Triphala, The Magic Herb Concoction And Its Health Benefits
Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India
India, since ancient times, is a treasure of herbal compounds used as remedial medicines in healthcare. The health benefits of Triphala are numerously attributing to its chemical composition.
Table of Contents
- The magic of Triphala concoction
- Important constituents of classical herbal medicines
- Health benefits of Triphala
- Uses of Triphala
The magic of Triphala concoction
Triphala is one such precious herbal mixture that encourages longevity and rejuvenation in patients of all constitutions and ages.
In Sanskrit, Triphala stands for tri= three and phala= fruits, it is a polyherbal formulation or the rasayana comprising of equiportions of dried powder of 3 fruits that govern and realign three constitutional elements of the human body i.e. Vata, pitta, and Kapha.
1. Emblica officinalis (Family Euphorbiaceae)- Commonly known as Amla or Indian gooseberry. This is one of the oldest fruit consumed in India and is a treasure of Vitamin C, essential minerals and vitamins. Also, rich in antioxidants like phenols, tannins, and curcuminoids that imparts its therapeutic benefits.
2. Terminalia bellerica (Family Combretaceae)- Commonly known as Bibhitaki, which is a part of a large tree grown in southeast Asia. It is a rich source of ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, and flavones and therefore, have enormous health benefits ranging from antiviral property to regulating blood sugar level and preventing inflammation.
3. Terminalia chebula (Family Combretaceae)- Its a small, green fruit, commonly known as Haritaki. It holds high esteem in the science of Ayurveda and considered as “king of medicines” It is used as a remedy for ailments like heart diseases, stomach ailments, ulcers attributed to its enriched phytochemical content like terpenes, anthocyanins, and flavonoids.
Table: Ayurvedic qualities of Triphala
|Taste||sweet, sour, pungent, astringent, bitter|
|Vipaka||sweet, sour, pungent|
|Guna||light and dry|
|Dosha||Tridoshic, meaning it balances all constitutions|
|Prabhava||Rasayan, which means it builds Ojas, innate strength.|
Triphala: an important constituent of classical herbal medicine
It is a part of many precious Ayurvedic medicinal preparations like
- Triphala Guggulu– which is basically used for renal stones and urinary tract infections. It is a mixture of Triphala powder with Guggulu, a resin extract.
- Triphala Ghrita– It is basically the preparation in ghee form and used for eye-related diseases like itching, cataracts, eye pain with discharge, eyelid related ailments. It is also beneficial in strengthening weak digestion, constipation and curing symptoms of IBS.
- Chandraprabha Vati– In form of a tablet, it is taken to cure kidney related ailments like stones, urinary release, menstrual cycle related issues like dysmenorrhea, Oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea and male impotence.
- Arogyavardhini Vati– It mainly works on the digestive system and liver conditions and acts as a liver stimulant, digestive, appetizer and as carminative as well. But its consumption during pregnancy and lactation is still under debate and should be avoided.
- Triphala kwath– an ayurvedic herbal medicine that is to be taken in water concoction form. Beneficial for oral ulcers, liver disorders, and even eye related ailments.
Health Benefits of Triphala
As Triphala is a polyherbal medicine, it is an excellent source of bioactive compounds like phenols, curcuminoids, lignans, flavones, terpenes, and anthocyanins. As a result, Triphala has innumerable health and therapeutic benefits.
1.Anti-inflammatory– Studies have suggested the anti-inflammatory properties of Triphala. This is basically due to constituents which enrich it with phytonutrients like vitamin C, flavonoids, tannins and saponins.
It has been proven that Triphala is more effective than commercially available drugs which efficiently suppress the production of inflammatory mediators and enzymes.
Also, due to a reduction in inflammation, related disorders like arthritis and inflammation of visceral organs is also be cured.
2. Boon for gastrointestinal health– Triphala, in powdered (Churan) form, is been consumed in may Indian homes as considered to be very effective for digestion related ailments. It induces enteroprotective effects, majorly due to high antioxidant content.
It has been found to replenish the depleted proteins in intestinal villi of the brush border as well phospholipid level.
Triphala is an excellent laxative that stimulates the bowel movement. It is advised to have 1 spoon of Triphala powder with water, empty stomach, that helps in curing ailments like bloating, flatulence and constipation as well.
