Phyllanthus emblica Linn.
Sindhi Name: Amlo
Local Name: Amla
Part Used: Fruit, leaf, bark, seeds, flowers, and roots
English Name: Indian gooseberry
PhyllanthusemblicaLinn.is a moderate sized and deciduous tree. Bark is greenish-grey or red and peels off in scales and long stripes. Leaves are pinnate, linear-oblong, and obtuse. Flowersare greenish yellow and are born axillary in clusters. Fruits areglobose, fleshy, and 6-lobed. Seedsare trigonous1,2.
P. emblicais native to tropical south east Asia, distributed and found wild throughout India1,2.It naturally grows in the forest and drier regions of central and Southern India4.It is also cultivated locally in Pakistan3.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases
Carum copticum L. (Bishops weed), Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper (White lentils) and Phyllanthus emblica L. (Indian Gooseberry) are ground and mixed in Brassica compestris L. (Mustard) oil. This oil is applied thrice a week for curing hair loss in District Umerkot (Sindh).
- P. emblica is soaked in water, and this water is applied to the affected site thrice a day for one month for curing alopecia in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
- P. emblica, Lawsonia inermis L. (Henna) are mixed in oil of Cocus nucifera L. (Coconut) and applied for the treatment of alopecia in District Ghotki (Sindh).
- Paste of Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq. (African spider-flower) and P. emblica is applied to the affected area thrice a week in District Nousheroferoz (Sindh).
- Paste of Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq. (African spider-flower), Lawsonia inermis L. (Henna), and P. emblica is used to cure alopecia in District Nousheroferoz (Sindh).
P. emblica and Sapindus trifoliatus L. (Soap barriers) are boiled and bath is taken with this water for the treatment of scabies in District Sanghar (Sindh).
P. emblicacontains sterols, carbohydrates, di-terpenes, triterpenes, and furaneolactone. Phyllantine, phyllantidine, zeatin, zeatin nucleotide, and zeatinriboside were isolated leaves and fruits5.Phyllemblin, Emblicanin A, Emblicanin B, punigluconin, pedunculagin, chebulicacid, phyllaemblic acid and gallicacids were some important compounds isolated from different parts of this plant6.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies
Paste, prepared from fruit and seeds of ground nuts is mixed with lemon juice and edward rose, isapplied topically on dry skin.2Powdered fruit is used for dying of hair and used as a hair oils4.Poultice of amla fruit is applied on cut for controlling bleeding7.Crushed fruit is applied externally for various skin infections such as, acne, alopecia, dermatosis, inflammation, and leprosy8.Fruit is used forenhancing skin glow, and used as a cleanser and moisturizer. Decoction of fruit pericarp is applied topically on boils. Leaves infusion is used for sore eyes and diarrhoea. Honey, turmeric, and bark of amla juice is used for the treatment of gonorrhea. Decoction of dried fruit is used as eye washes in ophthalmia6.
P. emblicais reported for various pharmacological activities including antioxidant, antitumor, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, adaptogenic, antimicrobial, analgesic, and antiulcerogenic activities9.
- Khare, C. P. (2012), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 238, Springer Science Puiblishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
- Dhiman, A. K. (2006), Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 28-29, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.
- Jafri, S. M. H. (1966), Flora of Karachi, p. 195, The Book Corporation Publishers, Karachi, Pakistan.
- Theresa, Y. M., Sastry, K. N. S. and Nayudamma, Y. (1965): Studies on biosynthesis oftannins in indigenous plants XII. Occurence of different polyphenolics in amla (PhyllanthusemblicaLinn). Leather Science12:327–328.
- Thorat, S. P., Rege, N. N., Naik, A. S., Thatte, U. M., Joshi, A., Panicker, K. N. S., Bapat, R. D. and Dahanukar, S. A. (1995): Emblicaofficinalis: a novel therapy for acute pancreatitis—an experimental study. HPB Surgery9: 25–30.
- Singh, E., Sharma, S., Pareek, A., Dwivedi, J., Yadav, S., and Sharma, S. (2011). Phytochemistry, traditional uses and cancer chemopreventive activity of Amla (Phyllanthusemblica): The Sustainer. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 2(1), 176-183.
- Bhattacharjee, S. K. (2004), Handbook of Medicinal Plants, p. 141, Pointer Publisher Jaipure 303003 (Raj), India.
- Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, II,p. 715-716, CRC Publishers, New York, Washington, DC, U. S. A.
- Gaire, B. P., andSubedi, L. (2014). Phytochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal properties of Phyllanthusemblica Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 1-8.