Natural Remedies for Arthritis: Does Amla Help?
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Can Amla Help With Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other forms of joint pain affect millions of people in the United States alone, which comes out to almost 23% of the adult population.
And with such a widespread condition, it makes sense that many arthritis patients are looking for the best combination of medical treatment, healthy habits, and natural remedies to ease and alleviate joint pain.
In this article, we’ll touch on one specific natural remedy for arthritis — amla — and discuss how supplements like green tea can act as a natural remedy and can contribute to significantly improving your arthritis health alongside medical treatment.
Table of Contents
The Health Benefits of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) for Bones and Joints
Amla has earned a reputation as one of the planet’s most powerful superfoods, with a continually growing list of evidence-based benefits that help it live up to its remedy as an Ayurvedic cure-all.
Thanks to its impressive anti-inflammatory properties, exceptionally high vitamin C value (20x that of most citrus), the highest antioxidant value of any whole food on earth, and powerful blood pressure and blood glucose lowering effect, amla protects from arthritis in a few ways.
First, it combats a major controllable risk factor of arthritis: obesity. And second, amla has acute benefits that can help protect your body from autoimmune forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system mistakenly targets the lining of the joint capsule, a membrane that shields your joints from grinding together.
Though the exact triggers of rheumatoid arthritis are still unknown, studies have shown that extracts of Emblica Officinalis (amla) can help reduce damage from these mistakenly hostile cells (called osteoclasts).
In addition, rheumatoid arthritis has been clearly linked with an increase in blood glucose (blood sugar) and the risk of diabetes. Amla helps here as well, with a powerful blood-glucose lowering effect.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and is caused by the cartilage between joints being worn down over the years, which can cause bone to rub against bone, causing limited movement and joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is much more common in older individuals, but the risk for this condition can be increased by injury, infections, and obesity.
Amla has promise in the field of preventing osteoarthritis for three reasons. First, it helps with weight loss, decreasing the risk of osteoarthritis due to obesity. Second, it increases your immunity, helping your body combat infections that may help wear down your cartilage.
And finally, initial studies have shown that amla extract may have a direct protective effect on your cartilage, which means that amla may be able to combat osteoarthritis directly. An area for further research for sure!
One of the most common forms of joint pain is knee pain, which often requires significant pain relief in the form of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
However, as a long term solution these medicines are somewhat lacking, as they can have side effects when used for extended, consistent periods.
One alternative solution from Ayurvedic medicine is, you guessed it, amla powder. Early research has also shown that amla has an antiarthritic effect that may be particularly potent in knee cells, further supporting the possibilities of amla as an antiarthritic remedy.
Other Home Remedies for Arthritis from Ayurveda
Amla is probably the most natural remedy from Ayurvedic medicine. However, this ancient form of medicine has a number of other recommendations for arthritis patients, known for their anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits.
When it comes to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power, turmeric is second only to amla, and boasts a number of other impressive health benefits.
However, compared to amla (which is still primarily being studied on cells), turmeric has actually made the jump to clinical studies for joint health. And while more research is needed, the initial results show that turmeric is a potential remedy for joint pain.
Another frequently recommended plant in Ayurvedic medicine is ashwagandha, an evergreen herb that also has potent anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective properties.
Like turmeric, ashwagandha has made the jump to clinical studies due to its safety and history as a remedy for joint pain, and has had promising initial results that point to further research.
Amla Side Effects
Amla and its related products (amla juice, amla powder) currently have no known clinical side effects, making it an easy addition to boost the health of any diet.
However, there are two cases in which you should be careful about taking amla: if you have low blood sugar or low blood pressure already. Since amla lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, it can worsen hypoglycemia and hypotension, so be aware of taking amla if you have either of these conditions.
It’s also worth noting that right now the research around amla as a medicine for arthritis is still in the area of promising, rather than proven. Always work with your doctor or healthcare professional to come up with a treatment and dietary plan that works for you.
Try Amla Today
With so many evidence-based health benefits to amla, it’s easy to wonder why this plant-based superfood hasn’t become more popular. This is for two reasons.
First, raw amla is very tart and bitter, and most people don’t enjoy the taste. And second, it’s very hard to get organic, high quality amla.
We’ve solved both problems with Amla Green, a 20X concentrated amla tea with tasty flavors like green tea and hibiscus, which combine the powerful health benefits of amla with those of green and herbal teas for a delicious supplement with incredible medicinal punch.
And we’d like to share it! You can try your first batch totally risk free today, and if you don’t like it you can send it back and we’ll give you your money back.
Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
“Arthritis | CDC,” November 3, 2020.” ”https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/arthritis.htm"
“Daily, James W., Mini Yang, and Sunmin Park. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Journal of Medicinal Food 19, no. 8 (August 1, 2016): 717–29. ” ”https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.3705"
“Kapoor, Mahendra Parkash, Koji Suzuki, Timm Derek, Makoto Ozeki, and Tsutomu Okubo. “Clinical Evaluation of Emblica Officinalis Gatertn (Amla) in Healthy Human Subjects: Health Benefits and Safety Results from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Placebo-Controlled Study.” Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications 17 (November 27, 2019).” ”https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100499"
“Kumar, Gajendra, Amita Srivastava, Surinder Kumar Sharma, T. Divakara Rao, and Yogendra Kumar Gupta. “Efficacy & Safety Evaluation of Ayurvedic Treatment (Ashwagandha Powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Pilot Prospective Study.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research 141, no. 1 (January 2015): 100–106.”
“Penolazzi, Letizia, Ilaria Lampronti, Monica Borgatti, Mahmud Tareq Hassan Khan, Margherita Zennaro, Roberta Piva, and Roberto Gambari. “Induction of Apoptosis of Human Primary Osteoclasts Treated with Extracts from the Medicinal Plant Emblica Officinalis.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 8 (October 30, 2008): 59.” ”https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-8-59"
“Sumantran, V. N., A. K. Joshi, S. Boddul, S. J. Koppikar, D. Warude, B. Patwardhan, A. Chopra, R. Chandwaskar, and U. V. Wagh. “Antiarthritic Activity of a Standardized, Multiherbal, Ayurvedic Formulation Containing Boswellia Serrata: In Vitro Studies on Knee Cartilage from Osteoarthritis Patients.” Phytotherapy Research: PTR 25, no. 9 (September 2011): 1375–80.” ”https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.3365"
“Sumantran, Venil N., Asavari Kulkarni, Rucha Chandwaskar, Abhay Harsulkar, Bhushan Patwardhan, Arvind Chopra, and Ulhas V. Wagh. “Chondroprotective Potential of Fruit Extracts of Phyllanthus Emblica in Osteoarthritis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM 5, no. 3 (September 2008): 329–35.” ”https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem030"
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Cyrus Khambatta