Biological Name: Emblica officinalis;
Indian Gooseberry, Emblic myrobalan, Amla, Amalaki;
Parts Used: Fresh Fruit, Dried fruit, the nut or seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. Ripe fruits used generally fresh, dry also used.
The bark of Amla is gray in color and peals in irregular patches. Its feathery leaves, which smell like lemon, are of linear oblong shape and size 10 to 12 mm length and 3 to 6 mm width. Its flowers are monoecioius having greenish yellow color. They grow in auxiliary clusters and start appearing in the beginning of spring season.
Amla fruit, depressed globose with six vertical furrows, start developing by the middle of spring and the fruit ripen towards beginning of autumn. The color of the fruit is pale yellow.
Amla has been regarded as a sacred tree in India. The tree was worshipped as Mother Earth and is believed to nurture humankind because the fruits are very nourishing. The leaves, fruit and flowers are used in worship in India. In Himachal Pradesh the tree is worshipped in Kartik as propitious and chaste.
The active ingredient that has significant pharmacological action in amla is designated by Indian scientists as ‘phyllemblin’. The other ingredients present are gallic acid, tannins, pectin, and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
It is a tonic, has a haematinic and lipalytic function. It is one of the strongest rejuvenatives in Indian pharmacopoeia. It contains 30 times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges.
Fresh fruit is refrigerant, diuretic and laxative. Green fruit is exceedingly acid. Fruit is also carminative and stomachic. Dried fruit is sour and astringent. Flowers are cooling and aperient. Bark is astringent. The herb is also aphrodisiac, hemostatic, nutritive tonic, rejuvenative (for Pitta). It increases red blood cell count. It is one of the highest natural source of Vitamin C (3,000 mg per fruit)
Amla fruit paste is a major ingredient of Chavyanprash, a popular Ayurvedic tonic. Amla is known as amritphala in Sanskrit, which literally means the fruit of heaven or nectar fruit. It is so called because it is rich in many desirable properties. It was described in a 7th century Ayurvedic medical text. According to several scholars, the sage Chyawan is reputed to have restored his vitality with this fruit.
Benefits of Emblica officinalis
- Enhances production of Red Blood Cells. Strengthens teeth, hair and nails.
- Regulates Blood Sugar and prevents lipid peroxidation in cell membranes.
- Very Powerful anti-inflammatory herb. Useful in hemorrhoids, gastritis and colitis.
- Useful in eye problems especially in inflammations. Improves nearsightedness. Also useful for cataracts.
- Prevents premature greying of hair and makes them strong and free from dandruff.
- Increases immunity in the body. Protects against heart and nervous disorders.
Action & Uses in Ayurveda and Siddha.
Rasa, all except lavana, kashayam dominates, seetha veeryam, mathura vipakam, tridosha, haram, rasayanam, increases sukram.
Used for: Prameham, rakta-pittam, vata-raktam, giddiness, vertigo.
Externally used for: Mental disorders in paste and tailam to head. ‘Tara-dravam’.
Action & Uses in Unani
Refrigerant, heart- tonic, tonic to brain, prevents vicious humours in stomach and intestines. Used in chronic diarrhea, in the convalescent stage of typhoid and other fevers.
Conditions for which Indian Gooseberry is Useful For:
- bleeding, internal
- eye and lung inflammations, improve eyesight
- G.I. disorders
- gum bleeding (to stop)
- hair (premature gray/balding)
- heart complaints
- intestines, cleanses
- liver weakness
- mental disorders. The fruit is believed to a calming effect on the emotions.
- painful urination
- pulmonary tuberculosis
- spleen weakness
- stomach and colon inflammation
- to rebuild blood, bones, cells, and tissues
- urinary problems
Dosage and Uses:
Amla is used in the following forms: Decoction and Infusion of leaves and seeds; liquor, essential oil; confection; powder; paste and pickles. An astringent extract equal to catechu is prepared from the root by decoction and evaporation.
As a vermifuge:
Juice of the fruit with honey is used. The recommended dose is from 1 to 3 drachms.
To stimulate appetite Use pickles and preserves made from the green fruits.
For irritability of the bladder, in retention of urine and to the forehead in cephalalgia: Use a paste of the fruit alone or with Nelumbium speciosum, Saffron and rose water. Apply it over the affected region.
As a febrifuge and in diabetes Use an infusion of the seeds.
For hiccup and for painful respiration Use juice or extract of the fruit combined with honey and pipli.
For hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery Use dried fruit. A decoction prepared from the fruit combined with T. chebula and T. belerica is useful in chronic dysentery and biliousness, in doses of 1 oz. once or twice daily.
For diarrhea of children, a compound powder of the emblic seed, Chitrak root, chebulic myrobalan, pipli and palelone is given in suitable doses, according to age, in warm water twice daily, morning and at bed time.
Tender shoots given in butter-milk cure indigestion and diarrhea; green fresh leaves combined with curds have a similar effect.
Leaves are used as infusion with fenugreek seeds in chronic dysentery and as a bitter tonic.
Soak one tola of the seeds in a tinned vessel during the night. Grind it. Add cow’s milk and take. This is a good remedy for biliousness.
For anemia, jaundice and dyspepsia Use dried fruit with iron. A fermented liquor prepared from the root is used in jaundice, dyspepsia, cough, etc.
Take 20 to 40 grains of Dhatri Leha for anemia, jaundice and dyspepsia.
Dhatri Arista is used for jaundice, dyspepsia, indigestion, and cough.
For burning in the vagina. A mixture of the fruit juice and sugar is prescribed as a remedy for burning in the vagina. Juice of the bark combined with honey and turmeric is a remedy for gonorrhea.
To stop nausea and vomiting A powder of the emblic seed and red sandalwood is given with honey. to stop.
For bleeding of the nose Seed fried in ghee and ground in conjee is applied as Lep to the forehead to stop bleeding from the nose.
For scabies or itch Apply the seed burnt, powdered and mixed in oil for scabies or itch.
As a restorative invigorator Make a powder from an equal quantity of emblic seed and root of Withania somnifera. Add ghee and honey. Mix well. This is a restorative invigorator, especially in winter days.
Combine half a drachm each of emblic seed and gokhru. Grind and make them into a powder. Mix with 15 grains of essence of Gulancha. Give this in early morning with ghee and sugar. This is a nutrient tonic.
Caution: May cause acute diarrhea in Pitta doshas. No other information is available.