- Etymology: The genus or species epithet name Emblica derives from the Sanskrit name "amalika" which means sour.
- According to ancient Indian mythology, Emblica is the first tree to be created in the Universe. It is mentioned as rasyana in charaka samhita and believed to prevent aging and promote longevity.
Phyllanthus emblica is a tree 3-8(-23) m tall, to 50 cm d.b.h., monoecious, deciduous; bark brownish; main stems terete, sparsely lenticellate, with very reduced short shoots producing groups of leafy shoots; leafy shoots angular, tawny pubescent, at start of growing season often with poorly developed leaves and densely flowered, later with fewer flowers and better-developed leaves. Leaves distichous; stipules triangular-ovate, 0.8-1.5 mm, brown, margins entire or denticulate, ciliate; petiole 0.3-0.7 mm; leaf blade oblong or linear-oblong, 8-23 × 1.5-6 mm, papery to leathery, paler abaxially, green adaxially, drying reddish or brownish, base shallowly cordate and slightly oblique, margin narrowly revolute, apex truncate, rounded or obtuse, mucronate or retuse at tip; lateral veins 4-7 pairs. Fascicles with many male flowers and sometimes 1 or 2 larger female flowers. Male flowers: pedicels 1-2.5 mm; sepals 6, membranous, yellow, obovate or spatulate, subequal, 1.2-2.5 × 0.5-1 mm, apex obtuse or rounded, margin entire or shallowly denticulate; disk glands 6, subtriangular; stamens 3; filaments coherent into column, 0.3-0.7 mm; anthers erect, oblong, 0.5-0.9 mm, longitudinally dehiscent, apex mucronate. Female flowers: pedicels ca. 0.5 mm; sepals 6, oblong or spatulate, 1.6-2.5 × 0.7-1.3 mm, apex obtuse or rounded, thicker, margin membranous, ± lobate; ovary ovoid, ca. 1.5 mm, 3-celled; styles 3, (1-)2.5-4 mm, connate at base, deeply bifid, lobes divided at tip. Fruit a drupe, globose, 1-1.3 cm in diam., exocarp fleshy, pale green or yellowish white, endocarp crustaceous. Seeds reddish, 5-6 × 2-3 mm. (2)
- Cultivated, not naturalized.
In 1901 seeds of P. emblica were brought to experimental stations in the Philiippines.
- Study of dried powdered fruits and leaves extract using aqueous and solvent extracts yielded alkaloids, oil, fat, glyceroids, carbohydrates, phenolics, tannins, lignin, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids etc. (see study below) (9)
- Study of fruits isolated 11 compounds:
gallic acid (1), ellagic acid (2), 1-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose (3), 3,6-di-O-galloyl-D-glucose (4), chebulinic acid (5), quercetin (6), chebulagic acid (7), corilagin (8), 3-ethylgallic acid (3-ethoxy-4,5-dihydroxy-benzoic acid (9), isostrictiniin (10), 1,6-di-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose (11). (10)
- Vitamin C content: Raw Amla provides 600 mg Vitamin C per 100 g; Pressed juice, 920 mg//100 ml; dehydrated Amla, 2500 to 3500 mg/100 g; dried and powdered Amla, 1800 to 2600 mg/100 g. (11)
- Along with vitamin C, fruits contain phenols, including ellagic acid, gallic acid, quercetin, kaempferol, corilagin, geraniin, furosin, gallotannins, emblicanins, flavonoids, glycosides, and proanthocyanidins. Roots contain glycosides and tannins.
- Total phenolic content (TPC) for leaves, branches and barks were 513.83, 650.50 and 2196.33 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dried material, respectively.
(see study below) (20)
- Nutritional value of fruit (% or per 100g) yielded moisture 81.2%, protein 0.5%, fat 0.1%, mineral matter 0.7%, fiber 3.4%, carbohydrate 14.1%, calcium 0.05%, phosphorus 0.02%, iron 1.2 mg/100g, vitamin C 600 mg/100g, nicotinic acid 0.2 mg/100g. (33)
- Considered refrigerant, diuretic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, reparative.
- In India, considered as probably the most important natural source of Vitamin C.
- Studies have suggested hypolipidemic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, spasmolytic, chondroprotective, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, prokinetic, antispasmodic, antidiabetic, antiaging, antiplasmodial, wound healing, quorum sensing inhibitory, cardioprotective, chemopreventive, cognitive enhancing, anti-platelet aggregating, immunomodulatory, antimelanogenesis, anti-biofilm forming, hair growth-promoting properties.
Fruits, leaves, branches.
