Trikatu is a herbal ayurvedic remedy that combines seemingly mundane larder ingredients to create a powerhouse remedy for everything from digestive problems to arthritis. This ancient blend makes the most of the warming effects of the spices it contains to rev up your metabolism, stimulate digestion, purge your body of toxins like mucus, and leaves you feeling like a new person. If that sounds promising, that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Trikatu Is A Combination Of Black Pepper, Long Pepper, And Ginger
A spice-laden ayurvedic formulation, the pungent trikatu elements can get your taste buds tingling while also doing wonders for your body in more ways than one. Made from a heady blend of black pepper or Piper nigrum, long pepper or Piper longum, and ginger or Zingiber officinale, it is prescribed by ayurvedic practitioners to treat multiple diseases courtesy the range of biological activities the piperine in the peppers has on mammals like us!1 The churna or powder of trikatu is said to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, digestive, pain-relieving, and expectorant – the main properties of the formulation that you will find tapped in the list of remedies to follow.2 Here’s a more detailed look at its health benefits that you’d want to make the most of.
id="improves-digestion-and-detoxifies-your-system">1. Improves Digestion And Detoxifies Your System
Trikatu churna is renowned for its ability to help you with digestion, so if you are having trouble in that department, look no further for much-needed relief. Long pepper helps rejuvenate your digestive system as does ginger, while the black pepper helps purge toxins. Together, these remedies combine in trikatu to improve food absorption, gastric function, appetite, and digestion overall. So if you are struggling with a sluggish digestive system, bloating, constipation, or other digestive problems like flatulence, you should consider trikatu.3
2. Improves Immunity And Fights Microbes
Studies also show that that trikatu churna has strong anthelmintic properties that help tackle parasites. The formulation has the potential to stimulate the immune system to counter parasitic activity in the body and expel them.6 Another study also confirmed its antifungal properties against fungal species like Mucor
3. Boosts Metabolism And Helps With Weight Loss
Trikatu may be just the ticket for someone with slow metabolism and can also help tackle weight problems or obesity. Ayurveda looks at trikatu as a heating remedy that can rev up your metabolism. As you’ve already seen, it helps boost digestion and expels toxins from your body. This stands you in good stead if you are obese or overweight or have a sluggish metabolism.8 Combine that with its ability to help fat metabolism in your liver and you have yourself a good weight loss aid.
In one study, over a duration of 3 months, taking 2 gm of trikatu churna twice daily could help bring about a drop in weight and body mass index (BMI) as well as hip circumference in people with dyslipidemia. Their lipid profiles also improved. Combining the churna with 20 gm of aloe vera pulp brought about an even greater reduction in both weight and BMI.9
4. Helps Ease Respiratory Problems
Trikatu combined with an equal amount of honey and anise seeds is used as a remedy for springtime allergies or mucus in the respiratory system. The paste can be taken twice or thrice a day, a teaspoonful at a time.10
5. Boosts Liver Function And Helps Treat Jaundice
Trikatu can also help those with liver diseases. In one animal study, trikatu was found to have a hepatoprotective effect, countering liver damage when the subjects were exposed to toxic carbon tetrachloride.12 Trikatu is considered especially beneficial if you have obstructive jaundice, a condition that causes a blockage of bile flow to the intestine, resulting in symptoms of dark yellow urine and yellowish skin and eyes.13
id="fights-inflammatory-conditions-like-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-gout">6. Fights Inflammatory Conditions Like Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gout
Autoimmune inflammatory disorders can often be hard to beat. For those with the aches and pains from rheumatoid arthritis, some days can be a real struggle. If you’re looking for respite, the anti-inflammatory properties of trikatu may be just what the doctor ordered. Animal studies back up trikatu’s claim of being a potential anti‐arthritic remedy.14 It may help properly modulate your body’s immune response while cutting the characteristic inflammation associated with the disorder.15
Gouty arthritis or gout causes your joints to become swollen, red, and painful due to the excess uric acid buildup in the body that forms sharp crystals in your joints.16 Animal studies show that trikatu was able to stabilize biochemical changes like enzyme levels that go awry in anyone with gout. It also eased inflammation in affected test animals. In addition, the remedy had a pain-relieving or analgesic effect.17
7. Reduces Risk of Atherosclerosis And Hyperlipidemia
When plaque from fat, cholesterol, and other substances builds up in your arteries over time, it can cause them to narrow. This condition known as atherosclerosis is potentially dangerous because it doesn’t just reduce how much oxygen or blood your body can supply to your vital organs, it also raises the risk of your developing a blood clot that could cut off flow to the brain and heart.18
Which is where trikatu comes in. The herbal remedy has the ability to reduce levels of both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as well as triglycerides and increase your “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – in effect, helping you maintain a healthy cholesterol ratio. This cuts your risk of a high cholesterol problem or hyperlipidemia as well as atherosclerosis.
