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Triphala Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   23-Dec-2020

Triphala Health Benefits: Triphala, called Tridoshic Rasayana in Ayurveda, is a combination of three fruits or herbs, namely- Haritaki, Bibhitaki, and Amalaki. It is a known therapeutic agent that balances all three doshas – Kapha, Vata, and Pitta. It is rich in Vitamin C and detoxifying properties that help build immunity and internal cleansing when taken on an empty stomach. Triphala churna also helps in weight loss as it shows a significant reduction in calorie intake and body fat accumulation. Regular consumption of Triphala provides proven protection from heart problems due to its anti-oxidant properties.
How did ‘Triphala’ originate?
Triphala is an ancient herbal blend and has been used commonly for the last 3000 years. The word 'Triphala' essentially describes "three fruits," which are used to make it. It is believed to have originated in ancient India as the blend itself is native to India. 'Triphala' is a combination of Sanskrit and Hindi words, respectively.
Mentions of this blend have been found in Shushrut’s Samhita, which is sated 1500 BC. A verse is dedicated to this blend in Charaka Samhita, which describes it as more than a sum of its parts. This means that this blend's constituents if isolated, posses' totally different qualities than what they can do together. This blend's factors are so many that it was given a mention in the treatment of almost every disease listed in Sushruta Samhita.
Historical uses of Triphala
Triphala has a rich history in Ayurveda, where it was classified as Rasayana. Charak described Rasyanas as having qualities that support strength and immunity. Triphala's historical attribution is 'shukrala,' digestive, mild laxatives at normal doses, bowel tonic at low dosage, purgative in high dosage, carminative, expectorant.
Triphala has been in the use of a healing remedy for over 1000 years. This is one of many concoctions that use medicinal plants found readily in India. As already mentioned, Triphala has been a staple in Ayurveda, which originated more than 3000 years ago. It was used for the treatment of multiple stomach issues and dental ailments. It was also taken regularly by the army men as it was proven to prolong life and increase health levels.
Triphala is also used traditionally as an eyewash and hair tonic as it prevents the accumulation of dirt and curbs the spread of infections. It is known to cleanse and replenish peristalsis and facilitate the excretion of toxins and waste from the body. 
Triphala Benefits: Benefits of using Triphala in Ayurvedic treatment
When used as a paste with coconut oil, Triphala can be applied on the face to enhance skin texture and elasticity due to its anti-aging properties. It is also considered good for the eyes due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which help in improving eye health. It is crucial to control hair fall and promote hair growth by replenishing the scalp when applied on.
Modern research in Ayurveda has shown that Triphala can actually bolster a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. It promotes healthy lipid and cholesterol levels and prevents the build-up of plaque in the bloodstream. Triphala can be used on all types of skin as it works well as a mixture as well as alone. Its mixture with coconut oil is a known remedy for dry skin problems.
Harad (Terminalia chebula) present in Triphala is responsible for the able treatment of skin problems, asthma, diabetes, leucoderma, and heart disorders. Baheda (Terminalia bellerica) might help manage anorexia, piles, arthritis, hysteria, and jaundice.
Treating diseases/health problems using Triphala
1. Constipation:
The most common Ayurvedic formulation that is used to get relief from constipation is Triphala. In Ayurveda, constipation is believed to be caused by an aggravated Vata dosha. This can be due to the regular consumption of fast food, excess intake of beverages like coffee or tea, stress, depression, and irregular sleep schedule. All these factors aggravate the Vata in the intestine (large intestine) and cause constipation. The Rachana (mild laxative) and Vata balancing properties helps in relieving constipation to a large extent.  
Take ½-2 teaspoons of powdered Triphala and mix it with lukewarm water. It is to be swallowed before bedtime to get relief from constipation.
2. Weak immunity:
The Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties of Triphala make it an excellent remedy for boosting immunity to fight day to day health issues like fever, viral infections, and bacterial infections. 
½-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder is to be taken with honey after light meals. This is to be repeated daily to boost immunity.
3. Liver problems:
As per Ayurveda, the liver has a very close relationship with Agni (digestive fire) ad Pitta doshas. Any imbalance in these doshas can result in the impairment of liver functioning.
Triphala's regular intake can help balance the doshas because it is rich in tridosha balancing properties. It is instrumental in keeping the liver healthy as it prevents fat from accumulating on it.
2-3 teaspoons of Triphala Juice is to be mixed with water. This mixture is to be drunk before taking food, once or twice a day.
4. Obesity:
Triphala is one of the safest and well-known remedies to treat obese people as it is instrumental in reducing weight. Increased weight in obese people results in a weak digestive fire causing Ama's build-up (toxins). This causes an imbalance in meda dhatu resulting in obesity. Triphala's regular intake helps remove Ama from the body due to its deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. The imbalance in meda dhatu is corrected. The extra waste materials are expelled from the intestine owing to the Rechana (mild laxative) property.
½-2 teaspoons of Triphala Powder are to be taken with lukewarm water before bedtime every day to control obesity or its symptoms. 
5. Hair loss:
Hair fall is attributed to an aggravation of Vata dosha in the body. Triphala helps in controlling hair fall and promotes hair growth when applied on the scalp due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. Triphala helps in controlling dry scalp and, therefore, dandruff, which is a prime cause of hair fall. 
a) ½-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder is taken and mixed with 2 cups of water.
b) The mixture is boiled till the volume is halved.
c) The mixture is left to cool down and then applied to the scalp.
d) The mixture is to be kept for 30 mins in the hair and then washed with mild herbal shampoo. 
e) This is to e repeated once or twice a week.
6. Acne:
Triphala is known to provide decent results when it comes to skin problems like pimples or acne. Ayurveda attributes skin problems to an aggravated Kapha dosha in the body. This leads to increased sebum production and intense clogging of pores. This leads to the formation of blackheads. Further, an aggravated Pitta dosha causes red pales (bumps) filled with pus. Using Triphala regularly can help in balancing Kapha-pitta doshas due to Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties.
7. Cancer
Even though there is no conclusive evidence as to Triphala’s effects on cancerous cells, it is believed to inhibit the metastasis of tumors as they are rich in antioxidants like gallic acid and polyphenols that may provide useful in the fight against cancer. The tests done on animals have been promising but, for human testing, there is a long way to go as the study of its side effects when taken in huge dosages are yet to be confirmed properly. 
8. Mouth diseases:
Application of Triphala paste on gums and teeth can help manage cavities and gingivitis as it is rich in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Triphala based toothpaste has proven to be useful in preventing plaque build-up and gum inflammation in hospitalized patients with a history of periodontal disease.
9. Cataracts:
Regular washing of the eye with Triphala and cold water mixture can help maintain eye health. Regular intake of this blend can facilitate the secretion of enzymes that keep the eye healthy and increase its longevity without problems like cataracts, retinal damage, and corneal damage. It keeps the optic nerve healthy and enhances its functioning to a large extent. 
Recommended dosage and forms of Triphala
1. Triphala Powder- ½-2 teaspoons once or twice a day based on the requirement.
2. Triphala Capsule- One or two capsules a day 
3. Triphala Tablet- One or two tablets once or twice a day.
4. Triphala Juice- 2-3 teaspoon once or twice a day based on requirements.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Triphala
1. Triphala Powder:
Usually, ½-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder are mixed with lukewarm water and drunk before bedtime. This helps in relieving constipation and other bowel problems such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
1-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder is taken with honey in the morning after taking light food. This is done to enhance the immune system.
2. Triphala concoction:
a) ½-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder is taken and mixed with 2 cups of water.
b) The mixture is boiled till the volume is halved.
c) The mixture is left to cool down and then applied to the scalp.
d) The mixture is to be kept for 30 mins in the hair and then washed with mild herbal shampoo. 
e) This is to e repeated once or twice a week.
3. Triphala Capsule:
1-2 capsules of Triphala are swallowed with lukewarm water twice a day after meals.
4. Triphala Juice:
2-3 teaspoons of Triphala juice is taken with around the same quantity of water before a heavy meal once or twice a day if required.
5. Triphala Powder solution:
a) 1-2 teaspoons of fine Triphala powder is taken, and one cup of boiling water is added to it. This solution is then left to cool down.  
b) The water is taken out with a fine strainer.
c) A cotton piece is dipped in the water and is used to wipe the eyes.
This clears any dirt of the eyes and protects it against any growing infection or dark circles around it.
6. Triphala-Chickpea face packs:
a) 1-2 teaspoons of Triphala powder is taken and mixed with chickpea paste and turmeric powder.
b) The mixture is churned properly to make a thick paste.
c) It is applied evenly on the face and neck and given the time to settle for 4-5 minutes.
d) The face and neck are then washed with tap water.
This routine shall be repeated 3-5 times a week to get rid of skin problems, blemishes, and fine lines.
Side effects of Triphala
Triphala inhibits the functioning of an important liver enzyme called Cytochrome P450, resulting in impaired metabolism. It can also react with the medicines used to treat liver problems. Recent research suggests that Triphala interacts with depression drugs and causes relapse into old habits by disrupting sleep patterns and mood swings.
Triphala is popular for its anti-diabetic properties. When people who are already taking diabetic medications consume excessive Triphala, the blood sugar levels can drop to dangerously low levels resulting in further complications or maybe even death. People taking blood pressure medication should also avoid it as it reduces the blood pressure even more.
Precautionary guide while using Triphala
1. Diabetic people:
It is recommended that diabetic people who are also taking medication for the same should avoid using Triphala as it lowers down blood sugar levels dangerously when taken in significant amounts.
2. Breastfeeding:
It is recommended that Triphala should not be used by breastfeeding mothers without the expressed consent of a doctor as it may have some side effects.
3. Pregnancy:
It is suggested that Triphala intake should be reduced or avoided completely during pregnancy as it may cause complications during the gestation of the foetus.
4. People with light-toned skin:
Triphala’s application on the skin inhibits melanin's production (the pigment that colors the skin). This can result in pale looking skin and irregularity of skin tones over the body.
5. Low blood pressure:
Triphala depresses the CNS (central nervous system), resulting in the lowering of blood pressure. Therefore, people with low blood pressure naturally should avoid the use of Triphala completely.
FAQs about Triphala
1. How much Triphala is safe?

