Your Complete Guide to Indian Gooseberry
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
The Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is a fruit that has been popular in India for centuries and hailed as an ancient cure-all.
However, it's only recently become popular in the US. In this blog post, we'll overview Indian Gooseberry, and share everything you might need to know including why they're so great, why they haven't quite made it in the US, and how you can start to take advantage of this rising superfood!
Table of Contents
So What Is the Indian Gooseberry?
The Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is a small fruit that looks like a miniature green grape. It grows on the evergreen amla tree in Asia and has been used for centuries as an ingredient in Indian cooking, Ayurvedic medicine treatments, and even just by itself!
As a powerful medicinal plant (Emblica Officinalis, if you're interested in the Latin name), the Indian gooseberry can be eaten raw or added to drink recipes, along with used as tea, juice, or powder.
It has a bitter taste to it and is often sweetened with honey when added to drinks - this makes for an interesting drink that's been popular in India since the beginning of time!
But the real power of the Indian gooseberry is in its incredible power as medicine and a superfood.
The History of Amla/Indian Gooseberry
In Ayurvedic Medicine
In Ayurvedic medicine (Indian traditional medicine), the Indian gooseberry has been used for centuries as a treatment, prized for the amazing benefits it provides to health and well-being.
In India, most people know about Indian Gooseberries either from their grandmother or by word of mouth stories that have been passed down through generations!
Indian gooseberry has historically been prescribed for an incredibly diverse range of ailments, including everything from indigestion to hair growth, from heart disease to healthy liver, and from the common cold to cancer. And while some of these claims are yet to be confirmed by modern medicine, the results in recent trials have been pretty stunning...
Turns out, getting an Ayurvedic expert to provide medical advice might not be the worst idea!
As a Modern Indian Herbal Drug
Modern medicine has confirmed a lot of the claims that have been made about Indian Gooseberries. Now in modern Indian medicine, Indian gooseberry is widely respected as a natural, herbal drug!
In many places you go, you can find Indian gooseberry supplements and extracts, Indian gooseberry powder and juices, or even Indian gooseberry pills.
And it's no wonder why...
The Incredible Health Benefits of Amla
Up until the past decade or so, the use of amla was confined mostly to India and Southeast Asian Countries, where amla is native.
However, recent studies of amla fruit and its derivatives have shown that Indian gooseberry is not only useful for many of its historic remedies but may actually be one of the more powerful plant foods and herbal remedies known today.
This fact has led to the study of taking Indian gooseberries (as well as the exploration of several Indian medicinal plants as well) around the world.
Here are just a few of the benefits of amla fruit (Indian Gooseberries):
World's Most Powerful Antioxidant
First on the list is the Indian gooseberry's incredible antioxidant properties. In fact, the antioxidant activity of amla fruit is so strong that it's been shown to be dozens, or even hundreds of times more antioxidants than other popular antioxidant powerhouses like blueberries, goji berries, pomegranate, and turmeric.
In fact, Indian gooseberry has such a high ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) for its size that it may be the strongest natural antioxidant on the planet.
The health benefits of antioxidants are varied, ranging from reduced oxidative stress to improved cardiovascular health to improved brain function, and when it comes to antioxidant activity, amla is king.
Incredible Source of Vitamin C
Indian gooseberry is also a great source of vitamin C and has been shown to contain an order of magnitude more vitamin C than oranges and other types of citrus.
In fact, amla has the second densest vitamin c content on the planet, losing out only to the Barbados cherry.
Vitamin C is another incredibly diverse medicinal nutrient and has been shown to help with everything from indigestion to canker sores, and from diabetes to liver disease.
Improves Your Immunity
Together, this antioxidant activity and vitamin C content make indian gooseberry fruit a fantastic way to boost immunity and improve resistance to indigestion, colds, cases of flu, skin issues like acne or rashes.
Add in amla's natural antifungal and antibacterial products, and you have a truly powerful plant-based medicine.
In fact, Indian Gooseberries are so powerful that they've been shown in some cases to outperform popular antibiotics!
Fights High Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Another area where Indian gooseberry excels is in fighting high cholesterol and blood pressure.
For cholesterol, Indian gooseberry has been shown to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol while increasing HDL (the "good" kind), which is why it's generally considered to be an excellent heart health supplement.
For blood pressure, Indian gooseberry has been shown to lower systolic and diastolic pressures significantly in patients with hypertension or high blood pressure.
In fact, the active compounds in Indian gooseberry fruit have been shown to be just as effective against high cholesterol as popular statin drugs like Zocor or Lipitor (especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise).
Not a bad showing from our natural, antiatherosclerotic Indian drug!
Fights Diabetes and High Blood Sugar
Continuing on with Indian gooseberry's heart health trifecta, the fruit has also been shown in several studies to reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
In fact, the anti-diabetic activity of taking Indian gooseberry is so strong that it's been shown to outperform or at least match several popular diabetes drugs in studies, lowering your blood sugar all without the negative side effects!
That means taking less frustrating blood sugar medication and enjoying a better overall sense of health.
Reverses Signs of Early Aging
Amla has a powerful antioxidant property, which means that it fights oxidative stress, but that's not the only thing Indian gooseberry can do for your skin and hair.
In fact, Indian gooseberry has been shown in studies to reverse the signs of photoaging and ultraviolet radiation damage.