Animal studies have backed up this with evidence and later human studies show promise too.19 For instance, in one study, patients with hypercholesteremia or high cholesterol levels who took 3 gm of trikatu churna twice a day after meals along with lukewarm water experienced improvement in their lipid profile in 3 months’ time. They also did not experience any adverse side effects.20
8. Improves Sexual And Reproductive Health
Trikatu may help you in the bedroom as it is believed to be a natural aphrodisiac. This warming formulation also strengthens the function of your reproductive organs, energizing them and boosting reproductive health in both men and women.21
9. May Treat Skin Diseases
Trikatu is also traditionally used for treating skin diseases.22 For instance, it is used in many ayurvedic regimens to treat psoriasis or eczema. Ancient ayurvedic texts describe the use of trikatu along with ayurvedic remedy haritaki as well as jaggery and sesame oil for a period of one month to cure skin diseases. Pitta problems like itchiness of the skin can also be improved by having trikatu.
10. May Help Improve Effectiveness Of Other Medicines
Trikatu is also a bioenhancer – a substance that helps make other drugs become more readily available and effective in the body. Such substances are usually given to patients along with their regular medication to help that treatment become more effective. For example, rifampicin, an antibiotic used for treating tuberculosis and leprosy, is increasingly coming up against mutant strains of bacteria resistant to it. However, if combined with trikatu, some of the effectiveness of the drug is restored. This makes the herbal remedy a vital addition to the treatment arsenal for such illnesses in the face of drug-resistant bacteria.
Similarly, if you need to take the anti-seizure medication phenytoin, heart medication/beta blocker propranolol, or respiratory ailment medication theophylline, trikatu could help boost their effectiveness. That said, further and wider human trials are needed to establish this benefit.23 24 So do not discontinue your medication or alter your dosage of any of these drugs. Instead, consult your doctor about how best to combine the benefits of the mainstream and alternative remedies.
Using Trikatu Safely
Trikatu is typically taken in small doses combined with either water, or honey, or milk. For adults taking it on a regular basis, the amount of powder taken should be very small – often less than even a quarter of a teaspoon. Doses are typically under 1 gm though you may sometimes need to take more.25 For children, the dosage may be as little as 125 mg. Pregnant women should avoid the remedy altogether, though nursing mothers may be cleared to take it after consulting their doctor.26
Do check with a trained ayurvedic practitioner on how much you should take and how often. Having very large doses may result in a burning sensation internally or burning sensation while urinating due to the heating properties of the remedy. If this happens to you, take cooling agents like milk to soothe the body immediately, discontinue the medication, and consult your doctor on next steps, modified dosages, or alternative remedies.27
|↑1||Johri, R. K., and U. Zutshi. “An Ayurvedic formulation ‘Trikatu’ and its constituents.” Journal of ethnopharmacology37, no. 2 (1992): 85-91.|
|↑2, ↑26, ↑27||Vohora, Divya, and S. B. Vohora. Safety Concerns for Herbal Drugs. CRC Press, 2015.|
