Triphala is classified as a “Rasayana,” a Sanskrit term given to medicines that improve general health and prolong life. Triphala churna (powder) is traditionally made with herbs referred to as “the three fruits”; Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. When combined, they strengthen the colon, remove ama (toxins), improves circulation and cardiac function, reduce high blood pressure and serum cholesterol, and cleanse the blood. Additionally, it is widely taken internally and externally for all eye diseases, including conjunctivitis, early stages of glaucoma, and cataracts. Although this formula can have a laxative effect in higher dosages, its everyday purpose is to improve and balance digestion, assimilation, and elimination.
These three herbs are best known when used together but individually have unique characteristics and properties:
Amalaki literally means mother and is the main ingredient of Chyawanprash, an ancient herbal jam that is a rejuvenative for the lungs, reproduction, and cardiac system. Its cooling nature is beneficial for the Pitta dosha.
Haritaki is known as the fearless remover of diseases and is associated with Lord Shiva. It balances the Vata Dosha and benefits the nervous system and brain mucous membranes, increases the digestive fire, treats hiccups and ulcers, reduces cholesterol, and prolongs life.
Bibhitaki is known as the one that keeps you away from disease. It is drying, astringent and strengthening, and is renowned for the lungs, intestines, urinary system, and elimination systems.
It balances the Kapha Dosha and benefits the lungs, especially with asthma, bronchitis, and coughs.
You can find Triphala in many health food stores or online, and it can be found in tablets and capsules, and powers. Most choose to take Triphala in capsules or tablets, but taking the powder is the least expensive and is the most effective way of using this product.
It is said that a billion people take Triphala daily, which you find easily online or at the health food store. If you are working with an Ayurvedic practitioner and/or herbalist, they can make you an individualized formula based on your constitution with the addition of a dipana (an herb that supports absorption).