Scientific name: Phyllanthus indofischeri. Name in different languages:- English: Indian Gooseberry. Arabic: halïlaj or ihlïlaj (اهليلج هليلج) . Malay: melaka (ملاك). Myanmar: zee phyu thee. Nepali: amlā (अमला). Thai: ma kham pom (มะขามป้อม). Sinhala: nellikkai (நெல்லிக்காய்/ ನೆಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಯಿ/ ಗುಡ್ದದ ನೆಲ್ಲಿ) nelli (නෙල්ලි). Sanskrit: amalika (अमलिक). Hindi: āmlā (आमला). Urdu: aavnlaa (amla or awla). Assamese: amlakhi. Bengali: amloki (আমলকী. Gujarati: āmla (આમળાં). Marathi: āvaḷā (आवळा) (or awla). Manipuri: heikru. Oriya: anlaa (ଅଁଳା). Punjabi: Aula (ਔਲਾ). Telugu: asi usiri ( రాశి ఉసిరి కాయ) (or rasi usirikai ). Tamil: Nellikani (நெல்லிக்கனி). Kannada: Bettada nellikaayi ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ನೆಲ್ಲಿಕಾಯಿ (ನೆಲ್ಲಿಕ್ಕಾಯಿ). Malayalam: nelli (നെല്ലി).
Indian gooseberry is binomially known as Phyllanthus emblica and belongs to the Phyllanthaceae family. It is popularly called Amla. Indian gooseberry is a treasure of many essential nutrients, especially Vitamin C. it is found that in every 100 gm of Indian gooseberry there is 600 mg Vitamin C. In dried gooseberry the content of Vitamin C is as big as 2600 mg. Apart from Vitamin C, the Indian gooseberry also has large quantities of Vitamin B, Iron, Calcium, Carbohydrates, proteins etc. It also contains pectin and organic acids as well.
Indian gooseberry has the ability to cure diseases due to rheumatism, biliousness and phlegm. Also it is a good medicine for diabetes and obesity and hair fall. Indian gooseberry is an important ingredient in medicines prepared for diarrhoea, anaemia, jaundice, and diseases related to the urinary tract. Making Indian gooseberry a part of the diet helps to keep us healthy. It also helps in strengthening the body and also increases the sperm count.
The fruits, bark and root of Indian gooseberry have high medicinal value. To control hyper acidity, powdered gooseberry is mixed with cow’s milk and consumed. In cases with blockage of urine, gooseberry is ground in to a paste in rice water and applied on the affected area. Gooseberry or amla is an importantingredient in the ayurvedic medicine “Triphala choornam ”, which helps to increase appetite and cure constipation and also to ward off tiredness. Indian gooseberry is also used in ayurvedicsukhachikitsa, where it is boiled in water and cooled and used to wash head.
Also Nellikaarishtam is a medicine that is prepared at home, which is agood medicine for children as well as adults. Indian gooseberry or amla is kept in a jar of china clay along with cane sugar or palm sugar and closed tightly and kept for 40 days. For 1 kg of gooseberry, 1kg of sugar should be added. After 40 days, mixture is filtered and the juice can be used as medicine. Indian gooseberry is an important ingredient in the ayurvedic preparation called “Chyavanaprasam”. Cultivating Indian gooseberry is profitable since it has high demand in pharmaceutical companies.
Indian gooseberry is the native of tropical regions and it grows in all types of soil. Propagation of gooseberry can be done in many ways. The mature seeds from the amla fruit can be sown in polythene covers filled with soil mixture and the saplings can be replanted when they achieve 4 leaved stage. Also the small saplings that sprout from the root of the mother plant can be uprooted carefully without damaging the roots and can be planted separately. Watering should be done depending on the climate. It is ideal to cultivate Indian gooseberry after heavy monsoon. In a pit half a meter deep, organic manure and top soil are mixed and added and the saplings are planted. The mostly cultivated varieties of its are Benarasi, Kanchan, and Krishna. The young plants are prone to attack from bugs which can be treated by sprinkling gruel water mixed with turmeric powder in the ratio of 1 tsp. turmeric powder for 1 litre of gruel water.