- Ripe fruits are edible, but unpalatable because of sourness and astringency, and quite fibrous; eaten raw, sweetened, or preserved.
- In India, the fruit is commonly prepared and eaten as a pickle.
- In Thailand, fruits used as expectorant, antipyretic, diuretic, antidiarrheal and antiscorbutic.
- Fruit pulp rubbed on head to treat headache and dizziness due to excessive heat or fever. Fruit juice used for treatment of inflamed eyes, colic and other abdominal ailments. Fruit used for treatment of hemorrhages, diarrhea, dysentery, anemia, jaundice, scurvy, diiabetes, bronchitis, cough, dyspepsia. (6)
- In Ayurveda, fruit used as a potent Rasayana (rejuvenator) and in traditional medicine for the treatment of diarrhea, jaundice, and inflammation.
Decoction of fruit pericarp applied to boils and spots. Fruits used to prevent premature graying of hairs, to strengthen hair and prevent dandruff. (11)
- In Thailand, decoction of leaves and branches used for reducing fever and edema. Fresh extracts of leaves and branches used for anti-inflammatory and external wound healing treatments. Bark used for oral wound healing and dermatitis.
- Fruit juice combined with bitter gourd juice used for diabetes. Ground roots used for dental problems. Bark juice combined with honey and tumeric used for gonorrhea. Fruits, fresh or crushed, and dried fruits boiled in coconut oil used to prevent graying of hair. Dried amla pieces soaked overnight used to nourishing the hair. Seed infusion applied externally to eye problems. Root bark and leaf decoction used for oral irritation; root bark with sweet massaged to treat aphthous stomatitis. Amla seeds crushed in conjee applied to stop nose bleed. Fruit combined with Neem used for skin whitening. Amla juice with old ghee used for gout. (31)
- Wood: Red wood is close-grained, heavy, hard and flexible. Used for minor construction, furniture, tools, gunstocks, etc. Wood quite durable when submerged, used to clarify water; used as inner braces for wells. (4)
- Tanning: Immature fruits used for tanning in India and Thailand, often combined with other tanning materials such as chebulii and beleric myrobalans. Stem bark and leaves also used for tanning.
- Dye: Leaves used for dyeing matting, bamboo wickerwork, silk, and wool brown. The color turns black when iron is used as mordant. In Indo-China and China, fruits used for making black ink and hair dye. (2)
- Cosmetics: Dried fruits used as shampoo for its detergent properties. Fixed oil from fruit used in shampoos in India; also used as hair restorer. (4) Amla berry moisturizes the skin. Crushed fruits promote hair growth and prevent hair graying.
- Worship: Many Hindus regard emblic as sacred; the ripe fruit prescribed for 40 days after a fast to restore health and vitality. (4)
- Manure: Lopped branches used as green manure; corrects excessively alkaline soil. (4)
- Home use: Dried leaves sometimes used for filling pillows.
- Crafts: Paste from boiled fruits used to making simulated pottery jars. (4)
- Fuel: Wood produces good quality charcoal.
• Serum Lipid Effects
/ Review: Flavonoids from E. officinalis have been shown to reduced serum and tissue lipid levels through an inhibitory effect on hepatic ß-hydroxy-ß-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity. Study evaluated efficacy and safety of E. officinalis extracts in adults with dyslipidemia. Review of four randomized trials showed statistically significant decreases in total cholesterol levels, LDL-C levels, and a significant increase in HDL-C levels after 12 weeks of intervention. There were no differences in serum triglyceride levels. Intervention was well-tolerated with only mild adverse effects. (5)
/ Leaves and Fruits: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of various extracts at doses of 10 and 20 mg/mL of leaves and fruits against common pathogenic bacteria (Gm+ S. aureus and Gm- P. aeruginosa) using agar disc diffusion method. Results showed broad spectrum antibacterial activity. (see constituents above) (9)
• Prokinetic / Laxative / Spasmodic
/ Dried Fruits: Study evaluated crude extracts of P. emblica dried fruit use in indigestion and constipation using in-vivo and in-vitro assays. At doses of 100 and 300 mg/kg, the crude extract exhibited prokinetic and laxative activities in mice, which were partially sensitive to atropine. In isolated guinea-pig ileum and rabbit jejunum, the extract caused concentration-dependent and partially atropine-sensitive stimulatory effects followed by relaxation at higher concentrations. The ethyl acetate and chloroform fractions )0.003-1.0 mg/mL) showed only spasmolytic activity in spontaneously contracting rabbit jejunum. The prokinetic, laxative, and spasmodic effect were mediated partially through activation of muscarinic receptors. Results provide rationale for use of fruits in indigestion and constipation. (12)
• Cytotoxicity Against Cancer Cell Lines / Antioxidant / Seeds and Fruits: Study compared the bioactivities of seed and fruit extracts. Free radical scavenging by DPPH assay showed the highest activity in highest concentration of 10 mg/ml. Seed extract showed higher contents of tannin and flavonoid with 126.71 mg TAE/g and 1016.25 mg QE/g extract, respectively. Cytotoxicity study against human breast adenocarcinoma cell line by MTT assay at maximum concentration 10000µg/ml showed the seed had more toxicity than fruit extract at 68.98% and 35.57%. (13)
