Triphala (Triphala Powder or Churna) Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects
Triphala is ayurvedic herbal formulation containing the three fruits (also known as three myrobalans) in equal proportion. Triphala is used in form of powder (triphala churna), tablets and extract capsules. It is beneficial for constipation, losing weight (obesity), reducing belly fat, body cleanse, indigestion and other abdominal problems.
Triphala churna contains three myrobalans (fruit rind) in equal proportion by weight without seeds.
|Ingredients||Quantity (By Weight)|
|Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – Emblica Officinalis dried fruit pulp powder||33.33%|
|Bibhitaki – Terminalia Bellirica dried fruit pulp powder||33.33%|
|Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula dried fruit pulp powder||33.33%|
Chemical Composition of Triphala
Triphala contains many biological compounds. It mainly consists of tannins, Gallic Acid, Chebulagic Acid, and Chebulinic Acid. The vitamin C content in Triphala is also very high. Vitamin C content and Chebulagic Acid in the Triphala exert strong antioxidant effects.
Medicinal Properties of Triphala
- Mild Antacid
- Anti-inflammatory (mild)
- Antipyretic (mild)
- Analgesic (mild)
- Digestive Stimulant
- Fat Burner
- Haematinic (increases haemoglobin levels)
The common indication of Triphala and its preparation is constipation.
Main Indications of Triphala
- Weight loss (Obesity)
- Abdominal Distension
- Male infertility due to pus in seminal fluid (taken with Dasamoolarishtam)
In Preventive Medicines
- Common cold
- Recurrent infections
Triphala Benefits & Uses
Triphala stimulates immune system and thus it helps preventing recurrent upper respiratory infections. It stimulates gastric secretion and improves digestion. Due to laxative and carminative action, Triphala churna helps in constipation, flatulence, gas, and abdominal distension.
Triphala for Weight Loss (Obesity)
Triphala is a simple preparation, but it gives awesome benefits in weight loss. It reduces visceral fat and cellulite.
How does Triphala work in Weight loss (Obesity)?
Triphala has effects on fat metabolism. It increases fat burning by rectifying the metabolism in the body. In obese people, bones are weak because the metabolism of fat is not correct, according to ayurvedic science.
According to ayurveda, there are mainly seven types DHATUs (Tissues) in the body, which are simultaneously responsible for making next DHATU. For example, RASA DHATU (Lymph) metabolizes and makes RAKTA DHATU. RAKTA DHATU (Blood) metabolizes and makes MAMSA DHATU (Muscles). MAMSA DHATU metabolizes and makes MEDHA DHATU (Fats). When MEDHA DHATU metabolizes, the formation of ASTHI DHATU takes place.
According to this concept, there is a problem in metabolism of MAMSA DHATU to MEDHA DHATU and MEDHA DHATU to ASTHI DHATU, which ultimately cause accumulation of the fat in the body and makes your bones weaker.
According to recent studies, obese people have weak bones, which supports ayurvedic concept of weaker bones on obese people.
Triphala rectifies this cycle of metabolism in the body, so it reduces body weight. Its use also makes bones stronger and increases bone mineral density in obese people. Therefore, according to practical observation, the concept of ayurveda regarding DHATU metabolism is correct.
We also found weaker bones and low bone mineral density in people with obesity. Treating with Triphala reduces belly (abdominal) fat as well as increases bone mineral density.
How to Use Triphala Churna for Weight Loss
Triphala Churna can be taken in dosage of 3 to 5 grams (around 1 tsp.) with warm water for losing weight. It can be taken 2 to 3 times a day.
Alternatively, one can take Triphala churna (1/2 tsp.) mixing with Trikatu Churna (250 mg), Honey (1 tsp.) and then take this mixture with lukewarm water. It is considerably best method because Trikatu enhances metabolism and improves fat dissolving capacity of Triphala.