In other words, taking Indian gooseberry supplements can act as a natural skin care ingredient and preserve your skin's youth by fighting both UV sun damage and oxidative stress!
Indian gooseberry helps your hair growth as well, and in some studies, Indian gooseberry extract has been shown to be just as effective at growing hair in bald men and women as a common medication.
Shows Promising Signs in Fighting Cancer
One of the most fascinating aspects of Indian gooseberry is its ability to fight cancer and one that goes beyond powerful antioxidants' ability to reduce oxidation (which is a common risk factor in cancer).
During extensive lab tests on human tumor cell lines, including some breast cancer cell lines, amla was shown to prevent in vitro cell growth of cancer cells without damaging the cell division and growth of normal human cells.
This is definitely promising and speaks to the possibility that one day taking Indian gooseberry might actually help with the treatment of cancer, but there is a long way to go before this could even be close to reality. Still, an interesting fact about amla!
And Many Many More
There's a reason that traditional medicine practitioners rate Indian gooseberry as one of the most powerful medicinal plants in the world. Whether it's helping fight a bleeding disorder, combatting liver damage, helping calm the stomach and improve digestion, amla is an incredible superfood.
You can learn more about some of the benefits of amla here!
Why It's Taken the Amla Berry So Long to Make the Jump
So you might wonder why, even now, this incredible tree that grows in India, the king of ayurvedic plants, has taken so long to make the jump. Well...
Not All Ancient Cure-Alls Are Created Equal
It's easy to look back through history and wonder why people didn't just take advantage of this Indian gooseberry.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but there are reasons that Indian Gooseberries have taken so long even now in 2017 to become mainstream.
For one thing, Indian gooseberry has not been well studied in humans until recently.
And, there's a simple fact that not all ancient cure-alls work! So maybe it just took a little while to catch on.
Hard to Source
Another reason Amla/Indian gooseberry has taken so long to become popular is that it's not exactly easy to source Indian gooseberry fruit in the US.
No matter what you're trying to get a hold of, whether it's the dried fruit, amla powder, amla oil, or amla juice, the truth is these medicinal plants can be a real hassle to get a hold of.
Taste Isn't That Great
And finally, by itself, the taste of Indian Gooseberries isn't that great. It tends to be very bitter and sour, with a grainy inner texture, and the flavor doesn't get much better in any of its other forms.
That's why we've put so much work into creating Amla Green.
Amla Green, Your Ticket to the Tastiest, Healthiest Indian Gooseberry Supplement
With Amla Green, we wanted to make taking Indian Gooseberry a fun, easy, and tasty part of your day.
That's why we decided to combine a 20x concentrated, organic blend of free trade Indian gooseberries, and brought them to you in a convenient package that ships anywhere in the US!
And to make taking Indian gooseberry as part of your life even easier, we looked at delicious herbal flavors like green tea, hibiscus, and elderberry to boost the incredible plant-based power of Indian gooseberry.
The result? A tasty tea that you'll look forward to drinking, and that can seriously transform your health.
We're not you're doctor, so we can't officially provide medical advice, but we definitely see Amla Green as a pretty great base to any health strategy.
And we're so happy to share Amla Green with the world that we're offering a risk-free guarantee. If you don't like Amla Green, you can just tell us and send it back, and we'll make sure to give you your money back.
But we're pretty sure you'll like it!
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.
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“D’souza, Jason Jerome, Prema Pancy D’souza, Farhan Fazal, Ashish Kumar, Harshith P. Bhat, and Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga. “Anti-Diabetic Effects of the Indian Indigenous Fruit Emblica Officinalis Gaertn: Active Constituents and Modes of Action.” Food & Function 5, no. 4 (April 2014): 635–44. ” ”https://doi.org/10.1039/c3fo60366k"
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“Gopa, Biswas, Jagatkumar Bhatt, and Kovur G. Hemavathi. “A Comparative Clinical Study of Hypolipidemic Efficacy of Amla (Emblica Officinalis) with 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl-Coenzyme-A Reductase Inhibitor Simvastatin.” Indian Journal of Pharmacology 44, no. 2 (2012): 238–42. ” ”https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.93857"
“Hashem-Dabaghian, Fataneh, Mojtaba Ziaee, Samad Ghaffari, Farzaneh Nabati, and Saeed Kianbakht. “A Systematic Review on the Cardiovascular Pharmacology of Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.” Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Research 10, no. 3 (2018): 118–28.” ”https://doi.org/10.15171/jcvtr.2018.20"
“Indian Gooseberry (Amla Berries), Dried | Superfoodly.” ”https://www.superfoodly.com/orac-value/indian-gooseberry-amla/"
“Puertollano, María A., Elena Puertollano, Gerardo Álvarez de Cienfuegos, and Manuel A. de Pablo. “Dietary Antioxidants: Immunity and Host Defense.” Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 11, no. 14 (2011): 1752–66. ” ”https://doi.org/10.2174/156802611796235107"
“Yu, Jae Young, Biki Gupta, Hyoung Geun Park, Miwon Son, Joon-Ho Jun, Chul Soon Yong, Jeong Ah Kim, and Jong Oh Kim. “Preclinical and Clinical Studies Demonstrate That the Proprietary Herbal Extract DA-5512 Effectively Stimulates Hair Growth and Promotes Hair Health.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM 2017 (2017): 4395638.” ”https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4395638"
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.
- Kevin DiDonato