Triphala: Overview, History, Uses, Benefits, Dosages

What is Triphala?

Triphala (त्रिफला) is an ancient and traditional ayurvedic preparation. It is not a fruit, herb or drug. It is an ayurvedic preparation prepared from different kinds of herbs. These three fruits, which have been known in Ayurveda for countless years, are Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki, and together they make up the combination known as Triphala. Triphala is considered a polyherbal medicine, which means it consists of several medicinal herbs. 

  • Amla (Emblica Officinalis): Amla contains a lot of antioxidants such as vitamin C, amino acids and properties like phenol, tannin, phylumbelic acid, rutin, curcuminoids and embolicol, which help in flushing out toxins from the body as well as keeping the pancreas healthy. It can help keep cholesterol levels in check and strengthen bones. Basically, amla has a cooling effect and moderates the pitta doshas of the body.
  • Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica): Bibhitaki is rich in antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains ellagic acid, tannins, lignans, and flavones. It helps to moderate the Kapha doshas and helps in the respiratory system as well as insulin sensitivity and many more.
  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): Haritaki, loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and containing phytochemicals like terpenes, polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavonoids, is nothing short of a miracle in treating digestive issues. It has heating properties and moderates the Vata, pitta, and Kapha doshas. 

Chemical Composition

Amla fruits are a high source of antioxidants due to vitamin C. This Indian gooseberry is the natural source of the highest vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which is 20 times more than the vitamin C of oranges. The vitamin C in Amla is also uniquely heating stable, that is why it is associated with the pitta doshas. The bitterness of the amla is a sign of the tannin density available in it. The bibhitaki is rich in fatty acids due to omega 3 and omega6 fatty acids. It helps the body with cholesterol levels. It reduces the bad cholesterol level in the body. Bibhitaki is astringent, tonic, digestive and antispasmodic in nature. Harada is bitter and associated with the Vata dosha, elements of air and space. It has emollient properties and as with most bitters encourages peristalsis and proper digestion. The Medicine Buddha in Tibetan tankas (sacred pictures) holds the Harada plant. 

The chemical composition of all these fruits is great for the body. Hence, Triphala holds great medical properties for the body and mind.

History of Triphala

Triphala is the oldest and most historical chapter in the Sushrut Samhitas, which contain a description of thousands of illnesses, hundreds of drugs for body wellness as well as 700 medicinal plants and a detailed study on Anatomy. Sushrut Samhitas originated about 1500 BC. Hence, we can say Triphala is ancient about 1500 BC. It was given to the King of the Kushan Empire by the renowned Ayurvedic doctor Acharya Charak in the first century AD. The King, who is supposed to have lived to the ripe old age of 100, ate Triphala regularly since Charka cooked it for him.

While each of the components that make up Triphala is potent on its own, when they are properly mixed, synergy greatly increases the healing potential.

At that time, Triphala was just a household name. But, now it has become a brand all over the world. As per Ayurveda, it is said that Triphala, "No mother? Do not worry. Triphala will aid you. It is comparable to Triphala to take care of the body's organs as a mother did for their children. 

Triphala Uses

Triphala is capable of managing the three doshas like Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. It is Rasayana in Ayurveda and holds a list of properties which provide medical benefits to the human body.

  • laxative  
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory 
  • antiviral  
  • Blood purifying 
  • detoxifier
  • analgesic  
  • anti-arthritic  
  • hypoglycemic  
  • anti-ageing  
  • antibacterial 
  • antiviral
  • anti-diabetic
  • anti-microbes  

And many more. All three ingredients of Triphala are rich in nutritional value and provide a lot of power to Triphala. Triphala is great for physical to mental health.

Benefits of Triphala

Various benefits are linked with these amazing herbal preparations due to their many properties. 

Reduce Constipation: Triphala is one of the natural laxatives. A laxative helps to reduce constipation by increasing the digestive system as well as reducing bloating, gas, acidity and others. Triphala helps to relieve constipation due to Rechana and Vata balancing properties. It is known as the best natural remedy for constipation. 

