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Scientific validation of the ethnomedicinal properties of the Ayurvedic drug Triphala: A review


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.

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Correspondence to Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga.

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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).

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  • Ayurveda
  • Rasayana
  • Triphala
  • Terminalia chebula
  • Terminalia bellerica and Phyllanthus emblica and Emblica officinalis