E-HERBARIA

  • Name : Amalaki
  • English Name :Indian Gooseberry
  • Scientific Name :Emblica officinalis

 

Habitat:

Amalaki is found throughout India till the height of 4500 feet above sea level.

 

Morphology Description (Habit):

It is a medium height tree that reaches up to 25 feet. The trunk is little crooked and greenish brown in colour. Branchlets arise from the spreading branches, and have leaves closely set against them. Leaves are simple, oval-shaped and light green in colour. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, smooth and somewhat hard in appearance, with six vertical stripes or furrows. They ripen in autumn; taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent. The seeds are hexagonal in shape. .

There are 2 varieties of Amalaki as per Ayurveda ? Vanya (Wild) and Gramya (Cultivated); fruits of former being little smaller than that of the latter.

 

Parts Used:

De-seeded Fruit

 

Phytochemistry:

Amalaki fruits are the richest natural source of Vitamin C, which retain their antioxidant or ascorbic acid content even in dried form or when heated. The vitamin C content in fruit ranges from 600-921 mg / 100 g.1 The fruits also contain high percentage of gallic acid, tannic acid, albumin, cellulose, nicotinic acid and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus and iron.

 

As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pancharasa (Lavana Varjit) i.e. sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Heavy, rough and cold

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Sweet

 

Pharmacological Actions:

As per Ayurveda, Amalaki is Tridoshahara. The fruit especially pacifies aggravated pitta while establishing the doshic equilibrium.

The primary pharmacological actions of this soothing fruit are summarized as under:

 

Central Nervous System: 

i. Possesses anti-amnesic properties whereby it significantly improves memory, concentration and learning abilities, and protects against various cognitive disorders. .

ii. Exerts significant anti-depressant action.

 

 

Respiratory System:

i. Strengthens immunity and protects against seasonal infections and allergies.

ii. An Ayurvedic Rasayana that is useful as an adjuvant in pulmonary Koch?s.

 

Digestive System:

i. Potent gastroprotective and anti-ulcerogenic herb that effectively alleviates Hyperacidity and associated GIT inflammations.

ii. The ripe fresh fruit is a mild laxative while the dried fruit powder possesses antidiarrheal and spasmolytic actions.

 

Endocrinal System: 

i. Provides significant protection against Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.

ii. Effectively helps lower raised blood sugar2 and protects against allied complications, such as neuropathy.

 

Cardiovascular System: 

i. This cardioprotective fruit provides significant protection against obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension3.

ii. Strengthens blood vessels and checks excessive bleeding.

iii. Improves haemoglobin level.

 

Reproductive System: 

i. Supports fertility in both men and women as it ameliorates oxidative stress.

ii. Useful in leucorrhea and menorrhagia.

 

Urinary System: 

i. Potent diuretic and nephroprotective.

 

Musculoskeletal System: 

i. Exerts anti-inflammatory action, aids in healing process and balances the process of wear and tear.

 

Skin and Hair: 

i. Promotes pro-collagen content and inhibits Matrix metalloproteinase levels in Skin Fibroblasts, and effectively inhibits UVB-induced skin photo-aging as well.4

ii. Owing to it potent 5 α-reductase activity this excellent antioxidant significantly stimulates Hair Growth.

 

Others: 

i. This antioxidant, alterative and restorative herb possesses significant antiproliferative and anti-tumor activities as well, hence, exerts preventive and therapeutic efficacy against Cancer.5

ii. Protects against alcohol-induced oxidative stress6 and hepatotoxicity, and efficiently strengthens the Vital organs ? heart, liver7 and kidneys.

iii. Exerts antimicrobial, immunostimulatory and immunomodulatory actions.

 

Indications:

Hyperacidity, gastritis, peptic ulcers and associated dyspepsia

Anaemia and jaundice

Burning micturition and dysuria

Dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis

Pre-diabetes, family history of diabetes, (as an adjuvant in) type-2 diabetes mellitus and obesity

Lowered immunity with frequent bouts of bacterial and viral infections, especially affecting the respiratory tract

Dull skin, appearance of premature signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, superficial wrinkles and age spots

Prevention against ARCD (Age-related Cognitive Decline) and Alzheimer?s Disease

Excessive hair fall, premature greying of hair

 

References:

1. Bhav Prakash Nighantu.

2. Vasanta RA, Narasimhacharya AV. Amla as an antihyperglycemic and hepato-renal protective agent in fluoride induced toxicity. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences. 2012; 4(3): 250-4.

3. Bhatia J, Tabassum F, et al. Emblica officinalis exerts antihypertensive effect in a rat model of DOCA-salt-induced hypertension: role of (p) eNOS, NO and Oxidative Stress. Cardiovascular Toxicology. 2011; 11(3): 272-9.

4. Adil MD, Kaiser P, et al. Effect of Emblica officinalis (fruit) against UVB-induced photo-aging in Human Skin Fibroblasts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010; 132(1): 109-14.

5. Baliga MS, Dsouza JJ. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of Cancer. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2011; 20(3): 225-39.

6. Reddy VD, Padmavathi P, et al. Amelioration of alcohol-induced Oxidative Stress by Emblica officinalis (amla) in rats. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 2010; 47(1): 20-5.

7. Hiraganahalli BD, Chinampudur VC, et al. Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant activity of Standardized Herbal Extracts. Pharmacognosy Magazine. 2012; 8(30): 116-23.

 

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