When to Take Triphala Churna for Weight Loss
However, there is not specified time for taking Triphala Churna for weight reduction. Some people taking it on empty stomach faces some sort of abdominal discomfort. The best time to take Triphala Churna is an hour after meal.
Triphala use in Diabetes
Studies also have shown that it has hypo-glycemic effects, which may be due to its action on insulin resistance. Triphala churna reduces cellular resistance to uptake insulin and helps in a proper use of insulin in the cells. Therefore, it becomes effective in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
Antioxidant & immuno-stimulatory effects of Triphala
Triphala has several phyto-chemicals, which are potent antioxidants and immuno-stimulators. Due to these compounds, Triphala powder is effective in delaying aging, maintaining skin health, preventing premature greying of hairs and hair fall and reducing oxidative stress in the body.
Immuno-stimulatory effects of Triphala help in AIDS/HIV positive patients. It improves immunity and prevents secondary infections.
Vertigo or Dizziness
Triphala Churna is also beneficial for reducing vertigo or dizziness. Triphala powder (2 grams) with honey (1 tsp.) is beneficial for reducing vertigo. In severe cases, the treatment with Triphala should be continued for a week.
Triphala in Constipation
Triphala is a common home remedy for constipation. It has mild laxative action. It loosens the hard stools and facilitates easier bowel movements. Unlike other laxatives, Triphala churna is non-habit forming laxative. It is beneficial for people with mild to moderate constipation.
High Cholesterol & Triglycerides
Triphala has significant lipid-profile modulating action. A significant decrease in total serum cholesterol can be observed after a few weeks therapy with Triphala Churna. It also reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood.
Triphala for Eyesight & Cataract
Triphala has anti-cataract potential. In ayurveda, many texts described that it improves eyesight and reduces tendencies of cataract and other eyes diseases. Some studies have also demonstrated these effects of Triphala. (Ref. 1, Ref. 2)
Saptamrit Lauh used for eye disorders contains Triphala in addition to Yashtimadhu (Licorice) and Lauh Bhasma. Triphala Ghrita is prepared from Clarified Butter (Ghee) and Triphala Powder. It is also used for eye diseases and for improving eyesight and reducing the requirement of specs.
In ayurveda, Rasayana therapy has significant importance. Triphala is one of the Rasayana Medicines, which exert rejuvenative action in the body. Triphala actually works on every organ in the body, reduces blockage, and restores the natural functions of every organ. It flushes out the toxins and reduces the tendency of diseases.
Scientific research studies have also shown that Triphala has immunostimulatory activities. (Ref. 3)
Benefits of Triphala Rasayana
- Prevents abdominal diseases
- Improves eyesight
- Prevents cataract
- Prevents skin diseases
- Promotes hair growth
- Fights off free radicals
- Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients
- Eliminates the toxins
- Improves immunity and prevents diseases
- Dissolves cellulite and reduces excess visceral fat
How to Use Triphala Rasayana
There are some different methods for taking Triphala Rasayana. The common method is-
- Eat Haritaki Churna (equivalent to 1 Haritaki Fruit) after digestion of meal (approx. 3 hours after meal).
- Eat Bibhitaki Churna (equivalent to 2 Bibhitaki Fruits) just before meal.
- Eat Amalaki Churna (equivalent to 4 Amalaki Fruits) just after meal.
This type of Rasayana should continue for a year for maximum Rasayana Benefits. It protects from all diseases and increases the lifespan.
The second method of taking Triphala Rasayana is-
- Take Triphala Churna and new iron vessel.
- Make a paste of Triphala Churna using water.
- Apply the Triphala Paste in iron vessel.
- Leave it for 24 hours.
- Now, collect the Triphala Churna from the iron vessel in a separate vessel.
- Add honey and water in the Triphala and drink this beverage on empty stomach in the morning.
The dosage of Triphala Churna, honey, and water is not described in Charaka Samhita. Therefore, the dosage should be that you could digest easily without any trouble. Most people can digest the following dosage ratio.
|Triphala Churna||5 to 10 grams|
|Honey||10 to 20 grams|
|Water||around 250 ml|
This should be taken once a day. The therapy with this type of Triphla Rasayana should continue for a year for maximum health benefits.
