Triphala is one of the most versatile, important, and potent rejuvenating formulations (rasayanas) in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a tridoshic rasyana which means it has a balancing and rejuvenating effect on the three constitutional elements of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This powerhouse remedy could be the answer to many health needs. In this article, we’ll discuss different ways to use Triphala for numerous health benefits. Keep reading to learn over 35 Triphala uses.
According to the Ayurvedic Formulary of India, as the name suggests, Triphala is composed of three Phala or fruits called Amalaki, Amla or Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitaki or Belleric Myrobalan (Terminalia bellirica) in equal proportions or a 1:1:1 ratio by weight.
These five different preparations of Triphala help in increasing its potency and making it more palatable. Triphala can be taken in any of the following forms as per the client’s strength and requirement. The potency of these formulations in decreasing order are Juice-Paste-Decoction-Cold Infusion-Hot Infusion. The juice (Swaras) has maximum potency and the hot infusion (Phant) has the minimum potency. Simultaneously intake of the juice is preferred in clients with maximum strength as it is comparatively heavy to digest and a hot infusion is preferred in clients with weak strength as it is comparatively light and easy to digest.
1. Triphala Juice (Swaras)
Method: The coarse powder of Triphala taken in the quantity of 192 grams (1 kudav) is dipped into two times the amount of water, rubbed with the hands, and left to sit for 24 hours. After filtering it, the extract obtained is known as Triphala juice or Swaras.
To increase the potency and make it palatable honey, ghee, sugar, jaggery, salt, or oil can be added to it in the amount of 5 grams. The amount of Triphala juice to be taken is 46 ml (4 tola). Triphala juice is used as an adjuvant (anupan) for several herbal formulations.
2. Triphala Paste (Kalka)
Method: Triphala paste is prepared by adding water to Triphala powder. Triphala powder is taken and deseeded. Then these fruits are dried, and the fruit pulp is crushed to a powder in a grinder. Triphala powder is prepared by combining these three fruit powders in equal proportions (1:1:1) based on the formula of the Ayurvedic Formulary of India
To increase the potency of Triphala paste and make it palatable add honey, ghee, and oil, doubling the quantity to paste. For sugar and Jaggery, use an equal quantity of paste. For liquid (water), use four times the quantity of paste. The amount of this Triphala paste that can be consumed is 11 grams (1 tola).
It is light and easy to digest as compared to the juice. Externally it is used for skin applications in the form of lepa.
READ MORE: Can Triphala Cause Bloating?
3. Triphala Decoction (Kwath)
To make a Triphala decoction, the coarse powder form of Triphala is boiled with water in different ratios like 1:4, 1:8, and 1:16 according to the need of concentration. This results in the formation of Triphala decoction.
Method: 11 to 46 gm (1-4 tolas) of Triphala powder is boiled on mild heat, uncovered with 8 times the amount of water. When it reduces to 1/8th of its initial quantity it is called Triphala decoction. In order to increase its potency and palatability, sugar is added in the quantity of 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 part of decoction respectively for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha disorders. Honey can be added in the reverse proportion, 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 respectively for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha disorders.
The quantity of decoction which can be consumed is from 46 ml (4 tola) to 93 ml (8 tola).
Triphala decoction is used in many ways both internally and externally. It is used for eye irrigation and as a vaginal douche in a variety of gynecological problems. It is used for gargling to treat oral ulcers. It is used for oral intake as indicated in digestive issues.
4. Triphala Cold Infusion (Hima)
Coarsely ground Triphala is soaked overnight in 6 times the amount of cold water with a closed lid. In the morning it is filtered through a sieve or clean cloth. In order to increase its potency and palatability, sugar is added in the quantity of 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 part of decoction respectively for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha disorders. Honey is to be added in the reverse proportion of 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 the amount respectively for Vata, Pitta, Kapha disorders.
The amount to be taken is 93 ml (8 tola).
This type of preparation mainly acts as a pacifier of Pitta (pittashamaka) and is good for the heart (hrudya). It can also be used as an instant source of energy. Triphala cold infusion can also be used as an eyewash.
Method: 46 grams of coarse powdered Triphala is dipped in 186 ml of hot boiling water and left to boil down to the ratio of 1:4. The vessel is then removed from the heat and the soaked Triphala powder is rubbed with the hands for some time. It is then filtered.
5. Triphala Hot Infustion
The liquid portion is considered the Triphala hot infusion. In order to increase its potency and palatability, sugar is added in the quantity of 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 part of decoction respectively for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha disorders.
