Triphala, a herbal formula composed of the three fruits of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Haritaki, Family: Combretaceae), Terminalia bellirica Roxb. (Bibhitaki, Family: Combretaceae) and Phyllanthus emblica Linn. or Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Amalaki or the Indian gooseberry, Family: Euphorbiaceae) is considered to be a universal panacea in the traditional Indian system of medicine the Ayurveda. It has been described in the Ayurveda text as a “Rasayana’ and to rejuvenat the debilitated organs. Ayurvedic physicians use Triphala for many ailments but most importantly to treat various gastrointestinal disorders. Scientific studies carried out in the past two decades have validated many of the ethnomedicinal claims and researches have shown Triphala to possess free radical scavenging, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antibacterial, antimutagenic, wound healing, anticariogenic, antistress, adaptogenic, hypoglycaemic, anticancer, chemoprotective, radioprotective and chemopreventive effects. Clinical studies have also shown that Triphala was found to have good laxative property, to improve appetite and reduce gastric hyperacidity. Studies have also shown that Triphala was effective in preventing dental caries and that this effect was equal to that of chlorhexidine. The current review addresses the validated pharmacological properties of Triphala and also emphasizes on aspects that need further investigation for its future clinic application.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Gupta M. Therapeutic uses of the poly erbal drug Triphala in geriatric Diseases. Int J pharma Bio Sci 2010;1:1–13.
Nadkarni AK. Indian materia medica 3rd ed. Mumbai: Popular Press Ltd; 1976:1308–1315.
Juss SS. Triphala-the wonder drug. Ind Med Gaz 1997;131:194–196.
Mukherjee PK, Rai S, Bhattacharyya S, Debnath PK, Biswas TK, Jana U, et al. Clinical study of ‘Triphala’- a well known phytomedicine from India. Iran J Pharmacol Ther 2006;5:51–54.
Baliga MS. Triphala, Ayurvedic formulation for treating and preventing cancer: a review. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16:1301–1308.
Srikumar R, Parthasarathy NJ, Shankar EM, Manikandan S, Vijayakumar R, Thangaraj R, et al. Evaluation of the growth inhibitory activities of Triphala against common bacterial isolates from HIV infected patients. Phyto Res 2007;21:476–480.
Biradar YS, Jagatap S, Khandelwal KR, Singhania SS. Exploring of antimicrobial activity of Triphala mashi-an Ayurvedic Formulation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2008;5:107–113.
Abraham S, Kumar MS, Sehgal PK, Nitish S, Jayakumar ND. Evaluation of the inhibitory effect of Triphala on PMNtype matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9). J Periodontol 2005;76:497–502.
Prabhakar J, Senthilkumar M, Priya MS, Mahalakshmi K, Sehgal PK, Sukumaran VG. Evaluation of antimicrobial efficacy of herbal alternatives (Triphala and green tea polyphenols) MTAD and 5% sodium hypochlorite against Enterococcus faecalis biofilm formed on tooth substrate: an in vitro study. J Endod 2010;36:83–86.
Tandon S, Gupta K, Rao S, Malagi KJ. Effect of Triphala mouthwash on the caries status. Int J Ayurveda Res 2010;1:93–99.
Bajaj N, Tandon S. The effect of Triphala and Chlorhexidine mouthwash on dental plaque, gingival inflammation, and microbial growth. Int J Ayurveda Res 2011;2:29–36.
Dhanalakshmi S, Devi RS, Srikumar R, Manikandan S, Thangaraj R. Protective effect of Triphala on cold stressinduced behavioural and biochemical abnormalities in rats. Yakugaku Zasshi 2007;127:1863–1867.
Srikumar R, Parthasarathy NJ, Manikandan S, Narayanan GS, Sheeladevi R. Effect of Triphala on oxidative stress and on cell-mediated immune response against noise stress in rats. Mol Cell Biochem 2006;283:67–74.
Sabina EP, Rasool M. An in vivo and in vitro potential of Indian Ayurvedic herbal formulation Triphala on experimental gouty arthritis in mice. Vascul Pharmacol 2008;48:14–20.
Sabina EP, Rasool M. Analgesic antipyretic and ulcerogenic effects of Indian Ayurvedic herbal formulation Triphala. Res J Med Plant 2007;1:54–59.
