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Main Articles – see Emblica officinalis

**//Emblica officinalis//**

**Family name:** Euphorbiaceae

**Other names:** Indian Gooseberry, Amla

**Additional botanical name:** Phyllanthus emblica

**Part used:** Fruit. Secondary: seed, leaf, bark, flower

V↓P↓K↓ Especially used for Pitta. Some say increases kapha.

**Guna:** Laghu, Ruksha, Shita

Tends to be sattvic herb.

**Rasa:** All taste except Lavana (salty), primarily Amla (sour)

**Virya:** Shita - cooling

**Vipak:** Madhura - Sweet



**Main Actions:**



One of the three main ingredients of Triphala

Sanskrit Name: Amalaki syn: shriphala, dhatrika (nurse), amrita (ambrosia), shita, gayatrei, vrishya, rocani, tishyaphala, pancarasa, vayastha (retaining youth), shiva (beneficial to all nature)

Brief Botanical Description: small to medium sized tree growing throughout India up to 4500’

Constituents: Fe, Ca, Mg, silica, B12, C. K = fruit pulp contains moisture 81%, protein .5%, fat .1%, mineral matter .7%, fiber 3.4%, carbohydrates 14%, calcium .05%, and potassium .02%, iron 1/2mg/100g. nicotinic acid.2mg/100g and vitamin C 600mg/100g.Fruit is high in pectin, phyllemblin is there. Fresh amla contains about 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice and equal in antiscorbutic value to 1-2 oranges. Dried fruit have tannins and 3-4 colloidal complexes. Other components are phyllemblic acid, lipids, gallic acid, emblicol, mucic acid, ellagic acid, glucose. Seeds contain a fixed oil, phosphatides, some essential oil with linolenic, linoleic, oleic, stearic, palmitic, myristic acids. Proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes are in seeds.

Rasa / Tastes: A M Ks Kt T; sour, sweet, astringent, pungent, bitter Virya / Energy: Shita; cooling Vipaka / Post-Digestive Effect: Madhura; sweet Pharmacological Actions: (Prabhava: diuretic, purgative, digestive, longevity) erythrogenic, pacana, rasayana, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative, gastric acidity regulator, expectorant, antiinflammatory, restorative tonic, regulates blood sugar, aphrodisiac, nervine tonic, hemostatic K = daha prashamani, cakshushya, keshya, medhya, rocana, dipana, hridya, rasayana, vrisha, shukrala, svedahara, medohara, bhagnasandhanakara (heals fractures), pramehaghana; prajasthapana—promoting reproduction; diuretic, laxative, stomachic; bark is astringent. Flowers are cooling and aperient. Phyllembin in fruit pulp potentiate the action of adrenaline in vitro and in vivo. It has mild depressant action on CNS and spasmolytic action. Extract of fruit is antibacterial and antiviral; tridoshic

Indications: bleeding hemorrhoids, anemia, gout, obesity, diabetes– all types (herb of choice), hyperacidity, eczema, psoriasis, hoarse voice, sore throat, inflammation, hiccoughs, hepatitis B, nonspecific urethritis, sterility, anemia, gingivitis, glaucoma, , diarrhea, constipation, active fistula, hair loss multiple voice, threatening melanoma K = inflammation of lungs, eyes. Fixed oil for hair loss. Seeds used for asthma, bronchitis, biliousness. Dried fruit: hemorrhage, diarrhea, dysentery, anemia (with iron), jaundice, dyspepsia; acute bacillary dysentery as syrup with lemon juice; in triphala: laxative, headache, biliousness, dyspepsia, constipation, piles, enlarged liver, ascites. Juice of bark combined with honey and turmeric for gonorrhea.

Contraindications / Cautions: (OK for pregnancy but triphala is not.) acute diarrhea

Affinity: rakta, mamsa, meda, shukra; rasayana to all dhatus; purisha vs; eyes, spleen, liver, lungs Working With Amalaki Emblica officinalis Euphorbiaceae

Sources: Gogte, Nadkarni, Kapoor, Paranjpe

Some applications:


As lepa gf: headaches, retention of urine (over bladder) As juice gf: eye wash, eye disorders (cold infusion of fresh fruit) As decoction for hair wash, eye wash As powder gf toothpaste Make an infusion and apply to scalp or skin as hair tonic or complexion enhancer


N/S: strengthens bone marrow, senses, brain tonic, improves memory and pacifies sadhaka pitta

