Emblica officinalis (Amla): A review for its phytochemistry, ethnomedicinal uses and medicinal potentials with respect to molecular mechanisms

Pharmacol Res. 2016 Sep;111:180-200. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.06.013. Epub 2016 Jun 15.


Medicinal plants, having great elementary and therapeutic importance, are the gift to mankind to acquire healthy lifestyle. Emblica officinalis Gaertn. or Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Euphorbeaceae), commonly known as Indian gooseberry or Amla, has superior value in entirely indigenous traditional system of medicine, including folklore Ayurveda, for medicinal and nutritional purposes to build up lost vitality and vigor. In this article, numerous phytochemicals isolated from E. officinalis and its ethnomedical and pharmacological potentials with molecular mechanisms are briefly deliberated and recapitulated. The information documented in the present review was collected from more than 270 articles, published or accepted in the last five to six decades, and more than 20 e-books using various online database. Additional information was obtained from various botanical books and dissertations. The extracts from various parts of E. officinalis, especially fruit, contain numerous phytoconstituents viz. higher amount of polyphenols like gallic acid, ellagic acid, different tannins, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fixed oils, and flavonoids like rutin and quercetin. The extract or plant is identified to be efficacious against diversified ailments like inflammation, cancer, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, hypertension together with lifestyle diseases, parasitic and other infectious disorders. These actions are attributed to either regulation of various molecular pathway involved in several pathophysiologies or antioxidant property which prevents the damage of cellular compartments from oxidative stress. However, serious efforts are required in systemic research to identify, isolate and evaluate the chemical constituents for nutritional and therapeutic potentials.

Keywords: Amla; Emblica officinalis; Medicinal uses; Pharmacology; Phytochemistry.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Euphorbiaceae / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Phytochemicals / adverse effects
  • Phytochemicals / isolation & purification
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal


  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts