We tell you about the benefits of Triphala.
What is Triphala?
It is a herbal mixture that’s been used in aryuvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) for a very long time.
Among its uses:
- Increasing appetite;
- Adaptogenic; and
Triphala has been used as a kind of panacea in aryuvedic medicine.
Where does it come from?
Triphala means three fruits in Sanskrit, which are called:
- Amla (Emblica officinalis), a species of Indian gooseberry.
- Behada (Terminalia bellerica).
- Harada (Terminalia chebula) or black myrobalan.
How to take Triphala
Most Triphala supplements are sold in doses of 500 mg of Triphala extract, and it’s recommended to take two capsules on an empty stomach throughout the day.
Why take it on an empty stomach?
Because of its laxative effects and to improve its absorption, it’s recommended that Triphala be taken on an empty stomach, usually between meals.
Properties and benefits
Some of the most recognised properties of Triphala are:
Laxative and enteroprotective
This is the most widespread utility of Triphala.
This is why it’s attributed with “detox” or digestive tract cleansing properties.
At low doses it can be used as a prokinetic to improve digestion or prevent gastro-oesophageal pyrosis and at high doses as a laxative itself.
In one of the few human studies evaluating its effectiveness at the digestive level, participants (with digestive problems) reported improvements in constipation, abdominal pain, hyperacidity and flatulence.
Improves gut microbiota
The bioactive effects of Triphala are partly due to this fact.
In Aryuvedic medicine it’s well understood that disease begins in the digestive system, and interest in the study of the microbiota has spread, as it has in the West, in recent years.
Decreasing stress levels.
In this respect Triphala works like Ashwagandha (another herb used in aryuveda), i.e. reducing your stress levels.
Triphala for stress reduction
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
The fruits that make up Triphala contain bioactive antioxidant compounds such as vitamin E and flavonoids.
Chebulinic acid, a phytochemical present in the herbal extract, is metabolised to Urolithin, a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
The effect of Triphala as an antibacterial toothpaste has been evaluated in this randomised, double-blind clinical trial, which concluded that it’s effective against Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium present in the mouth that causes gingivitis and other dental problems.
Fat loss and lipid-lowering effect
This 10-week rat study evaluated the metabolic effects of Triphala when these animals were fed a high-fat diet.
After the study period the following was found:
- Significant reductions in body fat %;
- Improvement in lipid profile (decrease in total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL, as well as increase in HDL); and
- An improvement in oral glucose tolerance, indicating a potential anti-diabetic effect.
Is it true that Triphala helps you lose weight?
In addition to the previously mentioned rat study, we have more data indicating that it may be useful for fat loss in humans as well.
In this 12-week, randomised, double-blind, controlled clinical trial, subjects taking Triphala lost 5kg more than the control group, with no associated side effects.
They also improved other parameters such as abdominal circumference and lipid profile.
Partially, this weight loss may be due to its inhibitory effect on digestive and pancreatic enzymes such as alpha amylase or alpha glucosidase, which are responsible for “breaking down” polysaccharide chains and transforming them into glucose so that it can be absorbed.
Because of its prokinetic effect, triphala may cause colicky pain, flatulence or diarrhoea, especially when taken at high doses. No other serious adverse effects have been reported.
However, it may interact with other drugs that are metabolised by the hepatic enzyme complex Cytochrome P450 by competing for metabolisation. In this way, we can increase the half-life or effectiveness of the drug in question.
If you are taking any drug belonging to any of these families, it’s best to avoid Triphala because of possible interactions.
Similarly, in population groups such as pregnant women, infants and children, in the absence of safety studies, its use should be avoided.
See you in the next post. A big hug and keep on empowering.
- Christine Tara Peterson, Kate Denniston, Deepak Chopra. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine.
- Clinical Study of ‘Triphala’ – A Well Known Phytomedicine from India (bioline.org.br).
- Jyotsna Srinagesh, Krishnappa Pushpanjali. Assessment of antibacterial efficacy of triphala against mutans streptococci: a randomised control trial.
- Shaifali Gurjar, Anuradha Pal, Suman Kapur. Triphala and its constituents ameliorate visceral adiposity from a high-fat diet in mice with diet-induced obesity.
- Seyed Hamid Kamali, Ali Reza Khalaj, Shirin Hasani-Ranjbar, Mohammad Mehdi Esfehani, Mohammad Kamalinejad, Omidmalayeri Soheil, Seyed Ali Kamali. Efficacy of ‘Itrifal Saghir’, a combination of three medicinal plants in the treatment of obesity; A randomized controlled trial.
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