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Emblica officinalis

Emblica officinalis (Amla) is an ayurvedic herb which has all parts, including the fruits, used for preventative and therapeutic purposes. It appears to be most used for regulating glucose metabolism and cardiac health, and may also be neuroprotective.

Our evidence-based analysis on emblica officinalis features 63 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Emblica officinalis

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Emblica officinalis (also referred to as Phyllanica emblica or simply as Amla) is a herb from Indian medicine (Ayurveda) that has traditionally been used for the purposes of enhancing general vitality and cognition as well as promoting longevity; a goal similar to adaptogen compounds (although an adaptogenic effect has not clearly been demonstrated with Amla).

There is very limited human evidence on Amla at this moment in time, but it appears to be very promising as it could lower blood glucose in both healthy persons and diabetics with a potency similar to the reference drug glibenclamide. In animal research, amla appears to be able to reduce triglycerides and better the cholesterol profile as well as benefit cardiovascular health (the heart and vessels themselves). Most of these actions are attributed to its antioxidant properties, which are partially derived from a high Vitamin C content but also from a large amount of tannin compounds that are also found in other potent antioxidants like camellia sinsensis (the plant that bears green tea catechins) and dimocarpus longan.

Along the more interesting but preliminary research is a hair growth promoting effect that exceeds that of minoxidil, and a longevity promoting effect in fruit flies that (while not directly compared against other agents) appears to be more effective than other nutraceutical options.

While there is not enough evidence to recommend Amla for any particular purpose, it appears to possess a wide spectrum of potential benefits that require further research and may contribute to general well being and longevity as insinuated in traditional medicine.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Unless otherwise specified, most benefits associated with emblica officinalis are from the fruits of the plant. The fruits themselves (dry weight) or their powder are taken in the dosage range of 1-3g daily with the higher part of this range being seen as more effective.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects emblica officinalis has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-d Notable - See study
Preliminary evidence suggested that 3g of the fruits (a fairly reasonable dosage) was as effective as 5mg glibenclamide twice daily
grade-d Minor - See study
Higher doses of the fruits (3g) appear to be able to increase circulating HDL cholesterol in otherwise healthy persons and diabetics
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in LDL-C has been noted with consumption of the fruits over 21 days, affecting both healthy controls and diabetics
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in cholesterol has been noted and appears to affect both healthy controls as well as diabetics
grade-d Minor - See study
Appears to have triglyceride reducing properties

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with other herbs[1]

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Phyllanthus emblica, Amla, Anwala, Indian gooseberry

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Click here to see all 63 references.