Healthy Digestive Tract: As said, Triphala is great in laxative nature. Having extract of Triphala increases the increased first defecation time, total weight of the faeces, intestinal transit time, better volume, frequency, and consistency of the stools, as well as a reduction in mucus content and flatulence. It also contains a strong antidiarrheal effect.

Weight Management: Triphala is helpful to reduce body fat. As per the study, it is noted that it reduces fat, and increases the energy level in the body. Its anti-obesity properties help obese people to reduce their excess weight. Gallic acid is a phenolic molecule found in the Triphala that acts as bioactive to reduce the fat from the belly and the body. In addition, it increases the metabolism in the body and also increases the fat burning in the body.

Fight Chronic Diseases: Triphala is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins and saponins which reduce free radicals as well as reduce oxidative stress in the body. Parallelly, it fights chronic diseases and infection causes pathogens. It protects the body from various serious problems. Triphala has antimicrobial properties that naturally kill microorganisms from the body.

Dental Care: The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the Triphala help in many dental problems. It helps to prevent plaque and gingivitis by reducing the level of chemicals produced per month. According to clinical research, mouthwash made from Triphala helps prevent plaque and fungal infections. It is effective on the chlorhexidine and Lactobacillus bacteria. The antioxidant properties of Triphala can help heal your mouth sores. 

Skin Glow & Health: Triphala helps to provide glow to the skin. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties present in Triphala help in healing skin-related problems and protect skin cells. As per the study, Triphala helps in regenerating skin proteins, retaining skin moisture, increasing collagen, hexosamine, and uronic acid levels and healing skin wounds. In addition, it detoxes skin cells and promotes better skin regeneration. Include Triphala in your skincare routine.

Reduce Stress & Anxiety: Triphala, a combination of three herbal fruits, is known to be extremely beneficial for mental health. This supplement helps in reducing stress. Not only this, the consumption of Triphala helps in reversing some of the changes in the body due to stress. It is also good for insomnia and improves sleep habits. A relief in the stomach with Triphala also helps to reduce mood swings and improve sleep.

Joint Health: The anti-inflammatory properties of amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki can reduce the inflammation of the joints and bones. An arthritis patient can use it easily. As per the study, expect noted a prevention of monosodium urate crystal-induced arthritis. Triphala consumption reduces various parameters like paw volume, lysosomal enzymes, β-glucuronidase lactate dehydrogenase lipid peroxidation, and the proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

Good For Diabetes: Triphala is useful for diabetic patients. It reduces the high glucose level in the body. The active ingredient like Gallic acid and ellagic acid from Triphala's tannins is effective in diabetic nephropathy. Well, the regular use of diabetes is effective for Type I and Type II diabetes.

How To Take Triphala?

There are many ways to take triphala. Let's know about some of them-

  • Triphala Decoction: Triphala decoction is an ancient practice from the Ayurveda time. Having a pure triphala decoction to enjoy the triphala properties and benefits. Boil some triphala churna(त्रिफला चूर्ण) in a glass of water. Keep it boiling until the water becomes half. You can drink it hot or cool after stirring it.
  • Triphala Tea: Having Triphala tea is one of the traditional ways. It allows a pure taste of herbs and all the nutritional value to the body. To prepare triphala tea, add 1/2 teaspoon of triphala powder into the water. Make a decoction and add some tea leaves to it. For a better taste or flavour, you can add honey or sugar. Stir and drink it cool or hot. 
  • Triphala Tablets: To consume the right dose of triphala, having triphala tablets is the right option. A powdered form is used for the preparation of triphala capsules and tablets. It is more convenient to use and easy to travel. Intake triphala tablets as per the guide.
  • Triphala Powder (त्रिफला चूर्ण): A high powdered form of all ingredients is also a great idea. Triphala churna  is easily available in the market. It can be consumed by mixing with lukewarm water. It is durable to use. It is dried in form so stay for longer.
  • Triphala Liquid: A juice or liquid form of triphala is also famous. Its liquid is better because it is easy to absorb by the organs. It's convenient and easy to assimilate. We can get triphala juice from the market easily.
  • Triphala Oil: Triphala oil is rare to find. It is prepared by boiling the triphala powder with oil. It can be prepared at home too and can be used in gargle, enema, obesity, itching and many more.
  • Triphala Ash: Triphala Ash is like triphala powder, but it is better. Triphala powder is heated at a low temperature to maintain its setting and prepare triphala ash. It is rich in carbon and oxide which is greater for wounds, etc. It can be used by mixing honey with triphala ash.

