Triphala Churna is an herbal medicine with three fruit ingredients. This medicine has been used in Ayurveda for over thousand years (1).
Triphala is a combination of three medicinal herbs, namely amalaki (Embilica officinalis), bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and haritaki (Terminalia chebula), which are native to India. This polyherbal medicine is widely used for its health benefits. However, excess intake of triphala churna may lead to adverse effects in some people.
In this article, we have covered the major side effects that excess consumption of this herbal medicine may cause.
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
Triphala has anti-diabetic properties (1). Individuals on diabetes medication may experience hypoglycemia 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 sorbitol, 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.
2. May Interfere With Certain Drugs
Triphala was found to inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of enzymes 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 herbal medication (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
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 abortion of the fetus. Another study states that several herbal medicines are deadly for pregnant women (5).
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that triphala may not be suitable for kids.
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
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.
Triphala churna is a part of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine and is used for treating various ailments. Though it could be generally safe, we need more research on this aspect and also its long-term usage.
If you have any specific medical condition and/or are on medications, please check with your doctor before taking triphala. Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid triphala. Though it is available from different sources, prefer to buy from a verified manufacturer.
Expert’s Answers for Readers 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 herbal medicine 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.
- Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- 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.
- Cytochrome P450 inhibitory potential of Triphala–a Rasayana from Ayurveda, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- 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.
- 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.
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