3. Antioxidant properties– Due to high polyphenols and tannins content, Triphala has potential to convert reactive oxygen free radicals to non-reactive products. Thus, a very good agent as a free radical scavenger.
This, therefore, helps in preventing the health consequences of oxidative stress like blood pressure, heart diseases, regional inflammation and even cancer.
Also, Triphala is considered to enhance the activity of antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase and glutathione.
4. Anticancer property– As Triphala is a potential agent in preventing inflammation, it also reduces the risk of cancer of organs like pancreas, breast, prostate, and stomach.
Principally, it is the gallic acid component, that reduces the cell growth, proliferation, and metastasis.
5. Antiobesity property– Triphala helps to approach weight loss by the removal of toxins and cleansing the digestive system. It can be considered as a Superfood that acts as a colon toner that strengthens and tones the tissues of the colon part.
This, in turn, helps in efficient excretion of wastes, extra cholesterol and even, water. Thus, boost up the metabolism by preventing conditions like water retention and detoxification.
Also, Triphala induces the secretion of cholecystokinin that controls the satiety center by sending the message to the brain of being full and avoiding overeating.
6. Anti Stress agent– In Ayurveda, mental processing is divided into three categories- Dhi (acquisition), Dhriti (retention) and Smriti (recall). Herbs can help in dealing with stress by enhancing the processing power and are categorized under Medhya herbs.
Triphala is considered as sattvic with purifying and enlightening effect on the mind. Primarily, this is due to its 2 major components- Amla and Haritaki, which are attributed to medhya (mind) property, therefore, help in combating the stress condition.
Secondly due to its beneficial effect on the body that helps in keeping the mind healthy and stress-free.
Studies have demonstrated the anti-stress effect of Triphala by reducing the cold- stress-induced behavioral and biochemical abnormalities like in ambulation behavior, lipid oxidation, and corticosterone level.
7. Heart protective property– Triphala has been proven to exhibit the hypoglycemic property by having an impact on the digestive enzyme like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase that helps in decreased breakdown and release of sugar in the blood and thereby, reducing blood glucose level.
Uses of Triphala
Triphala is very popular and available in many forms like powder or tablet form. Its uses are also wide and heterogeneous.
- Hair wash– Due to its constituents, Triphala hair wash is very popular and used to as remedy to dandruff and enhance the luster and shine to hair treating premature greying. It improves the blood circulation.
- Triphala wound cleanser– When ointments combined with Triphala powder are applied to wounds shows faster healing. This is attributed to its positive impact over the collagen fibers that results in stopping bleeding, fast wound closure, better water uptake capability and improved tissue regeneration. Also, due to antimicrobial activity, it prevents the sepsis in the wounds as well.
- Triphala for oral care– Triphala is an important constituent of mouthwashes attributed to their antibacterial properties that reduce oral plaque and gingivitis. Triphala has shown specifically, inhibitory effect against Candida species attributed to gallic acid content and therefore, prevents the Candida-specific oral infection.
- Triphala Tea– Used as an herbal tea for treating digestive ailments, strengthening immunity and metabolism booster.
- It can be taken with cold water or warm water- After soaking overnight, is taken early morning, empty stomach, also helps in treating gums ailments, curing digestive ailments. It also helps in weight loss journey by improving the rate of metabolism and pacing up the detoxification process.
- It is also available in tablet form commercially, that can be consumed with water preferably at night before going to bed.
1] How does Triphala affect the body?
Being rich in bioactive compounds, it has an impact on all vital organs, helps in eradicating oxidative stress, assisting detoxification and ensuring normal functioning at the cellular level.
2] Is Triphala good for weight loss?
Yes. It boosts up the metabolism by removal of toxins which pace up the catabolism of stored nutrients and efficient energy expenditure.
3] How to take Triphala powder?
It can be consumed early morning, empty stomach, after soaking the 1 tsp of powder overnight in 1 glass of cold or lukewarm water overnight.
4] Are there any side effects of consuming Triphala powder?
Triphala powder comprises natural ingredients and if taken from reputable sources does not cause any health risk. But avoid it from unknown sources as there are high chances of adulteration that may result in upset stomach and flatulence.