Triphala is one of the most commonly used Ayurvedic preparations. Ayurveda is the traditional medical system of India, but has been spreading in popularity around the world. Given its popularity in India, triphala is one of the more commonly promoted Ayurvedic herbal remedies.
In Ayurvedic medicine, triphala is used for treating infections, digestive disorders, cardiovascular problems and many other conditions. Traditionally, it has been recommended as a daily or weekly supplement to maintain general health. Such uses are thought to arise from its laxative properties, which are believed to help “detoxify” the body by eliminating unwanted materials that accumulate from the diet.
EVIDENCE FROM STUDIES
Analyses of triphala extracts show that they contain vitamin C, antioxidants and a number of other ingredients.
Animal studies have shown that triphala can reduce blood cholesterol levels and have other beneficial effects on blood lipids. Some preliminary research has also indicated that triphala may have activity against cancer cells. However, such research is at a preliminary stage and no studies involving cancer have been conducted on humans.
The antimicrobial effects of triphala have received some attention from researchers. Laboratory studies have shown that triphala is active against a broad spectrum of micro-organisms that are involved in microbial infections.
A study published in 2010 found that triphala was active against microbes isolated from hospital patients, suggesting that the extract might be useful against microbes resistant to antibiotics. A group of tannins found in the extracts are believed to be the active ingredients. These are able to combine with microbial enzymes to prevent them from working properly.
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