Mother nature has gifted humankind with different medicinal and culinary plants so humans can live healthy and disease-free lives. Indian Gooseberry is among such plants. Keep reading to find out the health benefits of Indian Gooseberry.
Half an amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist sangha by the great Indian emperor Ashoka.
Common Names for Indian Gooseberry
Mainly known by two scientific names — Emblica Officinalis and Phyllanthus Emblica. The following are names in different languages.
- English: Indian Gooseberry
- Hindi: Amla
- Urdu: Amla
- Sanskrit: Amalaki
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Geraniales
- Family: Phyllanthaceae
- Genus: Phyllanthus
- Species: Phyllanthus Emblica
It’s highly regarded in traditional medicine systems such as Unani and Ayurveda. It’s believed in Indian mythology that Phyllanthus Emblica was the first tree to be created in the universe, but some might think otherwise.
Native to India and Pakistan but also grows in tropical and subtropical regions of Srilanka, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, China, and Southeast Asia.
It’s widely used in preparing different traditional medicines, fresh or dried, and it is believed to strengthen the defense system against diseases.
It’s a medicinal plant known for its therapeutic properties against various diseases like ulcers, Diabetes, heart problems, Diabetes, and liver issues.
Indian Gooseberry contains different chemicals such as tannins, alkaloids, and phenols. Tannins and Phenols are reported to perform high biological activities, especially its’ fruit, is rich in nutrition with vitamin-c and amino acids.
A.k.a Amla is rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Gallic acid
- Ellagic acid
Indian Gooseberry is an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Amla also possesses potent free radical scavenging, anti-mutagenic, and immunomodulatory activities.
What does an Indian gooseberry look like?
A small, round edible fruit with a yellowish-green color with a pit and thin peel.
Its’ fruits are fleshy and weigh from 5 to 25 grams. The wild Indian Gooseberries are small in size and weight, whereas cultivated one’s are bigger in size and weight.
The stone of this fruit has six ribs on it, containing six seeds inside.
Tree size is small to medium with an approximate height of 8 to 18 meters.
It has a sour, slightly bitter, and astringent taste. When eaten raw, it can taste more bitter, but when pickled, it becomes sour.
This fruit is used in different forms as powder, dried, and fresh for cooking and medicinal supplement.
Nutritional value of Indian Gooseberry
As known for its nutritional qualities it has a good amount of Vitamin C, Minerals, and Polyphenols.
These nutritional qualities enhance the health benefits of Indian Gooseberry and are the reason for its antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Some of the major nutritional facts are:
- Carbohydrates: 14.1 grams
- Proteins: 0.5 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fibers: 3.7 grams
- Mineral Matter: 0.7 grams
- Calcium: 0.05 grams
- Phosphorus: 0.02 grams
- Iron: 1.5 milligram
- Vitamin C: 600 milligram
- Water: 81.2 grams
- Nicotinic Acid: 0.2 milligram
The above values are according to a 100 grams sample.
About 28% of Tannins are distributed in the whole plant. This tannin is essential because it gives antioxidant properties to Indian Gooseberry.
Indian Gooseberries plant and its fruits have been extensively studied. The Phyllanthus Emblica, a scientific name for — Indian Gooseberry, contains Alkaloids, Phenols, and Tannins.
Studies have revealed that these gooseberries contain Gallic Acid, Corilagin, Geraniin, and Furosin.
One of the studies discovered that the concentration of — Vitamin C is highest among Lemons, Tangerines, and Oranges, which is about 478.56 milligrams per 100 milliliters.
It’s high in Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), and the high density of Ellagitannins makes its taste bitter.
Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry
Unique properties such as antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, gives it a high spot in traditional medicine and a hot topic for modern-day medicine research.
Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberries are tremendous, and it’s widely used as a supplement in different traditional and local medicine systems.
These gooseberry are famous for reducing bad fats called triglycerides and does not affect good HDL lipoprotein cholesterol.
It’s also famous for diarrhea, Heartburn, and Osteoarthritis treatment. Its ability to fight and aid in cancer treatment has been validated in various studies. Most of the experiments were done on animals, specifically rats. These studies showed encouraging results, but no human trials were performed.
Following are the primary uses and health benefits of Indian Gooseberry.
Vitamin C and Immune System benefits
Vitamins are essential nutrient for the human body. Vitamin C in Indian Gooseberries is an effective co-factor of antioxidants and an essential regulatory enzyme for human genes.
It contains about 600 to 800 milligrams of vitamin per 100 grams. Which is an impressive figure. Source.
