Triphala is an herbal formulation that consists of equal portions of dried and powdered fruits of three medicinal plants: Emblica officinalis,Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia belerica. Triphala is widely used in Ayurveda system for various ailments including is used to treat dental caries, anemia, jaundice, constipation, and others. Its most known use is as a laxative for mild to moderate constipation. This has been evaluated systematically in an open-label, prospective, interventional, and exploratory clinical trial in 34 patients suffering from functional constipation.Patients were given a mixture consisting of triphala. All the study patients showed an excellent tolerability to the study drug until 1 week after the treatment was stopped. The findings in this study suggested that the mixture is an effective, safe, and non-habit-forming herbal laxative formulation for the management of constipation. In limited studies Triphala also demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immunomodulatory activity. It is believed that these effects are due to the polyphenols and flavonoids present in its constituents however exact mechanism of action if not clear. Several studies compared the anti-plaque efficacy of triphala mouthwash to that of chlorhexdine and mostly the results showed that Triphala mouth wash has been equally effective as commercial chlorhexdine.In one of the study the immunostimulatory and any potential side effects of Triphala were studied in a clinical phase I study. All volunteers took 3 capsules per day for 2 weeks. Results from this study showed that Triphala demonstrated significant immunostimulatory effects on cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells where increased levels of both of them were observed compared with those of the control samples. As mentioned above this study confirmed one more time that all volunteers who took Triphala were healthy and showed no adverse effects throughout the duration of the study.
Munshi R, Bhalerao S, Rathi P, Kuber VV, Nipanikar SU, Kadbhane KP. An open-label, prospective clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of TLPL/AY/01/2008 in the management of functional constipation. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011 Jul;2(3):144-52.
Phetkate P1, Kummalue T, U-Pratya Y, Kietinun S. Significant increase in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells by triphala: a clinical phase I study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:239856.
Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga, Sharake Meera, Benson Mathai, Manoj Ponadka Rai, Vikas Pawar, Princy Louis Palatty. Scientific validation of the ethnomedicinal properties of the Ayurvedic drug Triphala: A review. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. December 2012, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 946-954.