Biradar YS, Singh R, Sharma K, Dhalwal K, Bodhankar SL, Khandelwal KR. Evaluation of antidiarrhoeal property and acute toxicity of Triphala mashi an Ayurvedic formulation. J Herbal Pharmacother 2007;7:203–212.
Rasool MK, Sabina EP, Kumar L, Nithya P. Therapeutic effect of Indian Ayurvedic herbal formulation Triphala on Acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. J Pharmacol Toxicol 2007;2:725–731.
Sabu MC, Kuttan R. Antidiabetic activity of medicinal plants and its relationship with their antioxidant property. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:155–160.
Saravanan S, Srikumar R, Manikandan S, Jeya Parthasarathy N, Sheela Devi R. Hypolipidemic effect of Triphala in experimentally induced hypercholesteremic rats. Yakugaku Zasshi 2007;127:385–388.
Kumar MS, Kirubanandan S, Sripriya R, Sehgal PK. Triphala promotes healing of infected full-thickness dermal wound. J Sur Res 2008;144:94–101.
Kaur S, Michael H, Arora S, Härkönen PL, Kumar S. The in vitro cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of Triphala-an Indian herbal drug. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;97:15–20.
Sandhya T, Lathika KM, Pandey BN, Mishra KP. Potential of traditional Ayurvedic formulation Triphala as a novel anticancer drug. Cancer Lett 2006;231:206–214.
Sandhya T, Mishra KP. Cytotoxic response of breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and T47D to Triphala and its modification by antioxidants. Cancer Lett 2006;238:304–313.
Shi Y, Sahu RP, Srivastava SK. Triphala inhibits both in vitro and in vivo xenograft growth of pancreatic tumor cells by inducing apoptosis. BMC Cancer 2008;8:294–235.
Jagetia GC, Baliga MS, Malagi KJ, Kamath MS. The evaluation of the radioprotective effect of Triphala (an Ayurvedic rejuvenating drug) in the mice exposed to gamma-radiation. Phytomedicine 2002;9:99–108.
Jagetia GC, Malagi KJ, Baliga MS, Venkatesh P, Veruva RR. Triphala an Ayurvedic rasayana drug protects mice against radiation-induced lethality by free-radical scavenging. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10:971–978.
Sandhya T, Lathika KM, Pandey BN, Bhilwade HN, Chaubey RC, Priyadarsini KI, et al. Protection against radiation oxidative damage in mice by Triphala. Mutat Res 2006;609:17–25.
Nariya M, Shukla V, Jain S, Ravishankar B. Comparison of enteroprotective efficacy of Triphala formulations (Indian Herbal Drug) on methotrexate-induced small intestinal damage in rats. Phytother Res 2009;23:1092–1098.
Deep G, Dhiman M, Rao AR, Kale RK. Chemopreventive potential of Triphala (a composite Indian drug) on benzo(a) pyrene induced forestomach tumorigenesis in murine tumor model system. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2005;24:555–563.
Kaur S, Arora S, Kaur K, Kumar S. The in vitro antimutagenic activity of Triphala-an Indian herbal drug. Food Chem Toxicol 2002;40:527–534.
Naik GH, Priyadarsini KI, Bhagirathi RG, Mishra B, Mishra KP, Banavalikar MM, et al. In vitro antioxidant studies and free radical reactions of Triphala an Ayurvedic formulation and its constituents. Phytother Res 2005;19:582–586.
Vani T, Rajani M, Sarkar S, Shishoo CJ. Antioxidant properties of the Ayurvedic formulation Triphala and its constituents. Pharma Biol 1997;35:313–317.
Jagetia GC, Rao SK, Baliga MS, Babu KS. The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain herbal formulations in vitro: a preliminary study. Phytother Res 2004;18:561–565.
Rasool M, Sabina EP. Antiinflammatory effect of the Indian Ayurvedic herbal formulation Triphala on adjuvant-induced arthritis in mice. Phytother Res 2007;21:889–894.
Gupta SK, Kalaiselvan V, Srivastava S, Agrawal SS, Saxena R. Evaluation of anticataract potential of Triphala in selenite-induced cataract: in vitro and in vivo studies. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2010;1:280–286.
About this article
Cite this article
Baliga, M.S., Meera, S., Mathai, B. et al. Scientific validation of the ethnomedicinal properties of the Ayurvedic drug Triphala: A review. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 18, 946–954 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-012-1299-x
- Terminalia chebula
- Terminalia bellerica and Phyllanthus emblica and Emblica officinalis