Botanical Name :Phyllanthus emblica
Species: P. emblica
Synonyms: Emblica officinalis
Common Names :Amalaki, amla , Indian gooseberry, aamla, amali
Habitat : Phyllanthus emblica is native to India, Nepal, Burma, China (South), Malesia to Australia (North), Thailand, Indochina, Laos (Khammouan).
Amla or Amloki is a tropical fruit which has tremendious medicinal importance.
Phyllanthus emblica tree is small to medium in size, reaching 8–18 m (26–59 ft) in height, with a crooked trunk and spreading branches. The branchlets are glabrous or finely pubescent, 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long, usually deciduous; the leaves are simple, subsessile and closely set along branchlets, light green, resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, quite smooth and hard on appearance, with six vertical stripes or furrows.
Ripening in autumn, the berries are harvested by hand after climbing to upper branches bearing the fruits. The taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous. In India, it is common to eat gooseberries steeped in salt water and turmeric to make the sour fruits palatable
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The amla fruit is eaten raw or cooked into various dishes. In Andhra Pradesh, tender varieties are used to prepare dal (a lentil preparation), and amle ka murabbah, a sweet dish indigenous to the northern part of India made by soaking the berries in sugar syrup until they are candied. It is traditionally consumed after meals. In Kerala Well Bed is lined with “Emblica Timber” to get clean and sweet water for drinking & cooking.
Amla or Emblica Officinalis is a natural, efficacious, an antioxidant with the richest natural source of Vitamin C. The fruit contains the highest amount of Vitamin C in natural form and cytokine like substances identified as zeatin, z. riboside, z. nucleotide.Its fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic and laxative. The dried fruit is useful in hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery.It is antibacterial and its astringent properties prevent infection and help in the healing of ulcers. It is used as a laxative to relieve constipation in piles. It is used in the treatment of leukorrhea and artherosclerosis.
Amalaki is referred to in ancient text as the best medicine to prevent aging. It is a very strong rejuvenative which is believed to be the richest natural source ofantioxydant vitamin C, with up to 720 mg/100g of fresh pulp or up to 900 mg/100g of pressed juice (of a heat-stable form which does not lose its value through processing.) Although only one inch in diameter, the Amalaki fruit has the same antiscorbutic value as two oranges. Amalaki is also effective for respiratory complaints. The fruit juice and its sediment, and residue, have antioxidant properties due to Vitamin C content. Amalaki is a carminative and stomachic. It is used in Ayurveda as a cardiotonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic, antidiabetic, cerebral and gastrointestinal tonic. It raises the total protein level and increases the body weight due to positive nitrogen balance. It has been found to have an anabolic effect.
Amla is highly nutritious and is an important dietary source of Vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. The edible fruit tissue contains protein concentration 3-fold and ascorbic acid concentration 160-fold compared to that of the apple. The fruit also contains considerably higher concentration of most minerals and amino acids than apples. Amla fruit ash contains chromium, 2.5 ; zinc, 4; and copper, 3 ppm. Presence of chromium is of therapeutic value in diabetes. Fruit also contains phyllemblin and curcuminoides. The fruit contained 482.14 units of superoxide dismutase/g fresh weight, and exhibited antisenescent activity. The seed oil contains 64.8% linolenic acid and closely resembles linseed oil. Not surprisingly, Amla’s reputation is supported by scientific studies confirming its immunity-boosting properties. Clinical studies were conducted to investigate the effect of Amalaki in amlapitta (gastritis syndrome). Amalaki churna was given in 20 cases in a dose of 3g., thrice a day for seven days. The drug was found effective in 85 per cent of cases. Cases of hyperchlorhydria with burning sensation in abdominal and cardiac regions and epigastric pain were benefited. (extracted from herbabprovider.com)
A compilation of applications for emblica fruits(Amla) was carried out by several Ayurvedic writers during the last 25 years. The main indications are:
- Digestive system disorders: dyspepsia, gastritis, hyperacidity, constipation, colic, colitis, hemorrhoids
- Bleeding disorders: bleeding hemorrhoids, hematuria, menorrhagia, bleeding gums, ulcerative colitis
- Metabolic disorders: anemia, diabetes, gout
- Lung disorders: cough, asthma
- Aging disorders: osteoporosis, premature graying of hear, weak vision
- Neurasthenia: fatigue, mental disorders, vertigo, palpitations
According to the Ayurvedic system of classification, the fruit has these properties (4):
Rasa (taste): sour, astringent are dominant, but fruit has five tastes, including sweet, bitter, and pungent
Veerya (nature): cooling
Vipaka (taste developed through digestion): sweet
Guna (qualities): light, dry
Doshas (effect on humors): pacifies all three doshas: vata, kapha, pitta, especially effective for pitta
Because of its cooling nature, amla is a common ingredient in treatments for a burning sensation anywhere in the body and for many types of inflammation and fever; these are manifestations of pitta (fire) agitation.
* Being an effective heamostatic agent, the juice of amla fruit taken twice a day with 250 mg giloy satva (extract of tinosporia cordifolia), an effective remedy for bleeding piles and non-specific epistaxis.
Amla juice, if given along with 500 mg of turmeric powder cures burning sensation of urine and also helps to allay recurring urinary tract infections.
* In viral jaundice during winter, amla juice can be taken after dissolving it with a little honey. It corrects liver functions, besides improving appetite.
* Generally, the dried fruit is put in water for a night or so, and its water content is a popular hair wash. Their paste is applied for relief from various skin diseases.
* The dried powder of amla fruit, if stirred daily with fresh juice of amla for 21 days, is known as amlaki rasayan. This fortified preparation is used both as medicine and tonic in the various phases of the diseases and also during convalescence period. Ancient acharyas have even described it as an anti-aging formula.
.Amla is also used in various other forms as murabbas, pickles and chutneys. Flowers, root and bark of its tree are also medicinal, but nowadays the twig of amla is also used for tanning and dyeing. Its timber is useful for miscellaneous domestic purposes, as it stands well under water and is used in making wells in rural areas. Due to its unlimited benefits and multipurpose uses, it seems that it is the kalpa vriksha of yore
The popularity of emblica fruits, especially for use in making Chyawanprash and Triphala, has led to the cultivation of amla trees, despite widespread distribution of the wild trees. A problem has arisen whereby collectors take a short-cut in collecting the fruits; instead of climbing the trees and carefully hand picking each fruit, large branches containing numerous fruits are lopped off, which can eventually kill the trees. As a result, some areas have been virtually denuded of these valuable trees. Government and non-government agencies in India are undertaking efforts to educate collectors to avoid damaging their economic future by such practices and is encouraging development of plantations of amla trees that are devoted specifically to yielding raw materials for medicinal products. In addition to the fruit pulps, the fruit seeds, and the tree’s leaves, branches, and bark can all be collected for production of health care and tanning products.
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Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
(extracted from itmonline.org/amla.htm and http://www.ayurvediccure.com/blog/2005/11/amla-amalaki.html)