Aim: The aim of this article is to review the current literature on the therapeutic uses and efficacy of Triphala. Herbal remedies are among the most ancient medicines used in traditional systems of healthcare such as Ayurveda. Triphala, a well-recognized and highly efficacious polyherbal Ayurvedic medicine consisting of fruits of the plant species Emblica officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia bellerica (Bibhitaki), and Terminalia chebula (Haritaki), is a cornerstone of gastrointestinal and rejuvenative treatment.
Methods: A search of the PubMed database was conducted.
Results: In addition, numerous additional therapeutic uses described both in the Ayurvedic medical literature and anecdotally are being validated scientifically. In addition to laxative action, Triphala research has found the formula to be potentially effective for several clinical uses such as appetite stimulation, reduction of hyperacidity, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, antibacterial, antimutagenic, adaptogenic, hypoglycemic, antineoplastic, chemoprotective, and radioprotective effects, and prevention of dental caries. Polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome and thereby promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes. The bioactivity of Triphala is elicited by gut microbiota to generate a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Conclusions: This review summarizes recent data on pharmacological properties and clinical effects of Triphala while highlighting areas in need of additional investigation and clinical development.
Keywords: Ayurveda; anti-inflammatory; antimicrobial; antioxidant; immunomodulating; microbiota.