Triphala churna is an Ayurvedic preparation that is a combination of the powdered fruit of three trees – haritaki, bibhitaki and amalaki (commonly known as amla).
It is prized in Ayurveda for its ability to balance the doshas (the elements of body and mind) and enhance the process of digestion and elimination. It is known to be beneficial for removing toxins from the digestive tract, cleansing the liver, gallbladder and kidneys and purifying the blood.
There are many other health benefits of triphala and it is prescribed for a wide range of ailments in India. People in Western cultures are now starting to discover its effectiveness as well.
Here’s how to use triphala yourself to improve your digestive system and bring your body back into balance.
In the Evening and Morning
The most commonly recommended triphala dosage is a level teaspoon (around four grams) of the powder, stirred vigorously into a glass of hot water. You leave this mixture to settle for at least ten minutes, though it is often recommended of several hours, or even all day. Then drink the whole glass in one sitting, leaving the sediment at the bottom. You then refill the glass with hot water, mix it well and leave it to use again for a second time.
The best time to have this triphala tea is in the evening, a couple of hours after dinner and just before bed. Followed again first thing in the morning with the second dose made from the same powder.
The way I do this is to make up my triphala in the morning in a glass of hot water, cover it and leave it for the day. Just before bed I drink it all down and refill the glass with hot water and stir it well ready for the morning. After researching the different brands I settled on this organic preparation and I’ve been very happy with it.
After having the morning’s tea you discard the sediment and stir up a new mixture. As a precaution, it should not be used by pregnant women and there are a couple of other potential triphala side effects to be aware of. On the whole though, triphala churna in an excellent superfood supplement and can be used regularly for detoxification and better digestive health.
Larger Doses for Constipation
At the recommended dose of a teaspoon, triphala is not considered a strong laxative in the same way as cascara sagrada or senna, but more of an internal cleanser and bowel tonic.
In all likelihood you will be heading to the bathroom soon after you get up in the morning, but this should be a normal and easy bowel movement. If stools are too loose you could try not taking it for a day and then starting again at half the dose and monitoring the effects.
If you do not feel the need to visit the bathroom soon after waking, the amount of triphala you take in the evening could be slowly increased by a gram or so each day (or a little more heaped teaspoon) until the desired result is achieved.
At doses of eight grams (around two teaspoons) and above, triphala should have a definite laxative effect for most people. Drinking more of the sediment is also likely to increase it’s effectiveness for this purpose.
It is best used at these higher doses for shorter periods only, perhaps just a day or two if needed. It is however, generally thought to be safer than other types of laxatives as its rejuvenating properties help to offset the potentially depleting effects of using a laxative.
Unlike some other laxatives, triphala is non-habit forming and is said to strengthen and tonify the internal muscles of the bowels. That said, regular use of laxatives is not recommended. It’s worth seeking out a knowledgeable healthcare professional if constipation becomes a regular digestive problem for you.
Triphala Capsules Before Meals
A simpler way to take triphala is as a digestive aid before meals up to three times a day. This is a good way to take the tablets or triphala capsules like these.
Dosages are usually lower, generally one gram or two capsules half an hour before a meal, with a large glass of water. At this amount, triphala’s rejuvenating and balancing properties are usually noticed more than with the larger powder dose.
This is a gentler method of taking triphala and would be suitable for people who didn’t want to drink the triphala tea due to the taste. It may however take longer to show obvious beneficial effects as the cleansing actions would be likely to be less pronounced.
How Does Triphala Taste?
With all the tannins and powerful nutritional compounds in amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki, triphala churna isn’t the best tasting thing you’ll ever try. Ayurvedic medicine says it actually has a combination of five of the six known tastes – bitter, sour, sweet, pungent and astringent, with only salty missing.
When I first tried it the taste was definitely more in favor of the first two of these I’ll admit. But I knew the health benefits and took the strong taste as proof of its potency.
Ayurveda teaches the importance of a balance of all the tastes for good health and in a preparation like triphala your taste buds will most likely focus on what you most need, and, given Western diets, that’s unlikely to be sweet. Over time the taste has become more balanced to me (or perhaps my taste buds have) with a combination of flavors and I have no problem drinking it regularly.
If you feel the taste may put you off, then triphala capsules may be a good option if you still want to experience its beneficial effects. However, if you’re using it in the larger dosage in for internal cleansing then the powdered triphala is both better value and considered more effective.
Have you tried triphala churna before? I’d really like to hear about how you took it and what effect it had for you.
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