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The Indian
Amla Herb
gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) is a deciduous tree of the Phyllanthaceae family. It is known for its edible fruit of the same name. Common names of this tree include amla in Hindi, aonla, aola, amalaki, amla berry, dharty, aamvala, aawallaa, emblic, emblic myrobalan, Malacca tree, nellikai, nillika, and usareekai.

The tree is small to medium sized, reaching 8 to 18 m in height, with crooked trunk and spreading branches. The leaves are simple, subsessile, the flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, with 6 vertical stripes or furrows. The fruits ripen in autumn. Its taste is bitter-sour. Being more fibrous than most fruits, it cannot be consumed raw in vast quantity; indeed, it is taken with salt, and a glass of water taken immediately
Amla Herb
after eating a large fruit makes the water seem sweeter.

The fruit allegedly contains 720 mg of vitamin C per 100g of fresh fruit pulp, or up to 900 mg per 100g of pressed juice.

The fruit is pickled and also used as a main ingredient in the Ayurvedic tonic Chyawanprash. Its extract is popularly used in inks, dyes, shampoos and hair oils.

In Hinduism it is regarded as a sacred tree and worshipped as Mother Earth in India.

Other useful herb information: Kudzu | Milk Thistle | Spirulina | Muira Puama | Ashwagandha | Achillea | Butcher broom

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