• Antidiarrheal / Spasmolytic / Fruits: Study evaluated the possible mechanisms for use of fruit extract of P. emblica for diarrhea using in vivo studies in mice and in vitro studies using isolated rabbit jejunum and guinea-pig ileum. Results showed the fruit extract possesses antidiarrheal and spasmolytic activities, possibly mediated through dual blockade of muscarinic receptors and Ca2+ channels. (14)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Fruits: Study reported on the easy, ecofriendly, economical green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using fruit extract of P. emblica as reducing and stabilizing agent. (15)
• GERD / Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease / Amla Tablets / Clinical Trial: A double-arm, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated the effect of Amla tablets on 68 patients with classic symptoms of GERD. Amla tablets 500 mg twice daily after meals for 4 weeks were given to the treatment group. Results showed frequency of heartburn and regurgitation were significantly reduced after intervention in both groups. Repeated measures logistic regression analysis showed the Amla group had more significant reduction in regurgitation frequency and severity, heartburn frequency and severity during the study period, compared with the placebo group (p<0.001). (16)
• Chondroprotective in Osteoarthritis / Fruits: Study evaluated the chondroprotective potential of P. emblica fruits in vitro using three different assay systems: hyaluronidase and collagenase enzyme activities, model of cartilage degradation, and a model of cartilage matrix damage. Results showed aqueous extracts of both fruit powders significantly inhibited activities of hyaluronidase and collagenase type 2 in vitro. Extracts of glucosamine sulphate and fruit powder exhibited statistically significant, long-term chondroprotective activity in cartilage explants from 50% of patients tested. Powder A (aqueous extracts of unprocessed fruit powder) induced statistically significant, short-term chondroprotective activity in cartilage explants from all patients tested. Results suggest potential use of fruits as a chondroprotective agent in osteoarthritis therapy. (17)
• Anti-Aging / Antioxidant / Anti-Collagenase and Anti-Elastase Activities: Study compared in vitro antioxidants, anti-collagenase (MMP-1 and MMP-2) and anti-elastase properties, and phenolic and flavonoid contents of amla, sapota, and silymarin as potential anti-aging ingredients. Amla exhibited the highest TPC (362.43 mg GAE/g) while silymarin showed highest TFC. On DPPH and ABTS antioxidant assays, Amla showed most potent capacity with IC50s of 1.70 and 4.45 µg/mL, respectively. Sapota showed highest MMP-1 and MMP-2 and elastase inhibitions. The extracts exhibited anti-aging properties in different mechanisms and exhibited potential to be added as a mixture for overall anti-aging effects. (18)
• Anti-Diabetic Quercetin / Lipid Effects / Fruit: Study evaluated molecular interactions of ligands, quercetin, gallic acid, and metformin with various diabetes mellitus-treated protein targets, such as glycogen phosphorylase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. It was shown that quercetin possesses good binding affinity to both targets. Quercetin is a major constituents of methanolic extracts of P. emblica fruit. Study evaluated its antihyperglycemic effect in STZ-induced diabetic rats. At dose of 75 mg/kbw, the isolated quercetin produced maximum decrease of 14.78% in blood glucose in diabetic rats after 7 days. It also significantly improved profiles of triglycerides, HDL, VLDL, LDL, and total cholesterol. Results suggest potential for quercetin as an antidiabetic and antihyperglycemic drug. (19)
• Phenolic Contents / Antioxidant / Leaves, Branches, Bark: Study evaluated the total phenolic contents of antioxidant activities of different extracts of leaves, branches, and bark of P. emblica. The extract of bark showed highest TPC. TPC for leaves, branches and barks were 513.83, 650.50 and 2196.33 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dried material, respectively. On DPPH assay, the extract showed concentration-dependent scavenging activity. Ferric reducing power ability (FRAP) for leaf, branch, and bark extracts were 696.73, 729.33 and 966 mg/g ascorbic acid equivalent, respectively. (20)
• Promotion of Endothelial Function and Wound Healing: Endothelial dysfunction is a hallmark of impaired wound healing and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Study evaluated the antioxidant constituents and capacity of P. emblica freeze-dried fruit powder using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in aspects of endothelial cell proliferation, nitric oxide (NO) production, wound healing, cell migration, in vitro angiogenesis, and VEGF gene expression. Study showed PE possessed high antioxidant capacity and enhanced endothelial wound healing and sprouting at high concentrations. The beneficial effects on endothelial cells were attributed, partly, to antioxidant constituent ascorbic acid. (21)