|↑3, ↑5, ↑8||Malvankar, P. R., and M. M. Abhyankar. “Antimicrobial activity of water extracts of Trikatu churna and its individual ingredient.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 3, no. 4 (2012): 1087.|
|↑4||Chanda, Debabrata, Karuna Shanker, Anirban Pal, Suaib Luqman, Dnyaneshwar Umrao Bawankule, Dayanandan Mani, and Mahendra Pandurang Darokar. “Safety evaluation of Trikatu, a generic Ayurvedic medicine in Charles Foster rats.” The Journal of toxicological sciences 34, no. 1 (2009): 99-108.|
|↑6||Reddy, B. Uma, and Y. N. Seetharam. “Anthelmintic activity of Trikatu churna and its ingredients.” Ethnobotanical leaflets2009, no. 4 (2009): 13.|
|↑7||Reddy, B. Uma, and Y. N. Seetharam. “Antimicrobial and analgesic activities of Trikatu Churna and its ingredients.” Pharmacologyonline 3 (2009): 489-495.|
|↑9||Singh, Bhavna, and S. D. Upadhyay. “IJAMSIInternational Journal of Ayurveda & Medical Sciences.”|
|↑10||Khalsa, Karta Purkh Singh, and Michael Tierra. The way of ayurvedic herbs: The most complete guide to natural healing and health with traditional ayurvedic herbalism. Lotus press, 2008.|
|↑11||Haas, Nibodhi. Health and consciousness through Ayurveda and Yoga. MA Center, 2014.|
|↑12||Kumar, SV Suresh, and S. H. Mishra. “Hepatoprotective Activity Of The Trikatu Churna-An Ayurvedic Formulation.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 66, no. 3 (2004): 365.|
|↑13, ↑24||Patwardhan, Bhushan, Gururaj Mutalik, and Girish Tillu. Integrative Approaches for Health: Biomedical Research, Ayurveda and Yoga. Academic Press, 2015.|
|↑14||Murunikkara, Vachana, and Mahaboob K. Rasool. “Trikatu, a herbal compound mitigates the biochemical and immunological complications in adjuvant‐induced arthritic rats.” International journal of rheumatic diseases 20, no. 3 (2017): 298-308.|
|↑15||Murunikkara, Vachana, and MahaboobKhan Rasool. “Trikatu, an herbal compound as immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis–an experimental study.” Cellular immunology 287, no. 1 (2014): 62-68.|
|↑17||Murunikkara, Vachana, and MahaboobKhan Rasool. “Trikatu, a herbal compound that suppresses monosodium urate crystal‐induced inflammation in rats, an experimental model for acute gouty arthritis.” Cell biochemistry and function 32, no. 1 (2014): 106-114.|
|↑18||Atherosclerosis. National Health Service.|
|↑19||Sivakumar, Valsala, and S. Sivakumar. “Effect of an indigenous herbal compound preparation ‘Trikatu’ on the lipid profiles of atherogenic diet and standard diet fed Rattus norvegicus.” Phytotherapy Research 18, no. 12 (2004): 976-981.|
|↑20||Kumawat, Vinod Bihari, Surendra Kumar Sharma, Uttam Kumar Sharma, and Sudhir Sharma. “Effect of trikatu compound in hypercholesteremia – a clinical study.” Environment Conservation Journal 16, no. 1&2 (2015): 57-61.|
|↑21, ↑25||Choudhury, R., A. Kumar, A. Reddy, and A. Garg. “Thermal neutron activation analysis of essential and trace elements and organic constituents in Trikatu: An ayurvedic formulation.” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 274, no. 2 (2007): 411-419.|
|↑22||Chopra, A. K. Medicinal plants: conservation, cultivation and utilization. Daya Books, 2007.|
|↑23||Dudhatra, Ghanshyam B., Shailesh K. Mody, Madhavi M. Awale, Hitesh B. Patel, Chirag M. Modi, Avinash Kumar, Divyesh R. Kamani, and Bhavesh N. Chauhan. “A comprehensive review on pharmacotherapeutics of herbal bioenhancers.” The scientific world journal 2012 (2012).|