Indian gooseberry

Triphala Churna, Health benefits, Uses and Side effects

What is triphala Churna?

Triphala Churna is a mixture of herbs and or minerals used in centuries-old Indian remedy known as the Ayurvedic medicine. Triphala (Tri- three, Phala- Fruit), also known as Indian Gooseberry in English, consists of dried fruit of three different plant species [1]:

  • Emblica officinalis (Family Euphorbiaceae)
  • Terminalia bellerica (Family Combretaceae)
  • Terminalia chebula (Family Combretaceae)

In Ayurvedic medicine, triphala powder is considered a tridoshic rasayana, meaning that it has properties to bring balance to three doshas: air/space, water/fire and water/earth. As a result, Triphala is believed to improve the body, mind and spirit.

Three fruits included in the blend of Triphala Churna

The formula consists of fruit native to India, and includes Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Heritaki. According to a well-known Physician Charak who wrote the foundational text of Ayurevedic medicine,  taking Triphala Rosayana (Triphala with honey and ghee) has the potential to make a person live for 100 years free from old age and diseases [1].

What is Triphala used for?

The rejuvenative herbs found in Triphala have a number of uses [2]:

Scavenges free radicals (toxins)Suppresses appetiteAnti-fever
Anti-inflammatoryReduces gastric acidityEffective pain relief
Strengthens immune systemPrevents dental cariesAntibacterial
Anti-stressAn effective diabetes treatmentChemo-preventative
Improves blood circulationreduces bad cholesterolIncreases production of red blood cells/ Haemoglobin
Prevents gene mutationHeals woundsPrevents tooth decay

Where can it be purchased?

Triphala Churna is widely found online like Amazon in a form of tablets, capsules, tea, and powder form. It can also be found on iHerb in a form of tablets, capsules and powder. However, other health food stores like Realfoods and Holland and Barrett also sell variety of Triphala products.

The best rated triphala products on Amazon are Planetary Herbals Triphala, Certified organic triphala capsules and Elika Triphala Capsules.

Health Benefits of Triphala Churna

Indian Gooseberry

According to the Ayurvedic tradition, Triphala blend can treat a large range of health conditions.

May improve digestive health

Triphala is mostly known for improving and minimising gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms. Some animal studies have shown Triphala to prevent Diarrhoea [3]. A human study investigated the effects of Triphala on people with gastrointestinal problems, and it reported a significant reduction to constipation, mucous, stomach cramping, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, and flatulence while improving the frequency and consistency of stool [4]. These improvements derive from the antioxidants and high levels of flavonoids found in these supplements.

Check out our other post on digestive health and the effects of gut bacteria on the body.

It may reduce stress levels

Stress-induced disorders like anxiety are very common amongst adults, and can cause disabling fear of doing basic activities like going shopping or even visiting friends and family. Some studies show that Triphala can have a positive effect on stress. For instance, an animal study has shown to protect against cold-induced stress and even reversed stress-induced behavioural and biochemical changes [5]. Another study has shown triphala to prevent noise-induced stress by mediating the immune response [6] [7].

May reduce the risk of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes blood sugar levels to sky rocket which can cause ineffective absorption of sugar circulating in the blood. Some research shows Triphala to reduce blood sugar levels [8] [9] and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 Diabetes [10].

Supports weight loss

More and more studies are showing the potential effect of Triphala on weight loss. In a 10 week animal study where the rats were overweight or obese, the results show a significant reduction to body fat %, body weight and energy intake [11]. This means that Triphala may be an effective fat burner and an appetite suppressant. In a 12-week human study, the outcomes show that people who consumed Triphala lost an average 5kg more than people who didn’t [12].

Check out our other post where we go over 8 most important factors that you can change to start losing weight today. You can also check out our exercise programs and personalised diet plans to jump start your weight loss journey.

May reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart problems

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide with hypercholesteremia being a major risk factor. Hypercholesteremia is a name given to excess cholesterol found in the blood stream. A 2007 animal study has shown Triphala to reduce total cholesterol as well as triglycerides (fats)[13].

May fight against bacteria that are drug resistance

The use of antibiotics can cause certain bacteria to build resistance to drugs. This means that these bacteria will require a microbial substance with high efficacy to mitigate its harmful effects. Both Triphala water and ethanol extracts have shown to contain antibacterial properties against those bacterial isolates [14]. Other studies show that these substances also exert action against antibiotic-resistant bacteria [15].

Cranberry Juice is also a powerful and natural antioxidant, check out its health benefits here.

Improves oral health

There are numerous studies that show positive effects of Triphala on oral health. For instance, one study shows that Triphala exhibited a significant antibacterial effect on oral pathogens responsible for dental cavities [16]. Other studies also show that Triphala water used as a mouthwash exert just as much efficacy as most commonly used mouthwash in preventing dental cavities [17] [18].

Maintains healthy eyesight

Triphala is a great source of vitamin C and flavonoids which can help in maintaining a healthy eyesight. One study used Triphala as a pre-treatment for cataracts and it was reported that it improved the levels of glutathione in eye lenses [19].

Anti-inflammatory effects

Several studies show the positive effects of Triphala on inflammation. For instance, one study found that this supplement reduced inflammation and reduced bone and cartilage degradation in arthritic rats [20].

Contains anti-aging properties

Triphala blend is high in antioxidants which affect gene expression and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin consequently improving the skin and reduces the visibility of wrinkles. Thanks to its antioxidant profile, it also protects and reduces damage caused by free radicals (toxins that we inhale) [21].

Side effects and dangers

Indian Gooseberry

Triphala acts as a mild laxative which may cause some stomach discomfort. You may experience, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and gas.

In addition, Triphala may interact with variety of medications like antifungal drugs, HIV drugs, migraine medication, antipsychotic and antidepressants as well as Opioid painkillers. It is important to speak to your GP before to taking Triphala.

If you experience any side effects either contact your doctor or reduce the dosage. If the side effects persist you should stop taking it all together.

Triphala Dosage

There are no guidelines on how much Triphala is safe or most effective but most popular supplements contain 500-1000mg. It is best to follow the dosage recommendations on the supplement labels.

Commonly asked questions

Can Triphala cure IBS?

There is no cure for IBS but Triphala may reduce the symptoms associated with IBS like the abdominal pain. However, it is a mild laxative so it might even worsen the symptoms. If you are concerned with your gut health then check out this post on gut health and how to reduce the symptoms.

Why does Triphala cause insomnia?

This may be caused due to the diuretic effect of this supplement. It increases urine production and causes the person to wake up more often to urinate.

What is the best time to take this supplement?

The best time to take it is on an empty stomach before breakfast and between meals.

When does it start working?

This is person dependant. Some people respond quickly but others require a few weeks before they notice significant effects.

Is it safe to take it during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

No. This supplement can cause miscarriage. However, if you are currently pregnant and you are worried about weight gain or weight loss after pregnancy then check out this post where we go over tips on losing weight post pregnancy.

Can it be taken every day?

Yes, but if you experience side effects reduce dosage or speak to your doctor.

Summary

Triphala Churna offers an encyclopedic range of health benefits and it is certainly worth giving it a try to boost your overall health and wellbeing. However, if you experience side effects then you should speak to your doctor, and if the side effects persist then stop taking this supplement all together.

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