Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), also known as “Amla,” is a tree with edible fruits that have been used for millennia for their medicinal benefits in Ayurvedic medicine. In Sanskrit, it is called “Amalika.“
In ancient times it was mythicized as the “Gift Of the Gods.” The sages believed that the Gods gave amla to humans to help them live a long life since they could not provide them with immortality.
The ancient Greeks were fully aware of the Indian gooseberry benefits and used every part of the plant, fruit, roots, seeds, etc., for all types of essential medicinal purposes.
The early Chinese called the fruit of Indian gooseberry “Yuganzi,” and they also used it for many ailments that were connected to inflammation.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered its most important medicinal plant.
Let’s look at the Indian gooseberry benefits to determine if its medicinal history is fact or fiction.
What Makes Indian Gooseberry Essential For Health?
To begin with, gooseberry is remarkably rich in total antioxidants. A study was conducted to determine the antioxidant levels of over 3,100 foods, including beverages, chocolate, nuts, legumes, grains, spices, herbs, baby food, etc.
The results of the study showed that Amla (Indian gooseberry) was ranked first among the “Berries, Fruit, Vegatables” Group (see Table 4 in the study).
And it was ranked second overall, but barely, to the spice “clove.” (See Table 5).
Antioxidant Content Of Amla
Tests conducted on amla determined that:
- gallic acid is its predominant antioxidant
- caffeic acid is second
- coumaric acid, third
- rutin was its predominant flavonol
What Is So Special About Gallic Acid?
Gallic acid was the most potent antioxidant in existence until the discovery of hydroxytyrosol a few years ago. As it presently stands, gallic acid is ranked number two.
Gallic acid is highly bioavailable. That means when ingested, it passes mostly unchanged through the intestines making it more destructive against free radicals (substances that make you sick, make you age, etc.), against cancer cells, and much more.
How About Rutin?
According to research, rutin is the most abundant flavonoid found in Indian gooseberries.
Studies show that rutin has many beneficial effects on the body. For example:
- cytoprotective (protects healthy cells)
- vasoprotective (protects blood vessels)
- anticarcinogenic (protects you from things that may cause cancer)
- neuroprotective (protects the brain)
- cardioprotective (protects the heart)
Here is what rutin can do for Indian gooseberry benefits – it can do the following:
- protect the central nervous system
- analgesic and antiarthritic (can ease pain)
- protect the endocrine system (glands in your body)
- protect your cardiovascular system
- protect your gastrointestinal system
- protect your respiratory system
- is excellent for the bones and eyes
- excretory system
- reproductive system
- anticancer effects
- chemotherapeutic activity
- is ideal for hair and skin
- strengthens the immune system
- strengthens the body
- protects your organs
Are the ancient Indian gooseberry benefits real? Science says they are.
Amla Is Overflowing In Vitamin C
According to this study, Indian gooseberry is the second most abundant natural source of vitamin C behind the Barbados cherry. One gooseberry fruit will provide you with 600 to 700 mg of vitamin C.
Here is an interesting study. Tests were conducted to determine how to make the vitamin C content in Indian Gooseberry more bioavailable and potent when ingested.
The study determined that eating amla with piperine (piperine is a natural bioavailability enhancer) is more potent than synthetic vitamin C (pill form). The combination of amla and piperine would be a better supplement. (Source on page 41)
Piperine is found in abundance in black pepper. Just sprinkle a little black pepper on an Indian gooseberry fruit before you eat it, and you will ingest the most potent Vitamin C supplement available, according to the scientific study.
Amla is a rich source of pectin, an essential dietary fiber that manages bowel movement is anti-diabetic, and fights scurvy.
Other studies have shown that pectin can lower cholesterol levels, glucose (sugar) levels, inhibit colon cancer, and detoxify your body of dangerous metals.
What Can Indian Gooseberry Do For Your Body?
Amla is extensively used in Indian medicine as a or for:
- liver tonic
- hair tonic
- ulcer preventive
- the common cold
- respiratory problems – asthma, bronchitis
- controlling blood pressure
- strengthening the teeth
Many research studies discovered that amla could do the following:
- analgesic (pain killer)
- anti-tussive (for coughs)
- antiatherogenic (protects arteries from fatty acid accumulation)
- cardio, gastro (protects heart, intestines, stomach)
- neuroprotective (protects the brain)
- radio and chemo modulatory
- nootropic – improves intelligence and memory
- peptic ulcers
- Enhances the immune system – can effectively prevent and treat diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, liver, and heart diseases.
Other Indian Gooseberry Benefits
Amla Essential Oil
Amla oil has a long history of being beneficial to hair and scalp. It can strengthen, condition, and make your hair shiny.
Amla oil may also be excellent for male pattern baldness due to its inhibiting effect on particular enzymes called “5α-reductases.” (Source on page 880)
5α-reductase is a testosterone metabolizer. It turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a much more potent androgen.
The more 5a-reductase in your body, the more DHT will be created.
DHT is a significant reason why men go bald. There are approved medications that can inhibit the production of 5a-reductase from warding off male pattern baldness. They are Finasteride and Dutasteride.
However, these two drugs have some serious side effects, such as:
- erectile dysfunction
- decreased ejaculate volume
- decreased libido
Amla oil works similarly to these two drugs by inhibiting 5a-reductase, but without the dangerous side effects.
Indian gooseberry is mostly safe, especially when eaten as a food. However, there are a few warnings to keep in mind.
- If you have bleeding disorders, be careful about eating it. Indian gooseberry has been shown to increase bleeding and bruising rarely.
- Indian gooseberry can decrease sugar levels. Speak to your doctor before eating it if you have diabetes or sugar level problems.
- If you are about to get surgery, maybe you should not eat it because it can increase bleeding during and after the surgery.
Always speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about eating Indian gooseberry.
Indian gooseberry benefits just may be a “Gift Of The Gods.” Science shows how rich and essential this fruit is.
The ancient sages and societies knew the medicinal value of amla, and now modern science has confirmed it.
The health benefits are astounding. An amla a day will keep the doctor away.