Triphala: Ayurveda’s Most Powerful Herbal Compound for Colon Cleansing

The three ingredients that make up Triphala are powerful individually, but when combined correctly, synergy enhances their healing quotient exponentially. Triphala is my number one choice for a thorough herbal colon cleanse.

The first ingredient is Haritaki, which is the Sanskrit name, pronounced har-ee’-tuck-ee. It’s called Terminalia chebula or Chebulic Myrobalan in Latin. This fruit is mentioned in almost all ayurvedic textbooks. Charaka goes so far as to say that Haritaki is as nourishing and useful for everyone as mother’s milk. He mentions that it’s a Rasayana for the eyes (netra ruja apaharini), and helps prevent eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Haritaki is also a Rasayana for the skin. It’s known as a Twagamayagni, which means that it destroys skin disease. Sushruta Samhita, a classical ayurvedic text on surgery, says that Haritaki and Triphala are useful in cleansing wounds and promoting healing and regeneration from the inside. The famous ayurvedic surgeon Sushruta calls it branya, which means having the ability to heal an ulcer or wound.

Another excellent quality of this fruit is that it cleanses the macro and micro circulatory channels, known as shrotas in Maharishi Ayurveda. In one verse of Charaka Samhita, it says Haritaki is shrotovishodhini, which means that it can clear the channels, both big and small. The Bhavprakash Nigantu, an ayurvedic text on herbalscience, mentions that Haritaki is a yogavahini, which means that it cleanses the channels and is absorbed quickly by the body.

Because of the yogavahini effect, Haritaki also enhances mental clarity and memory. Haritaki is a Medhya fruit, which means that it enhances coordination among the mental functions of dhi (acquisition of knowledge), dhriti (retention of knowledge) and smriti (recall of knowledge or memory). It enhances mental clarity and memory, and the stamina of the mind and senses. The Bavprakash Nigantu also mentions that it is good for the health of the spleen and liver, and is a famous preventive for any liver problems. 

The 2nd ingredient is Amalaki in Sanskrit and in Latin it’s called Emblica Officinalis Gaertn, Phyllanthus Emblica or Terminalia Emblica. Indian Gooseberry is the English name and Amla is what it’s called in Hindi. But no matter by what name you call it, Amalaki has many remarkable qualities.

First of all, Amalaki is known as a divine plant in the ayurvedic materia medica. It has 30x more vitamin C than an orange in about a quarter of the volume. Amalaki is also a Rasayana, which means that it has longevity-enhancing and disease-defying qualities, primarily because it is packed with a number of phytonutrients that act as powerful antioxidants. Usually Rasayanas, which are the cream of ayurvedic herbal compounds, are made of more than one ingredient. It is extraordinary that this fruit all by itself is revered as one of the most powerful Rasayanas. The Charaka Samhita says, “Amalaki is the best among rejuvenative herbs.” Amalaki fruit contains the sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent tastes. The only taste missing is salty. Because it contains five out of the six tastes or rajas, it is balancing to all three doshas.

Amalaki has a sour taste initially, but when it mixes with the saliva, its aftertaste (vipaka) is sweet. Both sweet and sour tastes pacify Vata dosha. Amalaki’s virya or potency is cool, so along with the sweet aftertaste, this coolness pacifies the hot Pitta. The bitter, astringent and pungent tastes of Amalaki balance Kapha. So that’s how this one fruit pacifies all three doshas. 

Bibhitaki (pronounced Bib hee’ tuck ee) is its Sanskrit name, Terminalia Bellerica is the Latin name, and Bahira is the Hindi name. There is not as much scientific research on this fruit, but it is famous in the classical ayurvedic texts for its many good qualities.

Both Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita mention Bibhitaki as a homeostatic, meaning that it helps create balance and pure blood in the body. Sushruta Samhita, a text on surgery, mentions that it is useful to staunch internal hemorrhaging.

Charaka also reports that it is ideal for pacifying both Pitta and Kapha. It is cool to the touch (pacifying Pitta) but is hot when you eat it (and thus pacifies Kapha). Charaka Samhita also says that Bibhitaki cleanses the Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa and Meda dhatus, which means the nutritive fluid, the blood, the muscle and the fat tissue. In addition, the Charaka Samhita says Bibhitaki is excellent for balancing and nurturing the vocal chords, is antibacterial, and is chakshushya (a Rasayana for the eyes). Sushruta Samhita mentions that Bhibitaki is dry and hot. Sushruta also points out the bhedana effect of this fruit, which means that because of its heating quality it clears the clogged channels almost as if drilling them clear. The Bhavprakash Nigantu also says it is netra hitam, meaning that it is beneficial for the eyes. Bibhitaki also nourishes the hair, and strengthens the hair root, colour, and stability (and thus prevents thinning). 

Bibhitaki (pronounced Bib hee’ tuck ee) is its Sanskrit name, Terminalia Bellerica is the Latin name, and Bahira is the Hindi name. There is not as much scientific research on this fruit, but it is famous in the classical ayurvedic texts for its many good qualities.

Both Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita mention Bibhitaki as a homeostatic, meaning that it helps create balance and pure blood in the body. Sushruta Samhita, a text on surgery, mentions that it is useful to staunch internal hemorrhaging.

Charaka also reports that it is ideal for pacifying both Pitta and Kapha. It is cool to the touch (pacifying Pitta) but is hot when you eat it (and thus pacifies Kapha). Charaka Samhita also says that Bibhitaki cleanses the Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa and Meda dhatus, which means the nutritive fluid, the blood, the muscle and the fat tissue. In addition, the Charaka Samhita says Bibhitaki is excellent for balancing and nurturing the vocal cords, is antibacterial, and is chakshushya (a Rasayana for the eyes). Sushruta Samhita mentions that Bhibitaki is dry and hot. Sushruta also points out the bhedana effect of this fruit, which means that because of its heating quality it clears the clogged channels almost as if drilling them clear. The Bhavprakash Nigantu also says it is netra hitam, meaning that it is beneficial for the eyes. Bibhitaki also nourishes the hair and strengthens the hair root, colour, and stability (and thus prevents thinning). 

Together these fruits combine to make one of the most potent yet gentle cleansing compounds available.

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