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What is Triphala Churna?

By Nick Doniger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Triphala churna, also called triphala, is a blend of the three Indian-grown herbs. This herbal blend is used most commonly as part of Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to balance the body's "doshas," which are part of the spiritual aspect of Ayurveda. Triphala is used most commonly to treat digestive ailments and help cleanse the body of toxins. It is also believed to have other benefits, such as improving both circulatory and respiratory function.

Ayurveda is an ancient medical system developed in India, and those who practice it believe that triphala churna is effective at enhancing physical and spiritual health. The substance is meant to balance the doshas, which refer to elements found in nature and, spiritually, in the human body. Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas, and each represents a combination of two of the five elements space, air, fire, water, and earth. While Western medicine may find this mixture of herbs to be an effective remedy for some of its target ailments, it still considers Ayurveda to be a form of holistic or alternative treatment.

Translated as "three fruits," triphala churna is actually composed of three different herbs. Amla, baheda, and harada — also called amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki respectively — are all grown in India. Amla and baheda specifically target the digestive system, while harada is linked to both brain and heart health. Those who practice Ayurveda also believe that harada promotes longevity.

Some of the digestive ailments that may be relieved by taking triphala include irregularity, indigestion, and excessive stomach acid production. Triphala churna also promotes a laxative effect. It also helps the gastrointestinal tract to produce enzymes that make digestion more fast and effective. One of triphala's most important capabilities is to help cleanse the colon of waste and toxin build up. Colon cleansing may help ward off colon cancer, flatulence, hemorrhoids, and other intestinal issues.

As a byproduct of its gastrointestinal effects, triphala churna is also taken to reduce the risk of obesity as a result of poor digestion. Triphala also helps the body secret certain hormones that tell the brain when the body is full after eating. Such benefits may, in turn, promote liver health, as obesity can put unnecessary pressure on the liver.

There are several other perceived benefits from taking triphala churna. As part of circulatory health, it is taken to fight off anemia, lower blood pressure, reduce blood acidity, and have an antioxidant effect. Studies in rats have shown that triphala might also fight high cholesterol. It also has been used to improve eyesight, voice quality, and hair growth. Some Ayurvedic doctors link triphala to respiratory health as well, as it may reduce mucous production and strengthen the lungs.

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Discussion Comments
By Talentryto — On Jan 29, 2014

Heavanet, I have a friend from India who swears by triphala churna for digestive issues. You might want to check with your doctor though before trying it to make sure it doesn't interact with any other medications or conditions.

By Heavanet — On Jan 29, 2014

I have never heard of triphala churna before I read this interesting article. Does anyone have experience using these medicinal herbs?

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