Latin name: Emblica Officinalis
Common name: Amla, Amalaki, Dahtriphal
English name: Indian gooseberry
Habitat: Wild or cultivated throughout
tropical India from the root of Himalayas to
an altitude of 1000m.It is usually found in
Macroscopic identification: A small
or medium sized tree with branchlets 10-20 cm
long. Leaves are linear and small and feathery
and smell like lemon. Flowers are greenish yellow
in color, small in size and unisexual. Fruit
is globose, depressed, about 2cm in diameter,
with 6 prominent lines, greenish when tender
and yellow when mature, sour and astringent
followed by sweet taste.
Parts used: dried fruit, seed, leaves,
root, bark, and flowers.
Pharmacological action: Tonic, erythrogenic,
digestive, laxative, refrigerant, diuretic,
laxative, gastric acidity regulator, expectorant,
anti-inflammatory, restorative tonic, regulates
blood sugar, aphrodisiac, nervine tonic, haemostatic,
stomachic, antibacterial, antiviral.
Action and uses in Ayurveda: Rasa,
all except lavana, kashayam dominates, seeth
veeryam, mathur vepakam, tridosha haram, rasayanam,
iacreases sukram, dha prashamani, cakshusya,
kesya, medhya, rochni, dipani, hrdya, vrihya,
Indications: bleeding, piles, anemia,
diabetes, gout, vertigo, obesity, all types
of diabetes, hyperacidity, eczema, psoriasis,
hoarse voice, sore throat, inflammation, hiccoughs,
hepatitis B, urethritis, sterility, gingivitis,
glaucoma, diarrhea, constipation, active fistula,
loss of hair, melanoma, inflammation of lungs,
dyspepsia, headache, biliousness, gastritis,
osteoporosis, liver and splenic weakness, palpitation,
Photochemical: Iron, calcium, silica,
magnesium, B12, C, K. Fruit pulp contains moisture
81%, 5% proteins, fat1%, mineral matter 7%,
fiber3.4%, carbohydrates 14%, calcium 0.05%
and potassium 0.02%, iron 0.5mg/100g, nicotinic
acid2mg/100g and vitamin C 600mg/100g. Fresh
amla contains about 20 times more vitamin C
than orange juice. Friuit is high in pectin
& phyllemblin. Dry fruit contains tannins
and 3-4 colloidal complexes. Other components
are phyllembic acid, lipids, gallic acid, emblicol,
mucic acid, ellagic acid, and glucose. Seeds
contain a fixed oil, phosphatides, and some
essential oil with linolenic, linoleic, oleic,
stearic, palmitic, myristic acids, and proteolytic
and lipolytic enzymes.
Properties and action:
Rasa: amla, kasaya, madhura, tikta,
Guna: ruksha, guru
Karma: tridosh-har, vrsya, rasayan, chaksusya.
Preparations: decoctions, infusions,
powder, and paste.
Therapeutic classification index:
Amla has action on following anatomical systems
- Central nervous system: it is used
as a memory booster. Powder of seeds is used
to enhance intellect. Infusion for
seeds is used for rejuvenation.
- Blood and haemopoeitic tissue: dried
amla is used to check bleeding. Amla powder
is taken with loh bhasam helps in anemia.
Pregnant women are advised to take ripe fruit
of amla throughout pregnancy to combat anemia.
It has erythrogenic properties i.e.
it enhances production of red blood cells.
Infusion of seeds is used as a blood purifier.
- Cardiovascular system: It stimulates
the heart, produces coronary dilation and
peripheral vasoconstriction. Therefore, its
action is adrenergic but it is neither completely
like adrenaline nor like ephedrine. Phyllemblin,
an active principle isolated from the 80%
alcoholic extract of Emblica Officinalis acts
on cardiovascular and other systems partly
like adrenaline and partly like ephedrine.
The investigations support the use of this
drug by Avicenna (Sheikh Bu Ali Sina) in the
treatment of cardiovascular diseases and its
present use in cardiovascular and chest diseases
in the Indian systems of medicine
- Digestive system: dried amla is appetizer.
Infusion of seeds is carminative. Leaves with
buttermilk help to cure indigestion. Trifala
powder is an equal mixture of dried fruits
from three plants, namely Terminalia chebula,
Terminalia bellirica and Emblica Officinalis.