• Antiplasmodial: Study evaluated the invitro and invivo antiplasmodial activity and cytotoxicity of Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia chebula and T. bellerica extracts. All water extracts revealed flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins, saponin, and terpenes. All extracts showed antimalarial activity (IC50 range from 14.33-15.41 µg/ml). P. emblica showed antiplasmodial activity against P. falciparum K1 strain with IC50 of 14.37 µg/ml. P. emblica showed good suppression activity against P. berghei at 250 mg/kg/day with mean parasitaemia values at 11.85 (69.46% suppression). All extracts showed good selectivity indicating potential for specific and safer therapy. (22)
• Acute and Chronic Oral Toxicity Studies / Fruit: Study evaluated the acute and chronic toxicity of standardized water extract of P. emblica fruit. Acute toxicity study using a single oral dose of 5000 mg water extract/kbw to Sprague Dawley rats showed no toxicity in terms of general behavior, mortality or gross changes in internal organs (LD50 >5000 mg/kg). Chronic toxicity study with daily oral doses of 300, 600, and 1,200 mg/kg for 270 days showed slight changes in hematological and blood chemistry parameters. No gross or histopathological findings were found. Results suggest safety for humans at doses of 300, 600, and 1,200 mg/kg/day. (23)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of P. emblica leaf extract by disc diffusion method. The leaf extract at concentrations ranging from 62.5 to 1000 µg showed antibacterial and antifungal activities against all tested strains except Enterococcus faecalis. Standard drugs were streptomycin and amphotericin B. (24)
• Quorum Sensing Inhibitory Potential Against P. aeruginosa: Study evaluated the anti-quorum sensing activity of Phyllanthus emblica against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The anti-quorum sensing efficacy was estimated with reference to QS bio-monitoring strain Chromobacterium violaceum. Amino acids tryptophan, aspartic acid, and tyrosine were important for the interactions. The docking studies revealed interactions with the critical amino acids and the compound Cardamonin (CID_641785) with the highest binding score may be an effective inhibitor of P. aeruginosa pathogenesis. (25)
• Hepatoprotective / Synergism of P. emblica and T. cordifolia against Antitubercular Drugs-Induced Hepatic Damage: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of Tinospora cordifolia (Tc) and Phyllanthus emblica (Pe) and their combination in a rat model of isoniazid, rifampin and pyrazinamide induced hepatic damage. The antituberculosis treatment (ATT) induced significant degeneration and necrosis associated with morphological changes. Co-administration of silymarin with ATT showed reduction in liver damage, which was not statistically significant. Pe prevented the necrotic changes significantly (p<0.05). Combination of Tc and Pe in therapeutic doses (1:3) significantly prevented necrosis (p<0.001). Halved doses produced similar effects comparable to silymarin. Results suggest synergistic protective effects by combination of Tc and Pe when co-administered with ATT. (26)
• Chemopreventive on DMBA-Induced Oral Carcinogenesis / Fruit: Study evaluated the chemopreventive effect of P. emblica fruit methanolic extract (PFMet) on oxidant-antioxidant status in hamster bucca pouch carcinogenesis. Buccal pouch carcinoma was induced in hamsters by painting with DBMA (0.5% in mineral oil). HPLC analysis identified ascorbic acid (24.13%), gallic acid (10.45%), ellagic acid (1.74%), and quercetin (0.009%) in the PFMet. Data from the study indicates that PFMet at dose of 200 mg/lbw possesses optimum chemopreventive effect against DBMA-induced buccal pouch carcinogenesis. (27)
• Effect on Endothelial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in Type 2 Diabetes Patients: Hyperglycemia can induce endothelial dysfunction via increased oxidative stress and plays a central role in development of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Study evaluated the effects of aqueous extract of P. emblica vs atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial dysfunction and biomarkers of oxidative stress in 80 patients with type 2 diabetes. Treatment with P. emblica at doses of 250 and 500 or atorvastatin 10 mg produced significant reductions in reflection index, suggesting improvement in endothelial dysfunction after 12 weeks of treatment. There was also significant improvement in biomarkers of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, improved lipid profile and HbA1c levels. (28)
• Anti-Inflammatory /on DMBA-Induced Oral Carcinogenesis / Fruit: Study evaluated Phyllanthus emblica (Pe), Plumbago zeylanica (Pz) and Cyperus rotundus (Cr) for anti-inflammatory activity using two models of acute inflammation viz. carrageenan induced rat paw edema and acetic acid induced peritonitis in mice. In carrageenan induced paw edema, the extracts showed reduced edema. The combination of Pe + Pz showed results comparable to aspirin. In the model of acetic acid induced peritonitis, all extracts and a combination of Pe + Pz showed significant decrease in protein content of peritoneal exudate. (29)
