Amla Benefits, Dose, Usage, Side Effects – Complete Ayurveda Details

Amla or Amalaki can be said as the most used Ayurvedic ingredient. It is both a food and medicine. The little fruit is stuffed with innumerable health benefits that can ever be imagined. The word Amla refers to sour, which is its predominant taste. Its botanical name is Emblica officinalis or Phyllanthus emblica.

Hindi name: Amla
English name: Indian Gooseberry
Telugu name: Usiri Kaya, Usheeri Kayi,
Tamil name: Nellikkai
Malayalam and Kannada name: Nelli
Farsi name: Amlaj

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Amalki – having sour taste
Dhatri –takes care of the patient like a mother.
Shriphala fruit is auspicious
Amrutaphala – As good as nector.
Vayastha, Vayasya – anti aging
Tishyaphala,
Sheetaphala – has coolant property

Classical categorization:
Charaka Samhita

Jvaraghna – Group of herbs that are useful in fever
Kasaghna – Group of herbs that are useful in cough, cold
Virechanopaga – Group of herbs that are useful to induce purgation.
Kushtaghna – Group of herbs that are useful in skin diseases
Vayasthapana – Anti aging group of herbs
As per Charaka, it is one of those ingredients, that can be taken on daily basis. (Pathya).  (Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 5/12)

विद्यादामलके सर्वान् रसांल्लवणवर्जितान्||१४७||
रूक्षं स्वादु कषायाम्लं कफपित्तहरं परम्|
vidyādāmalake sarvān rasāṃllavaṇavarjitān||147||
rūkṣaṃ svādu kaṣāyāmlaṃ kaphapittaharaṃ param| – Charaka Sutrasthana 27
Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) contains all tastes except salt
Rooksha – dry
Swadu – sweet
Kashaya – astringent
Balances Kapha and Pitta.

Sushruta Samhita: Amalakyadi, Parushakadi and Triphala group of herbs.
Vagbhata: Parushakadi group of herbs.

Ancient interesting facts about Amla:
In Vedic period, it was added into bathing water. Charaka has mentioned Amalaki as the best among anti aging herbs.
Amalaki has sour as the main taste. Usually sour taste increases Pitta but Amla balances Pitta.
Though amla has a little sweet taste, it is used as an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines like Mehari Choorna, Nishamalaki Choorna etc.

Amla is the main ingredient of Chyawanprash.

Amalaki contains five tastes excluding salt taste.

Distribution: It is available naturally or cultivated throughout Tropical parts of India.

Amla – medicinal qualities:
Rasa (taste) – Has five tastes. – sour, salt, bitter, astringent and pungent (all the five tastes, excluding salt). Sour is dominant taste.
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (sweet)
Veerya (potency): Sheeta (cold)
Effect on Tridosha: Tridoshahara  – It balances all the three Doshas.

Amla benefits - Ayurveda Details

Vayasthapana – Of all the anti aging herbs – Amla is the best.
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Sarvadoshaghna – Balances Vata, Pitta and kapha
It balances Vata due to its sour taste
It balances Pitta dosha due to its sweetness and coldness
It balances Kapha dosha due to dryness and astringent properties.
It is quite similar to Haritaki in qualities.
Raktapittaghna – useful in bleeding disorders.
Pramehaghna – Useful in diabetes and urinary tract disorders.
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Rasayana – anti aging, rejuvenative
Kanthya – useful in throat diseases, improves voice, good for throat.
Hrudya – good for heart
Daahahara – relieves burning sensation
Jvarahara – useful in fever
Rasayana – anti aging, rejuvenative
Amalaki churna is used in preparing a type of salt called Vida Lavana

Amla seed

The Amla seed kernel is sweet and astringent. It is
Vrushya – natural aphrodisiac
Pradara – uterine bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, metrorrhagia etc
Chardi – vomiting
Balances Vata and Pitta
Kasahara – relieves cold and cough
But seed kernel should be avoided during excessive diarrhea, abdominal colic, purpueral disorders and in pure Vata conditions.

Amla side effects:
There are no actual side effects. It is safe in children, pregnancy and lactation.
But just that it is a natural coolant, some people with cold, cough may observe that the symptoms are worsening, if they are eating Amla fruit or taking Amla powder alone.

Amla remedies:
How to eat Amalaki based on your body type

Curds recipe of Amla

How to make Amla hair oil

Amla remedy for excess body heat

Amla home remedy for dysuria

Amla juice benefits –
The juice extract of amla fruit is used for grinding with other herbs in preparation of Amlapittantak Lauh, a medicine used in gastritis.
Amla juice for oral consumption:
The best way to consume amla is to eat it afresh. If you are not comfortable with that, you can also crush its pulp to extract juice and drink it. Dose for such extracted juice is – 5- 10 ml per day.

