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AMALAKI (Emblica officinalis)

वयस्यामलकी वृष्याजातीफलरसंशिवम् |

धात्रीफलंश्रीफलं च तथामृतफलंस्मृतम् ||३५||

त्रिष्वामलकमाख्यातं धात्री तिष्यफलाऽमृता |

हरीतकीसमं धात्रीफलं किन्तु विशेषतः |

रक्तपित्तप्रमेहघ्नं परं वृष्यं रसायनम् ||३६||

हन्ति वातं तदम्लत्वात्पित्तं माधुर्यशैत्यतः |

कफं रूक्षकषायत्वात्फलं धात्र्यास्त्रिदोषजित् ||३७||

यस्य यस्य फलस्येह वीर्यं भवति यादृशम् |

तस्य तस्यैव वीर्येण मज्जानमपि निर्दिशेत् ||३८||

                                                भावप्रकाश हरितक्यादिवर्गः (३५-३८)

As mentioned in Bhavprakash, the Sanskrit synonyms of amalaki are:

Vayasya, Amalaki, Vrushya, Jatiphalam, Shivam, Dhatriphalam, Shriphalam, Amrutaphalam are all synonyms of Amalaki.

Some interesting synonyms and their meanings are as follows:

वयस्या (Vayasya ) – Rejuvenator of life. Anti-ageing

अमृतफलं (Amrutaphala) – The fruit that ensures longevity for the human being

आमलकी (Amalaki) – One that helps to retain (dharana) health due to its Rasayana property. This indicates that Amalaki ensures all the poshak dravya (nutrients) are used by cells for rejuvenation.

Qualities of Amalaki –

Amalaki is much like Haritaki in its qualities. However, it has some unique specialties. Amalaki is highly effective in raktapitta and prameha. It is also a superior vrshya. It has Rasayana qualities. Amalaki controls tridoshas in the body by reducing vata dosha owing to its amla taste, controlling pitta dosha by virtue of its madhura taste and sheeta quality and reducing kapha dosha through its rooksha nature and kashay taste.

Charak saysAmalaki is Vayasthapana, Cakshushya, Rasayana, Tridoshajit, Vrshya

 

Properties:

Rasa: Madhura, Amla, Katu, Tikta, Kashaya

Guna: Laghu, Ruksha

Virya: Sheeta

Vipaka: Madhura

 

Important formulations –

Cyavanaprasha, Dhatri Lauha, Dhatryadi Ghrita,Triphala Churna

 

Therapeutic uses –

Raktapitta, Amlapitta, Prameha, Daha

 

Dose

3-6 g of the drug in powder form

5-10 ml of fresh juice

 

Active ingredient–Tannins, Phyllembin

Emblica officinalis (syn. Phyllanthus emblica) is highly nutritious and could be an important dietary source amino acids and minerals. The plant also contains phenolic compounds, tannins, phyllemblic acid, phyllemblin, rutin, and emblicol. Alkaloids ie., phyllantidine, phyllantine. All parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes, especially the fruit, which has been used in Ayurveda as a potent Rasayana.

Phyllemblin, one of the major constituents, is an ester by chemical composition. It potentiates the action of adrenaline hormone in the body. It is a CNS depressant and also has a spasmolytic activity. It is known to exhibit anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity.

Amalaki is called vayasthapani. Research has proven that phyllemblin, the active ingredient in Amalaki, has an action on endothelial dysfunction. It works to restore a healthy endothelial lining. This helps the endothelium function as it normally should. Endothelial function is vital for most body process to take place at a physiological and biochemical level. By improving and maintaining endothelial dysfunction Amalaki improves quality and longevity of life.

Presence of flavonoids in Amalaki and its anti-ageing property

Flavonoids are compounds in plants that give colour to the fruits of the plant. All flavonoids are basically polyphenol compounds. There are many types of flavonoids. The flavonoids found in Amalaki are “quercetin” and “embelin”. Flavonoids interact with factors in the blood and the structure of arteries and blood vessels. It possesses antioxidant and antiinflammatory and tissue – rejuvenating properties. It has also been found to be operating at the gene level to help enhance health. By virtue of these qualities flavonoids are anti-ageing.

Over the years extensive research has been done on Amalaki. Many types of research on Amalaki has concluded that it has a wide range of pharmacological activity on the human body. It is used for preventative and therapeutic purposes. It appears to be very effective for regulating glucose metabolism and heart health, and also have neuroprotective properties.

Apart from this, many studies are done on Amalaki that has demonstrated analgesic, antitussive, antiatherogenic, adaptogenic, chemopreventive, radio and chemo modulatory and anti-cancer properties. Amalaki is also reported to possess potent free radical scavenging, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antimutagenic, immunomodulatory activities, which are efficacious in the prevention and treatment of various diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, liver and heart diseases.

Anti-diabetic action of Amalaki

Recent researches about the hypoglycemic effect of Amalaki are abundant. In recent study streptozotocin- and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were employed for the evaluation of the antidiabetic potential of P. emblica. After oral administration of the Amalaki (aqueous, methanol, and ethanol) extracts for 21–45 days, the concentration of blood glucose was significantly reduced.