• HIV Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitory Activity: Study evaluated the in vitro anti-HIV activity of P. emblica plant extracts from dried fruit. AQF and HXF fractions showed highest inhibition of recombinant HIV-RT (91% and 89% respectively) at 1 mg/ml concentration. CFF fraction showed highest inhibition of HIV-RT at 0.5 mg/ml and CTF fraction at 0.12 mg/ml concentration. Results showed anti-HIV activity via inhibition of IV reverse transcriptase activity. (30)
• Gastroprotective / Immunomodulatory Effect / NSAID-Induced Ulcer: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of amla (eAE) for in vivo study in NSAID-induced ulcer in mice. The eAE showed biphasic activity in ulcerated mice, with healing effect at 60 mg/kg and an adverse effect at 120 mg/;kg. The dose-dependent study suggested that switching from anti-oxidant to pro-oxidant shift and immunomodulatory property may be cause of its biphasic effect. The eAE efficiently reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α and IL-1ß) levels and upregulated anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) concentration. Study suggests the gastric healing by eAE was via a dose-specific manner through harmonization of the antioxidative property and modulation of anti-inflammatory cytokine level. (32)
• Anticancer / Chemopreventive / Antiinvasive: Study evaluated the potential anticancer effects of aqueous extract of P. emblica along cancer cell lines, in vitro apoptosis, mouse skin tumorigenesis and in vitro invasiveness. The PE extract at 50-100 µg/ml significantly inhibited cell growth of six human cancer cell lines viz. A549 (lung), HepG2 (liver), HeLa (cervical) MDA-MB-231 (breast), SK-OV3 (ovarian) and SW620 (colorectal). It was not toxic to MRC5 (normal lung fibroblast). Apoptosis was observed in HeLa cells with DNA fragmentation and increase activity of caspase-3/7 and caspase-8, and upregulation of Fas protein indicating death receptor-mediated mechanism of apoptosis. The PE on mouse skin resulted in >50% reduction of tumor numbers and volumes in DMBA/TPA treated animals. The PE inhibited invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells in invitro Matrigel invasion assay. (34)
• Potential Antidiabetic Phytochemicals: Study evaluated P. emblica for novel plant-derived antidiabetic compounds and the molecular basis of antidiabetic activities. Docking scores, drug-likeness and pharmacophore studies yielded ellagic acid, estradiol, sesamine, kaempferol, zeatin, quercetin, and leucodelphinidin as potential antidiabetic compounds. The molecules could be developed as antidiabetic drugs from a natural resource. (35)
• Improved Cardiovascular Risk Factors / Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study evaluated the effect of oral supplementation of standardized extract of P. emblica (CAPROS®) on cardiovascular disease risk factors in overweight adult human subjects (BMI: 25-35) receiving 500 mg of CAPROS supplement twice daily for 12 weeks. Results showed a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol,TC/HDL. Circulatory high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels were significantly decreased. Both ADP- and collagen-induced platelet aggregation was significantly downregulated. Results suggest overall beneficial effect in overweight/Class-1 obese adults by lowering multiple global CVD risk factors. (36)
• Effect on Cognitive Functions, Brain Enzymes / AChE Activity / Fruits: Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and incurable, associated with progressive degeneration of nerve cells, which affect cognitive activity. Study evaluated the effect of ethanol extracts of ripe and unripe fruits on cognitive functions, brain antioxidant enzymes, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in Swiss albino rats. Results showed considerable increase in percentage of memory retention. High doses of fruit extract increased levels of SOD, CAT, GSH, GSH-Px and decreased TBARS level. Treatment with highest dose (200 mg/kbw) markedly decreased the level of AChE activity. Study suggests the fruit extract is an excellent source of a natural cognitive enhancer with potential to be developed for treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. (37)
• Immunomodulatory / Anticancer / Phenolic Compounds: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory properties and anticancer potential of six phenolic compounds from emblica fruit by in vitro proliferation assay. Significant immunostimulatory effects were found for geraniin and isocorilagin, which showed high cytotoxicities against MCF-7 and HELF with IC50s of 6.8 and 14.5 µg/mL, respectively. The findings were in line with reported antioxidant activity. Results suggest the antitumor activity may be due to immunomodulatory properties, which partially may be attributed to antioxidant activity. (38)