Also Read: Trifala Rasayana
Triphala Use according to Body Type
However, Triphala includes three fruits without seeds in equal proportion. This type of Triphala Churna is available in the market.
Ayurveda also has unique principles for using Triphala in different body constitution. Triphala constitution is also changed as per body type (PRAKRITI) as follows:
Vata Dominant Body Type
|Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – Emblica Officinalis||2 parts (33.33%)|
|Bibhitaki – Terminalia Bellirica||1 parts (16.67 %)|
|Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula||3 parts (50%)|
Pitta Dominant Body Type
|Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – Emblica Officinalis||3 parts (50%)|
|Bibhitaki – Terminalia Bellirica||1 parts (16.67 %)|
|Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula||2 parts (33.33%)|
Kapha Dominant Body Type
|Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – Emblica Officinalis||1 parts (16.67 %)|
|Bibhitaki – Terminalia Bellirica||3 parts (50%)|
|Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula||2 parts (33.33%)|
Dosage & Administration
|The general dosage of Triphala Powder is as follows.|
|Infants (Up To 6 Months)||GENERALLY NOT RECOMMENDED|
|Infants (6 -12 Months)||500 mg * or 1 gram **|
|Toddler (Age: 1 – 3 yrs)||750 mg * or 1.5 grams **|
|Preschooler (3 – 5 yrs)||1000 mg * or 2 grams **|
|Grade-schooler (5 – 12 yrs)||1500 mg * or 3 grams **|
|Teenager (13 -19 yrs)||2 grams * or 4 grams **|
|Adults (19 to 60 yrs)||3 grams * or 6 grams **|
|Geriatric (above 60 yrs)||3 grams * or 6 grams **|
|Lactation||3 grams * or 6 grams **|
|Maximum Possible Dosage||12 grams Per Day (in divided doses)|
|* Twice a day with water or honey After Food|
|** Once a day at night with water or honey|
Triphala powder tablets or capsules dosage is not appropriate dosage. Therefore, you should have to take many numbers of tablets or capsules to have sufficient therapeutic dosage.
Whenever possible, you should also not use Triphala extract tablets or capsules, because Triphala in crude form is safer and more beneficial.
The maximum dosage of Triphala powder is about 12 grams. The dosage of triphala should not exceed from 12 grams per day.
The maximum dosage of Triphala extract is 2000 mg per day. Generally, extract tablets of Triphala contain about 500 mg to 750 mg extract, which also varies according to manufacturing companies.
Best Triphala Adjuvants
According to health condition and purpose of the Triphala use, adjuvants can be different. Here is a table according to health condition for an example.
|Vata Disorders||Warm water in the morning and normal water at night or Sesame Oil|
|Pitta Disorders||Cold Water or Ghee (Cow’s Milk Fat)|
|Kapha Disorders||Warm Water or Honey|
|Weight Loss||Warm Water|
|Common Cold||Honey and Trikatu Churna|
|General Tonic & For Rejuvenation or As supplement||Milk|
|Hair Fall||Honey and Mulethi Powder|
Triphala in natural form is considerably safe. Its regular use in supplemental or therapeutic dosage (less than 10 grams per) is mostly safe.
Caution & Side Effects
However, some sensitive people can experience loose stools after using it first time. After a few days (about 1 to 3 days), this side effect of Triphala will disappear.
The common side effects of Triphala include:
- Loose stools (generally occur when person just started taking Triphala first time)
- Stomach upset (especially occur when Triphala is taken on empty stomach. It can be minimized by taking Triphala with meal or after meal)
- Abdominal pain and cramps (generally occurs in people with epigastrium tenderness, history of abdominal pain or tenderness)
- Severe diarrhea (it is very rare, but occurs in people with history of irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, frequent diarrhea. It may also occur in weak individual with thin physique and PITTA type people)
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Pregnancy is a contraindication of Triphala use. Triphala exerts a laxative action and the intensity of laxative action may vary person to person. Secondly, it may also act as uterine stimulant, which can cause contractions and may lead to miscarriage. However, this effect is rare, but pregnant women should avoid it to avoid any type of complication due to Triphala use.
