Alternate Title

  • Indian gooseberry

Related Terms

  • Aller-7, Aller-7/NR-A2, amalaki, amblabaum, amla (Phyllanthus emblica L.), Anna Pavala Sindhooram (APS), aonla, aovla, ascorbic acid, Bangladeshi medicinal plants, Chyawanprash, corilagin (beta-1-O-galloyl-3,6-(R)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-d-glucose), Curcuma longa L-EtOH, dgg16(1,6-di-O-galloyl-beta-d-glucose), dhatriphala, emblic, emblic myrobalan, Emblica officinalis, Emblica officinalis Gaertn., Emblica officinalis polyphenol fraction (EOP), EO-50, gallic acid, groseilier de Ceylan, immu-21, mirobalano, myrobalan emblic, neli nellikkai, niacin, norsesquiterpenoids, Ophthacareâ„¢, phyllanemblinins A-F, Phyllanthus emblica, Phyllanthus emblica L-EtOH, proanthocyanidin polymers, pyrogallol, riboflavin, tannins, thiamin, triphala, vitamin C.

Background

  • Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), also known as amalaki, is a small- to medium-sized deciduous tree native to India and the Middle East. In addition to its medicinal uses, the fruits are often eaten raw and used as ingredients for various Indian recipes.
  • In folk medicine, dried and fresh Indian gooseberry is used, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark, and flowers. Traditionally, Indian gooseberry is used alone and in combination with various Ayurvedic herbs for various medical conditions, including pancreatitis, hepatitis, inflammation, cancer, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, and stomach problems. It is also considered a natural adaptogen.
  • Indian gooseberry juice contains high levels of vitamin C. Ayurvedic preparations that contain Indian gooseberry may increase the concentration of ascorbic acid by up to three times.
  • Indian gooseberry has been studied for its effects on diabetes, eye diseases and high cholesterol. However, more research is needed before conclusions can be made in these areas.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Diabetes mellitus

    A combination product containing amalaki may improve blood sugar control compared to vitamin C alone. More studies testing amalaki alone are needed.

    Eye diseases

    A combination product containing amalaki may improve eye conditions resulting from infection, inflammation, or degeneration. More studies testing amalaki alone are needed.

    Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)

    Based on human research, raw amalaki may improve serum cholesterol levels. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to form clear conclusions about its safety or effectiveness in humans.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • Various doses have been studied, and there is no proven effective dose for amalaki. 1-2 capsules have been taken three times daily after meals.
    • For hyperlipidemia, 50 grams of raw amalaki has been used for four weeks.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for amalaki in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid with known allergy/hypersensitivity to amalaki (Emblica officinalis Linn, Phyllanthus emblica L.), its constituents, or members of the Phyllanthus family. Other members of the Phyllanthus family include Phyllanthus acidus (Otaheite gooseberry), Phyllanthus acuminatus (Jamaican gooseberry tree), Phyllanthus mirabilis, Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca piedra), and Phyllanthus urinaria (chamberbitter).
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Use cautiously in patients with low iron levels.
    • Use cautiously in patients taking anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) or anti-platelet drugs.
    • Use cautiously in patients with low blood sugar levels.
    • Use cautiously in patients with decreased immune system function.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Amalaki is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Amalaki may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin; anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®); and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
    • Amalaki may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar levels. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes should be monitored closely by qualified healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Amalaki may lower cholesterol levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower cholesterol.
    • Amalaki may shrink tumors and cause tumor cell death, but the effects of amalaki and tumor-killing agents are not well understood.
    • Amalaki may protect the liver from damage caused by drugs used to treat tuberculosis, such as rifampicin (RIF), isoniazid (INH), and pyrazinamide (PZA).
    • Amalaki may protect the heart from damage caused by doxorubicin.
    • Because amalaki reacts with iron, it may lower iron levels.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Amalaki may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs or supplements that increase the risk of bleeding.
    • Amalaki may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar levels. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes should be monitored closely by qualified healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Amalaki may lower cholesterol. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower cholesterol.
    • Amalaki may shrink tumors and cause tumor cell death, but the effects of amalaki and tumor-killing agents are not well understood.
    • Amalaki may prevent oxidation.
    • Amalaki may protect the liver from damage caused by drugs used to treat tuberculosis, such as rifampicin (RIF), isoniazid (INH), and pyrazinamide (PZA).
    • Because amalaki reacts with copper, it may lower copper levels.
    • Amalaki may affect immune function. Caution is advised in patients taking immunosuppressants.
    • Because amalaki reacts with iron, it may lower iron levels.
    • Amalaki may increase the amount of vitamin c when mixed with other fruit juices.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • D’Souza, P., Amit, A., Saxena, V. S., et al. Antioxidant properties of Aller-7, a novel polyherbal formulation for allergic rhinitis. Drugs Exp.Clin.Res. 2004;30(3):99-109.
    View Abstract
  • Jacob, A., Pandey, M., Kapoor, S., et al. Effect of the Indian gooseberry (amla) on serum cholesterol levels in men aged 35-55 years. Eur J Clin.Nutr. 1988;42(11):939-944.
    View Abstract
  • Jose, J. K. and Kuttan, R. Hepatoprotective activity of Emblica officinalis and Chyavanaprash. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;72(1-2):135-140.
    View Abstract
  • Kumar, M. S., Kirubanandan, S., Sripriya, R., et al. Triphala promotes healing of infected full-thickness dermal wound. J Surg.Res. 2008;144(1):94-101.
    View Abstract
  • Rajak, S., Banerjee, S. K., Sood, S., et al. Emblica officinalis causes myocardial adaptation and protects against oxidative stress in ischemic-reperfusion injury in rats. Phytother.Res. 2004;18(1):54-60.
    View Abstract
  • Sabu, M. C. and Kuttan, R. Anti-diabetic activity of medicinal plants and its relationship with their antioxidant property. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002;81(2):155-160.
    View Abstract
  • Srikumar, R., Parthasarathy, N. J., Shankar, E. M., et al. Evaluation of the growth inhibitory activities of Triphala against common bacterial isolates from HIV infected patients. Phytother.Res. 2007;21(5):476-480.
    View Abstract
  • Yokozawa, T., Kim, H. Y., Kim, H. J., et al. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) prevents dyslipidaemia and oxidative stress in the ageing process. Br.J Nutr. 2007;97(6):1187-1195.
    View Abstract