Antioxidant properties of Amalaki in patients with Type 2 Diabetes

The pathology of Type 2 diabetes shows endothelial dysfunction (affected function of the endothelium – inner layer of blood and lymph vessels). The oxidative stress and systemic inflammation of endothelium cause atherosclerosis in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

A study was conducted in the department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in Hyderabad, India. They studied Phyllanthus emblica in comparison to Atorvastatin in divided cases. Half the patients were administered Atorvastatin and half of them were given the extract of Phyllanthus emblica. It was found that both atorvastatin and P. emblica significantly improved endothelial function and reduced biomarkers of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.This study was published in Dove press Journal – Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome and Obesity July 2013.

Amalaki for increasing life span

Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 1994 published a study testing Phyllanthus emblica for its action on mice with tumor. Mice with Dalton’s tumor were administered Phyllanthus emblica. A significant enhancement of Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity was documented. It was found that there was a definite increase in life span (ILS) (35%) of the mice treated with P. emblica. This was attributed to the quality of P. emblica to augment natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity. The above study established that Amalaki extract possesses the ability to work on cellular level and is able to influence cell-mediated cytotoxicity. It can work towards cellular rejuvenation and thus help increase longevity.

Antidepressant Activity of Amalaki –

A study published in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 2012, evaluated the antidepressant-like activity of Amalaki fruits in Swiss young male albino mice employing tail suspension test and forced swim test. The aqueous extract showed antidepressant-like effect by interaction with α1-adrenoceptors, dopamine D2- receptors, serotonergic, and GABA-B receptors. The constituents like flavanoids, tannoid principles, and polyphenolic substances present in the aqueous extract of E. officinalis might be also responsible for its antidepressant-like activity.

References:

  1. Bhavprakash – Haritakyadi Varga, Mumbai: Chukhamba Prakashan, 1997, p 10.
  1. Acharya YT, (5th ed). Charaka samhita of Agnivesha. Sootrasthana; Yajjahpurusheeya Adhyaya; chapter 25, Verse 33. Varanasi: Choukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, 2001, p. 130.
  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India part-I volume – I, AMALAKI (Fresh Fruit) Emblica officinalis Gaertn. Pg. 4
  1. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2010;21(1):93-105. Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder. Krishnaveni M1, Mirunalini S.
  1. Suresha, D.M. Vasudevan, Augmentation of murine natural killer cell and antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity activities by Phyllanthus emblica, a new immunomodulator Journal of Ethnopharmacology; Volume 44, Issue 1, August 1994, Pages 55–60
  1. Madhu Agarwal et al, Extraction of Polyphenol, Flavonoid from Emblica officials, Citrus limon, Cucumis Sativus and Evaluation of Antioxidant activity, Oriental Journal of chemistry 2012 ; Vol.28, No (2): Pg. 993-998
  1. Pingali Usharani, Nishat Fatima, and Nizampatnam Muralidhar, Effects of Phyllanthus emblica extract on endothelial dysfunction and biomarkers of oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study, Diabetes metal Syndr Obes. 2013; 6: 275-284
  1. Swetha Dasaroju et al, Current trends in Research of Emblica officialis (amla) – A pharmacological prospective, Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPS), Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 24(2), Jan – Feb 2014
  1. Effect of the Indian Gooseberry (Amla) on Serum Cholesterol Levels in Men Aged 35-55 Years. PubMed Abstract. Nov 1988.
  1. Immunomodulatory effects of agents of plant origin. PubMed Abstract. Sep 2003.
  1. Cytotoxic Response of Breast Cancer Cell Lines, MCF 7 and T 47 D to Triphala and its Modification by Antioxidants. PubMed Abstract. Jul 2006.
  1. Dhingra, P. Joshi, A. Gupta, and R. Chhillar, “Possible involvement of monoaminergic neurotransmission in antidepressant-like activity ofEmblica officinalis fruits in mice,” CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 419–425, 2012.
  • Amalaki churna may prove to be a useful therapy for the management of Alzheimer’s disease on account of its beneficial effects such as memory improving property, cholesterol lowering property and anticholinesterase activity. The preparation was also proved to reverse the amnesia induced by diazepam and scopolamine.

          https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/yakushi/127/10/127_10_1701/_pdf

 

 

  • Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives by Anne McIntyre, is a comprehensive and authoritative text providing information on the usefulness, effectiveness and appropriateness of the use of herbal remedies in childhood. It provides a practical guide to the safe and effective use of herbal medicines in pediatric primary care, written by a respected and internationally known expert. Amalaki and many other herbs are researched and included in the book for pediatric primary care. http://www.amazon.in/Herbal-Treatment-Children-Ayurvedic-Perspectives/dp/0750651741

 

  • This interesting review on genus Phyllanthus discusses the ethnopharmacological, phytochemical, and pharmacological studies of Phyllanthus over the past few decades. Reference – Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2016 (2016), The Genus Phyllanthus: An Ethnopharmacological, Phytochemical, and Pharmacological Review. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7584952/#B324

 

 

 

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