Triphala is an herbal formulation that is widely used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various ailments (1). It consists of equal portions of dried and powdered fruits of three medicinal plants: Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia belerica (2). Triphala is used to treat dental caries, anemia, jaundice, constipation, asthma, fever, chronic ulcers, inflammation, obesity and to promote immunity against infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and AIDS.
It demonstrated antioxidant (3) (2), anti-inflammatory (4), antibacterial (5), immunomodulatory (6), chondroprotective (7), antidiarrhoeal (12), and anticancer (8) (1) (9) (13) properties in vitro. These effects are due to the polyphenols and flavonoids present in its constituents. Triphala also showed hypolipidemic (10) and enteroprotective effects against methotrexate-induced damage in rats (14). However, these effects have not been tested in clinical trials.
A small study did not find significant difference between triphala and chlorhexidine mouthwashes when used for prevention of dental caries in children (15).
Triphala may cause gastrointestinal side effects.