• Antioxidant / Antimelanogenesis / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of 50% ethanolic extract (EPE) and methanolic extract (MPE) of P. emblica branch showed high total phenolic content and antioxidative activity. HPLC analysis yielded gallic acid and vanillic acid as major phenolic compounds.. Both EPE and MPE inhibited tyrosinase activity stronger than ethanolic extract of fruit. EPE significantly inhibited mRNA expressions of tyrosinase and tyrosinase related proteins (TRP-1 and -2) in B16 murine melanoma cells and suppressed expression of LPS-induced pro-inflammatory genes (COX-2, iNOS, TNF-α, IL-16 and IL-6) in RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells in a dose dependent manner. Extracts significantly suppressed carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats in a dose-dependent manner. (39)
• Hydrolyzable Tannins / Fruits: Hydrolyzable tannins are among the major bioactive components of fruits. Mucic acid gallate, mucic acid lactone gallate, monogalloylglucose, gallic acid, digalloylglucose, putranjivain A, galloyl-HHDP-glucose, elaeocarpusin, and chebulagic acid are the most abundant hydrolyzable tannins. The compositional profiles of tannins in fruits vary depending on cultivars and ripening stages. Tannin-rich fruit extracts have shown antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune regulating activities. The emblic leafflower may be a potential source of raw material for natural food preservatives. (40)
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol Induced Toxicity / Fruits: Study evaluated the efficacy of P. emblica fruits in preventing paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in rats. P. emblica (100-200 mg/kg) increased cell viability of rat hepatocytes being treated with paracetamol (2 g).Treatment with aqueous extracts of fruits revealed normal appearance of hepatocytes, offset of necrosis, and consequent appearance of leucocytes suggesting the hepatoprotective effect. (41)
• Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Prevention: Review focuses on the cancer-preventive properties of gooseberry (P. emblica) and its phytochemicals and the molecular mechanisms of cancer prevention. In multiple rodent models of cancer, treatment with P. emblica was found to prevent tumor incidence, number, and volume at various organ sites. The mechanism(s) implicated in gooseberry-mediated cancer inhibition include antioxidants, Phase I and II enzyme modifications, anti-inflammatory action, regulation of cell cycle, and modulation of oncogenic signaling genes. Studies in humans suggest various health benefits and synergism with other treatments, potential anticarcinogenic activity. (42)
• Antidiabetic / Inhibition of Enzyme Activity and Glucose/Sucrose Absorption / Fruits: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effects of ethanolic extract of fruits of P. emblica in long evans rats measuring residual gut sucrose, gut perfusion, and disaccharidase activities. The fruit extract significantly (p<0.05) and dose dependently inhibited intestinal disaccharidase activity, suggesting reduction of sucrose absorption. Gut perfusion analysis showed significant reduction of intestinal glucose absorption. (43)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Fruits: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of standardized water extract of fruit using ethyl phenylpropiolate (EPP)-induced and arachidonic acid (AA)-induced ear edema, carrageenan-induced paw edema, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma models. Results showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities with mechanisms similar to NSAIDS rather than steroidal drugs. Inhibitory effect on synthesis and/or release of inflammatory or pain mediators may be the mechanisms of action of the water extract. (44)
• Anticancer / Synergistic Growth Inhibitory Effect with Doxorubicin and Cisplatin: Study evaluated the growth inhibitory effects of P. emblica and T. bellerica extracts on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and lung carcinoma (A549), and their synergistic effect with doxorubicin and cisplatin. Both extracts demonstrated growth inhibitory activity, with a certain degree of selectivity against the two cancer cell lines. Synergistic effects (CI<1) for P.emblica/doxorubicin or cisplatin at different dose levels were demonstrated in A549 and HepG2 cells. The mechanisms involved in the interaction between chemo drugs and plant extracts remain unclear and require further evaluation. (45)
• Anti-Skin Aging / Branch / Clinical Trial: Study evaluated the anti-skin aging efficacy of a topical gel formulation of amla branch. Investigations included antioxidant, anti-tyrosinase, anti-melanogenesis, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 inhibitory assays.. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-control study was performed on 20 volunteers for 84 consecutive days. Sinapic and ferulic acids were major phenolics in the extract. Results showed lightening skin color, enhanced skin elasticity and hydration, and skin wrinkle reduction. Results suggest the amla branch is a rich source of bioactive compounds with potential as ingredient in anti-skin aging products. (46)