Vitamin C helps protect the skin against environmental oxidative stress by supporting epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promoting the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin.
A proper and regular vitamin C intake helps strengthen the immune system and prevent infections. Source.
Vitamin C in Indian Gooseberries promotes the immune system and helps fight prolonged and chronic inflammations, which may or may not be induced due to toxic lifestyles and junk food.
Note: Do not cross safe usage limits.
Recover Liver Inflammation and Damage
Indian Gooseberries are rich in Gallic acid and have anti-inflammatory properties. A study was conducted to see the effect of Indian-Gooseberry-Juice or water on fatty liver.
Although this study was performed on Rats, it showed positive effects in reducing fats from the liver and prevented further damage.
It was also found that it can prevent further damage from known toxins to the liver.
It’s known that inflammation and oxidative stress causes damage to the liver. Thus this fruits’ ability and richness in anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative bio-activities make it a suitable candidate for further research.
Digestion and Heartburn
It’s famous among traditional medicine systems of Asian countries for its anti-inflammatory properties on the stomach and relief of heartburn problems. On a side note, Indian Gooseberry is also thirst quenching at the same time.
Regurgitation (a condition in which swallowed food is again brought to the mouth) and Heartburn are troubling symptoms of Gastroesophageal disease. Gastroesophageal causes reflux of stomach content.
A clinical trial was performed on two groups of people; one group was administered 1 Gram tablet (Amla supplements) for a month after a meal.
This group showed a significant decrease in Heartburn and reflux of the stomach compared to the second group, who were given placebo tablets as an alternative to Amla supplement tablets.
An ancient remedy for Diabetes
It’s a gift from mother nature with healing abilities for diabetes patients.
The abundance of Gallic acid present in this plant is the main reason for its medicinal properties. Source.
Various studies have been conducted on humans and rats in which it’s juice, extract, and dried powder was used from few milligrams to 2 or 3 grams of powder and a few milliliters of juice.
These studies have shown significant results and validated traditional medicine remedies for their effectiveness as anti-diabetes drugs.
Effective Fruit for Cardiovascular Complications
The presence of Gallic acid makes it an excellent healthy and organic alternative for heart health and cardiovascular complications.
It’s well known for its benefits to the heart and for lowering the risk of heart disease.
The Antioxidative property of Indian Gooseberry may protect against oxidative effects and damage to the heart.
A good alternative for regulating Endothelial functions. This effect was observed during a study for its effect on Diabetes.
Inflammation is among the significant reasons which can cause Heart Disease. Indian Gooseberries have been considered a cardioactive medication and demonstrated well-noticed cardiovascular effects. In one of the studies, it was found that this fruit may prevent Doxorubicin and Isoproterenol cardiotoxicity and reperfusion injuries. It may also prevent blood clotting due to its antiplatelet effects. Source.
An Essential Hair Treatment Ingredient
Also famous for its hair treatment properties; it’s an essential ingredient in the herbal mixture used for hair loss and health. It’s primarily used as an extract and often eaten in candied form as a diet for hair health.
It’s so famous for its hair treatment properties in Asia that many companies and brands advertise using Amla in their hair products as the main ingredient.
Also, its extract is commonly used in Thailand to promote hair growth and hair health suggested by a study. Source.
Things to look out for
Due to its blood thinning properties and anti-platelet properties, it might prevent normal blood clotting.
People with bleeding disorders should avoid the use of Indian Gooseberry.
Indian Gooseberry Juice can lower blood sugar to a critical point if not taken in moderation.
Fresh Indian Gooseberry sourcing can be challenging unless you live in an Asian country.
How to use Indian Gooseberry
It’s has a slightly sour and bitter taste. It can be eaten raw but will have more of a bitter taste.
You can use it in pickled form (Pickled at home) or buy from grocery stores.
Another method is to eat it in candied form. It is a sweetened form in which raw Indian Gooseberry is boiled in water for a few minutes and then dipped/soaked for 1 or 2 hours in sugar syrup.
Dried powder is commonly used as a supplement with other medications.
It does not have any life-threatening toxins and poisons. However, it is still recommended not to use more than 2 to 5 grams in powdered and 5 to 6 fruits in raw or pickled form.
The Bottom Line
Indian Gooseberries are famous for preventing and treating ulcers, liver issues, heart diseases, cancer, and Diabetes.
Vitamin C found in Indian Gooseberries is a powerful anti-aging agent that promotes hair and skin health.
Indian Gooseberry is very good for Immune Health and lowers bad cholesterol.
Despite being a healthy fruit, one should consult a healthcare physician before adding it to the diet.