Triphala is a well-known herbal formula commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a traditional blend consisting of the three Indian fruits, Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. It is tridoshic by nature (meaning it is beneficial for all body types) and possesses a plethora of healing properties ranging from cleansing and detoxification to rejuvenation, anti-aging, and cancer prevention. Since Triphala does provide such a wide range of health benefits, taking this medicine by various methods will allow the herbs to become more specific for targeting the areas you are hoping to address the most.
Triphala is often used to flush out the GI tract, strengthen the liver and enhance digestion. As a mild laxative, it is extremely helpful in treating constipation issues and is a great way to promote healthy morning elimination each day. Although very cleansing by nature, this unique formula is equally as powerful in promoting rejuvenation and therefore is not depleting like many of the detoxifying herbs available. Triphala is well known for its high vitamin C content making it an excellent source of immune-boosting, anti-aging, liver-healing, cancer-preventing antioxidants (whew!).
Despite the powerful effects Triphala provides us with, this balanced formula can be used long-term by almost anybody without creating unwanted side effects. It does not create dependency and is said to be safe (and often recommended) to take regularly for an entire lifetime. It is such a necessity in Ayurvedic Medicine that according to Dr. Vasant Lad, no herbal protocol is complete without Triphala.
Triphala Health Benefits
- Increases the digestive fire (Agni)
- Detoxifies the system
- Flushes out the GI tract
- Cleanses and strengthens the liver and blood
- Promotes healthy daily elimination (mild laxative)
- Aids in weight loss
- Enhances the circulation
- Great source of Vitamin C
- Powerful antioxidant properties
- Anti-cancer (for prevention only, do not take if cancer is active or chemotherapy treatments are present)
- Immune boosting
- Beautifies the complexion (internal and external use)
- Increases the health of the hair, skin, and eyes (internal and external use)
Although you may have multiple reasons for taking this herbal panacea, there is likely one or two that you prefer to focus on at any given time. In order to really hone in on the specific action, you are desiring to receive, taking Triphala with different substances will naturally enhance the various effects. These substances are known in Ayurveda as anupans and act as a catalytic vehicle for the herbal formula, as they drive the herbs deeper into the selective tissues.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since Triphala is made up of three fruits, one should not take this formula with other food (with other fruit is alright) as this is considered an improper food combination. Ideally, it is recommended to take Triphala either 30 minutes before food intake or at least 1-2 hours post-meal.
One person’s medicine in another’s poison. No matter how great Triphala may be on a general scale, the most important question is “is it great for YOU?”. Here are some of the main reasons to AVOID Triphala.
- Avoid during chemotherapy and during the healing period after (check with your doctor for a safe time to begin post-chemo)
- Avoid during menstruation (may increase blood flow and loose stools)
- Avoid during pregnancy
- Check with your doctor before taking if you are breastfeeding
- Check with your doctor before taking if you are on any prescription medications or experiencing any severe health condition
- Discontinue if Triphala causes loose stools or diarrhea
- Discontinue if Tripahla causes any unwanted reaction
- As a diuretic, Triphala may cause nocturnal urination when taken before bed; in this instance, you may prefer to take it in the morning
The Best Ways to Take Triphala For the Most Potent Effects
*Keep reading below the chart for more specific and detailed instructions!
Purchase my handcrafted, organic Triphala Churna here!
For General Maintenance of Health
Being such a well-rounded, balanced formula, there are many individuals that take Triphala simply for maintaining health and preventing future disease. In this case, the best way to take Triphala is simply by steeping it in warm water. This method is often considered the best and most universal anupan for herbal formulas.
Directions: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala Churna and steep it in 1/2 cup of warm water for 3-5 minutes. Stir well and drink down the mixture making sure to take in any sediment that may accumulate at the bottom. Drink this each night before bed.
If you are aiming to alleviate constipation and promote healthy free-flowing bowels, then taking Triphala each night before bed in warm water is the best method for this. It is recommended to take a bit of a larger dosage, especially if the constipation is severe or long-standing.