• Antibacterial / Fruit: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of aqueous fruit extract of P. emblica against eight pathogenic cultures and its application in green synthesis of silver nanoparticles. The fruit extract showed zone of inhibition (ZOI) in range of 10.7 to 21.3 mm, MICs in range of 12.5% to 50%, and MBC at concentration of 50% to kill 75% of test cultures. Results suggest the fruit extract can be used for green synthesis of silver nanoparticles. (47)
• Protective against Gouty Arthritis / Fruit: Study evaluated the protective effects of P. emblica in the treatment of gouty arthritis and its mechanism of action. Main extract components included mucic acid, mucic acid lactone, gallic acid, ethyl hexyl phthalate, and glucose by UPLC-ESI-qTOF-MS. The core mechanism of action is mainly associated with inflammation-related pathways, including the HIF-1, PI3K-Akt, TNF, and NOD-like receptor signaling pathways. Results suggest PEL exerted therapeutic effects against acute gouty arthritis. Reducing uric acid levels, inhibiting inflammation, and decreasing expression of MMP13 may be responsible for the therapeutic effect. Results suggest potential for further development as drug for treatment of gout. (48)
• No Antihypertensive Effect / Clinical Trial: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effects of aqueous extract of P. emblica on essential hypertension and other protective actions on 150 patients with essential hypertension. with PE capsule (500 mg) or placebo twice daily, added to routine medications for 12 weeks. While P. emblica had a good safety profile, the treatment failed to produce any additional reduction in systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure levels and did not exhibit improvement in oxidant status, antioxidant capacity, lipid profile, HbA1c, arterial stiffness parameters or hs-CRP levels. (49)
• Amelioration of Pulmonary Damage Induced by CCl4 / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity and amelioration of pulmonary fibrosis with P. emblica leaves by in vitro methods and in vivo animal model. The leaf extract exhibited appreciable in vitro antioxidant activity and scavenged DPPH radical (IC50 39.73 µg/mL) and nitric oxide (IC50 39.14) and moderate antioxidant activity for anti-lipid peroxidation. Co-administration of leaf extract with CCl4 exhibited a dose dependent decline in parameters of oxidative injuries. Histopathological damages viz. disrupted alveoli, infiltration of macrophages and modified architecture of Clara cells were reversed to normal state with co-administration of leaf extract. HPLC-DAD analysis of leaf extract showed presence of gallic acid, rutin, kaempferol, and caffeic acid. The polyphenolics and other active constituents may play a significant role in repairing pulmonary damages induced by CCl4. (50)
• Potential Bioactive Components against COVID-19: Study evaluated the potency of several components of P. emblica against three protein targets of 2019-nCov viz. NSP15 endoribonuclease, main protease, and receptor binding domain of perfusion spike protein using molecular docking and dynamic studies. Out of 66 tested compounds, chlorogenic acid, quercitrin, and myricetin were most effective with highest binding energy against selected protein targets of SARS-CoV-2. Results suggest a positive role of P. emblica in the treatment and management of COVID-19. (51)
• Hepatoprotective / Ethanol Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective effects of P. emblica extract (PE) on ethanol induced rat hepatic injury. The PE increased cell viability of rat primary cultured hepatocytes being treated with ethanol by increasing % MTT and decreasing the release of transaminase. Pretreatment of rats with PE at oral dose of 25, 50, and 75 mg/kg or SL (silymarin, reference hepatoprotective agent) at 5 mg/kg, lowered the ethanol induced levels of AST, ALT, and IL-1 beta. The 75 mg/kg dose yielded best result similar to silymarin. PE (75 mg/kg/day) or SL (5 mg/kg/day) for 7 days after 21 days with ethanol enhanced liver cell recovery evidenced by return of levels of AST, ALT, and IL-1beta back to normal. Histopath studies confirmed the hepatoprotective activity of PE and SL against ethanol induced liver injury in rats. (52)
• Gallic Acid / Indomethacin-Induced Gastric Ulcer Healing / Gallic Acid / Fruits: Study evaluated the healing activity of gallic acid enriched ethanolic extract (GAE) of P. emblica fruits against indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in mice. Treatment with GAE (5 mg/kg/day) and omeprazole (3 mg/kg/day) for 3 days led to effective healing of acute ulceration, while GAE could reverse indomethacin induced proinflammatory changes of biochemical parameters. Study suggests GAE treatment accelerates ulcer healing by inducing PGE2 synthesis and augmenting e-NOS/i-NOS ratio. (53)
