The Trouble with Triphala

During my education time at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, Dr.Vasant Lad taught, “Everyone should take Triphala!!!!!!!” I actually have a 2 different audio recordings on his Herbology course of him stating this with glee. Triphala is the top selling Ayurvedic herb and the advice of every Western Ayurvedic Practitioner to every client to take. In the Western Ayurvedic world this is followed and this is shown through just simply looking at the sales of Triphala and the many many companies that have come out with their own labeling of it.

This is so far from being correct though. Every substance is to be used on a individual basis with the knowledge of who and why they should be using it. We are so not understanding this and it is simply not the common persons fault as this is being pushed in Western Ayurveda so even the practitioners are really not knowing better.

It is never that everything is just okay for everyone. No one is helping anyone when they put everyone on a default herb.

The following is an actual situation that has experienced by me more than once. A client comes to me after having worked with other Ayurvedic Practitioners. They have what Western medicine is calling IBS or IBD (Irritable Bowel Dysfunction)? They have been advised to take Triphala. Bad results happen from their and they walk away with a bad taste for Ayurveda.

Since the peristalsis is happening too fast and the food is not being digested, it makes you think? Would triphala will be good for them? It will only speed up that disease a bit for them as per the actions of Triphala. So no. There are many other situations I could simply state that triphala will be harmful in as well. So don’t buy into the hype, don’t be stupid. Educate your self and have discernment. Health is not just a simple pill.


It is not advisable to consume triphala on a daily basis as daily use may (depending upon the individual) loosen the intestinal flexibility and prolonged intake of triphala will create dryness in the colon and is habit forming. There is a small type of haritaki and a large type. The small one causes more of a purgative effect and will cause much dryness much quicker while the larger type does not as much. Do you have any idea which is in those pills of triphala your taking??????

There is a difference in how triphala will act if it is taken with cold water or hot water. As well, it is to be used with appropriate anupana (delivery vehicle) for intended use.


As always, it is better to not take an action than it is to take action in ignorance.


Contraindications for taking Amalaki and Haritaki are:

One who takes dry foods
Excessively indulgent in sex
Alchohol consumption
One who has been poisoned
One who suffers from excess hunger, thirst, or heat
People who are tired from exertion
One with depleted immunity and strength
Dry and are emaciated
Too lean of a body
Who have fasted
One with increased Pitta
If pregnant
Post blood letting treatment or during and soon after menstruation
One who has severe thirst, hunger
One that has been exposed to the Sun for long period
One suffering from indigestion
emaciated due to increased sexual activity and alcohol
People having dry mouth
People with neck stiffness
People with dry throat
and in early stages of fever


Triphala = 3 Fruits

2 of them are Amalaki and Haritaki. They have all the same qualities except their potencies are different. Haritaki is hot and Amalaki is Cold.


True knowledge creates discernment.



4 thoughts on “The Trouble with Triphala

  1. thanks …. once again a brilliant article.   Thank you for taking the time and having true concern for people’s health… With gratitudeseema

  2. Hello
    Any thoughts on the ratio of the 3 fruits being used? All triphala in the market uses equal ratio of the 3 fruits while Vaghbatta mentions 4:2:1 for Amla, Baheda and Haritaki respectively.

    • What a fantastic question.
      Honestly, i have to say that I do not know. I can think of several reasons why Vagbhata has done this but they would only be intellectual wanderings.

      And the funniest one….
      maybe because he was foreseeing that Western research would be thinking that inflammation is at the root of all disease and he was just trying to get a foot in to prevent this back in time. 😉

      I will ask my teacher to see what he knows about it.

      I personally go with Charaka for everything mainly. You can’t get better detail than that.

      Thanks for the great question.

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