Triphala: Discover the Benefits of this Herbal Blend

Triphala: Discover the Benefits of this Herbal Blend

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;
  • Anti-oxidant;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Antibacterial;
  • Adaptogenic; and
  • Hypoglycaemic.

 

What is Triphala

Triphala has been used as a kind of panacea in aryuvedic medicine.

More recently, its potential anti-neoplastic, caries-preventing, microbiota-modulating, and even chemo- and radioprotective effects are being studied. All of these effects and more are reviewed in this article.

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.
We have written records dating back 1000 years confirming the medicinal use of this herbal extract.

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.

Triphala extract

EssentialSeries Kale Powder

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.

Triphala in supplements

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.

The phytochemicals in Triphala, such as Quercetin or gallic acid, promote the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus (beneficial) while limiting the growth of Escherichia coli (harmful).

Adaptogenic effect

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

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.

Antimicrobial

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.

Results in this study are comparable to those achieved with conventional Chlorhexidine rinses

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.

Triphala for weight loss

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.

This would create some degree of carbohydrate “malabsorption”, which may aid weight loss. This is the same mechanism of action as well-known anti-diabetic drugs such as miglitol and acarbose.

Contraindications

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.

Some of these drugs are: anticonvulsants, antifungals, quinidone, antipsychotics, antivirals, macrolides, ergot, opioids or rifampicin.

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.

The available data seems to point to a beneficial effect at several levels (especially interesting at the digestive level and as an anti-obesogenic), but studies in humans are scarce.

See you in the next post. A big hug and keep on empowering.

Bibliographic Sources

  1. Christine Tara Peterson, Kate Denniston, Deepak Chopra. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine.
  2. Clinical Study of ‘Triphala’ – A Well Known Phytomedicine from India (bioline.org.br).
  3. Jyotsna Srinagesh, Krishnappa Pushpanjali. Assessment of antibacterial efficacy of triphala against mutans streptococci: a randomised control trial.
  4. Shaifali Gurjar, Anuradha Pal, Suman Kapur. Triphala and its constituents ameliorate visceral adiposity from a high-fat diet in mice with diet-induced obesity.
  5. 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.

Related Entries

  • Do antioxidants accelerate recovery after exercise? We recommend you visit the following article.
  • Learn about the properties of Quercetin by clicking here.
  • Is Microbiota the key to beating Obesity? We answer you that question in this Post.
Review of Triphala

What is Triphala - 100%

Effects - 100%

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About Borja Bandera
Borja Bandera
Borja Bandera is a young doctor who focuses on nutrition, exercise and metabolism, he combines his professional activity with his vocational dissemination and research.
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