Herb Spotlight: Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)

Amla, or āmalakī in Sanskrit, is one of the most prominent tonic herbs and adaptogens in the Ayurvedic tradition and is both food and medicine. In Ayurvedic terminology, it is classified as a rasāyana herb, a class of herbs which promotes longevity and rejuvenation and Amla is the primary ingredient of the ancient rasāyana formula, cyavanaprāśa.

Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is a small tree native to India and while all parts of the tree have herbal properties, it is the Amla fruit which is famous in Ayurveda and from which the Amla tree gets its name (amla in Sanskrit means sour–as the fruit has a very sour, though not unpleasant, taste!). Though sour is the predominant taste, Amla is considered to have five of the six tastes in Ayurveda: sour, sweet, bitter, astringent and pungent and is only missing the salty taste. Having five of the six tastes is another reason why Amla is considered to be a divyauṣadha, or divine herb.

Amla is also one of the three ingredients in the famous synergistic herbal formula triphala, together with harītakī (Terminalia chebula) and vibhītakī (or bibhitaki–Terminalia bellirica). Triphala is a tri-doshic rasāyana formula with a wide variety of medicinal uses and properties.

Ayurvedic properties of Amla

  • Amla is a unique tonic herb which pacifies and balances all three of the body’s doshas.
  • Amla has a cooling potency (śīta vīrya), and is thus helpful in fever and conditions of excess heat or thirst.
  • According to Ayurveda (and modern medicine) Amla is helpful in controlling type 2 diabetes.
  • Amla has a very high concentration of Vitamin C (100g contains the vitamin C content of 50 oranges!) which helps to boost immunity.
  • Rich in vitamin A, Amla is good for eye health and improves vision.
  • Amla is considered an anti-aging herb (vayasthāpana) and brain tonic. It is high in phytonutrients and antioxidants which help to protect brain cells and improve brain function and memory.
  • Together with its powerful antioxidants and high levels of Vitamin C, Amla also contains an abundance of Vitamin E which makes it a premier herb for skin care and hair care.
  • Amla is also high in Calcium and Iron.

Amla in Ayurvedic body care

Though Amla is a tonic herb and superfood and the benefits of eating or taking Amla internally are extensive and well-known, Amla is also a key ingredient in all kinds of Ayurvedic body care formulae for the skin and hair. It is often formulated together with its other two sister herbs in the form of triphala, but sometimes it combines with other herbs without harītakī & vibhītakī. Ayurvedic body care products with Amla also benefit from the herb’s vayasthāpana, or anti-aging properties, which partially derive from its high concentration of antioxidants and important nutrients like vitamins A, C & E.

Auromere Ayurvedic products containing Amla

Considering the high esteem that Amla is held in Ayurveda and its abundance of vitamins and herbal potencies suitable for all doshas and body types, it is no surprise that Amla features in a majority of Auromere’s unique body care formulations:

  • Ayurvedic Face Wash – A potent blend of 13 Ayurvedic herbs (including triphala) with red clay and natural Fuller’s Earth, it is abundantly rich in antioxidants, minerals and micro-nutrients. Use as a naturally exfoliating, daily polish that is gentle on delicate facial skin, yet cleans deeply and leaves the skin feeling silky soft and invigorated. Use with our Ayurvedic Wrinkle Serum for a complete and rejuvenating facial skin care protocol.
  • Ayurvedic Wrinkle Serum – A deep-penetrating, nourishing serum that softens and smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially for delicate and aging facial skin and neck area. Rich in micronutrients and naturally occurring citric, lactic, lauric and linoleic fatty acids, the ingredients are combined into a highly effective formula for daily facial skin rejuvenation and radiance.
  • Herbomineral Mud Bath – Based on the Ayurvedic tradition of Mud Therapy (mṛttikā cikitsā) this product is a great bathing alternative to traditional soaps, which have a tendency to dry out the skin. Exfoliating, cleansing and nourishing with the purest natural ingredients, it features 12 potent herbs (including triphala) and 4 types of clay all noted for their purifying and rejuvenating effects on the skin.
  • Ayurvedic Neem Balm – This simple balm harnesses the power of pure Neem oil (along with Amla, Sandalwood, Mango Ginger, and Olive oils) to provide an almost miraculous treatment for just about any type of skin problem.
  • Neem Plus 5 Shampoo – This unique Ayurvedic formula includes Neem (the premier herb for skin and scalp) ‘plus 5’ other potent herbal extracts: Reetha, Shikakai, Henna, Amla and Methi – all prized for their natural cleansing, nourishing and rejuvenating effect on the hair and scalp.
  • Ayurvedic Pre-shampoo Conditioner– A deeply nourishing treatment for hair and scalp, based on a traditional Ayurvedic formula. Strengthens roots, counteracts the drying effects of shampoos, smoothes tangles and restores the natural balance for all hair and skin types. Combine with shampoo for a quick wash that leaves hair moisturized and nourished, or leave it overnight for maximum results.
  • Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar – An “All-in-One bar”: soap, shampoo, body wash and more! Features Neem and other herbal extracts prized for their natural skin and hair care benefits. Perfect for travel, camping, gym bag, etc. Lightweight, convenient, TSA-friendly, and eco-friendly : )

With all best wishes for your health and wellness from Auromère

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