Triphala: the Trendy New Bowel Cleanser That isn’t New

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photoMove over, Metamucil. There’s a new bowel cleanser in town.

And it’s all chock-full of ancient, herbal-y goodness that will scrub-a-dub-dub your insides until they’re clean and sparkly.

Ever heard of triphala?

Several years ago I saw an Ayurvedic health practitioner up in Nevada City, Calif., and one of the things she recommended at the time for my digestion was this traditional Indian cleansing powder.

Tripha-huh? I thought, but dutifully made my way to the health food store and picked some up.

With the sheer amount of internal cleansing products on the market these days (not all are created equal; buyer beware), I always think it’s interesting that not many people seem to know about triphala. It’s a remedy that’s been used for centuries in Eastern medicine, and it’s touted as a cure-all for everything from gallstones and IBS to stomach ulcers and cancer. The biggest selling point is that it’s gentle, yet extremely potent, unlike many cleansing products that strip you of healthy bacteria or deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals.

Here’s the scoop on triphala’s purported health benefits:

-Lowers cholesterol
-Reduces blood pressure
-Improves digestion and regular elimination (without becoming habit-forming)
-Cleanses the blood
-Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
-Contains high amounts of vitamin C and linoleic acid
-Helps reduce excess mucous
-Treats symptoms of allergies
-Reduces inflammation

How you take it 

Triphala comes in capsules, but I take it in powdered form. You mix a few teaspoons of the powder in warm water and drink up.

Side effects and considerations

The only thing that has keeps me from regularly taking triphala is that it has a very unique taste. Kind of like dirt and lemons. It’s a blend of three Indian fruits that combine the astringent properties of bitter and sour flavors. You can add a little honey to your cup if the taste doesn’t agree with you. And unless you like the taste of dirt, it probably won’t agree with you – at first. Over time, I’ve gotten used to the barky, bitter notes. But let’s just say I wouldn’t be guzzling this stuff for fun if it didn’t beautify by bowels.

The first time I drank triphala, I got incredibly nauseous. I’m not sure if it was because I drank it too soon after eating (it’s recommended to take triphala 30 minutes before and after meals) or if I was having some sort of healing crisis. It only happened once – after that the nausea never came back.

As a regular bedtime tonic, it’s been really helpful with digestive problems for me. Want to give it a whirl? This is the brand I bought on Amazon.

Ever taken it? Let us know in the comments.

1000893_10151764140639529_1442045243_nMara Tyler, Managing Editor 

A  Bay Area health nut with a passion for holistic nutrition, Mara is a writer, PR pro and marketing consultant. Her work has been featured on sites like Redbook, SF Weekly, Livestrong, Healthline, Natural News and Passionate about women’s health, she shares recipes and mind-body musings on her website, To make her day, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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2 Responses to “Triphala: the Trendy New Bowel Cleanser That isn’t New”

  1. January 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I swear by this stuff! It can take a 2-3 days at first to really feel an effect, it’s amazing.

  2. February 4, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Do you think taking it in capsule form would be better?

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