This information describes the common uses of Triphala, how it works, and its possible side effects.

Common Name

Triphala churna, Triphala choornam, Phala trika

How It Works

Triphala has immunostimulatory effects and may help prevent gingivitis.

Triphala is an herbal formulation used in the Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda. It consists of three medicinal plants: Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia belerica. It may also be combined with Guggulu, a tree gum resin, for additional therapeutic effects. Triphala is used for dental caries, anemia, jaundice, constipation, asthma, fever, chronic ulcers, inflammation, obesity, and to strengthen the immune system against infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and AIDS.

Purported Uses

  • To treat gastrointestinal problems
    A few animal models suggest gastroprotective effects.
  • To control inflammation
    Animal studies suggest that Triphala may reduce inflammation.
  • To decrease high levels of cholesterol
    Triphala was shown to reduce cholesterol levels and other markers associated with obesity. However, this has not been studied in humans.
  • To strengthen the immune system
    A small study in healthy volunteers suggests immune system benefits. Larger confirmatory studies are needed.
  • To prevent gingivitis
    Several clinical studies suggest that Triphala may help reduce dental plaque, but it is not clear if it as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash.
  • To treat cancer
    Although anticancer properties of Triphala have been observed in the lab, human data are lacking.

Do Not Take If

  • You are taking Cytochrome P450 (CYP) substrate drugs: Triphala may increase the risk of side effects of drugs that are metabolized by the enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2D6.

Side Effects

  • Triphala may cause gastrointestinal side effects, but these are rarely reported.