D/S: as powder or infusion improves taste and appetite, antacid, constipation; small dose is constipating while large one is laxative As juice gf: hematemesis, epistaxis As lehyam with candana gf pittaja vomiting As juice with rock candy and pinch of cumin seed powder gf hyperacidity

C/S: as powder gf: cardiac tonic and hemostatic As powder with lauha bhasma gf anemia

M-S/S: as lehyam with ashvagandha gf rasayana

Rs/S: as powder gf cough, asthma, TB As powder with pippali and honey gf painful respiration, hiccup

U/S: as powder gf diuretic, diabetes (P)

Rp/S: aphrodisiac, helps in conception, spermatorrhea, menorrhagia, uterine debility

In/S: as powder gf skin diseases

Some Preparations: Triphala Cyavanaprasha Brahmirasayana Amalaki Rasayana: Equal parts amalaki, gokshura, guduchi (3oz.) with ghritam madhu (5oz) Amritprasha Rasayana Curna: excessive body heat, to nourish tissues (gokshura, guduchi, = pts.) with honey and ghritam



• Second richest source of vitamin c (cherries are first richest source)

• Extremely rich source of phenolic compounds = anti-oxidants - protect against production of free-radicals (which causes aging)

• Used primarily as pitta tonic

• History of being used for hepatitis, vitamin c stimulates interferon relapse for hepatitis


• Affects the small intestine (a site of pitta), is a blood tonic and increases RBC (red bood cell) count

Bronchodilator- tx asthma, good tonic for the lungs

• Increases hair growth when applied topically. Also for early balding (pitta)

• Regulates blood sugar level

• Nutritive tonic. It is main ingredient in chavanprash.

• It is a good source of vitamin B12

Tx: • tx Diarrhea, dysentery

• Asthma - can combine with mullein = verbascum, turmeric (//haridra//) , bhringaraj - to cool heat and calm mind for emotionally induced asthma.

A traditional rejuvenative used to cleanse and nourish the bodily tissues (dhatus). Balancing for all doshas, especially Pitta.


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family name- euphorbiacease part used- fruit (secondary- seed, leaf, bark, flower) Rasa: all taste except salty, primarily sour Virya: cool Vipak: sweet with so many tastes- tends to be sattvic herb Action on Doshas: V v P v K v (some say increases kapha) 1 of 3 main ingredients of triphala

Amalaki is one of the herbs mentioned in all the ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. It is cited in various archaic Sanskrit scriptures like Rgveda, Skanda Purana, Ramayana, Garuda Purana, Prabhu Sarhhita as well as in the famous play, 'Vikramorvaslya' of the great dramatist, Kalidasa. The famous story of Cyavana an ancient seer quotes that he was rejuvenated by AsvinTkumaras by a preparation, chiefly contained amalaki fruits. Since then the prepration is known as Cyavanaprasa. This speaks of the ancient heritage of amalaki in India.

Amalaki is called DhatrJ or nurse, as it resembles a nurse or mother in its healing and soothing properties. It is also called as santa - pacifying, vayastha - retaining youth, amrta - an ambrosia, vrsya - an aphordisiac, siva - beneficial to the entire nature etc. Maharsi Caraka refers to it as one of the foremost amongst the rasayanas. The rasayana or a rejuvenator, bestows a long life, intelligence, memory, health, youth, glow, voice, complexion, strength and sex desire. (Caraka Sarhhita, Cikitsa, A4). Amalaki is an all-round tonic and rejuvenator. It can be given to a person with any type or constitution, male or female, to youngsters as well as to elders. It is the 'universal rasayana'. The herb is also categorised as praja-sthapana - promote reproduction, vrsya - augments seminal fluids, vayahsthapana - delays ageing, virecanopaga - helps Iaxation. (Caraka Sarhhita, Sutra, A4). Amalaki is recommended as the drug of choice in the treatment of diabetes (Astariga Hrdaya, Uttara Sthana, A-40, 46/58) and maintain the youth.

The plant grows throughout India upto 4,500 feet. The tree is small to medium sized, deciduous, with a crooked trunk. The bark skin is blackish green, thin and exfoliating in small, papery thin flakes. The leaves are 10-12 cm. long and 2 to 6 cm in width, closely set along the branchlets. The leaves resemble to those of tarmarind leaves. The flowers are greenish yellow in colour, in axillary, fascicles on the leaf-bearing branchlets. The furits are fleshy, pale yellow in colour, glabrous and 1-25 cm. in diameter. There are six obscure vertical furrows, which enclose three 2 seeded crustaceous cocci. The Banarasi variety of fruits is supposed to be the best. Each fruit of this variety weighs approximately 45 to 50 gm and has a small seed with more pulp. The ripened fruit, which has a reddish tinge on its greenish yellow colour is selected for medicinal purpose.

The fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C. Ten grammes of fresh fruits contain 600-900 mg of Vitamin C. Surprisingly, each fruit has twenty times more Vitamin C than the each orange has. Recent work has enlightened that the fruits lose Vitamin C more when dried in the sun than in the shade. Ellagic acid is present in the bark.

Triagalloylglucose, terchebin, cori-lagin, ellagic acid from fruits (Chem. Abstr. 1969, 71, 10285b). Seed fat contained linoleic acid (64.8 %) and closely resembled linseed oil (Chem. Abstr. 1973, 78, 156602,a); ellagic acid and lupeol from roots (Indian J. Chem. 1977, 15 B, 291) Indole acetic acid and four other auxins-al, a3, a4 and a5-detected in immature fruit; two growth inhibitors Rl and R2 also detected in the fruit (Chem. Abstr. 1981, 95, 147283q).

Ayurvedic Properties

Though amalaki has five tastes {rasa) viz. sour, sweet, astringent, bitter and pungent, it is predominantly sour and has a sweet post digestive effect (vipaka) and a cold potency (virya). It alleviates all the three dosas - vata, kapha and pitta. Chiefly it is used to alleviate pitta diseases. It posseses laghu (light), ruksa (dry) and sita (cold) attributes. When used externally, it relieves the burning sensation on the skin, and is beneficial to the skin and hair.


Medicinal Uses

The roots, leaves, seeds and chiefly the fruits are used for medicinal purpose. Amalaki is used both internally as well as externally. Externally, the fruit juice is used for a hair-wash to prevent premature greying and hair-fall. It imparts a beautiful lustre and smoothens the hair. Medicated oil of amalaki can be used for the same. The decoction of its fruit juice cleanses and heals the wounds faster. The paste of fruit pulp is applied on the skin in burning sensation. Its juice instilled in the eyes, is benefical in ocular problems. The skin of bark chewed, alleviates the dental aches.

Internally, amalaki is used in innumerable diseases. It enhances appetite, improves digestion, relieves constipation, combats hyperacidity. Amalaki\s recommended in the treatment of skin diseases, raktapitta, hepatitis, anaemia diabetes, urinary disorders and menorrhagia. In giddiness due to aggravated pitta, fruit juice mixed with equal amount of rock candy is very useful. The same can be used in urinary complaints like burning sensation and frequency. Hyperacidity can be well controlled with a mixture of amalaki juice, rock candy and a pinchful of cumin seed powder.

'Rasayana Curmi is used, with great benefit, to alleviate the excessive body heat and is an anabolic to nourish all the tissue elements - dhatu. It can be prepared by taking in euqal parts, the powders of dried fruits of amalaki. goksura and


guduci stem. Daily, early in the morning, 3 gm of rasayana curna mixed with 5 gm of honey and ghee is licked. It works well as a rejuvenator. Amalaki is said to be the herb of choice for diabetes. (Astariga Hrdaya, Uttara Sthana, A-40/ 48). On this property of amalaki, more scientific studies are required. Amalaki and haritakihave many similar properties. Number of preparations of amalaki are available for its rejuvenative property. It is also the best nervine tonic. It is beneficial to augment memory and

intellect by alleviation of vitiated sadhaka pitta. Amalaki is used in raktapitta with unfailing results. As a rejuvenator, it is a very rich medicine.

It has attracted the attentation of the entire world due to its properties of enhancing the longevity and preserving the youth.

Ayurvedic Preparations

Triphalacurna, Cyavanaprasa, Dhatrileha, Brahmya rasayana, Amala-kyadi curna, Amalaki rasayan etc.

