Triphala is a herbal remedy that has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Made from three fruits– Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki – triphala is one of the most well-known and widely used remedies in Ayurvedic medicine.
According to traditional medicine, Triphala benefits various health conditions and may have surprising health benefits when taken as a dietary supplement.
According to Ayurvedic teachings, triphala is believed to detoxify and rejuvenate the body whilst providing many other benefits, many of which have been confirmed by modern research. However, triphala is much less well-known in the USA, so we’ve prepared a guide to help you make the most of this promising herbal remedy, including info on the effects, applications, and potential triphala side effects.
In this blog, we’ll be taking a close look at this herbal remedy, its many applications, and the best form to choose, weighing up the pros and cons of more traditional preparations for refined triphala powder.
Triphala is a powerful herbal remedy with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects, which may have various health benefits when used as a supplement. The word “triphala” comes from the Sanskrit words “tri” (three) and “phala” (fruit) and is widely used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
As the name implies, triphala is made from three fruits native to the Indian subcontinent – amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki. Interestingly, all of the ingredients in triphala are medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic medicine with noted health benefits of their own, so taking triphala powder instead of individual supplements may provide a wide spectrum of health benefits.
Triphala is traditionally made with:
Commonly known as Indian gooseberry, amla are small fruits with a sour, sharp taste and a fibrous texture, so they are often pickled or dried and ground into powder to make them more palatable. Amla is rich in natural compounds like vitamins and minerals and powerful plant compounds like phenols and tannins, giving it anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting effects.
Amla is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine and is used to treat various ailments, such as stomach issues and poor immune response. Interestingly, early test-tube studies show that amla extract may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, but more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Bibhitaki is a large tree native to Southeast Asia that produces round yellow to brown fruit containing many beneficial compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting effects. Bibhitaki contains many powerful plant compounds like tannins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, and flavones which may help treat health issues like gout and high blood sugar.
The ancient Ayurvedic scriptures describe bibhitaki as “fearless of disease,” as it is believed to support the immune system and boost the healing process. According to preliminary studies, thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of bibhitaki, triphala benefits stomach, liver and lung health.
The fruit of the black myrobalan (haritaki) tree is small, oblong, and rich in natural compounds, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and polyphenols which are all linked to powerful health benefits. Often called the “king of medicines” in Ayurveda, haritaki has long been used to treat various conditions, including heart disease, asthma, and stomach ailments.
While the leaves, stem, and fruit are all considered beneficial in Ayurvedic applications, triphala is usually made with dried and ground haritaki fruit. The fruit is generally considered safe, and there are few known triphala side effects, making the potential health benefits even more compelling.
Must Read: Benefits of Haritaki
Triphala is one of Ayurveda’s most highly regarded medicinal treatments and has been used to treat all kinds of health conditions, from constipation to heart disease. While modern medicine has not approved Ayurvedic treatments like triphala powder for use in treating disease, it is packed full of beneficial compounds that have proven health benefits.
Based on existing studies, there are many triphala benefits to recommend this herbal supplement, including:
Triphala contains various antioxidant compounds, including vitamin C, tannins, and polyphenols, that all help reduce oxidative stress in your body, with few known triphala side effects. Diets high in antioxidants have been linked to lower risks of chronic diseases, so you may lower your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and premature aging by supplementing with triphala.
Triphala contains many powerful antioxidants like gallic acid and polyphenols which may help protect against certain cancers by inhibiting their growth and inducing cancer cell death. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects, and there is no evidence that triphala powder is an effective cancer treatment in humans.
While taking oral supplements made with triphala powder may not support dental health, topical applications like mouthwash have proven surprisingly effective. Studies show that using a mouthwash containing triphala extract reduced plaque buildup, bacterial growth, and gum inflammation, tackling common causes of cavities and gingivitis.
Limited studies have found a correlation between triphala and weight loss, as subjects that took 10g daily supplements experienced better weight loss than the control group with little to no side effects. While there are very few known triphala side effects, there is little evidence to suggest that triphala supplements are effective for weight loss.
Triphala has long been used as a treatment for digestive issues like constipation, and several modern studies have confirmed that triphala benefits digestive health by improving bowel movements. Supplementing with triphala helps reduce constipation, abdominal pain and flatulence in patients with gastrointestinal disorders, as well as reducing intestinal inflammation.
Although more research is needed to support triphala benefits as a Complementary Alternative Medine (CAM), it has many proven health benefits that can help support general health.
While triphala is generally considered safe, it may cause adverse side effects in some people, so it’s important to be aware of potential triphala side effects before using it. For example, higher doses of triphala supplements may cause intestinal discomfort and diarrhea, due to its naturally laxative effects.
Additionally, triphala is not recommended for children or pregnant or lactating women, as there is not enough research on these groups, and it cannot be guaranteed safe. Triphala powder may also interact with other medications – especially blood thinners like warfarin – and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in certain people, so you should ask your doctor if triphala is right for you.
Triphala is available in many forms, including liquid extract, capsules and triphala powder, and can be found in many health food stores and online retailers. The typical recommended dosage ranges from 500mg to 1g daily, and larger doses can be used to treat symptoms like constipation, though taking that kind of dose daily is NOT recommended.
Taking triphala between meals on an empty stomach helps improve absorption, resulting in more noticeable triphala benefits. If using a powdered form of triphala, you can mix it with honey and warm water to make a soothing drink or mix it into your favorite smoothie for a delicious and nutritious treat.
Triphala is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that has recently become popular as a dietary supplement and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). As it contains many beneficial compounds, triphala powder has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial effects that may help support general health and treat various conditions.
Studies show that triphala benefits many conditions like diabetes, heart disease obesity, and it may even help protect against certain cancers, though more research is needed to confirm these benefits. With so many purported health benefits and few known triphala side effects, this may be a worthwhile natural remedy to add to your supplement regime.
However, you should always seek professional medical advice before using a new dietary supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as triphala may interfere with medication or cause adverse effects if used irresponsibly.