Trikatu - A combination of three bioavailability enhancers

Rahul Kaushik


Trikatu, as per Ayurveda’s Bhaisajyaratnawali is a compound herbal formulation containing three bitter herbs mixed together in equal quantities. Dried fruits of Piper nigrum (Maricha) and Piper longum (Peepli) and dried rhizomes of Zingiber officinale (Sunthi) are used to prepare this miraculous formulation. It is prescribed in Ayurvedic system of medicine for treatment of tastelessness, digestive impairment, and diseases of nose and throat such as chronic rhinitis/sinusitis, skin diseases, asthma, cough, frequent urination, obesity, and Filariasis. Trikatu is also added in various Ayurvedic formulations with a view to restore the disturbed “tridoshas- vatta, pitta and kapha.†It calms down the increased Vata and Kapha and increases the Pitta. It has pungent (katu) taste, hot (ushna) potency, light (laghu) and dry (ruksha) quality, and digestive (amapachaka) therapeutic effect. Modern pharmacological studies also revealed that Trikatu possesses the capability to enhance the bioavailability of various phytoconstituents and synthetic drugs if incorporated with them thereby helping in achieving the therapeutic goals. Apart from traditionally known health benefits, Trikatu also possesses immunomodulatory, antiviral, expectorant, carminative, hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory potential. Simply it is concluded that Trikatu is a miraculous combination which is needed to be explored more exhaustively to solve the bioavailability issues of allopathic, ayurvedic, and other traditional systems of medicines.

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