Triphala is a combination of three tropical fruits, including the famous Indian gooseberry that is also the basis of Chyawanprash, amla. It is very sour. Triphala is considered to be a detoxifying and rejuvenative formula, not a laxative.
Improvements in hair and nail growth as well as skin luster normally do not become visible for 2-3 months following commencement of rejuvenating herbs because deeper regeneration takes precedence over more superficial rejuvenation. Triphala is a highly valuable formula for people who have suffered colon damage due to diet, infection, parasites, or even antibiotic use. However, it does not usually make an adequate substitution for laxatives though increasing the dosage sometimes helps.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is Colon Aid. This is a much more aggressively stimulating formula. It is extremely strong and promotes elimination. The tablets are made with highly concentrated extracts and some people will find one tablet works wonders. It is definitely for people with more concern over congestion and blockage than assimilation and rejuvenation, this despite the fact that it contains all the herbs in triphala. The formulator suggests that this product be used "when needed" but not on a regular basis. This means it promotes rapid expulsion and can therefore be useful when exposed to a toxin or when the bowels have become very sluggish.