The Indian gooseberry, also called the amla fruit, grows from the small amla tree and boasts incredible health benefits. Anti-cancer, anti-aging, and immune protective properties are some of these benefits.

In India and other Asian countries, amla fruits, otherwise called the Indian gooseberries, make a great part of cooking. Besides, Indian gooseberries have many medicinal values, especially attached to the supplements made from the fruits. For instance, they help boost the immune system and fight premature aging. The fruits also have a rich nutritional profile comprising vitamin C and other nutrients. Vitamin C helps fight illnesses and boost immune system functionality. Despite the many benefits, amla fruits also have their downsides. Peer into this article to understand all this.

Understanding what Indian gooseberries are

The Indian gooseberry is a small plant that produces yellow-green flowers that later mature into edible yellow fruits. It has two taxonomic names; Emblica Officinalis or Phyllanthus Emblica. The fruits are small and are the size of a golf ball. Besides, they have a soft peel and a pit. Upon tasting them, they are astringent, sour, and bitter. Indian gooseberry has many health benefits attached to all its parts. Its leaves, seeds, and fruits form a great core of Ayurvedic medicine. In addition, most modern supplements are made using amla plants, particularly fruits and their extracts.

Potential health benefits of Indian gooseberry

The Indian gooseberry boasts many health benefits, with some having sufficient evidence while others desiring more evidence to have more substance. They include;

i.                    The fruits might have anti-aging properties.

Many studies now point that amla fruits may possess anti-aging properties. They are rich in vitamin C, which fights free radicals, their accumulation to create oxidative stress, and the resulting damaging effect on the cells. If the body left free radicals unattended, they would damage cells, quickening the aging process and increasing the risk of chronic illnesses. In addition, vitamin C strengthens collagen, the protein in soft tissues that forms the bulk of your skin. Moreover, the fruit could help maintain vision by protecting the eye mitochondria and preventing them from developing cataracts. Finally, some studies claim that the fruit could inhibit the expression of hair loss hormone during aging, improving hair health. Consequently, Thailand uses fruit to boost hair quality.

ii.                 It might help in managing heartburn.

Heartburn is a common problem afflicting many people today. It has many causes, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). One study gave a group of people suffering from GERD and heartburn 1000mg of Indian gooseberry tablets and observed that the frequency and severity of the heartburn significantly reduced compared to the placebo group. Consequently, researchers think that amla fruits could help manage heartburn. Still, there is a need for further studies to establish the exact mechanism and the effect the fruits would have on heartburn.

iii.               The fruits may protect the heart.

Heart disease is a top killer disease worldwide, with many causes, including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, blood clotting at the arteries, inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart cells, and underlying conditions such as diabetes. Yet, amla fruits could counter most of these causes, lowering the risk of heart disease. For instance, since the fruits had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, they could help fight cell inflammation, free radical cells, and their accumulation to cause oxidative stress. Moreover, amla fruits can reduce blood clotting, lowering the risk of clotting-related heart disease. Further, people supplemented with 1,000mg amla fruit tablets had improved endothelial function, potentially reducing the risk of a heart attack. Another study also confirmed that when patients with high LDL cholesterols were given amla supplements, the levels reduced while more HDL, which were beneficial to the heart formed.

iv.               They may possess anti-cancer properties.

Besides diabetes and heart disease, cancer also claims many lives globally. Fortunately, there is promising evidence that amla fruits could help with cancer management. Several studies have established that taking the fruits and their tablets prevented the progression of cancerous cells in the lungs, ovary, breast, and colon. Besides, some researchers highly think that amla fruits could be effective at fighting cancerous cell mutation, as has been revealed by studies. There could be many reasons for these potentials, including the plant compounds such as flavonols and phytochemicals in amla, vitamin C, and antioxidant contents. Nonetheless, cancer patients should stick to the doctor’s instructions and prescriptions and should not substitute their medication with amla tablets, especially because no studies have been run on human beings to confirm the effect of Indian gooseberry on cancerous cells.

v.                  May help control blood sugar levels

Rising blood sugar and insulin levels often cause diabetes type-2 in the long run. Thankfully, recent studies show that amla fruits and their tablets could lower blood sugar and insulin levels for fasting and after meals. This was true for a case study in which prediabetic patients were given 1-3g of amla powder for 21 days. While this is quite promising, more studies are needed before it can be recommended.

vi.               A boost for the immune system

The flavanols, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamin C in amla fruits mean a great boost for the immune system. For instance, vitamin C has proliferative effects on phagocytes, boosting their manifestation and making them effective at fighting pathogens. The antioxidants also fight free radicals and inflammation, which would lead to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Potential downsides of Indian gooseberries

Since amla fruits are native to India, finding the other parts fresh is challenging, although you could find dried fruits online. Besides, due to their anti-platelet effects, amla fruits and tablets could interfere with blood clotting, slowing down wound healing. Therefore, patients on blood thinners should consult a doctor before using amla fruits or tablets. In addition, the fruits’ safety has not been guaranteed; hence children and breastfeeding mothers should not try them.


The Indian gooseberry is a plant native to India and produces small yellow fruits of incredible health benefits. Blood sugar control, maintaining heart health, anti-cancer properties, and boosting the immune system are some of these benefits. However, the fruits have anti-platelet factors that could interfere with blood clotting when one is injured. Moreover, its safety has not been confirmed, and children and breastfeeding mothers need not use them.


We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article:

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Nataly Komova

Nutritionist. Bluffton University, MS In today's world, people's eating and exercise patterns have changed, and it is often lifestyle that is the cause of many diet-related illnesses. I believe that each of us is unique – what works for one does not help another. What is more, it can even be harmful. I am interested in food psychology, which studies a person's relationship with their body and food, explains our choices and desires for specific products, the difficulty of maintaining optimal body weight, as well as the influence of various internal and external factors on appetite. I'm also an avid vintage car collector, and currently, I'm working on my 1993 W124 Mercedes. You may have stumbled upon articles I have been featured in, for example, in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Women's Health, The Guardian, and others.