Triphala Precaution

Triphala is a natural detoxification supplement. It cleans the body by eliminating the toxin from the deeper layer of the tissues. When you see a lot of detoxification in the body, there is a possibility of headache, rashes, nausea, gas, upset stomach, and diarrhoea in some cases. You just need to follow a proper diet to avoid Triphala's side effects.

Well, triphala is for constipation. But when it is used in high doses, there is a possibility to have a loose motion or diarrhoea. Hence, get rid of intense cleaning, stop the use of triphala immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

No study approved the use of triphala for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Hence, pregnant and lactating women avoid triphala use until it is prescribed by professionals.

Triphala is ideal to use by people who are already on blood thinner medication like Warfarin. Parallelly, it is also dangerous for those who have bleeding disorders. 

For the best use, always consult a healthcare professional while using any herbs.

Triphala Dosage

Triphala can be purchased from online or offline stores. The right dose of triphala is very important for the body. Overdose of triphala is not good for health like other herbs. Having 500 mg in a day is enough either in the form of capsules, powder, juice or anything else. Do not consume triphala more than that. In addition, diluting triphala with water or consuming triphala with water is ideal. Lukewarm water with triphala is more effective for constipation.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Triphala

It is advisable to mix triphala churna in a glass of water and drink it after a meal. Many also prefer to use triphala churna with honey and milk.

Mix 1 teaspoon of triphala churna with honey. Make a thick paste and have it.

Triphala is rich in analgesic, antibacterial, anti-arthritic, hypoglycemic, antiaging, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it provides overall health to the human body.

It is fine powder prepared from the dried amla, haritaki and bibhitaki fruits.

Triphala provides benefits to the overall body. At most, it is used to reduce constipation, improve the digestive tract, body detoxification, strengthen the body and many more.

Yes, triphala is ideal to use every day. Just make sure the amount or dose of the Triphala. An overdose is not good for the body.

Amla, Bhibhitaki, and Haritaki are the ingredients of the triphala. Triphala has abbreviated the tri + Phala means three + fruits.

An overdose of the triphala harms the body. It can be fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea and many more. Triphala is not for pregnant and lactating women.

Yes, triphala is helpful in weight management. It strengthens the colon tissues, improves metabolism and boosts fat burning. An obese patient can use triphala for lowering the fat as well as cholesterol in the body.

Triphala is a natural laxative herb. Hence, it does not work immediately in the body. Triphala at least takes 6-12 hours to start reflecting the result on the body after consumption. For better results, use at least for 7-10 days.

Yes, triphala is safer to use every day if consumed within a dose.

Triphala should be consumed between meals with an empty stomach for better results. Popularly, it is used at night for refreshing mornings. Triphala also takes time to react in the body.

Yes, triphala is the best supplement for the digestive system. It improves the digestive process, increases the absorption of food as well as increases the body's metabolism capacity.

The best time to take a triphala is from 4:00 am to 5:00 am or at night after a meal.

Yes, triphala benefits digestive health in many ways. It is ideal for stomach and intestine health.

Intake half or one teaspoon of triphala churna in the mouth and swallow it with lukewarm water.

Consume triphala churna at night. Intake 1 teaspoon of triphala churna with water before sleep.

A pure and natural triphala churna or tablet is best.

Bring amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki from the market. Dry out in the direct sunlight for 3-4 days. Grind them all ingredients finely. You can keep the ratio 1:2:4 (Harad: Baheda: Amla).

The ideal way to use triphala for hair is triphala oil. You can prepare triphala oil by boiling triphala powder with your preferred oil. You can choose any essential oil or regular oil. Gently massage the scalp with the triphala oil and wash it out with cool water.

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