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Triphala – Wonder Remedy For All Digestive Disorders

Triphala is a herbal combination of three fruits: bibhitaki, haritaki, and amla. Triphala is considered to be a tridoshik rejuvenator that treats diarrhea, prevents intestinal damage, heals stomach ulcers, treats colitis, and provides relief from constipation.

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Triphala – Wonder Remedy For All Digestive Disorders

All of us have suffered from digestive system problems at some point or the other. In fact, issues like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and heartburn are quite common. Usually, these conditions are caused by something we’ve eaten, an unhealthy lifestyle, or stress. And that can be handled at home. But some symptoms such as a sudden continuing change in your bowel habits, worsening abdominal pain or indigestion, sudden weight loss, trouble swallowing, or rectal bleeding may warrant a visit to the doctor’s office.[1][Common digestive problems and how to treat them](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/common-digestive-problems-and-how-to-treat-them/ “Common digestive problems and how to treat them”). NHS,UK.

What Does Ayurveda Say About Digestion?

According to ayurveda, agni is the main agent in the process of digestion or paka. It is the force that digests and absorbs food converting it into energy. It is, therefore, considered to be the cause of strength, nourishment, teja (energy), health, luster, oja (vitality), and prana (life energy). When agni is balanced a person is healthy and when it is not balanced the metabolism of the body is disturbed leading to disease.[2]Agrawal, Akash Kumar, C. R. Yadav, and M. S. Meena. “Physiological aspects of Agni.” Ayu 31, no. 3 (2010): 395.

What Is The Combination Of Triphala?

Triphala occupies an important place in the science of ayurveda with respect to its ability to promote digestive health.

It is an Ayurvedic formulation that contains three fruits: Terminalia bellerica (bibhitaki), Terminalia chebula (haritaki), and Emblica officinalis (amla). It usually contains these fruits in equal quantities though certain formulations where they are mixed in unequal proportions can also be found. Let’s take a closer look at the three fruits that make up Triphala:

  • Bibhitaki has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, renoprotective, hepatoprotective, anti-hyperlipidemic, antidiabetic as well as anticancer properties. These beneficial effects are thought to be due to the presence of phytochemicals such as tannins, glucoside, gallic acid, ellagic acid, corilagin, galloyl glucose, ethyl gallate, arjunolic acid, and chebulagic acid.[3]Gupta, Ashutosh, Ramesh Kumar, Piyali Bhattacharyya, Anupam Bishayee, and Abhay K. Pandey. “Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) roxb.(Bahera) in health and disease: A systematic and comprehensive … Continue reading
  • Haritaki has long been used to deal with urinary diseases, digestive disorders, skin disorders, diabetes, heart diseases, constipation, irregular fevers, ulcers, colic pain, vomiting, haemorrhoids etc. It shows antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, radioprotective, antiproliferative, cardioprotective, anticaries, antiarthritic as well as wound healing activity. These powerful health benefits can be attributed to the presence of phytochemicals such as terpenes, polyphenols, anthocyanins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and glycosides.[4]Bag, Anwesa, Subir Kumar Bhattacharyya, and Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay. “The development of Terminalia chebula Retz.(Combretaceae) in clinical research.” Asian Pacific journal of tropical … Continue reading
  • Amla is a great source of vitamin C. It also contains many beneficial phytochemicals like gallic acid, pyrogallol, ellagic acid, geraniin, elaeocarpusin, some norsesquiterpenoids, corilagin, etc. It is used as a laxative, hair tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, liver tonic, digestive, etc. It is used for treating conditions such as fever, ulcers, and indigestion too.[5]Baliga, Manjeshwar Shrinath, and Jason Jerome Dsouza. “Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention … Continue reading

No wonder then that a combination of these powerful ingredients results in a potent formula that is used to treat a range of conditions from headache, constipation, and dyspepsia to the build up of abdominal fluid and leucorrhoea.[6]Rayudu, Vinay, and Akondi B. Raju. “Effect of Triphala on dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis in rats.” Ayu 35, no. 3 (2014): 333.

Does Triphala Improve Digestion?

It is thought that an imbalance in pitta dosha can impair the functioning of agni leading to grahani roga (malabsorption syndrome), and amlapitta (hyperacidity) as well as other gastrointestinal problems. Triphala is considered to be a tridoshik (with all three doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha – balanced) rejuvenator that works well for digestive issues.[7]Nariya, M. B., V. J. Shukla, B. Ravishankar, and S. M. Jain. “Comparison of gastroprotective effects of triphala formulations on stress-induced ulcer in rats.” Indian journal of … Continue reading