Honey is added in the reverse proportion, 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 respectively for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha disorders. The amount to be taken is 93 ml (8 tola). The cold infusion is considered to be the least potent among all the five types.
These five basic preparations of Triphala are the backbone of several ways of using Triphala which we discuss below. They have numerous preventive, curative, and rejuvenating health benefits. Let’s have a look at some more Triphala uses.
Triphala represents an essential foundational formula as it promotes rejuvenation. There are three ways to take Triphala in which Triphala acts as a rejuvenating agent, according to the ancient Ayurvedic classics.2
Method One: Triphala Rasayana
Triphala rasayana includes intake of Haritaki or Chebulic Myrobalan powder equivalent to the pulp of one Chebulic Myrobalan fruit, taken after digestion of food (i.e. approximately three hours after a meal) or on an empty stomach in the early morning. It also includes intake of Bibhitaki or Belliric Myrobalans powder (equivalent to two Belleric Myrobalans or Bibhitaki fruits) just before a meal. Also, intake of Amalaki (or Amla) or Indian gooseberry powder (equivalent to four Indian gooseberry fruits) just after a meal is also included. Check with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for the best recommendations for you.
These three powders are taken along with an unequal quantity of honey and ghee continuously for a year for maximum rejuvenation benefits. It protects from all diseases and is thought to increase lifespan.
Method Two: Triphala Rejuvenating Drink
Make a paste of 5-10 grams of Triphala powder using water. Set this Triphala paste into a new iron vessel. Let it sit for 24 hours. Next, collect the Triphala powder from the iron vessel and place it into a separate glass. Add 1- 2 teaspoons of honey and 250 ml of water to the Triphala and drink this beverage on an empty stomach in the morning. It is taken one year continuously to have rejuvenation benefits. It acts as anti-aging, increases longevity, and maintains health.
Method Three: Triphala Herbal Jam (Leha)
Triphala herbal jam includes equal amounts of the powder of Triphala, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), East Indian arrowroot (Curcuma angustifolia, Tugaksheeri), long pepper fruit (Piper longum), and sugar. It’s taken with 10 grams of honey and 5 grams of ghee continuously for one year. It acts as an effective anti-aging recipe, improves digestion, liver function, assimilation of food, and reduces gastritis.
Intake of 1-2 tsp of Triphala powder along with 10 grams honey (madhu) and 5 grams ghrita (ghee) is considered to be the best rejuvenation therapy for eye disorders.3 Triphala powder mixed equally with ghee and sugar and taken as a semisolid form (avleha) early in the morning is good for the eyes.
How To Take Triphala As An Eye Revitalizer
Triphala, due to its antioxidant effects, acts as a revitalizing agent (Cakshushya).4 It is also a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids. Triphala pacifies all doshas so it can be well used in all types of eye problems to prevent and manage ocular disorders.
Eyewash (Netra prakshalan) with Triphala is useful for people who spend prolonged hours of the day working in front of a computer. It can improve vision power and allow them to work for longer without strain on the eyes. Triphala possesses mainly dry (ruksha) and hot (ushna) properties, hence this eye wash can also be useful in allergic conjunctivitis (Kaphaja abhishyanda) and eyelid disorders (Kaphaja vartmagataroga).
Triphala Eye Wash – Method of Preparation
Take a spoonful of Triphala powder. Soak it in a bowl of clean, filtered water and allow it to stand overnight. In the morning strain the water using a muslin cloth or fine strainer and use this solution for an eyewash.
Rinse the eyes by blinking about 20 times into this Triphala solution using an eyecup filled to the muscles and surrounding tissue.
Therapeutic Ocular Irrigation (Netra Seka)
Therapeutic ocular irrigation (Netra seka) with Triphala decoction involves pouring a stream of Triphala decoction onto closed eyes from a height of 7-8 cm. This pacifies all the three doshas and mainly acts as a scraping (lekhana) agent. It should be done only with the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. Through mild hot fomentation, it is helpful in removing debris, bacteria, bacterial toxins, scales, and crusts from the minute folds of the skin and thereby helps to maintain the lid hygiene.
