Amla supplement extract and powder benefit and side effects, medical uses and published studies
July 21 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D

Amla, or Indian gooseberry, has been traditionally used for many chronic conditions including diabetes. Research has been done evaluating its role as an antioxidant, in ulcer prevention, for people with diabetes, for mental and memory effects, and its antiinflammatory properties. Unfortunately, most of this research has been done with animals and there are very few human studies that tell us in what conditions this herb is of most benefit. Amla is the Hindi name while in Sanskrit, the term used is Amalaki.

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Naturally extracted using only the finest quality fruits grown in the pristine environment of the lower Himalayan Mountains. This provides active levels of tannins along with Vitamin C and flavonoids, concentrated in the balanced ratio nature intended, without isolating, fractionizing or using toxic solvents, harsh chemicals or gases. Naturally grown or ethically wild crafted fruit without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or preservatives. Amla fruit is famous for its rejuvenating properties and known for its nutrient dense levels of vitamin C.

 


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Supplement Facts
Amla fruit (Phyllanthus emblica) 400 mg

Suggested Use, dosage: 1 Amla capsule a few times a week or as directed by a qualified healthcare professional.

Does your amla product come from "wild" source gooseberry plants? I've read "wild" is better. Also some products are 30% tannins and some 45%. is there more to this than just the extraction process?
   I am not aware of any research that compares wild to other sources, so no one can say one form is better than another, also little research is available comparing 30 to 45 percent tannins, again it is not easy to know which is better. Our source is wild but again we can't say it is better than farmed since no studies have been done in humans comparing them.

Herb composition, what's in the plant?
Amla has many substances, including apigenin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, quercetin), chebulagic acid, corilagin, isostrictiniin, methyl gallate, galloylglucose, and luteolin. Many of these are antioxidants. J Med Assoc Thai. 2013. Protective effect of Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract against hydrogen peroxide-induced endothelial cell death.

Are the tannins in amla similar to the tannins in black tea? I am concerned about the tannin content. I'm sensitive or allergic to the tannins in black tea. Several hours after drinking black tea I get a pinched nerve in my neck- every time. I know it isn't a caffeine reaction because green tea doesn't bother me, and coffee actually relaxes my neck.
   Tannins include emblicanin A 37%, emblicanin B 33%, punigluconin 12% and pedunculagin. In contrast, black tea tannins are mostly catechins.

Benefit and uses
Although Ayurvedic doctors have a great deal of experience with its use, little human research is available in the West. In rodent studies, amla has been found to be helpful as an antioxidant, for cholesterol and blood sugar control, for memory, and its was helpful in delaying development of diabetic cataract in rats.

Allergic rhinitis
Anti-inflammatory activities of aller-7, a novel polyherbal formulation for allergic rhinitis.
Int J Tissue React. 2004.
Allergic rhinitis, a state of hypersensitivity, occurs when the body overreacts to a substance such as pollens or dust. A novel, safe polyherbal formulation (Aller-7/NR-A2) has been developed for the treatment of allergic rhinitis using a unique combination of extracts from seven medicinal plants including Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellerica, Albizia lebbeck, Piper nigrum, Zingiber officinale and Piper longum. Our results demonstrate that this novel polyherbal formulation Aller-7 is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can ameliorate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Antioxidant benefits
Chemical and antioxidant evaluation of Indian gooseberry (emblica officinalis, phyllanthus emblica) supplements.
Phytother Res. 2009.
Indian gooseberry has a distinguished history in Ayurveda medicine and is ascribed a number of medicinal properties and as a dietary supplement. It is thought that its beneficial properties are a function of its antioxidant potency. The study investigated the chemistry and antioxidant properties of four commercial amla fruit extracts in order to determine if there are any qualitative-quantitative differences. All extracts produced positive responses in the total phenol, total flavonoid and total tannin assays. The presence of predominantly (poly)phenolic analytes, e.g. ellagic and gallic acids and corilagin, was confirmed by RP-HPLC. Despite ascorbic acid being a major constituent of amla fruits, the furanolactone could not be identified in one of the samples.