                        Ayurvedic view

                 Modern Scientific View:


Triphala can be taken in the form of powder or juice. It is also available in tablets and capsules for intake. 1-2 teaspoons of this powder is extremely safe to take at night.


It is generally safe to take if taken in small quantities. If taken in huge quantities, it can cause gastrointestinal problems.


2. When should I take Triphala?
Modern scientists concur that taking Triphala 30 minutes before bedtime is considered safe due to its laxative and digestive benefits when taken in trace amounts.
3. Is it good to take Triphala daily?

                        Ayurvedic View


                    Modern Scientific View


Triphala is safe to take daily as it is beneficial to health due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties that help in fighting against all types of infections. Further, it is instrumental in managing the digestive system and reduces bowel problems and gastrointestinal issues. 


Daily intake of Triphala is considered to be good. It helps in managing glucose levels in the blood, intestinal issues, and infections and provides relief from constipation. It is rich in antibacterial, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, blood purifying, and wound healing properties.

4. Is Triphala good for Constipation?
Modern scientists concur that Triphala gently soothes the colon and provides relief from constipation, reducing the stomach's flatulence and bloating. It is rich in laxative properties when taken in significant amounts. 
5. Is Triphala good for the eyes?
Modern Scientists concur that Triphala could be beneficial for the eyes as it is rich in flavonoids and Vitamin C. Research suggests that Triphala's antioxidant factors facilitate the secretion of certain enzymes that benefit the eyes.
6. Is Triphala good for Arthritis?
Modern scientists believe that Triphala can be beneficial for treating symptoms of Arthritis. It inhibits inflammatory mediators' activity by blocking the channels through which it is generated, resulting in reduced inflammation and pain in joints. 
7. Is Triphala good for reducing stress?

Ayurvedic View

Modern Scientific View:


Ayurveda attributes stress to an imbalance in Vata dosha. It is also caused by irregular lifestyle, insomnia and fear, and irritation. Triphala balances the Vata dosha and provides relief from stress to a large extent.


Triphala has a depressive effect on the CNS (Central Nervous System), which affects the stress build-up by reducing blood pressure and providing relief from the same.


8. Does Triphala cause weight loss?
Modern research suggests that Triphala lowers total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. So, regular intake of it can help in weight loss. 
9. Does Triphala cause Diarrhea?

                         Ayurvedic View:


                 Modern Scientific View:


The Rachana (laxative) property of Triphala can cause diarrhea if taken in excess amounts with warm water.


It is advisable not to consume Triphala in excess as it is a very potent laxative and can result in explosive diarrhea if taken in high amounts.


10. What are the benefits of using Triphala churna?

                        Ayurvedic view:


                  Modern Scientific View:


Triphala churna can help in managing digestive issues like Agnimandiya (weak digestive fire) and constipation. This is due to the presence of Deepan (appetizer), Pachhan (digestion), and Rechana (laxative) properties resulting in better metabolism and clear bowel movements keeping the digestive system optimized.


Triphala churna is rich in various factors. It is a good astringent that causes skin cells' contraction and prevents ulceration and bleeding of the gums. Triphala churna helps in digestion, excretion and generally improves the immune system.


11. Is Triphala good for aging skin? 
Triphala has anti-aging effects. It affects gene expression, a mechanism responsible for generating new skin cells and repairs the damaged ones. It also enhances the elasticity and improves the skin texture by soothing and clearing clogged pores making the skin look younger.
12. Is Triphala safe for dry skin?
Ayurvedic experts advise people with dry skin to use Triphala with coconut oil to curb any side effects and keep the skin healthy and glowing at the same time.
13. What are the benefits of taking Triphala with milk?

                          Ayurvedic View:


                     Modern Scientific View:


Triphala, along with milk, is a very useful combination in increasing the potency of its Rechana (laxative) property and Balya (strength) providing factors. Together, these factors are instrumental in improving digestion and providing relief from constipation.


When taken with milk, Triphala acts as a mild laxative and helps manage most bowel issues and syndromes. It helps in replenishing the digestive tract and prevents constipation.

14. Does Triphala cause eye irritation?

                           Ayurvedic View

                   Modern Scientific View:


No, Triphala is, in fact, used to treat eye irritations, to burn, itching due to its Pitta-balancing properties. It gives a cooling effect and removes dirt particles from the eye without causing any side effects. It is usually done with a mixture of cold water and Triphala.


No, Triphala actually helps in controlling eye irritation. It is rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids. Its potent antioxidant properties facilitate the production of certain enzymes that benefit eye health.


NS Desk

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