This is used to co-ordinate digestion, nutrient
absorption and metabolic processes. Fresh
juice is mild laxative (helps the functioning
of liver.). Decoction of amla leaves is used
in stomatitis. Dried fruit powder controls
- Respiratory system: Infusion of seeds
is used in asthma and bronchitis
and tuberculosis. Fresh fruit is
used in inflammation of the lungs. Fruit pulp
of Emblica Officinalis is a rich source of
vitamin C and provides vitamin C in most stable
form. Its bioavailability in cases of pulmonary
tuberculosis is much better than synthetic
vitamin C. It possesses powerful expectorant
activity by directly stimulating the mucous
cell of the bronchial tree. In addition the
extract has mild antibacterial activity.
- Skin: it is used in eczema and psoriasis.
- Nutrition and metabolism: amla juice
in different combinations is used to control
blood sugar therefore is used in diabetes.
It contains 600mg/100g of vitamin C and is
used as an immunomodulator and to treat
- Genito-urinary system: fresh juice
is diuretic. Paste of amla leaves if applied
on abdomen helps in dysuria and excessive
menstrual bleeding. Powder of raw fruit
is used in chronic vaginal infection.
- Musculoskeletal system: the whole
plant prevents sudden muscular\r contraction,
is antispasmodic, and relieves pain.
- Eye: it is considered as a prime
herb for treatment of eyes. In inflammation
of eyes it lowers down pita without
hampering the other two doshas. It
improves near sightedness and is used in cataract
as it has antioxidant properties and free
radicals stand as one cause of cataract. Fresh
juice from ripe amla is instilled in eyes
in conjunctivitis and its decoction
is used to wash eyes in severe infection and
- Immunity system: seedís infusion
is a tonic and is used in general debility.
It is known to improve immunity of the body
and helps to control infection. The plant
as a whole promotes resistance towards illness
and counteracts infection. It is a potent
anti-inflammatory herb and is used in piles,
gastritis, colitis etc. Emblica Officinalis
strengthened the defense mechanisms against
free radical damage induced during stress.
The effect of Emblica Officinalis appeared
to depend on the ability of target tissues
to synthesize prostaglandins.
- Hair: it prevents graying of hair
and promotes their growth making them strong
and free from dandruff.
Anti tumor activity of amla:
Aqueous extract of amla was found to be
cytotoxic to L 929 cells in culture in a dose
dependent manner. Chyavanprash an herbal
preparation of amla was found to reduce ascites
and solid tumors in mice induced by
DLA cells. Researches confirm the activity
of herb on melanoma.
Hepatoprotective activity of amla:
Hepatoprotective activity of amla and
chyavanprash were studied on carbon tetrachloride
(CCL4) induced liver injury model in rats.
Both were found to inhibit hepatotoxicity
produced by acute and chronic CCL4. The level
of liver lipid peroxides (LPO), glutamate
pyruvate- transaminase (GPT) and alkaline
phosphatase (ALP) was remarkably reduced and
so was the fibrosis prevented.
Antioxidant activity of amla:
The antioxidant activity of amla resides
in tannoids f fruits of plant, which have
vitamin C like properties, rather than vitamin
C itself. The antioxidant activity of tannoid
active principle of amla consisting of emblicanin
A (37%), emblicanin B (33%), punigluconin
(12%), and pedunculagin (14%), was investigated
on the basis of their effects on rat brain
frontal cortical and striatal concentrations
of oxidative free radical scavenging enzymes,
superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)
and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and lipid
Activity of amla in acute pancreatitis
An increased amount of smooth endoplasmic
reticulum and small condensed granules embedded
in vacuole with healthy lacinar cells were
seen in dogs with acute necrotising pancreatitis.
Effect of amla on serum cholesterol:
It was seen that amla reduces serum cholesterol,
aortic cholesterol and hepatic cholesterol
significantly in rabbits.
Effect of amla on lipids:Amla prevents
lipid peroxidation in cell membranes therefore
is used in obesity.
Amla a source of vitamin C:
It is probably the richest source of vitamin
C. the fruit juice contains nearly 20 times
as much vitamin C as orange juice. A tannin
containing gallic acid, egallic acid and glucose
in its molecule and naturally present in the
fruits prevent the oxidation of vitamin and
renders fruit valuable in vitamin C.
Fresh juice 10-20 ml
Capsule Amalaki contains pure and concentrated
Dosage of one capsule twice a day
Package size: 60 capsules
- Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica,
Vol.I, pg 480-484
- Prof P.V Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol
II, pg 758-760
- The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India, Part
I, Vol.I, pg 4-5