1. Is Triphala Good For Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a fairly common condition that most of us have experienced at some point or the other. Food intolerances, certain medicines, viruses, bacteria, parasites, and even conditions like Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel disease can lead to diarrhea. You may need medicines to treat infections if that’s the underlying cause of your diarrhea. You may also need to replace electrolytes and fluids lost during this condition.[8][Diarrhea](https://medlineplus.gov/diarrhea.html “Diarrhea”). U.S. National Library of Medicine. But Triphala can help too. One study found that it benefited rats in whom diarrhea was induced by castor oil. It increased the time taken for the first defecation as well as the time taken for food to move through the digestive system till it is excreted.[9]Biradar, Y. S., R. Singh, K. Sharma, K. Dhalwal, S. L. Bodhankar, and K. R. Khandelwal. “Evaluation of anti-diarrhoeal property and acute toxicity of Triphala Mashi, an Ayurvedic … Continue reading

2. Can Triphala Protect Against Intestinal Damage?

Certain medicines can damage your intestines causing side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, poor absorption of nutrients, ulcers, and mucositis (inflammation of the lining of your digestive system). Triphala has long been used in Ayurveda to treat gastric conditions like intestinal inflammation. One animal study looked at whether it was effective at protecting against intestinal damage caused by a drug commonly used for treating cancer as well as an immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agent. Interestingly, it was found that a Triphala formulation where two parts of T. bellerica was mixed with one part of T. chebula, and four parts of E. officinalis offered more protection than a formulation where all three were mixed in equal proportions. The researchers suggest that this could possibly be because of a greater presence of antioxidants in the first formulation.[10]Nariya, Mukeshkumar, Vinay Shukla, Sunita Jain, and Basavaiah Ravishankar. “Comparison of enteroprotective efficacy of triphala formulations (Indian Herbal Drug) on methotrexate‐induced small … Continue reading

3. Does Triphala Heal Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers can cause abdominal pain as well as bloating, heartburn, and nausea. They develop when acid in your digestive tract eats into your small intestine or stomach leading to sores. A mucous layer coats your digestive tracts protecting it against acid but damage to this layer or an increase in the level of acid can result in the development of ulcers. Infection by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori as well as the prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common causes of this condition. Meanwhile, stress can worsen your symptoms.[11][Peptic ulcer](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peptic-ulcer/symptoms-causes/syc-20354223 “Peptic ulcer”). Mayo Clinic. But according to an animal study, Triphala has a protective effect against ulcers. Once again, a Triphala formulation where two parts of T. bellerica was mixed with one part of T. chebula, and four parts of E. officinalis offered more protection than a formulation where all three were mixed in equal proportions.

So how does Triphala help? Triphala is rich in compounds called tannins which can impact the integrity of mucous membranes and prevent the development of ulcers. Moreover, antioxidants such as ellagic acid and gallic acid present in this formulation can help counter free radicals generated during stress.[12]Nariya, M. B., V. J. Shukla, B. Ravishankar, and S. M. Jain. “Comparison of gastroprotective effects of triphala formulations on stress-induced ulcer in rats.” Indian journal of … Continue reading It is also worth noting that extracts of T. chebula have been found to significantly inhibit Helicobacter pylori.[13]Malekzadeh, F., H. Ehsanifar, M. Shahamat, M. Levin, and R. R. Colwell. “Antibacterial activity of black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula Retz) against Helicobacter pylori.” International … Continue reading

4. Is Triphala Good For Colitis?

Colitis is a long-term condition which affects the digestive system and is characterized by an inflamed colon. Many factors like reduced blood flow to the colon, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, an increase in protein (specifically collagen), or white blood cells in colon tissue can result in an inflamed colon. Colitis comes in various forms such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s colitis, infectious colitis, etc. This condition can cause a range of symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, changed bowel habits, mucus or blood in the stool, loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, etc.[14][Colitis](https://www.gwhospital.com/conditions-services/digestive-disorder-center/colitis “Colitis”). George Washington University Hospital. Research indicates that Triphala can be helpful in treating this condition as well. In fact, one animal study found it to be on par with mesalazine, a medicine that’s commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel disease. The researchers attribute Triphala’s beneficial effect to the presence of flavonoids and its antioxidant activity.[15]Rayudu, Vinay, and Akondi B. Raju. “Effect of Triphala on dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis in rats.” Ayu 35, no. 3 (2014): 333.

5. Does Triphala Relieve Constipation?

Constipation can leave you feeling bloated or give you a tummy ache. Not having enough fiber or fluids, not being active enough, changing your diet, putting off going to the toilet, anxiety, stress etc. can cause constipation.[16][Constipation](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/ “Constipation”). NHS,UK. But Triphala can be helpful in tackling constipation. One study that looked at 160 people found that it improved the frequency, amount, and consistency of stool. It was also found to be helpful in managing hyperacidity and improving appetite.[17]Mukherjee, Pulok K., Sujay Rai, S. Bhattachar, DEBUNATH P. KUMAR, Tuhin Kanti Biswas, Utpalendu Jana, Srikanta Pandit, Bishnu Pada Saha, and Pradip K. Paul. “Clinical study of … Continue reading

What Is The Best Way To Take Triphala?

