Medicinal herbs have long been used in our country for curing various ailments. Triphala is one such herb that has numerous health benefits. But can a woman take it during pregnancy or while nursing? Herbs should only be taken after consulting with a doctor or a lactation specialist when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Find out if it is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
What is Triphala and What Are Its Health Benefits?
Triphala is an Ayurvedic medicine which has been used since ancient times and is said to have multiple health benefits from curing dental cavities to stomach ailments. It translates to ‘three fruits’, and like its name, it is made up of a mixture of dried fruits of three different plants, namely, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. It is used to prevent many diseases and to treat the symptoms of inflammation and constipation. It’s possible health benefits include:
- Cleanses the colon.
- Filters and purifies the blood.
- Eliminates toxins present in the liver.
- Helps fight infections as it has high Vitamin C content.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It aids in weight loss.
- It is believed to be beneficial to cancer patients.
Can You Take Triphala While Pregnant?
The answer is ‘no‘. Triphala is not advisable for pregnant women. The reason is that it can increase the risk of miscarriage due to having a ‘downward flow’ movement. It is not even recommended for breastfeeding mothers. Amla, which is one of the constituents of Triphala, is recommended for lactation in new mothers but the other two, bibhitaki, and haritaki are dangerous. So it is better to take amla in a separate form during pregnancy if you really want to keep your antioxidant levels high.
Risks of Taking Triphala During Pregnancy
There are several possible risks of taking Triphala during pregnancy:
- Taking Triphala during pregnancy may cause diarrhoea and abdominal pain which can pose problems in pregnancy.
- It can increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy due to its downward pushing movement.
- It can also lead to a miscarriage due to stimulating muscle contractions in the uterus.
- If taken with blood thinning medications, it may affect their effectiveness.
- Taking Triphala churna during pregnancy can cause allergic reactions like swelling in the mouth or throat, skin itchiness and redness, and breath shortness.
- It can cause a healing crisis with symptoms such as nausea, headache, tiredness, and stomach upset.
- It can increase your baby’s heartbeat which is potentially harmful.
Can You Take Triphala While Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding mothers should not consume Triphala as the properties of this herb may pass on to the baby via breast milk. If you still want to take Triphala churna during breastfeeding, make sure to consult your obstetrician to know the extent of the risks and benefits.
Triphala has many benefits. It is a herbal remedy to cure many ailments, including preventing inflammation and as a treatment for constipation and dental issues like gum inflammation plaque buildup. But it is highly unsuitable and dangerous to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If consumed during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it may pose risk to your as well as your baby’s health. So, it is best avoided.
Also Read: Eating Walnuts in Pregnancy