• Modifying Role against Nickel Clastogenicity: Nickel is a major environmental pollutant known for clastogenic and carcinogenic potential. Study evaluated the role of aqueous extract of edible dried fruits of P. emblica fed to Mus musculus for seven days prior to treatment with different doses of nickel chloride. The fruit extract significantly reduced the frequency of CA/cell, the percentage of aberrant cells, and frequency of micronuclei induced by all dose of nickel in the bone marrow cells of mice. Vitamin C could only alleviate the cytotoxic effects induced by low doses of nickel, and was ineffective at higher doses. The greater efficacy of the fruit extract may be due to interaction of various components rather than a single constituent. (54)
• Effect as ADD-On Therapy on Confirmed COVID-19 Cases / Clinical Trial: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial evaluated the effect of P. emblica (Amla) as add-on therapy on COVID-19-related biomarkers and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Organic herbal Amla tea did not significantly affect the RT-PCR results or degree of lung involvement. However, it showed an ameliorative effect on the severity of clinical signs and CRP levels. Amla tea may shorten recovery times of symptoms and length of hospital stay in COVID-19 patients. (55)
• Protection of Skin Keratinocytes from Inflammation and Apoptosis after UVB Irradiation: Ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure is the primary risk for the deadliest type of skin cancer - melanoma. Study evaluated P. emblica fruit extract for potential use in dermal protection against UVB-induced keratinocyte inflammation and apoptosis. PE protected HaCaT cells from UVB-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis by eliminating excessive ROS, activating the antioxidant enzyme CAT, reducing cyt c release, inhibiting Akt overactivity, and mitigating inflammatory signals AP-1 and NF-kB and inflammatory PGE2. Results suggest use of PE as active ingredient for skin protection from UVB irradiation. (56)
• Effect on Adhesion of Candida albicans to BECs and Denture Acrylic Surfaces: Study evaluated the effect of P. emblica ethanolic extract on adhesion of Candida albicans to human buccal epitheial cells (BECs) and denture acrylic surfaces. Human BECs and transparent acrylic strips were pretreated with ethanolic extract of P. embelica fruits. Results showed significant lower numbers of all strains of yeasts adhering to BECs and acrylic strips after exposure to 75-300 mg/ml of plant extract compared to NSS. (57)
• Enhanced Antiplatelet Activity / Interaction with Clopidogrel and Ecosprin / Clinical Study: Randomized open label crossover study in 10 patients evaluated the pharmacodynamic interactions of P. emblica extract with clopidogrel and ecosprin. Co-administration of P. emblica extract containing Emblicanin-A, Emblicanin-B, Pedunculagin and Punigluconin as bioactives along with clopidogrel and ecosprin enhanced antiplatelet activity. Although there was statistically significant prolongation of bleeding and clotting time with treatments, values were within normal reference range and may not be clinically significant. (58)
• Antibacterial / Anti-Biofilm Formation: Study evaluated the antibacterial effect of P. emblica extract (ethanol: methanol 1:1) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli at different concentrations. The alcoholic extract showed highest antibacterial activity at 20 mg/L and 5 mg/L except with P. aeruginosa. Biofilm inhibitory concentration of P. emblica extract was 40-6.25 mg/ml, which suggests it may contain valuable substances directed against pathogenic biofilms. PE can significantly damage adhesion of early colonizers and interfere with the initial stage of biofilm formation. The PE herbal extract inhibition of biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa suggests potential for a promising tool for reducing microbial colonisation on surfaces and epithelial mucosa which subsequently leads to infections. (59)
• Protective against Sodium-Arsenite Toxicity: Groundwater contamination of arsenic is a major health hazard in Bangladesh. Study evaluated the protective effects of P. emblica leaf extract (PLE) on arsenic-mediated toxicity in male Swiss albino mice. PLE supplementation in feed minimized the enlargement of organs and decrease in body weight; however, the deposition of arsenic was not significantly reduced. Results indicate PLE may not block arsenic deposition in tissues directly but may play a protective role in reducing arsenic-induced toxicity. (60)
• Chlorophyllin / Antiproliferative against MCF-7: Chlorophyllin belongs to a group of closely related water-soluble salts that are semi-synthetic derivatives of chlorophyll. Its sodium copper derivative is used as food additive and in alternative medicine. The sodium copper chlorophyllin extracted from P. emblica showed good anticancer activity for breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) by MTT assay. (61)
• Hair Growth-Promoting Effects in Alopecia / Oil: Study evaluated the efficacy of P. emblica oil in promoting hair growth on human subjects with alopecia. Extract of P. emblica hair oil significantly increased hair growth (p<0.05) at rate of 1.58 cm/month, compared to Castor oil at 1.1 cm/month. (62)
- Seeds in the cybermarket.