Directions: Take 1 teaspoon of Triphala Churna and mix it in 1 cup of warm water*. Steep for 5 minutes. Stir well and drink down the mixture making sure to take in any sediment that may accumulate at the bottom. Take this each night before bed. For more severe cases of constipation, this same dosage should be taken again in the morning on an empty stomach until the bowels have been cleared out and become more regular on a consistent basis. Once constipation has ceased, the dosage can be reduced to 1/2 teaspoon before bed solely.
*Alternatively one can blend 1 teaspoon of Triphala with 1 teaspoon of Vata Honey Infusion to make a paste and follow with 1 cup of warm-hot water (take at the same times as above). This will increase the potency even further!
Purchase my Vata Honey Infusion here.
For Rejuvenation, Anti-Aging, and Longevity
If your goal is to focus on rejuvenation, preventing or reducing signs of aging, and promoting a long, healthy life then pairing Triphala with ghee and honey is an excellent way to enhance these life-promoting qualities of the formula even further.
Directions: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala Churna and blend it with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and 1 teaspoon of honey to make a paste. Take this mixture each night before bed during times of rejuvenation therapy, depletion, or anytime these healing properties are desired.
For Purgation Therapy During Detox Programs
If you are performing a home Panchakarma therapy, Kitchari Cleanse, or any other detoxification program, taking Triphala before the cleanse and throughout will undoubtably help to flush the system and clear the colon, making the overall cleanse much more effective. For this purpose, one can take a slightly higher dosage to enhance the flushing quality further.
Directions: Begin to take the Triphala Churna at least 7 days prior to the cleanse. At this time one should take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala in 1 cup of warm water each night before bed. Once the cleanse begins, continue to take the Triphala nightly, increasing the dosage to 1 to 2 teaspoons until the cleanse is complete. After completing the cleanse, switch to the rejuvenation method listed above for 30 days.
For Weight Loss, High Cholesterol, and Kapha Imbalances
To enhance weight loss and reduce Kapha, the best anupan is said to be warm honey water. Honey possesses a “scraping” quality and is very effective in removing fat, cholesterol, congestion, and general accumulation in the system.
Directions: Take a cup of warm water (make sure it is under 108 degrees – read why here), add 1 teaspoon of honey and stir until the honey has completely dissolved into the water. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon* of Triphala Churna and steep for 3-5 minutes. Stir well and drink down the mixture making sure to take in any sediment that may accumulate at the bottom. Drink this each night before bed.
*For more severe Kapha imbalances the amount of Triphala can be increased to 1 teaspoon.
For Vata Imbalance
If your Vata is high, taking Triphala with ghee will help to reduce the Vata further and eliminate any dryness that the formula may potentially cause (due to the astringent and bitter taste). The ghee will help to lubricate the GI tract, reducing Vata symptoms such as gas, bloating, dryness and constipation.
Directions: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala Churna and mix it into 1 teaspoon of melted ghee. Blend together and wash down with 1/2-1 cup of warm water. Take this before bed each night. For extra potency, one can add 1 teaspoon of Vata Honey Infusion to this mixture.
For Pitta Imbalances or Excessive Heat
Although Triphala is tri-doshic by nature, one can focus on the Pitta-reducing benefits by simply steeping the powder in cool water rather than taking it in warm water. This method is called Hima and will help to enhance the cooling potential of the formula even further.
Directions: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala Churna and mix it in 1 cup of cool water. Steep this overnight. Stir well and take this cool infusion first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Wait at least 30 minutes before eating any food.
For Low Liver Energy and General Liver Disorders
If you are experiencing liver issues, then Triphala is a great tonic to increase the strength of this vital organ while simultaneously cleansing the liver and blood. Taking Triphala with aloe vera juice will increase the liver healing properties further, targeting the liver and driving the herbs deeper into the tissues.
