxatives. Triphala is safe for long-term use. For constipation or vata in the colon in the elderly, Triphala is best and helps rejuvenate the colon2
  • Polyphenols in Triphala promote the growth of beneficial gut micro organisms while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes3
  • According to recent researches, the Triphala formulation also shows antidiabetic4 and hepatoprotective activities and plays an important role in blood pressure control and balances cholesterol.5
  • Triphala is an important medicine in Rasayana therapy that preserves and promotes health, immunity and longevity

In equal parts the formula is tridoshic, thou, the ratios can be changed to tailor to the nature of the imbalance.

Ways to take Triphala:

For General Maintenance of Health – Take 1/2 tsp of Triphala Churna and steep it in 1/2 cup of warm water for 3-5 minutes. Stir well and drink down the mixture including any sediment. Drink this each night before bed.

For Constipation Take 1 tsp of Triphala Churna and steep it in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Stir well and drink down the mixture including any sediment. Drink this each night before bed. Repeat in the morning if needed.

Rejuvenation and Longevity – Take ½ tsp Triphala churna and blend it with ½ of ghee and 1 tsp honey to make a paste. Take this paste each night before bed during times of rejuvenation therapy.5

Shita Khsaya – Shita (cold infusion); Kshaya (decoction)

Shita kshaya is a specific method of taking triphala: Add 1 teaspoon Triphala in 8 oz of water. Stir and cover. Let this infusion sit for the day. In the evening take the liquid portion leaving the powder. Add another 8 oz of water. Stir and cover, and drink this milder infusion in the morning, again leaving and composting the powder. Repeat this practice daily for long-term use as preventive medicine. (video of how this is done)


  2. Frawley, David. Ayurvedic Healing. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press, 2000
  3. Ibid 1
Ayurveda Ayurvedic Therapies Digestion Herbal medicine

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