2 M.P.


Ayurvedic Institute, Herbal Database, 1997

Michael Dick, Ayurvedic Herbology Handbook, 2002: Rev. 5/8/2004: p. 15

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family name- euphorbiacease part used- fruit (secondary- seed, leaf, bark, flower) Rasa: all taste except salty, primarily sour Virya: cool Vipak: sweet with so many tastes- tends to be sattvic herb Action on Doshas: V v P v K v (some say increases kapha) 1 of 3 main ingredients of triphala

Properties: • second richest source of vitamin c (cherries are first richest source) • extremely rich source of phenolic compounds = anti-oxidants- protect against production of free-radicals (which causes aging) • used primarily as pitta tonic • history of being used for hepatitis, vitamin c stimulates interferon relapse for hepatitis • anti-microbial • affects small intestine- pitta, blood tonic- increase RBC count • bronchodilator- tx asthma, good tonic for lung • increases hair growth when applied topically, early balding- pitta • regulate blood sugar level • nutritive tonic- main ingredient in chavanprash • good source of vitamin B12

Tx: • tx diarrhea, dysentery • asthma- can combine with mullein= verbascum, haridra- turmeric, bhringaraj- to cool heat and calm mind for emotionally induced asthma (SpelmanHrb0699)

Ayurvedic Institute, Herbal Database, 1997

Michael Dick, Ayurvedic Herbology Handbook, 2002: Rev. 5/8/2004: p. 15

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AMLA FRUIT Latin: Emblica officinalis Sanskrit: Amalaki English: Indian gooseberry WHAT IT DOES: Amla fruit is sour, sweet and astringent in taste, and cooling in action. It is a rasayana tonic that promotes longevity, and is especially good for the heart. It fights upper respiratory infections. RATING: Gold SAFETY ISSUES: None known 2001 Alan Keith Tillotson 11 STARTING DOSAGE: Dried powder: two grams two times per day 4:1 Concentrated powder extract: one gram two times per day Amla fruit comes from Emblica officinalis, a tropical and sub-tropical medium sized tree that grows in arid areas. It is very highly regarded for traditional use as a heart tonic and as a rasayana for long life. Its tonic qualities are very strong, lending it medicinal value in the treatment of numerous diseases, including fever, cough, asthma, anemia, hemorrhage, and alcoholism. Amla is one of three ingredients in the famous Ayurvedic balancing tonic formula called triphala (three-fruit compound). It also comprises about 80% of the famous medicine called Chyvanaprasha, an ancient l tonic made in the form of a jam that improves mental and physical well-being in people of all ages. Modern research shows amla to contain an extremely high concentration of bioflavonoids and a stable form of Vitamin C, and this may partially account for its reputation. TAM doctors called this herb “ tridosaghna,” meaning “an agent that stimulates the brain to subdue over-balance in the three controlling systems called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.” At our clinic we often add amla fruit to formulas when a gentle cleansing action is needed, especially in sensitive and weakened patients. Research highlights Tannin compounds found in amla fruit were tested for their effects in the brains of rats on three important free radical scavenging enzymes. Levels of all three increased, and there was a parallel decrease of oxidative stress (Bhattacharya et al. 1999). This illustrates that the antioxidant activity of amla is due to more than its high vitamin C content, a common misconception. Daily administration of a water extract of amla fruit protected laboratory mice from arsenic damage (Biswas et al., 1999), while another study confirmed that amla fruit strengthened bodily defense mechanisms against stress-induced free radical damage. The researchers reported that the amla appeared to cause an increase in the ability of target tissues to synthesize prostaglandins, which are essential to a host of important regulatory health functions (Rege et al., 1999). Amla may also possess cancer-fighting properties, as illustrated by several studies. Extracts of three Ayurvedic herbs, amla fruit, tamalaki (Phyllanthus amarus) and katuki rhizome (Picrorrhiza kurroa) significantly inhibited the ability of carcinogenic chemicals to induce liver cancer. Without the herbs, the incidence of tumors was 100% (Jeena et al., 1999). In another study, a group of mice that received dietary supplementation of amla fruit along with a known carcinogen experienced a significant reduction in cell poisoning when compared to mice that received only the carcinogen (Nandi et al., 1997). Studies have also indicated an ability to protect against elevated cholesterol levels and the resultant arterial damage. Fresh juice of amla fruit reduced the atherosclerotic effects of a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet in rabbits, as illustrates by the regression of aortic plaques (Mathur et al., 1996). An earlier human study also showed a decrease in cholesterol with amla. However, two weeks after discontinuing amla fruit, cholesterol levels rose again (Jacob et al., 1988). Also, all three fruits in triphala 2001 Alan Keith Tillotson 12 were shown to lower cholesterol significantly, although vibhitaki fruit (Terminalia belerica) proved slightly stronger than amla (Thakur et al., 1988).

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Category: Ayurvedic Herbs

amalaki.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)