What is amla, and what are its benefits? The amla fruit, also known as Indian gooseberry, is popping up in supplements, powders, and even hair oils-- for good reason. Thought of as the most revered medicinal berry in India, the savory and tart amla has been shown to benefit everything from gut support to vitamin absorption.
Let’s take a look at the history, benefits, and science of this healing berry.
The amla berry has been called “sarvadosha hara, remover of all diseases”. The legend is that the amla tree, which is said to be the first tree on earth, manifested out of the tears of Brahma while he was meditating.
The berry is also used in Siddha, Unani, Tibetan, Sri Lankan, and Chinese medicine, but it’s one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine, a natural, holistic system of medicine indigenous to India.
The Benefits & Science
It’s no wonder the amla berry has been a mainstay of Ayurveda for thousands of years. The superpowered fruit contains more antioxidant activity than blueberries, 30 times more polyphenols than red wine, and more gallic acid (a powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit. And just a 100 gram serving of fresh amla berries contains as much vitamin C as 20 oranges — a single berry contains approximately 600–800% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.
Scientists have been studying the amla fruit for the past 25 years, and the published findings back up its reputation. Of course, the high vitamin C content has major immune-strengthening and inflammation-lowering benefits, but that’s not all. Studies also found benefits for digestion, cholesterol and inflammation.
A double-arm, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), found that taking a 1,000 mg amla fruit tablet daily reduced both the frequency and severity of heartburn and other digestive issues. The berry’s fiber content also helps the body regulate bowel movements and may help relieve upset stomach symptoms.
It can benefit your day-to-day gut health even if you’re not dealing with GERD — just one cup of amla provides 26% of the DV of fiber, helping add bulk to your stool and slow down the movement of food in your gut. And in another study, amla extract blocked the development of stomach lesions and protected against injury to the stomach lining.
And great news if you take a hard-to-absorb supplement like iron. Amla also plays well with others — those high levels of vitamin C help your gut absorb other nutrients. Together with other supplements or on its own, amla berries are well worth a try whether you’re looking to target specific symptoms or just improve your overall well-being.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician before treating any disorder.
- Clinical Education Institute for Functional Medicine
- European Journal of Cancer Prevention
- Taiyo International
- Huffington Post
Note: This information is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician before treating any disorder.