  • Triphala can be had in a variety of forms: powder, tablet, extract, juice etc.
  • Your ayurvedic doctor may typically recommend a dosage of ½ to 2 teaspoons of Triphala churna (powder). Do check with your doctor about the dosage as it can vary based on individual characteristics.
  • For dealing with digestive issues it is usually taken about half an hour before bedtime.
  • Though Triphala is typically safe to take, it may cause gastrointestinal issues like cramps, gas, or diarrhea in large quantities. If you experience mild side effects, reducing the dosage may help. Speak to your Ayurvedic doctor about any side effects and for adjusting your dosage.

Who Should Not Take Triphala?

  • Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it as there is insufficient information about whether Triphala is safe for them.
  • Triphala may reduce the effectiveness of certain medicines used for treating high blood pressure and diabetes. Speak to your doctor before you take Triphala if you take these medications.
  • Triphala can interact with a wide range of medicines from antifungal and antiarrhythmic drugs to medicines used for migraine. Check with your doctor to see if it interacts with any medication you’re on before using Triphala.
  • Avoid using Triphala with kava kava or alcohol.[18][The Health Benefits of Triphala](https://www.verywellhealth.com/triphala-what-should-i-know-about-it-89590#possible-side-effects “The Health Benefits of Triphala”). Verywell Health.

References

References
1 [Common digestive problems and how to treat them](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/common-digestive-problems-and-how-to-treat-them/ “Common digestive problems and how to treat them”). NHS,UK.
2 Agrawal, Akash Kumar, C. R. Yadav, and M. S. Meena. “Physiological aspects of Agni.” Ayu 31, no. 3 (2010): 395.
3 Gupta, Ashutosh, Ramesh Kumar, Piyali Bhattacharyya, Anupam Bishayee, and Abhay K. Pandey. “Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) roxb.(Bahera) in health and disease: A systematic and comprehensive review.” Phytomedicine 77 (2020): 153278.
4 Bag, Anwesa, Subir Kumar Bhattacharyya, and Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay. “The development of Terminalia chebula Retz.(Combretaceae) in clinical research.” Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine 3, no. 3 (2013): 244-252.
5 Baliga, Manjeshwar Shrinath, and Jason Jerome Dsouza. “Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 20, no. 3 (2011): 225-239.
6, 15 Rayudu, Vinay, and Akondi B. Raju. “Effect of Triphala on dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis in rats.” Ayu 35, no. 3 (2014): 333.
7, 12 Nariya, M. B., V. J. Shukla, B. Ravishankar, and S. M. Jain. “Comparison of gastroprotective effects of triphala formulations on stress-induced ulcer in rats.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 73, no. 6 (2011): 682.
8 [Diarrhea](https://medlineplus.gov/diarrhea.html “Diarrhea”). U.S. National Library of Medicine.
9 Biradar, Y. S., R. Singh, K. Sharma, K. Dhalwal, S. L. Bodhankar, and K. R. Khandelwal. “Evaluation of anti-diarrhoeal property and acute toxicity of Triphala Mashi, an Ayurvedic formulation.” Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy 7, no. 3-4 (2008): 203-212.
10 Nariya, Mukeshkumar, Vinay Shukla, Sunita Jain, and Basavaiah Ravishankar. “Comparison of enteroprotective efficacy of triphala formulations (Indian Herbal Drug) on methotrexate‐induced small intestinal damage in rats.” Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives 23, no. 8 (2009): 1092-1098.
11 [Peptic ulcer](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peptic-ulcer/symptoms-causes/syc-20354223 “Peptic ulcer”). Mayo Clinic.
13 Malekzadeh, F., H. Ehsanifar, M. Shahamat, M. Levin, and R. R. Colwell. “Antibacterial activity of black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula Retz) against Helicobacter pylori.” International journal of antimicrobial agents 18, no. 1 (2001): 85-88.
14 [Colitis](https://www.gwhospital.com/conditions-services/digestive-disorder-center/colitis “Colitis”). George Washington University Hospital.
16 [Constipation](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/ “Constipation”). NHS,UK.
17 Mukherjee, Pulok K., Sujay Rai, S. Bhattachar, DEBUNATH P. KUMAR, Tuhin Kanti Biswas, Utpalendu Jana, Srikanta Pandit, Bishnu Pada Saha, and Pradip K. Paul. “Clinical study of ‘TRIPHALA’–A well known phytomedicine from india.” (2006): 51-54.
18 [The Health Benefits of Triphala](https://www.verywellhealth.com/triphala-what-should-i-know-about-it-89590#possible-side-effects “The Health Benefits of Triphala”). Verywell Health.

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