Emblica officinalis Gaertn extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
J Med Food. 2005.
The antioxidant properties of amla extracts and their effects on the oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetes were examined in rats. Amla in the form of either the commercial enzymatic extract SunAmla (Taiyo Kagaku Co., Yokkaichi, Japan) or a polyphenol-rich fraction of ethyl acetate extract (10 or 20 mg/kg of body weight/day) was given orally for 20 days to the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Amla extracts showed strong free radical scavenging activity. Amla also showed strong inhibition of the production of advanced glycosylated end products.

Cholesterol research studies
Influence of amla on hypercholesterolemia and lipid peroxidation in cholesterol-fed rats.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2005.
Our results suggest that amla may be effective for high cholesterol and prevention of atherosclerosis.

Cough help
Antitussive activity of the fruit extract of Emblica officinalis
Phytomedicine. 2003.
The antitussive activity was tested in conscious cats by mechanical stimulation of the laryngopharyngeal and tracheobronchial mucous areas of airways. The results showed that at a dose of 50 mg/kg body wt. perorally, the cough suppressive effect of Amla is not unambiguous. A higher dose (200 mg/kg body wt.) of Amla was more effective, especially in decreasing the number of cough efforts, frequency of cough and the intensity of cough attacks. It is supposed that the cough suppressive activity of the dry extract of Amla is due not only to antiphlogistic, antispasmolytic and antioxidant efficacy effects, but also to its effect on mucus secretion in the airways.

Diabetes and blood sugar
I have not seen human studies regarding the use of amla supplement or powder for blood sugar control.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012. Antidiabetic and antioxidant potential of Emblica officinalis leaves extract in streptozotocin-induced type-2 diabetes mellitus rats.

Inhibition of aldose reductase by tannoid principles of Amla : implications for the prevention of sugar cataract.
Mol Vis. 2004.
Aldose reductase has been a drug target because of its involvement in the development of secondary complications of diabetes including cataract. Although numerous synthetic AR inhibitors (ARI) have been tested and shown to inhibit the enzyme, clinically synthetic ARIs have not been very successful. Therefore, evaluating natural sources for ARI potential may lead to the development of safer and more effective agents against diabetic complications. In the present study we have assessed the inhibition of AR by constituents of Emblica officinalis. Our results indicate that tannoids of amla are potent inhibitors of AR and suggest that exploring the therapeutic value of natural ingredients that people can incorporate into everyday life may be an effective approach in the management of diabetic complications.

Gastrointestinal help
Gastroprotective effects of Amla Emblica on in vivo test models in rats.
Phytomedicine. 2002.
An ethanol extract of amla was examined for its antisecretory and antiulcer activities employing different experimental models in rats. Our results indicate that the extract possesses antisecretory, antiulcer, and cytoprotective properties.

Hair and skin
I am not familiar with the benefit of amla oil in terms of skin care or hair.

I am a British Asian researcher from London. I am emailing you to get your expert advice about Amla oil. I am 20 years of age and amla has been in my family for generations mainly being used for the hair. The effects are clearly visible as this is why I am focusing an article on the amla plant. I would be very grateful if you would be able to provide me with a background of the powers of the plant and how it was discovered. In the UK the Indian craze is very prevalent and with a society fixed on beauty amla oil is the best kept secret. What are the other uses of this plant and how did women conjure up the idea to use it in their hair? Any information that you provide me with would be most helpful.
   I have not studied the cosmetic uses of this plant.

Heart health and blood vessels
J Med Assoc Thai. 2013. Protective effect of amla fruit extract against hydrogen peroxide-induced endothelial cell death.

Powder use
Amla powder is light brown colored with an astringent smell. The paste is touted as an excellent hair conditioner which makes hair glossy and silky. I personally do not have experience using the powder for hair health.

I would like to know if the Paradise Herb amla product contains greater than 30% polyphenol content with emblicanins greater then 20%. This is the strength that is recommended in Family Health Remedies.
   There have not been enough studies with amla products to know the ideal dosage and extract potency along with the ideal percentage of polyphenols or tannins such as embilcanins. The Paradise Herb Amla product has 45% tannins, made up mostly of embilicans, which is a high concentration.