Triphala promotes healing of infected full-thickness dermal wound

J Surg Res. 2008 Jan;144(1):94-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2007.02.049. Epub 2007 Jul 27.


Background: Infection is a major problem in the management of wounds. Even though the development of synthetic antimicrobial agents persists, drug resistance and toxicity hinder their way. Many plants with multi-potent pharmaceutical activities may offer better treatment options, and Triphala (dried fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, and Phyllanthus emblica) are potential formulations evaluated for healing activity on infected wound as it possesses numerous activities.

Materials and methods: Alcoholic extract of Triphala has shown in vitro antimicrobial activity against wound pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus pyogenes. An ointment was prepared from the Triphala extract (10% w/w) and assessed for in vivo wound healing on infected rat model by rate of healing, bacterial count, biochemical analysis, and expression of matrix metalloproteinases.

Results: The treated group has shown significantly improved wound closure. Assessment of granulation tissue on every fourth day showed significant reduction in bacterial count with significant level of collagen, hexosamine, uronic acid, and superoxide dismutase in the treated group (P < 0.01). Reduction of matrix metalloproteinase expression observed in the treated group by gelatin zymography and immunoblotting confirms our in vivo assessment.

Conclusions: The above results showed the antibacterial, wound healing, and antioxidant activities of Triphala ointment, necessary for the management of infected wounds. Active principles of the Triphala may be further evaluated and used as an excellent therapeutic formulation for infected wounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dermis / injuries*
  • Dermis / microbiology
  • Granulation Tissue / drug effects
  • Granulation Tissue / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic*
  • Mice
  • Ointments
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy*
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ointments
  • Plant Extracts
  • triphala
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases