Genus: Phyllanthus L
Species: Phyllanthus emblica L.
Popular Name(s): Phyllanthus Emblica, Emblica, Amla
Parts Used: Fruit
Habitat: Northern and South Western India
The bark of Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is gray in color and peals in irregular patches. Its feathery leaves, which smell like lemon, are of linear oblong shape and size 10 to 12 mm in length and 3 to 6 mm in width. The flowers of this herb are monoecioius, having greenish-yellow color. They grow in auxiliary clusters and start appearing at the beginning of spring season. The fruit is almost spherical in shape, light-greenish yellow in color and appears to be very hard. Its taste is sour and bitter.
The active ingredient that has significant pharma-cological action in the plant has been designated ‘phyllemblin’ by the scientists in India. The other ingredients contained in the herb are gallic acid, tannins, pectin, and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Uses & Benefits of Indian Gooseberry
- Indian gooseberry is one of the richest known sources of vitamin ‘C’. As such, it proves to be an effective medicine against scurvy. Powdered dry herb is mixed with an equal quantity of sugar and consumed thrice daily with milk, to remedy scurvy.
- It is considered to be a good remedy against heart diseases. It serves to tone all the vital organs of the body and builds health by eradicating the harmful disease-causing elements from the body.
- The herb has amazing revitalizing effects on the body. It helps prevent aging and maintain strength in the old age. It also enhances the immunity of body against diseases.
- Indian gooseberry is known to be excellent in preserving eyesight. It is also beneficial in treating conjunctivitis and glaucoma, by reducing intraocular tension.
- It serves as a very valuable remedy for enriching hair growth and pigmentation. The oil prepared by using this herb is excellent for hair health and prevents graying.
- The dried fruit of this plant is very useful in treating diarrhea and dysentery. It is also used to treat acute bacillary dysentery.
- Due to its high vitamin C content, Indian gooseberry proves to be very effective in controlling diabetes. The juice obtained from its fruit, when consumed regularly, stimulates the pancreas and capacitates them to secrete insulin. This reduces the sugar level in blood.
- The culinary uses of Indian gooseberry are many. In South India, its fruit plant is used to make pickle. Tender varieties of the fruit are used to prepare dishes as well. In some parts of the country, it is traditionally consumed after meals.
- The herb is also used in shampoos, hair oils, inks and dye