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What Are the Most Common Triphala Side Effects?

Diarrhea is a common side effect of Triphala use, especially in high doses or for first-time users.
Dehydration due to diarrhea is an indirect side effect of Triphala use, making fluid intake crucial.
Insomnia is a common side effect for those who have just started taking triphala.
Triphala side effects may include abdominal discomfort.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Alex Paul
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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The most common triphala side effects are diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and disrupted sleep. Whether or not a person is likely to experience these problems depends a lot on how much of the herbal supplement they’ve taken, how strong the dosage was, and how accustomed their bodies are to processing herbal tinctures. Side effects are most common among first-time users and tend to get better with time. Still, anyone with severe discomfort or symptoms that don’t seem to go away on their own should usually stop and get medical help.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea and loose, runny stools tend to be the most common triphala side effects, particularly among people who have never taken the supplement before. Triphala is all natural, but the cleansing properties that make it so popular can also cause discomfort in people who aren’t prepared for it. Different chemicals in the triphala compound work to essentially purge the colon of its contents, which many practitioners of holistic and Eastern medicine believe can help restore the body’s balance and improve immune function — but in high doses, this property can also lead to intestinal trouble. Most experts recommend starting with a half or very light dose to get the body ready.

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People should usually stop taking the supplement as soon as diarrhea sets in. Diarrhea is very dehydrating, which means that it strips the body of water and hydration. When this lasts for more than a day or two, people run the risk of becoming very ill. Continuing to take the supplement during a bout of diarrhea can make things a lot worse, effectively turning what is usually just a minor issue into a health crisis.

Gas and Intestinal Upset

It’s also very common for people taking triphala to experience increased gas and pressure in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Flatulence can be somewhat painful, but it is rarely a serious problem. Most of the time these side effects will fade once people get used to digesting and processing the herb, but, as with diarrhea, one of the best ways to avoid it is for patients to start slowly, taking just a small amount every day or every other day, and increasing their dosage gradually over time.

Colon Damage

People who suffer from prolonged diarrhea or inflamed, gassy intestines are at an increased risk for colon damage, which can be very serious. The colon is part of the gastrointestinal tract and is primarily responsible for removing water, sodium, and some fats from solid waste before it exits the body. Repeated irritation, whether from runny stools or harsh gas, can lead its soft tissues to break down and lose their efficacy. Over time this can be very problematic and sometimes causes permanent digestive problems.

Sleep Disruption

Many people who have just started taking triphala complain of sleeplessness or insomnia. These symptoms will usually fade away as time goes by, but can sometimes be avoided by taking the supplement in the morning rather than at bedtime, starting with a lower does, and making sure to stay very hydrated.

Special Concerns in Pregnancy

Most medical professionals discourage pregnant women from starting new herbal supplementation during gestation, and triphala is no exception. In fact, some doctors even advise women who have a history of ingesting the compound to stop during pregnancy in order to reduce the chance of harm to the unborn child. There is a risk that the properties that make the supplement cleansing and beneficial to adults could prove toxic to a developing fetus.

Proper Dosing and Benefits

Triphala is most commonly prescribed by holistic or Eastern Medicine practioners, particularly those following the Ayurvedic tradition. Different experts may have slightly different blends, but in general triphala is made by combining the flesh and oils of the Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki fruits, all of which are indigenous to India and parts of Southeast Asia. The potency and efficacy can vary depending on how the fruits were blended and prepared.

The supplement is most commonly sold as a powder or formulated into a capsule, and is often designed for daily consumption. People who have been taking it for a long time often claim it has a number of healing properties, especially where digestive health and immune strength are concerned.

Most experts do not recommend triphala for children, and anyone who has a history of bowel trouble or sensitivity should usually speak with a qualified medical practitioner before starting supplementation. The same is true for people who are on prescription medications. Just because the supplement is natural does not necessarily mean that it is safe for everyone.