Triphala Decoction For Eye Irritation
Triphala decoction is made with coarse powder of Triphala and water, taken in a ratio of 1:4, and boiled at a slow temperature until it reduces to 3/4 of the total amount. The herbal decoction is then filtered so that there are no minute particulates left in the decoction.5
Triphala Eye Drops (Aschyotana)
According to the ancient Ayurvedic sage Sharanagdhara, Triphala eye drops are said to be the best in the management of all types of conjunctivitis (abhishyanda).6
Triphaladi Varti Eye Drops7,8
Triphala, licorice, turmeric, rock salt (Saindhava Lavana), conch shell (Shankha Nabhi) and cuttlefish bone (Samudrafen) are taken in equal amounts and a fine powder is prepared. After this, the entire combination is mixed with double the amount of distilled water. Then it is put on a distillation apparatus and its extract is evaporated out into the form of a transparent liquid substance which is subsequently used as eye drops. During the research, it was seen that by the application of this eye drop there is marked improvement in the dimness of vision, heaviness in the head, watering, itching, and pain in the eye.
Triphala Vidalaka + Triphala Pindi
Triphala powder vidalaka, or application of Triphala on the closed eyes in the form of a paste, and Triphala powder pindi, application of Triphala in the form of a paste packed in a thick cotton cloth is beneficial for inflammatory conditions of the eyes.9
Triphala Collyrium (Anjan)
Triphala is one of the main ingredients in various formulations of collyrium. It is especially useful in scraping away the morbid doshas (lekhana anjan).
Triphala Rasakriya Varti (Triphala collyrium) is made with Triphala powder (180 grams) and water (2.880 liters), taken in the ratio of 1:16. This mixture is boiled over a low flame to turn it into a 360ml decoction. After that, this decoction is reheated in a copper vessel until there is complete evaporation of water to make a 210-gram paste of a semi-solid preparation (Avaleha). Then this semi-solid preparation (Avaleha) is turned into a 2mg collyrium stick (Varti) by pressing it with the thumb and first finger.
Triphala Collyrium is mentioned for use in blepharitis or Praklinna Vartma, a generalized term that refers to inflammation of the eyelid margin and the associated eyelash follicles and meibomian glands.10
Triphala Ghrita Tarpan
Triphala Ghrita Tarpan is used in satiating the eye by retaining the Triphala ghee on the eye and blinking continuously for a stipulated period of time.11 Triphala ghee for tarpan is prepared by heating Triphala in ghee (clarified butter). It aids in healthy vision and gives nourishment to the eyes. Along with this, it is also helpful in curing diseases of the eyes due to Vata Pitta doshas.
Pouring specifically prepared Triphala extracts into the eye and withholding it there with continuous blinking for a stipulated period of time is called putpaka. It is mainly indicated in eye diseases due to Kapha dosha.
Triphala can be used in all types of eye problems only by changing the adjuvants (anupana) depending upon the doshic predominance. For example, Triphala is used with the oil (taila), ghrita and honey (madhu) in Vataja, Pittaja and Kaphaja eye problems respectively.12
Triphala Ghee / Triphala Ghrita Recipe
Heat all the ingredients in a large vessel until the following characteristics are observed.
The intake of this Triphala ghee improves eyesight and has encouraging results in the treatment of Myopia and other eye diseases. Along with this, it can also be useful in Tarpan of the eyes.13
Triphala Sweet Balls
Triphala sweet balls are useful for several ailments. Sweet balls are prepared with Triphala, Operculina turpenthum (Trivritta), Long Pepper or Pippali (Piper longum Linn.), sugar, and honey. It can be helpful in alleviating all types of hemorrhage and fever.
Powder of Operculina turpenthum (Trivritta), Triphala, Embelia ribes (Vidanga), Long Pepper (Pippali), and an alkali preparation made with the whole plant of barley (Yavakshar) is mixed together and taken with ghee or honey or made into sweet balls with jaggery. It can be helpful in alleviating abdominal tumor (Gulma), splenomegaly, dyspnoea, later stages of jaundice (Halimak), anorexia, and other disorders caused by Kapha and Vata dosha.14
Research has shown the potential of Triphala as a therapeutic agent for weight loss and the reduction of body fat. A clinical trial done on obese participants for 12 weeks in 2012 by a major university in Tehran showed impressive results. By taking 5 grams of Triphala powder daily, on an average a person lost almost a pound per week.15
Triphala powder can be used both for external and internal use.
Triphala Powder Massage In Obesity (Udwartan)
Triphala powder used as powder massage (Udwartan) helps in liquification (Vilayana) of excessive fat (Medas), weight loss and cellulite reduction. Due to its rough and dry nature, it is used to reduce excess Kapha.16
Triphala Powder With / Without Honey
Internally, Triphala powder can be taken in the quantity of one half to one teaspoon (3 to 5 grams) with one cup of warm water. It could also be mixed with honey and taken one hour after dinner or two times a day on an empty stomach daily for losing extra weight.17 Check with an Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the most appropriate herbal supplements for you.
