Triphala – translated from Indian means “three fruits.” It is an Ayurvedic, polygerbal preparation containing three ingredients.
All ingredients are fruits that grow in India:
It is believed that each fetus has a positive effect on three body dosha: vata, pitta and kapha. In Ayurvedic medicine, the dosha are elemental forces that are believed to penetrate the body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurveda is a centuries-old Indian treatment system. Triphala has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is believed to support intestinal health and aid digestion.
Usually, trifal is used in powder form. The use of triphala powder is quite wide ranging from detoxification to support the immune system.
However, trifala is not suitable for everyone. Based on where it is produced, it may contain toxins, such as mercury and lead, which makes some Trifala powder supplements unsafe for human consumption.
In the article we will consider in detail the scientifically proven facts about triphala, its medicinal value for human health and the possible risks of its use.
The composition of the triphala
In Ayurveda, it is believed that combining several components leads to additional therapeutic efficacy and is a more powerful treatment than using only one component ( 7 ).
Triphala is a mixture of dried fruit from the following three plants native to India.
Amalaki or Amla (Emblica officinalis)
Better known as Indian gooseberry, amla plays an important role in Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the oldest fruits eaten and known in India ( 8 ).
The Indian gooseberry is an edible fruit of a small and medium tree growing throughout India. The berries have a sour, pungent taste and a fibrous texture. For this reason, the berries are often pickled, soaked in sugar syrup or added to dishes to improve palatability.
Indian gooseberries and its extract are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat symptoms such as constipation, as well as for the prevention of cancer.
Indian gooseberries are very nutritious and high in vitamin C, amino acids and minerals.
Several in vitro studies show that Indian gooseberries have powerful anti-cancer properties. For example, in one in vitro study, gooseberry extract inhibited the growth of cervical and ovarian cancer cells ( 10 ).
However, there is no evidence that Indian gooseberries prevent cancer in humans.
Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica)
Bibhitaki is a large tree that usually grows in Southeast Asia. The fruits of this tree are used as a treatment for common diseases, such as bacterial and viral infections.
Bibhitaki contains tannins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans and flavones, as well as many other powerful plant compounds, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties ( 11 ).
This powerful herbal medicine has many uses and can help deal with a wide range of medical problems.
In particular, the anti-inflammatory properties of Bibhitaki fruits were investigated.
In one study, eating 500 mg of Bibhitaki fruit significantly reduced uric acid levels in patients with gout, an inflammatory condition characterized by an increase in uric acid in the body ( 12 ).
Bibhitaki is also widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes and blood sugar disaggregation. This is due to the fact that Bibhitaka has a high content of gallic acid and ellagic acid, two phytochemicals that have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and body weight ( 13 ).
These herbal chemicals contribute to the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and, as has been found in animal studies, reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance ( 14 ).
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
Haritaki is a medicinal tree that grows throughout the Middle East, India, China and Thailand. As a therapeutic agent, small green fruits of the Haritaki tree are used, which can be called the main component of Trifala ( 15 ).
Haritaki is highly regarded in Ayurveda and is often referred to as the “king of medicines.”
It has been used since ancient times as a remedy for a number of painful conditions, including heart disease, asthma, ulcers, and stomach diseases ( 16 ).
Haritaki contains phytochemicals such as terpenes, polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have powerful health benefits.
Studies have shown that Haritaki has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In addition, Haritaki is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive problems such as constipation. Animal studies have shown that treatment with Haritaki increases the digestion time of food in the intestines, which can help relieve constipation ( 17 ).
Triphala is a powerful herbal remedy consisting of Haritaka, Bibhitaka and Amla. It is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to prevent diseases and treat a number of symptoms, including constipation and inflammation.
The use of triphala powder
Triphala is a rich source of antioxidants.
Trifala powder is used as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral agent.
Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe trifal for a variety of health improvement purposes. These include:
- strengthening the immune system
- promoting oral health
- fatigue treatment
- treatment of stomach upsets
- pneumonia treatment
- cancer and AIDS treatment.
The beneficial properties of triphala powder have been studied in the laboratory and in animals, but not in humans.
Triphala is commercially available not only in the form of powder, but also in the form of food additives – in the form of tablets and liquid extract. The liquid extract is usually intended for external use and should never get into the eyes, unless it is specifically prescribed for this purpose.
Trifala supplements have different daily doses, which are prescribed by the manufacturer. Therefore, it is important to strictly follow the directions on the packaging.
Triphala: how to take
Standard dosage of trifals: 1000 mg per day. Trifala powder is applied no more than ½ teaspoon per day.
Trifala supplements can be most effective if taken right before bedtime with a large glass of warm water.
Some people prefer to take this dietary supplement on an empty stomach, while others prefer to take it with food. In any case, discuss these options with your doctor.
The most popular and effective form of triphala is considered to be a powder (triphala powder). Trifala powder is intended for dissolution in warm water and is used in the form of tea. It can also be used for topical application, for example, for rinsing the mouth. Triphala may have a bitter taste, but it can be mixed with honey or lemon, which will not reduce its beneficial effects.
Useful properties of trifala for the human body
Several studies have been carried out proving certain triphala properties that can be beneficial to human health.
A study among 60 women showed that the use of triphala powder as a mouthwash was effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis ( 1 ). Triphala has also been recognized as an effective tool for the prevention of bleeding gums.
A laboratory study of human skin cells showed that triphala has a protective effect on the epidermis and dermal fibroblasts. These are skin cells that are responsible for restoring the integrity of the skin after injuries. Triphala has also been proven to increase the production of collagen in the skin ( 2 ).
A study of 150 people with diabetes showed that triphala can lower blood glucose ( 3 ).
Treatment of constipation
In a clinical study, the use of the polygerbal composition contained in triphala powder was analyzed for 34 subjects suffering from chronic constipation. Additionally, patients took asabgol extract and hay extract. The results of the study showed an improvement in intestinal motility, a decrease in the frequency of incomplete evacuation and other symptoms associated with constipation ( 4 ).
Triphala’s ability to fight several other diseases, such as AIDS and cancer, has not been proven in humans, but research is ongoing. Its potential effects on several types of cancer have been studied in the laboratory and on animals. Although more research is needed in these areas, the results of some of the experiments carried out to date are impressive. For example, an in vitro laboratory study showed that triphala methanol extract reduces the spread of cancer cells and leads to the death of human colon cancer cells. Researchers have determined that triphala has anticarcinogenic properties, but more research is needed to evaluate its ability to fight colon cancer ( 5 ).
Contraindications for the use of trifala, side effects and risks
The effectiveness of triphala, including in the form of a powder, has not been studied in relation to each disease for which it is applied. For this reason, it is important to discuss the use of trifala with your healthcare provider before using it.
This herbal remedy is considered unsafe and contraindicated for use in children and adolescents, the elderly and pregnant women and during breastfeeding.
Triphala, like many other natural drugs, can interfere with the action of drugs, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and blood coagulation drugs, as well as drugs against increased anxiety and anxiety.
A contraindication for taking trifala is the use of cytochrome P450 substrate preparations. Since the interaction of these compounds significantly increases the likelihood of side effects. Among the side effects of the use of trifala powder, gastrointestinal and digestive disorders were observed.
There is also a very high risk of exposure to toxins in Trifala supplements. Some studies have tested triphals for infection with toxins. As a result, 1 out of 5 tested supplements was infected ( 6 ). Therefore, if you decide to use triphala nevertheless for your health, be sure to buy it only from a reliable source. Find out if the manufacturer is testing each batch of triphala for possible contamination with harmful metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Some manufacturers use independent US laboratories for testing and may provide you with a certificate of analysis if you request it.
Triphala has been used to treat a wide range of health problems for centuries.
And although many useful properties of triphala are known, only a small part of them has been investigated and proved by scientists.
For your use, use trifal in powder and only from a trusted manufacturer. And before you start using, be sure to coordinate your treatment with your doctor.