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Triphala, adulteration, contamination, phytochemical variation
Use of herbal formulations is increasing day by day. Triphala also witnessed the increase in demand due to its various therapeutic uses. This led to the availability of a number of brands in the market. Being a plant based formulation it is highly vulnerable to adulteration and contamination that can finally alter the efficacy of the product and may pose serious health risks for consumers. In this study various physicochemical and phytochemical parameters were studied to assess the quality of the marketed product. Morphological and microscopic characteristics of the Triphala powder samples showed the adulteration of powdered endocarp of the ingredients. A variation was also observed in pH and moisture values. Excluding one or two samples, ash values were found within permissible limits. Samples of all categories of manufacturers were found contaminated with various fungal species and the majority of them exceeding the permissible limit of 103 spores/g for the medicinal formulation of internal uses as set by the World Health Organization. A remarkable variation in therapeutically important phytoconstituents was also observed among the samples of popular brands. Findings of this study suggest for formulation of stringent quality control guidelines for herbal formulations so that maximum benefits can be obtained from these traditional formulations.
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