Q: Can we drink amla juice early morning on empty stomach?  if yes should I drink with warm or normal water ? How many Amla should be used to extract its juice?
A: you can drink amla juice in the morning. You can mix equal amounts of water before drinking. It can be consumed on empty stomach. But after taking this, avoid coffee / tea / milk for at least 45 minutes.
The number of amla to be used depends on the size. Ideally 5 ml (1 teaspoon)  in the morning is good.

If you are considering market available Amla juice, then follow the guidelines on the label to dilute it and for dosage. If they contain added preservative, it is best to limit it to few weeks time.

Is frozen amla as good as fresh amla?
Any fruit, which is fresh is always better. However, due to seasonality of the Amla fruit, it is not available all throughout the year. Hence, for the sake of convenience, it can be frozen and used as and when required. I would say, it is not as good as fresh amla, but still good enough to use.

Is Amla incompatible with milk?
Yes, all sour foods and herbs, including amalaki, are incompatible with milk, because Amla curdles it.
Solution? You need to give at least 30 minutes gap between Amla and milk. For example, if you are prescribed Amla capsule, along with Turmeric capsule with milk, then take Amla capsule before food, have food, and then take turmeric capsule with milk. This will ensure that the milk and amla are separated.

Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Assistant Professor, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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Comments

  1. Great. I hv prepared amla oil as per ur recipe and using it since last two months.it’s really goods and beneficial tomy hair .thanks a lot.

  2. Doctor,can u tell me how to mak brahmi amla hair oil?Thank u for uploading the receipe of amla hair oil.

  3. very informative
    Can you pls suggest r write an article on uses of kadukkai/kadukkai powder

  4. Is aloevera ok instead of amla

  5. Can i pressure steam amla and consume it ….will steaming under pressure deplete amla of its medicinal value ???/

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Steamed amla can be taken. Though, there will be some depletion in medicinal values, it will be good enough to use.

  6. Dear doctor, can u plz suggest that what amount of amla is safe in a day and what foods should not be taken in combination with amla.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Amla powder in a dose of 2 – 5 grams per day is very well tolerated by most. It is usually goes well along with most of food items, excluding milk.

  7. Doctor i have throat problem. I am a singer and my throat gets dry almost all the time. Also i get throat infection very often. I cant even speak loud. Can i still consume amla with honey evryday? Will it aggrevate my cold body more?

  8. The Amla Juice sold in the market is in plastic bottles. If fresh Amla fruit is not available, then is it still better to drink this amla juice from plastic bottles compared to amla powder steeped in or with warm water? I feel that real amla juice is much more effective but am wondering how much of its benefits are negated by the plastic leeching into it/etc…?

    Any brand of Amla juice you could recommend perhaps?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Having Amla powder mixed with warm water, or preparing Amla kashaya ( a teaspoon of amla powder mixed with two cups of water, boiled and reduced to a cup, filtered), is better than Amla juice.
      There is some compromise for sure, with plastic bottle.

      I guess, Vedic juices amla juice is good..(?) Has good review and is USDA organic certified. – Available in USA Here – (aff) – http://amzn.to/1vmVQ5r

  9. Krishna Kumar says:

    Thank you for the informative article on amla. I have juice of amla (3nos.) with my breakfast. Is it OK and can the seed of amla be juiced for drinking? Krishna Kumar,

  10. In astanga Hridaya,in vajikarana chapter,vagbhata prescribes amla powder with milk.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      In Ashtanga Hrudaya, Uttaratantra, Vajikarana Chapter (40th chapter) – 27th verse, there is a reference of usage of long pepper, amla, processed with amla juice, sugar candy and honey. – Here, milk is not used in processing the product. But is only used as Anupana. Moreover,with the processing of honey and sugar candy, the product would be sweet than sour. Hence, milk as after drink can be substantiated.

  11. priya chavan says:

    hello doctor …thnks for the article on amla ….its beneficial….

  12. Dr want to know is it safe to drink amla juice with normal water on empty stomach do reply does daily consumption leads to cold nd all

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, if it is juice extracted amla, then it can be taken on empty stomach. If you already are prone to cold, then you can take a teaspoon of extracted amla juice with a teaspoon of honey, on empty stomach. It also is, in fact a very good remedy to lose weight.

  13. Wht pack can I use of amla on face to get rid of lines scars pimples my skin is very sensitive

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, you can use Kumkumadi tailam – This is an herbal oil – Take 5 drops in to your finger tips gently rub it on to your face for 5 minutes, wash off with warm water. Do this everyday. Available here – http://bit.ly/1DCNNEm

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