Triphala: Ayurvedic Benefits, Ingredients, Side Effects & Uses
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Jul 28, 2021
Triphala is an Ayurvedic polyherbal medicine that translates to three (tri) fruits (phala) in Sanskrit. This Ayurvedic concoction has been providing its many benefits for well over 3000 years.
In this post, we will note the benefits, side effects, and uses of Triphala.
Table Of Contents
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Protects Against Cavities And Dental Disease
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Treats Constipation
- Improves Skin Health
- Protects Against Certain Cancers
- Reduces Anxiety And Stress
What Is Triphala?
Triphala is a polyherbal medicine that’s made up of three fruits, Amla (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula).
In Ayurved, Triphala is classified as a tridoshic rasayana known to promote longevity and rejuvenation. This means that this formulation is appropriate for all doshas, Vita, Pitta, and Kapha. So, anyone regardless of age and constitution can benefit from taking Triphala.
Some herbs like Ashwagandha are effective by themselves but herbal combinations like Triphala are said to provide more potent results because of their synergy.
While you can get Triphala powder (churna) from your Ayurvedic doctor, Triphala juice is also a great alternative.
Triphala is formulated with equal parts of all three fruits. This formulation has been around for over 3000 years and hasn’t changed at all.
Amla (Indian gooseberry) is a popular and well-researched Ayurvedic ingredient. Found throughout South Asia, Amla is used in cooking and can be eaten raw with a sour, sharp taste.
This fruit is known for its effective treatment of constipation. It is rich in Vitamin C, minerals, tannins, curcuminoids, emblicol, and amino acids. This has led scientists to suggest that Amla has properties that may help against acidity.
Bibhitaki is used in Ayurvedic treatments to help ailments like viral and bacterial infections. It is also used to regulate blood sugar in diabetics. It contains ellagic acid and gallic acid that have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
This fruit also contains lignans, tannins, and flavones that provide a wide range of treatments. It is most known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat inflammatory conditions like gout caused by a build-up of uric acid.
Found in India, China, Thailand, and the Middle East, Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is a green fruit that’s known as the ‘king of medicines’ in Ayurved.
For thousands of years, Ayurvedic practitioners have prescribed Haritaki for patients with asthma, stomach ailments, ulcers, and heart disease but its most commonly used for constipation. This fruit contains polyphenols, terpenes, anthocyanins, and flavonoids that work together to provide these potent benefits.
Triphala Benefits (Triphala Ka Fayda)
The mix of the three Ayurvedic herbs allows Triphala to provide several health benefits. While each fruit has its set of active components, the primary components for Triphala are gallic acid, ellegic acid, chebulinic acid, and tannins. In addition, Triphala also contains polyphenols and flavonoids that provide additional health benefits. Ayurvedic claims aside, western medicine is still researching all the properties and benefits of this ancient formulation.
List of benefits of Triphala:
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Triphala is packed with antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress (free radical damage). Oxidative stress is when free radicals in the body damage cells which can harm your health, cause inflammations and possibly lead to chronic diseases.
The antioxidants in Triphala include Vitamin c, polyphenols, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Other plant compounds also add to the anti-inflammatory benefits of this formulation.
Studies have shown that antioxidants can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature aging. Triphala has also been shown to reduce inflammation in arthritis patients. Even athletes can experience a boost in performance due to the reduction in inflammations from taking Triphala.
2. Protects Against Cavities And Dental Diseases
Along with the anti-inflammatory attributes, Triphala also has antimicrobial properties that can help improve dental health. This formula can help prevent the formation of plaque that can lead to gum inflammation and cavities.
Studies have found mouthwash with Triphala caused a significant reduction in gum inflammation, bacterial growth, and plaque build-up.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Triphala can help boost fat loss, especially if you are looking to burn belly fat. One human study found Triphala to help reduce body weight as well as waist and hip circumference.
Other studies have also shown Triphala to also lower total cholesterol, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, and triglycerides. An increase in HDL ‘good’ cholesterol and oral glucose tolerance is also seen which can help in blood sugar management.
