Triphala with Trikatu - Why and How?

Triphala with Trikatu - Why and How?
Apr 2023

Triphala is a simple combination of three fruits - Amla, haritaki and Vibhitaki. Trikatu is a combination of three spices - black pepper, long pepper and ginger. These six are used together in unique health conditions. They both have many synergies. Let us find out.

Trikatu Uses

Trikatu is a combination of 3 spices:

Ginger, black pepper and long pepper in equal proportions.
Benefits of Trikatu are -
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pippali marica sunthi tribhi: tryusanamucyate |
dipanam slesma medoghnam kustha pinasanasanam ||
jayedarocakam samam mehagulma galamayan |
sarmgadhara samhita 6/12-13

pippali marica sunthi - Long pepper, black pepper and ginger
tribhi: - these three
tryusanam ucyate are called trayushana or trikatu.

dipanam - Trikatu kindles digestive fire
slesma medoghnam - cures Kapha and fat disorders
kustha - useful in skin diseases
pinasa nasanam - cures rhinitis
jayet - wins over (cures)

arocakam - anorexia
samam - ama - indigestion disorders
meha - urinary tract disorders with increased urinary output
gulma - abdominal tumors
galamayan - throat disorders

Triphala Benefits

Triphala is a combination of 3 fruits.
Amla, Haritaki and Vibhitaki

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triphala kaphapittaghni mehakusthahara sara |
caksusya dipani rucya visamajvaranasini ||40||

Bhavaprakasha Nighantu Haritakyadi Varga

kaphapittaghni - Balances Kapha and Pitta dosha

meha- useful in urinary tract disorders with increased urinary output
kusthahara - useful in skin diseases
sara - promotes movement in channels, acts as mild laxative
caksusya - improves eyesight, useful in eye disorders
dipani - kindles digestion strength
rucya - improves taste, useful in anorexia
visama jvara nasini - useful in the treatment of recurrent fever / intermittent fevers

Common strengths

Both are extremely useful in respiratory disorders such as cough, cold, allergies and asthma
Both are useful in digestive disorders to improve digestion strength. Hence extensively used in anorexia and ama conditions.
Both are useful in skin diseases - The trikatu helps to relieve itching, improve blood circulation whereas triphala is useful in non healing wounds, to dry up excessive secretions and oozing.

Both act against fat and hence are useful in obesity and high cholesterol.
In case of atherosclerosis and blockage of the blood vessels of the brain etc., Trikatu being hot and pungent opens up the channels, clears out cholesterol and internal clotting. Triphala, being hot also helps to ease out the blockage but it also plays an important role in healing the damage caused to blood vessels. This unique combo-action is extremely useful in vascular insufficiency disorders, where the blood pipes are blocked. Eg: Deep vein thrombosis, injuries causing internal clots, petechial hemorrhages, chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral artery disease, renal artery disease affecting kidneys, intestinal ischemic syndrome, affecting intestines etc.

Both are extremely useful in diabetes and urinary tract disorders. They stimulate metabolism and pancreas. They both are useful to clear out infection of the urinary tract. Blood vessel damage and delayed wound healing are important complications of diabetes, which is very well managed by the combination of Trikatu and Triphala.

How to take them together?

It largely depends on the disease and patient condition.
General dose is - 2 grams of each of these with honey or ghee, along with a cup of water, before or after food.
For a healthy person, there is no real need to take it. But 1 gram of each, mixed with honey or ghee, with a cup of water can be taken during the rainy and spring seasons, for one month.
If one has a sensitive stomach, then ghee is suitable with it. If one has cough, cold, allergy and weak digestion then honey is suitable with it.
Who should not take it?
It is not commonly used in very high Pitta, highly sensitive stomach and in people with extreme burning sensation.

In Ayurvedic medicines

Trikatu with Triphala together in many Ayurvedic medicines:
We see many instances where these two are used together. Below are some examples.
1. Triphala Ghritham - An herbal ghee with trikatu and triphala along with many other ingredients, used mainly in eye disorders.
Here, Triphala innately is useful in treating eye disorders, trikatu, being hot and penetrative, helps to improve the blood circulation to the eyes. Trikatu makes this herbal ghee more easily digestible. Triphala ghrita is often used externally. Low portion of Trikatu in it helps to relieve itching to a small extent (although, hotness exposure to eyes should be restricted on many instances).

2. Chinchadi Lehyam
Used extensively in South India for the treatment of jaundice, liver disorders, anemia and fever. It stimulates the liver, opens up the blocked channels in the digestive tract, in obstructive jaundice, Rasavaha srotas (nutrition channels) and Raktavaha srotas (cardio-vascular channels).
It contains iron Bhasma. Trikatu along with Triphala helps in better absorption and utilization of iron in the body.

3. panchagavya ghritham / panchakavya ghritham-
A siddha system ghee medicine used extensively for the treatment of sinusitis, anemia, psychiatric disorders, and jaundice.
Trikatu and Triphala again help in better digestion and absorption of this ghee based medicine, opens up blocked channels and stimulates Pitta dosha.

4. Navayasa Lauha

A medicine containing iron bhasma, used extensively to treat anemia, obstructive jaundice, skin diseases and cardiac disorders.
Apart from opening up channels and easing the absorption of iron, Trikatu and Triphala also help in improving blood circulation to the skin and relieve itching, as in case of allergic dermatitis. It is useful in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia and associated skin conditions such as skin pallor, itching, impetigo, boils and candidiasis.

Honorable mentions:

Shringarabhra rasa- Useful in ascites, liver cirrhosis, cough, asthma and obesity

Nityanada ras - Used in elephantiasis, tumors, cysts, lymphadenitis, malignancy, hemorrhoids
Panchanimba churna - used in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, sinus, fistula, diabetes, etc.
Punarnavadi Guggul - Used in the treatment of gout, sciatica, low back ache, swelling and inflammation.
Eranda Pak- used in the treatment of Vata diseases, abdominal pain, edema, inflammation, ascites, urinary tract diseases, rheumatoid disorder