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Amla is a powerful rejuvenating herb. Also known as Indian gooseberry, the fruit is reputed to have the highest content of vitamin C amongst all natural occurring substances in nature. It is useful in the treatment of ulcers and hyperacidity.

Amla is a light green fruit that grows on a small tree in wet forests of hilly areas. It has a sour taste and a sweet aftertaste. The amla fruit contains more than 80 per cent water.


Why should I be aware of this?

Amla is one fruit that is good for almost everyone on a regular basis. It reduces or eliminates the risk of environmental pollutants, normalizes cholesterol, reduces unwanted fat, cures ulcers, reduces or prevents cancer, has the highest content of vitamin C of any natural source, detoxifies the body, regulates digestion, has inhibiting effects against the HIV virus, promotes metabolic function and can produce these results in a dried, natural, unprocessed form.

Clinically, the fruit is full of citric acid. Amla also contains a good amount of calcium and minerals, such as iron and phosphorus, in nominal amounts. Some other important ingredients in amla are albumin, cellulose, fibre, carbohydrates, sugar and water.

How does this affect me?

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.

The amla fruit is acrid, cooling, and diuretic. Here are some of its health benefits --

  • Decreases body heat -- It is effective in decreasing body heat and in treatment of diseases associated with it. For example, it is used to cure burning sensation in the eyes and the soles of the feet, as well as for increased thirst and premature greying of hair, all of which are due to excessive body heat. Juice extracted from fresh amla is put in the eyes for curing burning and inflammation, and is also considered beneficial for the longevity of eyesight.
  • Digestive Disorders -- For digestive disorders such as acidity, loss of hunger and piles, the use of amla in the form of medicine is quite beneficial. The dried fruit is useful in treating haemorrhages, diarrhea and dysentry. Amla, being rich in fibre, regulates bowel movement and keeps constipation at bay.
  • Diabetes and Urinary Problems --Fresh amla juice is given on an empty stomach to cure disorders such as diabetes and urinary incontinence.
  • Immune Booster -- Amla is an immunity booster and regular use of amla powder in the morning can improve the body's resistance towards heart and nervous disorders.
  • To cure scurvy and low Haemoglobin -- Being rich in vitamin C, it is one of the best remedies for scurvy. Vitamin C is also required for absorption of iron in the body. It has been used traditionally as an effective treatment of anaemia.
  • Antioxidant --Amla helps in removing toxins from the body and strengthens the liver. It also helps in purifying blood.
  • Anti-ageing --Amla acts as a revitaliser. According to the Charak Samhita, the person who consumes amla regularly will live for a 100 years. It is a natural anti-aging agent.
  • Cholesterol --High serum cholesterol levels can be reduced by taking one teaspoon of amla powder with sugar every day on an empty stomach.
  • Anti-inflammatory --Leaf extracts have been found to be anti-inflammatory.

All about Amla


Suitability Suited for being raised in wasteland as well as arid, semi-arid, salt affected, coastal or ravine areas.
Climate A mature plant can withstand a temperature variation between 46 Deg C during hot summers to freezing temperature as low as zero degrees during winter.
Soil condition Grows well in saline, alkaline and degraded soils.
Season October to January
Life A tree continues to bear fruits up to 65 to 70 years.
Fruit The cultivated Amla is basically a tropical fruit and is highly sensitive to temperatures below 32 F.
Planting About 200 plants are raised in one acre. Quality planting material of the renowned Faizabad varieties and BSR1 (TNAU) are available in commercial nurseries.
Yield The tree begins to yield fruit from the third year onwards. 3 to 4 tonnes of fresh fruit per hectare.
Intercrops Amla as an intercrop with coconut gives yield of 40 kg per tree per year.

Amla and environment

Like many other herbs, amla has been in use for centuries in India. This hardy plant is suited for being raised in wasteland, be it arid, semi-arid, salt affected, coastal or ravine areas. Apart from being a source of income in these areas, it also adds to the much needed green cover.

What can I do about it?

Useful tips

  • The fruit is usually dried in a shaded area so as to retain as much of the vitamin C as possible. Dry amla is black in colour and wrinkled.
  • To get the maximum out of amla, it should be taken raw with a pinch of salt.
  • Ayurveda believes that amla helps to reduce all the three body humours—vatta (the air), pitta (the fire) and kapha

Home remedies

  • Taking amla powder with sugar-mixed milk is an effective remedy for acidity.
  • The powder of dried amla taken with honey twice a day is a good cure for cough.
  • A fermented liquor prepared from the fruits can be given to jaundic patients.
  • During summer, burning sensation of the skin and headaches associated with heat stroke can be relieved by applying a paste made of amla in milk.
  • For immature greying and falling of hair, wash hair with amla-soaked water. *Amla is an excellent tonic for strengthening hair roots and for maintaining hair colour. A very effective grandmother’s remedy for grey hair is to mix amla powder, shikakai powder and soapnut or reetha, boil these in water for an hour, and then rinsing hair with this water once it is cool.


  • Laboratory tests show that one amla fruit contains as much vitamin C as 2 oranges.
  • Research has shown that the root extracts of Amla can neutralise Snake venom.
  • Amla or Indian gooseberry wood is also used as firewod as it makes excellent charcoal.
  • A research team discovered that when amla is taken regularly as a dietry supplement, it counteracts the toxic effects of prolonged exposure to environmental heavy metals, such a slead, aluminium and nickle. These metals are prevelant in the environment of industrialised countries.[1]
  • Amla reduces unwanted fats because it increases total protein levels. It creates a positive nitrogen balance and significantly reduces free fatty acids. [1]



  • Murabba, an amla preparation, is considered to be a tonic and is taken over long periods of time for combating mental and physical fatigue.
  • Amla can also be consumed in the form of pickles and chutneys.
  • Amla and beetroot can also be made into delicious cutlets or tikkis.
  • Amla is also made into candy.
  • Amla ginger punch

Other Uses

  • The fruit and bark is also used in tanning of leather by the village tanners.
  • Amla wood makes excellent charcoal and is also used as firewood.
  • Amla wood is generally utilized for making small agricultural implements.
  • It is also used in making quality inks and ordinary dyes.

Additional Information

  • Research indicates that amla would be a very useful antioxidant for the prevention of age-related renal disease.
  • The invention of a composition useful for hepatocurative effect against hepatotoxicity induced by drugs. Hepatotoxicity (from hepatic toxicity) implies chemical-driven liver damage.
  • Antitumour activity of Emblica officinalis.
  • Emblica Officinalis: A Novel Therapy for Acute Pancreatitis — An Experimental Study
  • Effect of Emblica officinalis against alcohol-induced biochemical changes in plasma and red blood cells in rats
  • Amla and beetroot can also be made into delicious cutlets or tikkis.[1]
  • Amla wood is generally utilized for making small agricultural implements.[2]
  • Amla saru (Nellikayi saru)An interesting recipe
  • Amla Raita Recipe
  • For interesting ideas on how to cook amla
  • Amla wood is generally utilized for making small agricultural implements.[3]


  • Amla Oil
  • Herbal Remedies, M Ramanatham
  • Amla:Origin and Botanical Traits
  • Paper on the Protective effect of Emblica officinalis ethanolic extract in Human & Experimental Toxicology, Vol. 23, No. 11, 527-531 (2004)
  • Amla Research Update


  1. 1.0 1.1 Amalkai, the wonder fruit of Ayurveda

See Also