Directions: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala Churna with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice in 1 cup of warm water. Take this each night before bed. For severe liver issues, take this dosage again in the morning on an empty stomach.
Purchase my handcrafted, organic Triphala Churna here!
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Thank you for this beautifully-written post on one of the fundamental healing remedies in Ayurvedic medicine. I always read your posts as they are filled with great detail and insight, and I always learn something new, or at the very least, recall something I forgot. Thank you for the passion and compassion you put into your practice. Namaste.
Hi I was just wondering why Triphala is advised to be taken more towards bedtime rather than daytime? Are there some specific reasons for this? Thank you.
Thank you for your question! Triphala works as a gentle detoxifier and can help to promote detoxification and digestion while we sleep. It is also a mild laxative and will encourage a healthy bowel movement for the morning.
Triphala is sometimes prescribed to take first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. However, for this you should wait at least 30 minutes to eat any food, dairy, or milk alternative. This is because Triphala is made of three fruits and should never be taken in the same timeframe as other food types. For this reason, it is rarely prescribed to take throughout the daytime as well.
Please let me know if you have any further questions!
Ok fantastic thank you very much. Great website by the way, lots of good information I have been learning a great deal from all the articles many thanks 🙂
I take milk with Turmeric every night before going to bed, how much time gap between Triphla and Milk with turmeric to be maintained as I want to start taking Triphla also during night.
Hi VK Singh,
Thank you for writing in with your question!
I would ultimately take the Triphala in the morning and the turmeric milk before bed in order to have a nice space between the two. The milk and the Triphala simply do not combine well when taken around the same time. The Triphala can still be very beneficial in the morning and this should not negate any of its healing properties.
If you wish to take them both at night, I would suggest to wait at least 1 hour post meal to take the Triphala, and then wait another hour to take the turmeric milk (or vice versa).
I hope this helps my friend!
Hello— In addition to Triphala, I take a probiotic and also natural form of Progesterone before bed. I also like to drink a cup of herbal tea and take a squirt of CBN tincture. Are any of these in conflict with Triphala? Or each other? I try to take the Triphala an hour or two after my evening meal. Then an hour later the other things. I think it’s the probiotic that really throws me off as I’ve read so many different things about when to take it, with/without food.
Thank you for writing in with your question! Since you are already taking several supplements before bed, it may be best to take the Triphala first thing in the morning instead. This will help the absorption of the Triphala, but also help you avoid waking up from nocturnal urination (aka going to the bathroom in the middle of the night), since Triphala is a mild diuretic, and this property may be provoked further with excess liquids before bed.
For this you can take each morning the in the same method as you would before bed, and then wait at least 30 minutes before any food, dairy, or caffeine intake. Alternatively, you can steep the Triphala in warm water overnight, then stir well and take it in the morning like this. According to Dr Vasant Lad, this is a great way to take it for constipation issues.
Please let me know if any further questions come up!
Hii..can I mix the powder with 2 bowl of boiling water and then reduce half cup is it best method to consume ?please suggest me how to take triphala for over all health skin&hair benefits..kindly tell me
Thank you for writing in with your question! This way of making the Triphala will actually make for a more potent brew and therefore the health properties will come through a bit stronger. After the water boils, you would want to reduce the heat to a low setting before adding in the herbs though. Then steep over a low heat, mostly covered, until 1/2 of the liquid has been evaporated. Do not strain the herbs, but stir well and drink the mixture down (once it cools slightly).
For skin and hair health, you can take the Triphala in warm water (either this method or the more simple one listed in the article), each night before bed. You can then apply a Triphala face mask onto the skin, and use a hair oil that contains Triphala or Amalaki for the hair. Treating the hair and skin with both internal and external therapies will be a great complement to each other!
If needed, we have an at-home Triphala Face Mask recipe here.
Thank you again for writing in! Many blessings to you!
Can one take triphla daily in following manner?
