Amla gooseberry


Amla - Indian gooseberry

***** Location: India
***** Season: Autumn
***** Category: Plant


Phyllanthus emblica (syn. Emblica officinalis),
the Indian gooseberry, or aamla from Sanskrit amalika,
is a deciduous tree of the Phyllanthaceae family. It is known for its edible fruit of the same name.

Ripening in autumn, the berries are harvested by hand after climbing to upper branches bearing the fruits. The taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous. In India, it is common to eat gooseberries steeped in salt water and turmeric to make the sour fruits palatable. It is also used to straighten hair.

According to Hindu tradition,
Saint Adi Shankara composed and recited Kanakadhara stotram in praise of Goddess Mahalakshmi to make a poor Brahmin lady get wealth, for a single amla presented to him as Bhiksha by that lady on an auspicious Dwadashi day.

According to a Tamil legend,
AvvaiyarTamil: ஔவையார்), a female poet,ethicist and political activist of the Sangam period was gifted by one amla to her by King Athiyaman which will give her a long life.

Medicinal use

In traditional Indian medicine, dried and fresh fruits of the plant are used. All parts of the plant are used in various Ayurvedic/Unani medicine (Jawarish amla) herbal preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. According to Ayurveda, aamla fruit is sour (amla) and astringent (kashaya) in taste (rasa), with sweet (madhura), bitter (tikta) and pungent (katu) secondary tastes (anurasas).
Its qualities (gunas) are light (laghu) and dry (ruksha), the postdigestive effect (vipaka) is sweet (madhura), and its energy (virya) is to cooling (shita).[12]

amalika (अम्लिका) in Sanskrit
aamla (आमला) in Hindi
aamla (આમળાં) in Gujarati

anmole (庵摩勒) in Chinese

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Worldwide use

. Gooseberry, gooseberries . Europe
Ribes uva-crispa, syn. R. grossularia

suguri no mi すぐりの実 (すぐりのみ)

Things found on the way


a walk in monsoon -
father points at the young amla tree
with his first walking stick

Shared by Rosie Mann
Joys of Japan, August 2012


Related words

***** . WKD : Berry, berries .


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