4. Treats Constipation
Triphala is used in the Ayurvedic treatment of constipation as a mild laxative. This attribute is backed up by several trials and studies, making Triphala a great alternative to OTC laxatives.
Studies have found Triphala to help improve symptoms of constipation and improve the frequency and consistency of bowel movements. Abdominal pain, intestinal inflammation, and flatulence are also reduced with this Ayurvedic formulation.
5. Improves Skin Health
When applied topically, Triphala can help protect skin cells with its antioxidants. It can also help improve collagen production and moisture retention in the skin.
Its anti-inflammatory properties also help this formulation to improve skin health and quality from the inside out. While applying the paste (made from Triphala churna) is a little messy, the results are well worth the effort.
6. Protects Against Certain Cancers
Triphala is shown to help protect against certain cancers in several studies. The formulation is shown to inhibit lymphoma growth as well as pancreatic and stomach cancers.
Studies have also shown Triphala to promote prostate and colon cancer cell death. Researchers suggest the high concentration of antioxidants in Triphala providing these anti-cancer properties.
7. Reduces Anxiety And Stress
There have been several studies that have pointed out the mental health benefits of consuming Triphala regularly. According to these studies, the formula can be effective at reducing stress.
It also helps when dealing with anxiety and behavioural issues that can be caused by stress. This calming effect is the reason Triphala juice is one of the most popular Ayurvedic juices on the market.
Triphala Side Effects
When you take Triphala churna or powder as prescribed by your Ayurvedic doctor, the formulation can be considered to be safe. However, if you self-medicate, especially in high doses, you can experience abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea due to the natural laxative effects of this formula.
Additionally, it isn’t recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take Triphala powder. Those on blood thinners (Warfarin) or with bleeding disorders should also talk to their doctor before taking this powder.
How To Use Triphala?
You can get Triphala in several forms including powder, capsules, or juice:
- Triphala Powder with water (honey and cinnamon optional): Drink a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of the powder and a tablespoon of honey with a pinch of cinnamon for enhanced taste.
- Triphala Capsules: Take the recommended dosage of Triphala every day with some warm water.
- Triphala Tea: Steep a tablespoon of Triphala powder in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes to make Triphala tea.
- Triphala Juice: Drink a glass of water mixed with 30ml of the juice concentrate and honey or sugar for enhanced taste.
Remember that your body will absorb the herbal medicine most effectively on an empty stomach. So, it's recommended to take Triphala in the morning before eating anything.
Where To Buy Triphala?
You can purchase the different forms of Triphala from your local Ayurvedic store as well as online. Most people prefer Triphala churna or Triphala juice. The powder is good if you want to drink it as tea while the juice tastes great when chilled.
Regardless of how you take Triphala, be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle/box provided. If you are unsure of whether Triphala is right for you, book a free online consultation with our in-house doctors.
Triphala is an effective Ayurvedic formulation with plenty of health benefits. So, it makes perfect sense that products like Dr. Vaidya’s Triphala Juice are so popular. That said, if you are taking the powdered form, be sure to not overdose yourself as this can lead to diarrhoea and other problems.
With its ability to prevent inflammation, boost immunity, and treat constipation, Triphala is a great addition to your daily routine.
Is it OK to take Triphala daily?
You can take Triphala every day so long as you follow the recommended dosage. If you aren’t sure of the dosage, talk to your doctor.
Who should not take Triphala?
If you are on blood thinners or at high risk of bleeding, you should avoid taking Triphala. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor before taking this formulation.
Can Triphala be harmful?
Triphala is considered safe when taken according to the prescription. Overdosing on the formula can result in diarrhoea and stomach discomfort.
What is the recommended dose of Triphala?
The recommended dosage of Triphala can range from 0.5g to 1g per day. However, for a precise dose based on your age and medical condition, please consult an Ayurvedic doctor.
Which is the best time to take Triphala?
It’s recommended to take Triphala on an empty stomach in the morning or before meals.
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