Triphala extract is a well known medicinal herbal formula which is usually prescribed by Thai traditional doctors to adjust the physiological functions of the body. Previous studies have reported that Triphala has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihypercholesterolemia and anticancer properties. Though this herbal recipe is commonly used in Thailand, its human safety, especially in the oral form, has not been studied. We therefore conducted a clinical trial (Phase I).
This study evaluated the safety of administering the aqueous extract of Triphala to healthy volunteers at 2500 mg/d.
Design, setting, participants and interventions
An open-label, single-arm trial was conducted at Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani, Thailand, between July 2017 and July 2018. The study enrolled 10 male and 10 female healthy volunteers; all were given Triphala (water extract; five capsules of 500 mg each) orally, once a day, at bedtime, for four consecutive weeks.
Main outcome measures
Signs and symptoms, physical examinations, hematology and blood chemistry were assessed at the beginning of the trial and every week thereafter, for four consecutive weeks. After finishing the trial, on day 28, all volunteers were invited to a follow-up session on day 35 to evaluate the safety of the herbal recipe using the same measurements.
At the oral dose of 2500 mg/d, Triphala had no serious adverse effects in healthy volunteers. Moreover, it was found to have significantly improved the volunteers’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels on day 35 and also reduced their blood sugar levels on days 14 and 35.
We conclude that aqueous extract of Triphala is safe for healthy volunteers and that it elevates HDL-C levels and lowers blood sugar. Further clinical study should investigate its effects on HDL-C and blood sugar levels among the dyslipidemic and prediabetic groups.