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           Amla
 
Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is one of the most antioxidant rich foods on Earth. In a test of over 3,000 foods, amla turned out to be the number-one antioxidant-rich food. Amla powder can be blended into a morning smoothie for a hefty antioxidant boost.
Amla may be effective in treating diabetes, and in an in vitro study, amla demonstrated nearly the same ability as a leading chemotherapy drug in cutting tumor growth, and the amla powder preserved and even enhanced normal cell growth.
Amla has been used in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Thai medicine for centuries, and preclinical studies have shown that it possesses many disease-combatting properties. It has also been used as a snake venom neutralizer and hair tonic, and may be an effective component in homemade mouthwash.” 
 

      The Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalisor Phyllanthus emblica) is a deciduous tree of the Euphorbiaceae family. It is known for its edible fruit of the same name. Common names of this tree include amalaka in Sanskrit, amla in Hindi, amlaki in Bengali, amba in Nepal Bhasa, usirikai in Telugu, and nellikai in Kannada and Tamil as well as aonla, aola, ammalaki, amla berry, dharty, aamvala, aawallaa, emblic, emblic myrobalan, Malacca tree, nillika, and nellikya in various other languages.


Medicine
For medicinal purposes dried and fresh fruits of the plant are used. Amla fruit is sour and astringent in primary taste,with sweet, bitter and pungent secondary tastes, and is cooling in action. It is light and dry. [2] It is a rasayana tonic that promotes longevity, and is especially good for the heart. It strengthen the lungs, helping to fight chronic lung problems as well as upper respiratory infections. [3]The fruit allegedly contains 720 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fresh fruit pulp, or up to 900 mg per 100 g of pressed juice. Apart from this it also contains tannins; a reason why even dried form retains most of the vitamin content. The fruit is an adaptogen which means it is a food grade, nontoxic herb that normalizes body function, balances the neuroendocrine system and improves immunity. In Ayurveda the fruit alone is considered a rasayana for pitta.[4]

The fruit contains a series of diterpenes referred to as the gibberellins, as well as the triterpene lupeol, flavonoids (e.g. kaempherol-3-O-ß-Dglucoside, quercetin-3-O-ß-Dglucoside), and polyphenols (e.g. emblicanin A and B,punigluconin and pedunculagin). Also present are the phyllantine and zeatin alkaloids, and a number of benzenoids including amlaic acid, corilagin, ellagic acid, 3-6-di-O-galloyl-glucose, ethyl gallate, 1,6-di-O-galloyl-ß-Dglucose, 1-di-O-galloyl-ß-Dglucose, putranjivain A, digallic acid, phyllemblic acid, emblicol, and alactaric acid.[5]

Particularly in Southern India, the fruit is pickled with salt, oil, and spices, and also used as a primary ingredient in the Ayurvedic rasayana (5) tonic Chyawanprash and in the nourishing laxative triphala where it is mixed with chebulic and belleric myrobalans. The Caraka Samhita, the main text of Ayurvedic herbal medicine, describes emblic and chebulic myrobalans as possessing the same virtues, though they have slightly different nature:

They have healing virtues and are auspicious (used in sacred and ceremonial occasions). They restore the faults (doshas) to their normal course. They are light (as food). They enkindle digestive fire, and are good pacanas (digestive aids). They promote longevity and induce nourishment. They deserve every praise (for the virtues they possess). They prevent the effects of age more than any other drug. They alleviate all varieties of ailments, and impart strength to the intellect and the senses. They quickly conquer vitiligo, abdominal tumors, flatulence, dropsical swellings (edema), chlorosis, alcoholism, piles, ailments of the grahani (duodenum), chronic intermittent fever, diseases of the chest, diseases of the head, diarrhea, disgust for food, cough, gonorrhea, epistasis, enlargement of the spleen, abdominal dropsy when new, discharge of phlegm matter, hoarseness of the voice, discoloration or loss of complexion, anemia, intestinal worms, waste of dhatus (main body components), some forms of asthma, vomiting, loss of virility, weakness of the limbs, blockage of ducts of various kinds, sensation like a wet blanket covering the chest, a similar sensation in the heart, and dullness of the memory and understanding. Those who are suffering from indigestion, those who habitually take dry food and drink, those who have been weakened by sexual indulgence and wine and poisons, and those who are afflicted by hunger and thirst and heat, should eat myrobalans.


Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_gooseberry