The fatal dosage of Triphala in pregnancy is about 5 grams. It may also cause abdominal pain and diarrhea in some pregnant women.
If you are looking for safer alternative for constipation in pregnancy, then you may take Gulkand. Gulkand has mild laxative action and safer than Triphala.
The active principles of Triphala may pass through the breast milk to the babies. However, its use during lactation does not produce any side effect in both mother and baby. You should consult ayurvedic physician before using Triphala while nursing.
You should not use Triphala should in following health conditions.
- Fast or dieting
- Severe weight loss
- Excessive dryness of the skin
- Abdominal Tenderness
- Heartburn & Hyperacidity
- Gastritis and Ulcers
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
FAQs about Triphala Powder
What is the dosage of Triphala Churna for Weight Loss?
The appropriate dosage of Triphala powder for losing weight is 3 grams twice daily with warm water.
For how many days should we take Triphala?
Treatment duration with Triphala or any herbal remedies depends on the individual health status. The purpose of using Triphala is more concern. If one is using it for mild to moderate constipation, then its treatment duration should be around 2 to 4 weeks. If one is taking Triphala for Rasayana purposes, then the duration should be around one year.
The short-term and long-term use of Triphala powder is safe when indicated for therapeutic purposes.
Which Triphala is better Himalaya Triphala or Dabur Triphala?
Triphala only contains three ingredients, which are commonly available. Himalaya Triphala & Dabur Triphala, both brands are good for Triphala.
Does Triphala cause abdominal cramps, pain or gas?
Many individuals can experience mild cramps and pain in the abdomen after using Triphala for the first time. Gradually, the body adjusts with Triphala powder use and these unwanted effects disappear. All these symptoms generally occur in people who are having abdominal tenderness. Abdominal pain can also worsen if any patient already having abdominal tenderness.
However, intestinal gas and abdominal distension are rarely reported with Triphala, but these unwanted effects may occur. For reducing this side effect, one can use Rock Salt or Black Salt with Triphala churna.
How can I take Triphala to lose a weight?
For losing weight, one can take Triphala mixing with Trikatu Churna, Honey and then take this mixture with water.
Can we take Triphala powder with plain water at night before bed for a lifelong? What are the benefits? I have read it is an anti-aging Rasayana.
Triphala powder can be used for a lifelong as per classical texts for rejuvenating and anti-ageing effects. It also helps prevent many diseases including heart diseases, eye disorders, abdominal disorders and skin diseases. Triphala churna can be taken with warm water at night every day.
Can we give Triphala powder for children? From which age can we start?
Triphala is considerably safe for children when used under medical supervision. It can be given from the age of 12 months and onwards.
Can l take Triphala which planning for conceiving a baby?
Triphala use while trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy is not suggestible. Because it also acts on muscles and induces muscular movements, which also affects uterine muscles.
If you have constipation, then the best suitable medicine is Gulkand and then Psyllium Husk (Sat Isabgol).
How best can we use Triphala powder for eye treatment, if we need to get rid of Glasses?
You can use Triphala Churna (3 grams) along with Yashtimadhu (1 gram) and Loha Bhasma (50 mg) internally.
Triphala Eye Drops made from the distillation of Triphala Powder or Trifala Eye Wash can be helpful for preventing cataract, improving vision and reducing the specs no.
Netra Basti with Triphala Ghrita can give awesome results for reducing specs number and improving vision. It can be done every day for 2 weeks and then it should be repeated after every 4 weeks.
The combination of all above therapies can work better for reducing specs number and improving eyesight. Eye exercises and applying Cow’s Ghee in navel are also helpful along with Triphala eye treatment.
