Kayam Churna and Triphala Churna both are quite popular Ayurvedic medicines used as laxatives for constipation and irregular bowel movement. According to Ayurveda, proper digestion is the key to having a healthy body and mind. Those suffering from chronic constipation can suffer serious health issues if left untreated for a long time.
While Kayam Churna is a proprietary (more modern) Ayurvedic medicine, Triphala churna is as old as Ayurveda itself. Triphala powder is the clear winner when it comes to having a long term effect and overall health benefits although Kayam Churna can be used for short term and quick results. Here is a detailed analysis about both and why you should be choosing Triphala over Kayam Churna.
To understand this better, you need to know what are the types of laxatives and how they effect the intestines.
- Bulk Forming Laxatives
- Stool Softeners
- Lubricants or Emolients
- Stimulant Laxatives
Bulk forming laxatives are those that contain dietary fibre and they cause stool to retain water hence create a stool larger in size which makes the bowel to contract. They also create an emollient effect so that the peristaltic action can move it out of the intestines quickly. These are the best and safest form of laxatives. Common examples are ripe papaya, ripe banana, psyllium seed (Also called Isabgol), rice bran.
Stool softeners are those that help mix fluids in the stool to make it softer and easier to pass. Example of that is docusate sodium, countertop medications like Dulcolax.
Lubricant laxatives are those that coat the stool with a lubricant so they become easy to pass out of the intestines eg. Mineral oils, glycerine.
Stimulant laxatives are those which stimulate and irritate the bowel causing a purgative effect. These are of many kinds ranging from mild to harsh. Many plants have this type of effect.
Kayam Churna is a formulation by Sheth Brothers made out of a combination of
- Senna Leaves ( Cassia Angustifolia ) – 50%
- Kala Namak (Black Salt) – 18%
- Mulethi / Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) – 4.5%
- Nishoth / Trivrit (Operculina Turpethum) – 3%
- Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula) – 8%
- Ajwain / Ajamoda (Carum Capticum) – 11.5%
- Svarjikshara – 5%
Kayam churna is an effective medicine when it comes to acute constipation or when you need for quick relief. But it is not recommended to consume regularly for a longer period of time.
The main ingredient of this medicine is Senna Leaves. Senna is a plant which is has a moderate to strong laxative effect on the bowels depending on the dosage one consumes. This is due to the fact that it is a strong stimulant type (purgative) of laxative. It irritates the intestines and increases its peristaltic movement due to the presence of anthroquinones. Anthroquinones are components which promotes the secretion of bile through the liver and gall bladder. It causes spasmodic and griping type of pain (abdominal discomfort almost like cramps). To balance the pain, yastimadhu (mulethi) is given with it.
Prolonged use of Senna, can cause diarrhoea. Overdose can cause spasmodic pain along with loss of electrolytes specially potassium which is extremely important for muscle and heart function. Excessive use of Senna is also found to create problems like cachexia, reduces serum concentration & finger clubbing. Also it can make the intestines weak and cause malabsorption of nutrients in the long run. Too much use of strong purgatives, can deplete stores of minerals and B Vitamins and diminish the healthy growth of intestinal micro organisms. Long term use can create chronic constipation, weakness, anaemia and chronic fatigue.
According to Ayurveda, use of Senna is strictly prohibited in case of IBS and colitis.
All other ingredients added in the medicine are added for balancing the side effects of Senna, which are safe to use individually and are great herbs (like haritaki, ajwain) for maintaining the health of the digestive system.
Triphala is a combination of three rasayana (rejunvnative) herbs (Amla, Harad, Baheda) in Ayurveda. It is believed that this powerful combination, when consumed in different proportions can cure all diseases.
Triphala churna or powder is a mild laxative and can be used for long term. All three of its ingredients have a mild laxative action. The mixture is a combination of stimulative, lubricating and bulk forming laxative. It is very mild in nature so much so that Bhavprakash Nighantu specifically mentions it as being a safe everyday use medicine. It is also non habit forming, unlike in the case of Kayam Churna and other similar modern preparations.
It is slightly lubricating, but it also contains anthroquinones which stimulate bile flow and peristalsis. It is also highly nutritional as it contains a good amount of Vitamin C (because of Amla), linoleic oil (which reduces LDL cholesterol in the blood). It detoxifies the blood and liver and helps improve digestion and assimilation.
Harad balances the vitiated vata in the intestines and creates a lubricating effect. It is also antispasmodic, anti parasitical, astringent and a nervine tonic.
Amla balances the pitta dosha and contains a very high dosage of Vitamin C, due to which it is cooling, antipyretic, astringent, mildly laxative and a natural tonic for the body. It boosts immunity and cools the body naturally.
Baheda is digestive, tonic and antispasmodic in nature. It balances the kapha dosha.
The combination of all three is tridosha balancing and an excellent tonic for daily use for all people even if they are no suffering from constipation issues. Triphala digests the Ama (undigested disease producing food material deposited in different areas of body) and cholesterol from the body. It is also considered a great tonic for the eyes, liver, intestines, skin and hair. It also reduces inflammation, blood pressure, regulates bowel movements and improves blood circulation.
According to Dhanwantari Nighantu, it is an appetizer, tonic, spermopiotic, anti diabetic and great for eyes.
You can simply buy both these medicines on amazon.
Kayam Churna : https://amzn.to/2PQSefv
For Triphala Powder you have a few different options as a lot of Ayurvedic pharmacies make this medicine
Organic India: https://amzn.to/3cMQOMa
Dabur : https://amzn.to/3rQv1r1
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