Amla Berry, known as Indian Gooseberry or Amalaki in Ayurveda, is a fruit that has long been revered in India as a nutritive tonic, blood purifier and restorative mucous membrane tonic.* One fruit contains as much vitamin C as 20 oranges. Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) fruit grows on a tree found wild and cultivated in all parts of India. It is said to possess five of the six tastes (sour, bitter, pungent, astringent, sweet), although sour is its main taste. Amla Berry is one of the three fruits in the Ayurvedic preparation Triphala, and it forms the base for the rejuvenating formula Chyavanprash. The fruits were used as a general tonic in the winter, to support healthy brain function in the elderly, for constipation, urinary problems and occasional anxiety, and they were used topically and internally to support the integrity of the mucosal membranes of the skin, gums, scalp and gastrointestinal tract.* Amla Berry is considered cooling in action, and it was used to quench excess heat and inflammation in the body, which is associated with the Pitta Dosha, or constitution type in Ayurveda. It has been used to support normal ranges of blood sugar, build blood and support liver function.
What is Amla Used For?
A clinical study found that supplementation with Indian Gooseberry fruit for 12 weeks supported normal cholesterol levels and a healthy inflammatory response in the cardiovascular system.* Another study showed that Amla Berry supports healthy blood sugar already within normal ranges.* It provides antioxidant support, which allows for it to support a healthy inflammatory response.* Amla Berry's high vitamin C content and polyphenols support healthy tissue integrity and normal cellular growth.*The fruits of Phyllanthus emblica comprise one of three berries that make up Triphala, a traditional formulation in Ayurvedic medicine. Triphala is used for a wide array of purposes, as it is considered a tri-doshic remedy, meaning that it is balancing to all constitutions and body types (vata, kapha, and pitta). Terminalia bellirica makes up 1/3rd of the Triphala formula, and is thought to be more supportive to the kapha dosha. Terminalia chebula makes up the 1/2 and is correlated with the vata dosha. Phyllanthus emblica, commonly called Amalaki, comprises the last 3rd, and is more correlated with the pitta dosha. The result of this tribunal of herbs is a tri-doshic formula that is used for an expanse of conditions, with a focus on the liver and gastrointestinal tract.*It is said of Triphala; “No mother? Do not worry so long as you have Triphala.” Indian people believe that Triphala can care for the internal organs as a mother cares for her children. References to the use of Triphala can be found in the Sushrut Samhita, which is dated to 1500 BC.
Traditional Health Benefits of Amla
Additional Information on this Herb
Hydrolysable Tannins: Emblicanin A and B, Punigluconin, Pedunculagin, Chebulinic acid (Ellagitannin), Chebulagic acid (Benzopyran tannin), Corilagin (Ellagitannin), Geraniin (Dehydroellagitannin), Ellagotannin Alkaloids: Phyllantine, Phyllembein, Phyllantidine. Phenolics: Gallic acid, Methyl gallate, Ellagic acid, Trigallayl glucoseFlavonoids: Quercetin, KaempferolVitamins C & E
Akhtar MS, Ramzan A, Ali A, Ahmad M. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Sep;62(6):609-16. Chen TS, Liou SY, Chang YL. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(1):19-25. Dass, Vishnu. (2013). Ayurvedic Herbology East & West. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press. Khanna S, Das A, Spieldenner J, C, and Roy S. (2015). J Med Food. 2015 Apr 1; 18(4): 415–420. Tiwari, Maya. (1995). Ayurveda: Secrets of Healing. Twin Lakes, Wi: Lotus Press. Williamson, Elizabeth (Ed.) (2002). Major Herbs of Ayurveda. London: Churchill Livingstone.
Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.
- This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.
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