What is the weight in grams of 1 teaspoon Triphala churna?
One level teaspoon (standard teaspoon) contains around 3 to 3.5 grams Triphala powder.
Can I use Triphala with honey?
Yes, Triphala can be used with honey. This combination is generally used for losing belly fat.
Will Triphala Powder cause birth-defect if unknowing taken during pregnancy?
Triphala Churna is contraindicated for precautionary purpose because some believe it may increase uterine contractions and may cause a miscarriage. It is the only hypothesis and not the proven concept and it may only occur when Triphala Churna is taken more than 10 to 20 grams per day or its extract more than 5 grams per day.
Secondly, the effect of Triphala on uterine contractions is insignificant with recommended or normal dosage i.e. 3 to 6 grams per day at night. It does not have a strong potency or action like other modern medicines.
Triphala Churna contains dried fruit pulp powder of three plants, which are also nutritious. The short-term use of Triphala may not cause any problem to pregnant women and a developing baby. Triphala does not likely to cause any birth defects as well.
Can we take Triphala on empty stomach in the morning?
Yes, Triphala powder can be taken on empty stomach in the morning. Some people use it on empty stomach for Detoxification purposes. If you feel discomfort after taking it on empty stomach, then you should not continue it. In such cases, it should be best when taken after food or at night.
Can I use Triphala for Diabetes?
Triphala powder has antihyperglycemic effects, so it will give good results if diabetes is recently diagnosed.
Can a diabetic patient use Triphala regularly?
Yes, Triphala formulations can be used by diabetic patients. It also has antihyperglycemic action. Therefore, you should regularly monitor your blood sugar level and consult a doctor for the dosage of anti-diabetic drugs if you are taking modern anti-diabetic drugs to avoid hypoglycemia. However, Triphala does not itself cause hypoglycemia, but if your blood sugar level becomes normal and you take the modern anti-diabetic drug, then these medicines can lead to low blood sugar level.
Can I use Triphala to gain weight?
Triphala does not likely to help for increasing weight.
Under Triphala Rasayana section in this article, the suggestion is to leave Triphala paste on the iron vessel for 24 hours and then consume with honey. Is there any added benefit of this process?
Yes, leaving Triphala on the Iron Vessel increases the iron content in Triphala. This process also increases potency and efficacy of Triphala as Rasayana (rejuvenation).
Is it safe if Triphala and Gulkand can be taken together in combination for Constipation?
Triphala and Gulkand both can be taken together without any issue, but this combination should be taken with water. In general, Gulkand is taken with milk for laxative action and Triphala is advised with water.
Can I use Triphala after surgery?
Triphala is a mild laxative action with many health benefits. It also cleanses the wounds and speeds up healing. Therefore, one can use it 2 weeks after surgery without any issue. Triphala is best to use after 2 weeks in colon surgery and pile surgery.
Can Triphala churna be taken with milk at night?
The most suitable and recommended adjuvant for Triphala is lukewarm water. Triphala should be best when taken with water. It contains Amla, so we avoid suggesting its usage with milk.
However, it is a contradictory fact. Some believe Amla is an exception for sour fruits. Unlike other sour foods, it can be taken with milk. So, you may have read the label of Chyawanprash, which contains Amla as a principle ingredient, suggesting taking it with warm milk.
Can I take Triphala powder with honey and sesame oil for longevity and healthier life?
Yes, Triphala can be taken with sesame oil, ghee or honey according to Dosha. For longevity and healthier life, it should be used as described under Triphala Rasayana Section in this article. Also, read another article on Triphala Rasayana.
I am feeling burning sensation in the stomach after taking Triphala. What should I do?
You need to stop it and it may not be suitable for you. In this case, you can use Amla (500 mg) along with Yashtimadhu (1500 mg), Praval Pishti (250 mg), Mukta Shukti Pishti (250 mg) or alone Kamdudha Ras (250 mg).