Triphala: Benefits, Uses And Side Effects

January 16, 2017


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In India, it is said: “No mother? Do not worry so long as you have triphala.” Indian people believe that it can care for the internal organs as a mother cares for her children.

Triphala is a Sanskrit term where “tri” means “three” and “phala” meaning “fruit”. The mixture is a combination of Amala berry (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki berry (Terminalia belerica) and Haritaki berry (Terminalia chebula) in recommended proportions.

Triphala Health Benefits

Triphala powder (churna) is a traditional Ayurvedic formula which has many healing properties. Here are a few of its benefits as explained on

Gastrointestinal Motility

Triphala is believed to promote gastrointestinal motility. Doctors often prescribe prokinetic drugs to treat gastrointestinal conditions. In a study published in the "Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, “researchers found that triphala is equally effective in gastric emptying as prokinetic drugs without producing negative side effects.

Antibacterial Effects

Triphala is also believed to possess antibacterial properties. In a study published in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology," researchers found evidence of antibacterial activity against various bacterial species associated with the development of gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancers.

Antioxidant And Antitumor Effects

Triphala is further believed to possess antioxidant and antitumor properties. One of its three constituent fruits, Amla, is the world's richest source of vitamin C. In a study of patients ingesting triphala published in the January 2001 issue of "Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology," the fruit led to improvements in lipoprotein serum profiles, including increased HDL, decreased LDL and lower total cholesterol levels. Researchers also isolated a number of tannins in Amla that may contribute to triphala's antioxidant properties. Amla fruit is further believed to extend life span for animals with tumors.

How To Use Triphala

Triphala is a herbal formula used to treat variety of health conditions by medical practitioners. It does carry risk of side effects in a few scenarios and hence it’s advised to consult a medical practitioner to learn about the recommended dosage. Some of the suggested ways as mentioned on


  • Triphala is usually taken on an empty stomach. The powder can be used to make a tea by adding a half-teaspoon of powder to a cup of hot water. Stir well and wait for it to cool. You can also combine the powder with honey or ghee before a meal.
  • As a digestive tonic and laxative, triphala is best taken in the evening, about two hours after eating, and at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Oral rinsing using triphala extract is believed to create a protective effect indicating a potential role in dental care.


  • Triphala powder can also be applied topically to skin to speed up the healing of bruises and sunburns.
  • Triphala is traditionally used as a tonic in hair and eye washes.

Note: Before following any of the mentioned ways of usage of triphala kindly consult a medical practitioner to understand the correct dosage recommended for you.

Triphala Potential Side Effects

Triphala is an Ayurvedic medicine and it’s important to be aware of its possible side effects to avoid health complications. Few side effects as mentioned on

  • Not Safe For Use During Pregnancy: Ayurvedic physicians refrain from prescribing this medicine to pregnant women. It is also proved to show toxic effects on the baby and can also induce miscarriage.
  • Diarrhea: Triphala being powerful cleansing agent is beneficial for people who suffer from chronic constipation but at the same time, it can have a deeper effect on people, especially if they have a sensitive intestinal lining.
  • Disrupted Sleep And Insomnia: This happens at the initial stage of consuming this mixture and the condition will slowly go away once the body gets used to the medicine.
  • Increase Blood Sugar Level: There are studies which show that the Indian Gooseberry which is present in this mixture can cause the elevation of blood sugar level.
  • Unwanted Weight Loss: Triphala's colon cleansing effect eliminates the toxins present in the body which causes loss of excessive fat. Hence if one has an average weight then kindly consult an Ayurvedic medical practitioner for correct dosage details.
  • Allergic Reactions: It can cause allergic reactions in the body if one is allergic to one or more of the ingredients of the triphala mixture.

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Triphala powder

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