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What Are the Dangers of Triphala?

by
author image Christine Garvin
Christine Garvin is a certified nutrition educator and holds a Master of Arts in holistic health education. She is co-editor of Brave New Traveler and founder/editor of Living Holistically... with a sense of humor. When she is not out traveling the world, she is busy writing, doing yoga and performing hip-hop and bhangra.
What Are the Dangers of Triphala?
Triphala cleanses with few side effects. Photo Credit hand with glass image by Digimist523 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Triphala is an Ayurvedic compound herb that has been used for hundreds of years to cleanse the body. This powder supplement has a similar consistency to fiber supplements, but is considered to be effective for all three doshas, or body types, in Ayurveda. Triphala is generally considered a safe herbal preparation, yet it may cause some minor side effects similar to those caused by high fiber foods or supplements, such as loose stools, gas, and bloating. It should also not be used by pregnant women.

Loose Stools

One possible side effect of Triphala is loose stools. Because the mixture stimulates the intestinal walls and acts as a laxative, softened stools are a normal occurrence when taking the product. This effect may be higher for some than for others, and according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, may cause diarrhea-like symptoms. Should these occur, Triphala should be stopped immediately. If it reintroduced later, it should be introduced in smaller doses.

Gas and Bloating

Another possible side effect of Triphala is gas and bloating. The fruit mixture is high in fiber, which is not digested in the gastrointestinal tract. However, bacteria found in the colon do feed on fiber, and according to gastroenterologist Jackson Siegelbaum, these bacteria produce the gas. Similar to loose stools, if gas and bloating occur to an extreme, smaller doses of Triphala should be consumed, or the product should be discontinued.

Avoid During Pregnancy

Triphala should not be used during pregnancy. As with many supplements, there has not been sufficient testing to prove it is safe during pregnancy. Also, according to Ayurveda For You, Triphala is considered to have a "downward flowing" energy that may stimulate miscarriage.

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