Triphala And Trikatu
One can also take Triphala powder in the amount of one-half teaspoon mixed with Trikatu powder, a mixture of three spice powders, dry ginger, black pepper, and long pepper, in warm water. Trikatu assists in metabolism and helps increase the fat dissolving capacity of Triphala.
Triphala With Roasted Gram Flour
Powder of Triphala, Trikatu, false black pepper (Embelia ribes, Vidanga) and celery seed (Apium graveolens, Ajmoda) mixed in roasted gram flour along with honey and ghee (in unequal quantities) in water is beneficial in health problems due to an increase in fat tissue (meda dhatu) like obesity and diabetes.18
READ MORE: Triphala For Weight Loss
An open-label clinical study was done in India to determine the effect of using Triphala for constipation. Research suggested that triphala is “…an effective, safe, and non-habit-forming herbal laxative formulation”.19
Intake of Triphala in clients with gastrointestinal disorders reported that it reduced constipation, mucous, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, and flatulence by improving the frequency, yield, and consistency of stool.20
Generally 2-6 grams of Triphala powder with ghee mixed in 50 ml of warm water taken two hours after dinner and about half an hour before sleep acts as a digestive and laxative.
For Vata or Pitta body type or if there is constipation due to the imbalance of Vata or Pitta dosha, Triphala powder is taken with ghee. For Kapha body type or if there is constipation due to the imbalance of Kapha, Triphala is taken with honey.21
Remember when Triphala is taken in normal quantity, it acts as a blood purifier, digestive and laxative but when taken in high doses, it gives a purgative effect. Suitable quantity varies from person to person according to his or her metabolic power. One should always consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before taking it.
For hyperacidity (Amlapitta), Triphala decoction is prepared from equal parts of the stem of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), the fruit of neem, leaf of snake gourd and Triphala.22
Triphala powder mixed in castor oil can be given in the case of belching (udavarta roga).23
Triphala Detox Tea
Add half a teaspoon of Triphala powder to a cup of hot water. Stir well and allow to cool. Strain the tea and discard the leftover powder. This makes a Triphala detox tea. It is enriched with the goodness of Triphala which nourishes the body, helps in clearing blockages in the digestive system, balances metabolism, thereby preventing health problems such as diabetes and obesity.24
Triphala Decoction (Kwath)
Triphala decoction (Kwath) is useful in Diabetes Mellitus and urinary disorders.
All these ingredients are added to 16 parts of water and boiled until it reduces to 1/4th part and then it is filtered.25 This unique decoction is then ready.
Taking Triphala with honey or ghee before a meal is also beneficial in Diabetic conditions.
READ MORE: Can Triphala Cause Diarrhoea?
Numerous human clinical trials have shown that Triphala significantly reduces the abundance of oral bacteria, dental plaque, and gingivitis.26
Clinical trials using Triphala water decoction as a mouthwash has reported that it exerts better efficacy compared with chlorhexidine gluconate germicidal mouthwash in the prevention of dental caries. It is beneficial in reducing plaque and improving gingival status.27 It also helps in reduction in tooth mobility, pocket depth, bleeding gums and sensitivity to hot and cold.28
Triphala Mouthwash Preparation: Method One
Prepare Triphala mouthwash by boiling 100 grams of Triphala powder into 1000 ml of water and reduce it to half of its quantity. When it cools down, it is filtered with a strainer and the Triphala mouthwash is ready. Keep it in a clean, sterilized bottle. Use 20-50 ml (2-3 Tbsp) of this mouthwash for one minute twice daily.29
Triphala Mouthwash Preparation: Method Two
1 L of distilled water
60 grams of pure Triphala powder
2 ml of glycerine (sweetening agent)
3-4 leaves of mint (flavoring agent)
Add Triphala powder, glycerine and mint leaves to distilled water. Bring the solution to a boil for 10 minutes, cool and filter. Triphala mouthwash is ready to use.
Triphala mouthwash is generally found to be quite safe for use and has not shown any side effects. If someone swallows it accidentally, no harm is observed On the contrary, it provides systemic benefits. It can be a viable cost-effective alternative to commercially available mouthwashes.
Triphala Hair Wash
For a hair wash, make a paste of Triphala powder in lukewarm water according to the requirement and apply it to the scalp. Gently massage the scalp and hair with this. Let it sit for up to a half hour, then rinse away. This easy and effective formulation boosts the hair and scalp health and is helpful in preventing itchy scalp, dandruff and thinning hair condition.30
Triphala With Aloe Vera
Mix Triphala powder with Aloe Vera pulp to form a smooth paste with moderate consistency. Apply this paste on the hair weekly once. It gives shine to the hair and can be helpful in growth of new hair on regular use.
Triphala Hair Color (Black Color)
The above ingredients are mixed thoroughly, and water is added if necessary to make a smooth paste in an iron vessel. The paste is kept in an iron vessel for three hours before applying. A semi-permanent Ayurvedic hair color paste is then ready.
This paste is applied and kept in contact with the hair for two hours. After 2 hours the hair is washed with water only then oil is applied and after 24 hours, washed with shampoo. It is seen that the color keeps on darkening as the days pass and appears to be permanent for the first one and a half months. Advantage of this color is that it does not cause any irritation.31
Research shows that Triphala exerts highly protective anti-aging effects on human skin cells by increasing collagen, elastin, cellular antioxidants and decreasing hyperpigmentation, thereby helping to clear flaws of the skin.32 Coconut oil is also rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties helpful in treating various skin ailments.
Triphala Face Mask / Scrub
Make a smooth paste by mixing Triphala powder with coconut oil thoroughly. Apply this paste to a clean face from medial to lateral direction (opposite to the direction of hair follicles) in sufficient quantity with moderate thickness, so as to cover the affected areas effectively. After approximately 15 minutes or when it slightly dries, remove the pack by rubbing or massaging the facial skin and wash the face with water. Avoid exposure to the sun. This can be done at least two days a week to rejuvenate dull, aging skin and clear up blemishes.
Triphala Lepa For Itching
Powder each of the fruit rinds of Triphala (Emblica officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia chebula (Haritaki), Terminalia bellirica (Vibhitaki) and store in an air-tight container. This can be applied externally as a paste after mixing it in water. During the research, it is seen that its application done twice a day for a period of two weeks reduced the chief complaints such as swelling, discharge, vesicles, and itching in clients suffering from footwear dermatitis (paaduka visha).33
An ointment of 10% Triphala powder in sesame oil is prepared by mixing 5g of Triphala powder into 50g of sesame oil. During the research, it is seen that this ointment helps in wound healing. Moreover, Triphala is found better than framycetin drug in the healing of surgical wounds. 34
Triphala Black Ash (Triphala Mashi)
Triphala Mashi is prepared with the powder of the three components of Triphala taken in the same proportion or 10 gm of Triphala powder at a time is used in the preparation of Triphala Mashi. The Triphala powder is heated in a covered earthen or iron pot until it turns to black ash (mashi). This Triphala mashi is stored in a glass container.
Triphala mashi has both internal and external use. Triphala mashi has antimicrobial activity. It can be mixed with honey or with sesame oil and used as an external application for wound healing.35 It is also used as an ingredient for brushing the teeth in dental problems such as Pyorrhoea and loss of teeth.
The method by which the volatile oil and active principles of the herb are collected is called Arka-kalpana. It is similar to the distillation process and the compound prepared through this procedure is called Arka.
To prepare Triphala arka, Triphala powder is soaked in water as per the requirement and kept overnight. The next day it is poured into the Arka instrument or distillation apparatus by adding the remaining water and boiling at a mild heat between 60 to 80 degrees C. The vapor is condensed and collected in the form of a transparent and clear liquid with a strong Triphala odor, having mainly an astringent (Kashaya) taste. This liquid contains the active components of Triphala and is called Triphala Arka. It is an easy preparation, palatable, with no need for added preservatives, quite effective in lower quantity, and with a longer shelf life.36
Triphala Sitz Bath
For reducing pain, inflammation, swelling, and itching in the anal region, and secretions, and for reducing the formation of pus and the size of the pile mass, a Triphala sitz bath is very useful.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder into a half-filled bucket with water and heat it until it becomes lukewarm. Now fill the sitz bathtub with this lukewarm Triphala water. The client suffering from fistula, piles, or fissure-like anorectal problems is advised to take a hot sitz bath. Sit in this tub containing lukewarm Triphala water for 10 minutes. This procedure can give relief due to the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and analgesic properties of the Triphala.37
On the whole, we can see that Triphala is an excellent superfood, with myriad efficacious therapeutic uses. It can be taken in several ways both internally and externally for maintaining homeostasis as well as for the prevention and treatment of several health problems.
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