Triphala Churna Side Effects: 3 Ways It May Cause Harm

Indulging in this herbal remedy too much may do you more harm than good.

Medically reviewed by Madhu Sharma, RD Madhu Sharma Madhu SharmaRD
Written by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
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Triphala churna is an Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for its therapeutic values for centuries (1).

This medicinal herb is a combination of three fruits, namely amalaki (Embilica officinalis), bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and haritaki (Terminalia chebula), which are native to India. Triphala churna is touted for its health benefits when used in moderation. However, excess intake may also cause certain side effects and health risks.

This article discusses the side effects of triphala churna and how to use it safely. Keep reading.

protip_icon Know The Flip Side: Triphala Churna

Short-Term Effects
May cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and stomach problems.

Long-Term Effects
Active ingredients in triphala churna may cause an abortion.

Drug Interactions
May interact with diabetes, blood thinning, antidepressant, and anticonvulsant medications.

When To See A Doctor
If you experience excessive gas, upset stomach, cramps, diarrhea, or very low blood sugar or blood pressure (especially if you have diabetes and hypertension).

What Are The Side Effects Of Triphala Churna?

When consumed in high doses, triphala churna may lower blood sugar levels way too much, interfere with certain medications, and lead to potentially harmful effects in pregnant women.

1. May Lower Blood Sugar Way Too Much

Woman with glucometer doing blood sugar test
Image: Shutterstock

Triphala has anti-diabetic properties (1). Individuals on diabetes medication may experience hypoglycemiai  A condition that results in low glucose levels and can lead to seizures, dizziness, confusion, or anxiety. if they consume triphala.

Triphala may enhance the effectiveness of the medication. This may cause blood sugar levels to drop way too much. Menthol and sorbitoli  A sugar alcohol commonly present in fruits that helps make food sweeter and relieves constipation. , two active ingredients of triphala, are responsible for this action (2).

Though there is no direct research stating that triphala may lower blood sugar levels excessively, its anti-diabetic properties hint at a possibility.

If you have diabetes, please consult your doctor before taking triphala.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Triphala has been used in traditional Indian medicine for over 1000 years and has been listed in many Ayurvedic texts.

2. May Interfere With Certain Drugs

Woman experiencing symptoms of depression
Image: Shutterstock

Triphala was found to inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of enzymesi  Secretions that help accelerate chemical reactions in the body and facilitate critical functions like digestion. found in liver cells (3). Rat studies show that this activity of triphala can interfere with certain drugs, more so if they are taken together.

In another study, a patient given a herbal mixture containing an ingredient of triphala churna (along with other herbal ingredients) developed an episode of depression. Symptoms like low mood, reduced energy, and sleep disturbances followed. These symptoms improved once the patient stopped taking the plant-based medicine (4).

It is unclear as to what medications triphala churna would interfere with. Hence, if you are on any medication, please consult your doctor before taking triphala.

3. May Cause Pregnancy Complications

Triphala may cause pregnancy complications.
Image: Shutterstock

There is less research currently to establish this. One report states the potentially harmful effects of Terminalia chebula, an active ingredient in triphala churna, during pregnancy. This ingredient in Triphala may cause the abortion of the fetus. Another study states that several herbal supplements are deadly for pregnant women (5).

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that triphala may not be suitable for kids.

4. May Trigger Allergic Reactions

Triphala churna is generally well-tolerated. However, it may lead to allergic reactions in some individuals. You may notice allergic reactions to triphala churna such as itching, swelling, hives, or even more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing. Allergies may be attributed to hypersensitivity to one or more of its constituent herbs such as amla, haritaki, or bibhitaki.

If you notice an allergic reaction after consuming triphala churna, it is important to stop using it and seek medical attention promptly. It is advised to consult a healthcare provider before using triphala churna, especially if you have a history of allergies or sensitivities to botanical substances.

More research is being done on the possible adverse effects of triphala churna. Though it has health benefits, it is important to exercise caution.