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Discuss this Article

anon939673
Post 14

Triphala causes doubles your weight once you stop using it. It's horrible.

anon346884
Post 13

All white people didn't cause everyone's problems. At least take some responsibility for your own problems.

anon340444
Post 12

Triphala is good for digestion. Start with one capsule after meals and see how your body reacts to that. You can increase the dosage after 15 days.

anon308265
Post 11

Triphala is awesome. It worked for me. I took it in large dosage (two teaspoons in a room temperature glassful of water) and I experienced diarrhea. However, I didn't give up. After two months, I could tell a big difference. My body was healing, getting rid of toxins (that's to the white people who messed up the world with toxins, and continue to, directly or indirectly, processed foods, hormone-enhanced dairy, insecticides/chemicals on plants, cars/vehicle smog, and all their crap goes in oceans).

I had many problems, like blood stagnation/clotting, bad immune system, prone to cold/flue/allergies, headaches, thyroid problems, skin problems. I think Triphala cured 40-50 percent of my problems in about six months.

I don't like going to doctors (unless it's emergency). I began my course again, and I plan to go for 12-24 months. I do mix other natural herbs in triphala, though, I only take 1 teaspoon in 1 glass of warm water, twice daily after about an hour of food/eating. Triphala is natural and has no side effects (other than diarrhea if overused).

anon300914
Post 10

Can triphala for a two month old baby cause a gastrointestinal problem? Or erosive gastritis? I was advised to apply the churna on his stomach because my son had an umbilical hernia. The allopathic doctors advised to wait for eight months when it will go on its own. But i was advised to go to a siddha, so I got this triphala churna and applied it at night.

anon284909
Post 7

Is triphala good for IBS (constipation?)Can it can be taken for a long period of time without any side effects? Does triphala make the body weak? Please give all the health benefits of triphala. I am taking baba ramdev's triphala guggule tablets. Is it good? Please let me know. -- Shadab R.

anon240143
Post 6

Triphala has been in use for thousands of years. The majority of body ailments emerge from the stomach, mainly skin, weight, hair loss etc. Triphala acts as a cleansing agent and builds immunity. You will find results after taking it over several months.

anon134817
Post 5

I wonder if it's true or you heard from others that triphala cures scabies? true or false or any other advice!

pharmchick78
Post 4

Excellent article! I think so many people get caught up in the whole herbs / alternative medicinal substances thing and forget that these things really can impact your body just as much as a pharmaceutical medication.

So although it may seem perfectly safe to take the triphala (or mullein leaf, or cleavers herb or chickweed herb) supplement because it has a pretty picture of a flower on the front, seriously, check with your doctor first.

Your body is unique, and it can react in a totally unexpected way even to the most blase of supplements, so you really need to work with your doctor when starting anything like this.

I know it's not as fun as just going to the store and stocking up on pretty bottles, but, in all seriousness, it could save your life. So make the appointment -- don't gamble with your health.

naturesgurl3
Post 3

Great article -- I would just like to add that, although triphala does have some unfortunate intestinal side effects, it really can have a lot of medical benefits.

For example, the diarrhea sometimes caused by triphala can sometimes be part of your detoxification process, in which case it is actually a good (albeit uncomfortable) thing.

However, side effects aside, triphala also has a number of benefits. It is very rich in antioxidants, and can also help with digestion and circulation (like ginger, with other side effects).

Also, triphala is known as having antibacterial and antiviral properties as well, and has also been shown to work well as an anti-inflammatory.

So even if you're scared at the thought of going through your toilet paper stash, do consider giving triphala a chance -- it really can do a lot of good for your body, provided you use it correctly, of course.

googlefanz
Post 2

Do you know anything about how triphala would interact with ginseng? I have been taking ginseng for its health benefits for several years now, but I have recently become interested in expanding the amount of medicinal herbs I take, and thought that with all the triphala benefits, it might be a good one to try.

So can you tell me what the appropriate triphala dosage would be to take for someone who's body is already used to taking a fairly substantial amount of ginseng, or if it is even appropriate to take triphala and ginseng together?

Thanks for the information.

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