1. With warm water before going to bed
2. With hooney in the morning
Thank you for your question! Yes, you can take triphala both in warm water (which is best for promoting cleansing throughout the night and healthy morning elimination), and again in the morning with honey (which is best for weight loss). If you begin to experience loose stools however, this is a sign that you are taking too much and one of the dosages should be removed.
Are there any counter indication for taking triphala?
Thank you for this great question! Yes, there are definitely some contraindications to consider before taking Triphala.
Since Triphala is considered a mild laxative, it should not be taken if you have loose stools, or if your stools become loose after taking the formula.
Women should avoid Triphala during menstruation, as it stimulates Apana Vayu (the downward moving wind) and can create heavier bleeding. Triphala should also be avoided during pregnancy.
As with any herbs, it is always best to consult with your doctor before taking this formula if you are currently on any prescription medications.
These would be the main words of warning to mention. Please let me know if you have any further questions around this matter!
I am taking everyday before going to bed, three hour meal, is it Okay?
Will it run down important nutrients from the intestine?
Thank you for your question! You can take Triphala before bed, as long as it is at least 1 to 2 hours post meal. Larger meals will require longer times.
Taking Triphala in this manner should not deplete vitamins and minerals from your GI tract, as long as you are not experiencing excessively loose or watery stools from taking the formula. This can lead to malabsorption issues. If loose stools do occur, the Triphala should be discontinued or taken in another manner that is more suitable for your body.
Hello, I’m taking triphala in the morning and at night. 1/2 a tsp with warm water and a 1/2 tsp of honey. I’m really struggling with the taste. On some sites it says to strain the tea before drinking it. I use a metal tea strainer and it captures some of the triphala that settles at the bottom. Am I missing out on the benefits of it for weight loss if I don’t drink the sediment at the bottom? Or should I just deal with it and drink the sediment in the bottom of the cup. I usually let the tea steep over night. I read it can make it possibly taste better. Thank you for your help.
Thank you for your question! Ultimately, it is best to drink the entire tea, with any sediment included. However, you are not alone and many individuals struggle with drinking the “chunkies” at the bottom as well. If it is about taking the Triphala without the sediment, or not taking it at all, I would go for the former. This will still be beneficial for your weight loss and digestion overall, and will allow you more ease in taking it consistently. It is also better than taking the Triphala in a capsule form.
I hope this helps. Let me know if anything else comes up!
Is taking it in capsule form worthless? That’s all I see on Amazon!
Thank you for this great question! I always recommend the powdered form over the tablet. However, some individuals simply cannot handle the taste, no matter how they mix it. If this is the case, you can try the pill and see if you see good results. It can still be effective, and is often better than not taking it at all!
Very useful information. I have my triphala by steeping in hot water just like a tea in the morning. So reading the previous post, glad this is acceptable.
Yes, Salman! This is a very appropriate way to take these herbs. I hope they bring you much health. Please let me know if anything else comes up!
Can Triphala cure Melasma?
Thank you for your question! Triphala may not be able to cure this skin condition completely, but would be definitely a nice complement to other therapies. I would recommend to also try Tikta Ghrita or Triphala Ghrita internally, and using a topical treatment regularly such as castor oil, Tikta Ghrita, Triphala Ghrita, or a Triphala face mask.
These are just general recommendations, but more specific care may be needed. I would ultimately recommend seeking out a trusted Ayurvedic practitioner to get a more individualized treatment.
You mention that Triphala should not be taken if cancer is present. What herbs are safe to use for fighting cancer (lymphoma)..?
Unfortunately when treating cancer, most herbs are not recommended as they may interfere with chemotherapy or other prescribed medications. With little research being done in this area, it is always the safest bet to complement Western therapy with gentle diet and lifestyle changes rather than herbal remedies.
Mild herbal teas such as Ginger Tea or CCF Tea (made with a low steep time of about 5 minutes) may be suitable and support digestion at this hard time, although even sipping on hot water throughout the day is supportive and very safe. Most culinary spices can be used in small amounts when making food such as turmeric, ginger, fennel, coriander, cilantro, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper. This will once again support digestion in a safe way. Taking any herb or spice in a moderate to strong dose should be avoided until the Western treatment has been completed for at least 30 days (always consult with your doctor first!)
Sending warm wishes of health and healing to you!
Thank You for the quick response. I appreciate it.
Well written article.
I have a question, I see that one of the recommended ways to take triphala is to steep it in warm water over night and then consume it in the morning. Of course, by morning, the mixture would have cooled to room temperature. What then is the difference between this method and simply consuming the triphala mixed in room temperature water first thing in the morning?
This is a great question! By steeping it in cold water overnight and drinking it at room temperature, it is considered best for Pitta imbalances.
I have also heard this is one of the best methods for alleviating constipation, although, for this, you should add some hot water to make the mixture warm to hot. This can be a good alternative to taking it at night for those that want to treat constipation, but find that taking it before bed creates nocturnal urination (aka peeing in the middle of the night).
As you can see, there are so many options… Please let me know if you have any further questions!
Can Triphala and Ashwagandha be taken together?
Thank you for your question! Assuming your body does well with these herbs, then yes, there is no contraindication for taking them together. Since Triphala is overall heating, and Ashwagandha is too, then I would just make sure it does not create too much heat for your Pitta. And as with any herbs, it is always best to listen to your body. If you experience any unwanted symptoms after taking this combination, then it may not be a good blend for you. If you feel good after, then go for it!
I have suffered from excess body heat all my life to the point where I get nauseous if the atmosphere is too hot. I also suffer from GI issues — gas, bloating, IBS, etc. What would be the best way to take Triphala to remedy both types of issues?
Thank you for your question! I am sorry to hear about these symptoms that you have been experiencing. Triphala is overall heating, so it may not be the best formula for you if you are extremely sensitive to heat. You can try to take it with organic aloe vera juice, ghee, or a cooling herb such as licorice (or in licorice tea), as this may help balance out the heat.
You may want to try taking Cilantro Juice (about 1 to 2 cups daily) to cool the system and balance Pitta. You can find a simple recipe here: https://svastha.wpengine.com/ayurvedic-home-remedies-101-cilantro-juice-for-detoxification-chelation-and-inflammation/
Hi, How do i use triphala ghee for the eyes? 1 drop in the eyes every night or morning? Pl explain.
You can place the Triphala Ghee (ideally organic and high quality) into a sterile glass dropper bottle, warm it to a liquid state (but not too warm temperature), and place one to two drops into each eye before bed each night. For severe eye issues, this can be repeated in the morning as well, but before bed is a bit more suitable due to the oiliness that results around the eyes. After applying, close the eyes and massage the eyes for a few moments. No need to rinse it out.
Let me know if you have any further questions!
I have a vata pitta imbalance with stools that are all over the board in terms of consistency, including loose often. Should I avoid triphala or take a smaller dose? Trying to repair my gut and feeling lost!
Triphala may be beneficial for you, but it is hard to say. I would start with a small dose such as 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon before bed in warm water. I would keep this dose going assuming it does not lead to loose motions. It may be helpful to work with a practitioner one-on-one to get individualized advice, as more complex symptoms often require more thoughtful approaches.
The article is well-written and helpful, thank you! I would suggest inclusion of the contraindications within the main text for the benefit of readers.
Thank you for writing in with your suggestion! I think that is a great idea and will add it in soon.. Keep posted:)
I have been taking Triphala with ghee and honey each night and am amazed at how good a sleep I have and the extra energy I feel in the mornings. I have been interested in natural healing and Ayurveda for a few years and have 2 of Dr Vasant Lad’s books. I found your site on a search, which is where I saw the Triphala, ghee and honey mix and I am so happy to have found you.
Thank you for sharing your positive experience with Ayurveda! I hope it may help inspire others to give it a try as well! Keep up the great work and let me know if any questions come up!