How To Use Triphala

A spoonful of triphala powder
Image: Shutterstock

Triphala is available in capsule, powder, and liquid forms. There is less information on the ideal dosage, although certain sources (unscientific) suggest that 500 mg to 1 gram a day is ideal.

Consuming triphala in large doses can cause complications. Your doctor/healthcare provider will guide you properly on the dosage and safe usage.

protip_icon Did You Know?
In Ayurveda, Triphala is said to balance out your doshas. Doshas are the energies that govern the mind, body, and behavior.

Infographic: 3 Side Effects Of Triphala Churna To Watch Out For

Triphala churna, an Ayurvedic medicine, has been used for centuries for its therapeutic value. It is a combination of three fruits – amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. While it may have many health benefits, excessive and unregulated consumption may lead to serious side effects. The infographic below highlights the major side effects of this herbal remedy. Check it out!

3 side effects of triphala churna to watch out for (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Triphala churna has been used for many centuries for the array of benefits it offers. However, one must also note the side effects of Triphala churna that are mostly associated with excess consumption. It may cause hypotensioni  A condition in which blood pressure drops below the normal range due to increased blood flow force, leading to fatigue and heart and brain damage. , trigger hypoglycemia, cause pregnancy complications and abortion, and even interact with some drugs. Triphala churna may also aggravate depression and cause mood disturbances. Hence, caution is highly advised. However, taking it in moderation may offer important benefits. Consult your doctor for more information about its safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we take Triphala Churna daily?

Yes, you may take this daily, but in limited amounts. The dosage and time of consumption depends on the body type, condition, and requirement. Consult a doctor in case of any emergency.

What is the best time to take Triphala Churna?

Some believe the best time to take this digestive supplement is between 4 AM and 5 AM. Make sure you check with your doctor.

Does Triphala cause gas?

Some individuals have reported experiencing gas following the intake of triphala. The cause of this side effect is unknown. If you experience the same, stop use and observe. If you sense any further complications, please visit your doctor.

Does triphala cause loose motion?

Triphala has a laxative effect on the body and, hence, may cause gastrointestinal issues such as loose motions when taken in large doses (6). It is a natural laxative however, it is unlikely to cause issues if taken as prescribed.

Does Triphala increase acidity?

It is unlikely that Triphala will cause acidity. On the contrary, it may be used to reduce hyperacidity (6).

Does Triphala expire?

It is not entirely known whether Triphala expires. However, the potency of its ingredients may reduce over time. To increase its shelf life, store it in an airtight container away from sunlight. It is recommended to utilize a batch of Triphala within two years.

Can you take Triphala long-term?

Yes, you may take Triphala long-term in the prescribed amounts as there is no evidence to suggest its long-term use causes health issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Triphala churna may cause blood sugar levels to decrease lower as it contains menthol and sorbitol.
  • Consuming this product may cause depression, low levels of energy, and sleep disturbances.
  • Consuming it during pregnancy may lead to an abortion or miscarriage.
  • Triphala churna can interact with drugs and cause complications.
side effects of triphala churna

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Triphala has numerous health benefits. Click on this video to discover how this ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy can help improve your overall health! Also, check out if the herb has any potential side effects.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5567597/?report=classic
  2. Hypoglycemic effect of triphala on selected non insulin dependent Diabetes mellitus subjects, Ancient Science of Life, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330861/pdf/ASL-27-45.pdf
  3. Cytochrome P450 inhibitory potential of Triphala–a Rasayana from Ayurveda, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20883765
  4. Recurrent relapses of depression in a patient established on sertraline after taking herbal medicinal mixtures–a herb-drug interaction?,US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18515463
  5. Herbal medicine use by pregnant women in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293557/?report=classic
  6. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5567597/
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Madhu Sharma is a member of the National Executive Committee of IDA. She has been associated for almost three decades with Pediatric Nutrition at PGI while serving in the Gastroenterology Department (20 years) and then the Advanced Pediatric Center (10 yrs) at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Read full bio of Madhu Sharma