Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is an ornamental tree that grows up to 60 feet tall.1 It’s a deciduous tree, which means it sheds its leaves; however, it’s sometimes referred to as an evergreen tree since it’s rare to find the tree completely bare of leaves. The plant features small, oblong leaves, greenish-yellow flowers, and pale, greenish-yellow fruit.1
Amla is native to Asia and grows in tropical climates. It’s grown in home gardens across India and is cultivated commercially in northern India. In countries where amla grows, it’s commonly used in folk medicine. The fruit can be eaten raw or preserved and is collected from orchards, gardens, or the wild. It’s also dried and ground into a powder that can be added to other foods to reap amla benefits.1
Amla Uses and Health Benefits
Amla is known for its health benefits and is used in folk medicine. It’s packed with essential minerals and vitamins along with antioxidants, including vitamin C.1 Antioxidants can help fight damage to cells caused by free radicals to help prevent and treat conditions like heart disease and diabetes. It’s also said to be effective in treating and preventing multiple types of cancer.2 Amla has been used in Indian medicine to treat urinary tract infections, fevers, and joint inflammation. It’s also believed to help regulate glucose levels. While amla benefits internal health, it can also be applied topically to exfoliate the skin to promote a youthful appearance.1
Amla benefits include cardioprotective, antianemia, and anti-inflammatory properties.2 It can also boost circulation and support healthy blood pressure.3,4 Other amla uses include
Amla Side Effects and Precautions
Amla side effects are minimal when taken in recommended amounts. Take 20 ml of amla juice daily or one half to one teaspoon of amla powder every day.1 Stop taking amla if you experience an allergic reaction. Do not use amla in place of prescription medications. Talk to your doctor about taking amla if you plan to use it to treat serious conditions like diabetes. Like all herbs, amla may interact with other medications or herbal remedies, so it’s important to discuss your options with your care provider before attempting to self-medicate. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their physician before starting on an amla diet.