Botanical Name : Emblica officinalis, Euphorbiaceae
Other Names :Indian Gooseberry, Emblic myrobalan, Amla, Amalaki
Amla is one of the most celebrated herbs in the Indian traditional medicine system, Ayurveda. Amla's traditional uses include as a laxative, eye wash, appetite stimulant, restorative tonic, and to treat anorexia, indigestion, diarrhea, anemia, and jaundice. Amla is becoming increasingly well known for its unusually high levels of Vitamin C, which is resistant to storage and heat damage due to cooking.
It is found natively in India. Indian gooseberry has been used as valuable ingredient of various medicines in India and abroad.
Chemical composition / key active constituents
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. Glutamic acid, proline, aspartic acid, alanine, and lysine are 29.6%, 14.6%, 8.1%, 5.4% and 5.3% respectively of the total amino acids. The pulpy portion of fruit, dried and freed from the nuts contains: gallic acid 1.32%, tannin, sugar 36.10%; gum 13.75%; albumin 13.08%; crude cellulose 17.08%; mineral matter 4.12% and moisture 3.83%. Amla fruit ash contains chromium, 2.5 ppm; zinc 4 ppm; and copper, 3 ppm.
Key Active Constituents
Emblicanin A&B, Puniglucanin, Pedunculagin, 2-keto-gluconolactone (Vitamin-C equivalents). Ellagic acid, Hexahydroxy-diphenic acid and conjugates.
Emblica officinalis is effective in the treatment of amlapitta [peptic ulcer]and in dyspepsia. The fruits exhibit hypolipiadaemic and antiatherosclerotic effects in rabbits & rats. The fruit extract has antimutagenic activity on certain directly acting mutagens in some strains of Salmonella typhimurium.The extract of amla also has antimicrobial properties. Amlaki is an antioxidant with free radical scavenging properties which may be due to the presence of high levels of super oxide dismutase.
Indian Gooseberry or Amla is used for all Pitta diseases, all obstinate urinary conditions, anemia, biliousness, bleeding, colitis, constipation, convalescence from fever, cough, diabetes, gastritis, gout, hepatitis, hemorrhoids, liver weakness, to relieve stress ,osteoporosis, palpitation, spleen weakness, tissue deficiency, vertigo rebuilds blood, bones, cells, and tissues. It increases red blood cell count and regulates blood sugar; heart tonic, cleanses mouth, stops gum bleeding, stops stomach and colon inflammation; cleanses intestines, strengthens teeth, aids eyesight, worms, acidity, eye and lung inflammations, ulcerations, G.I. disorders, painful urination, and internal bleeding.
References: CAS, IP, Ayurveda book etc.
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- Roy, A.K. et. al., Int. J.of Pharmacog., 1991, v. 29(2), 117-126.
- Mand, J.K. et. al., J. Res. Edu. in Ind.Med., 1991, v., 10(2), 1-7.
- Ghosh, A. et. al., Int. J. of Pharmacog., 1993, v. 31(2), 116-120.
- Mathur, R. et. al., J. of Ethnopharmacol., 1996, v., 50(2), 61-68.
- Singh, B.N. and Sharma, P.V., J.Res. Ind. Med., 1971, 5, 223.
- Ramaswamy, Minor Forest Products, Mysore, 1945,55; Damodaran & Nair,Biochem.J. 1936,30,1014;Giri,Indian J. med. Res., 1939, 27, 429; Mitra & Ghosh,Ann. biochem.1941, 1, 307; Srinivasan, loc. cit.
- Chawla et. al., 1982, Indian J. Med. Res. 76 (Suppl.), 95-98.
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