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    Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Trikatu powder

    Trikatu powder for common cold

    Common cold or coryza is a common respiratory problem caused by a variety of viral infections; commonest among them is the influenza virus and its variants. Individuals show considerable variation in susceptibility and environmental exposure is a contributory factor.

    The word “cold” is a catch-all term that describes symptoms such as sneezing, wet nose, running nose, scratchy throat, heaviness in head, body ache, headache, indigestion, nausea, stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

    Frequent attacks of cold are a reflection of a temporary dip in immunity that is most often caused by insufficient rest; too many rich foods, stress and exposure to cold and dampness can also precipitate its occurrence. Frequent colds can make the individual vulnerable to secondary lower respiratory tract infections. Early and consistent attention, along with adequate time for convalescence, keeps all colds from becoming problematic.

    Trikatu is a simple herbal preparation with which common cold can be managed successfully taking prescribed precautions:

    1. Patients suffering from common cold should prevent direct exposure to cold wind, intake of heavy meals, drinking of cold water, suppression of natural urges of stools, urine and flatus, sleeping on the floor and during daytime.
    2. Light meals with spicy, sour and salty taste, curd, garlic, frequent drinking of warm water, fresh radish, brinjal (eggplant), and hot soup of green gram are helpful in common cold.
    3. Covering head with cap or any warm cloth, steam bath, head massage, gargles with warm water and avoidance of anger facilitate recovery from the common cold.

    Trikatu powder
    Trikatu powder is a simple formulation made by mixing fine powders of three commonly used herbal drugs in equal quantity namely dry ginger (Shunthi), black pepper (Maricha) and long pepper (Pippali). Trikatu, literally means ‘three pungents,’ because all the three ingredients are predominantly of pungent taste. All the three are spices used commonly in the kitchen and traded widely from India since ancient times.


    Trikatu powder consists of fine powder of three pungent drugs viz. Shunthi, Maricha and Pippali in equal proportion. Shunthi is the dried rhizome of ginger. Maricha is the dried fruit of black pepper and Pippali is the dried fruit of long pepper.

    English Name
    Latin Name
    Part used
    Dry ginger
    Zingiber officinale
    Black pepper
    Piper nigrum Linn.
    Long pepper
    Piper longum Linn.

    Main chemical constituents of Shunthi1: Essential oil, pungent constituents (gingerol and shogoal), resinous matter and starch.

    Main chemical constituents of Maricha2: Alkaloids (piperine, chavicine, piperidine and piplartine) and essential oil.

    Main chemical constituents of Pippali3: Essential oil and alkaloids (piperine, sesamin and piplartine).

    Quality standards


    Total ash

    Water soluble ash
    Alcohol/ ethanol soluble extractive

    Water soluble extractive

    Foreign matter
    Not more than 6%
    Not more than 1.7%
    Not less than 4.5%
    Not less than 10%
    Not more than 2%
    Not more than 6%
    Not more than 1% (acid soluble ash)
    Not more than 2%
    Not more than 5%
    Not more than 6% (acid soluble ash)
    Not less than 12%
    Not less than 11%
    Not more than 2%

    Method of preparation

    1. Take 50 grams of each of the three ingredients, dry them further to remove the moisture for easy powdering.
    2. Take an equal quantity of each drug of Trikatu and mix well in a dry container.
    3. Grind the mixture in a grinder or pulverizer till fine powder is obtained.
    4. Sieve the powder through 85 size mesh to remove the coarse fibers and other particles if any.
    5. Keep Trikatu powder in an air-tight dry container of glass or food grade plastic; store in a dry cool place away from direct sunlight. It is good to use the powder within one year.
    Dosage form: Blackish-brown fine powder.

    Therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, digestive, carminative.

    Dose and mode of administration

    Adult dose of Trikatu is 2 grams given three times a day preferably with warm milk or water or honey. In children the dose may be reduced according to the age and can be given in a dose of 125 mg to 500 mg thrice a day. Another way is – add Trikatu powder to one cup of milk, boil it for a few minutes and take it warm.

    Indications and uses

    Trikatu is used in combination with honey to alleviate diseases such as colds, rhinitis, cough, breathlessness, asthma, dyspepsia and obesity7. It also improves the digestive power.

    Precautions and safety aspects

      1. No side effect or toxic effect of Trikatu has been mentioned
    in the classical literature. Clinical studies have also shown no adverse effects in patients treated with recommended dose of Trikatu powder alone as well as in combination with other herbal preparations.
      1. Since Trikatu powder is hot in nature, large dose should be
    avoided as the patient may complain of burning sensation, burning micturition, etc. In such conditions, the use should be stopped immediately and the patient should be advised to take cooling agents and milk in plenty till the complaints subside completely.
      1. Take simple diet with warm, light, soft and liquid foods. Avoid cold drinks, cold juices, ice cream, spicy, oily and too dry foodstuff. Stay in a warm and well ventilated room.
      2. Warm saline gargles, steam inhalation and fomentation help in relieving cold symptoms.
      3. Medication with Trikatu is not advisable for pregnant women. However, it is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medication.
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    Item Reviewed: Trikatu powder Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Holy Krishna


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