Herb of the Day: Indian Gooseberry


Indian Gooseberry
( Emblica officinalis )

Parts used: Fruit

Contains: Tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids, a fixed oil, and a volatile oil.

A deciduous tree with feathery leaves, pale green flowers, round pale green or yellow fruit. Indian gooseberry grows in India, China, and Southeast Asia, it is wildly cultivated for its fruit. It was featured in a 7th century Ayurvedic medical text. The sage Muni Chyawan reputedly restored his vitality with its fruit. In Ayurvedic medicine the fruit is given to strengthen the pancreas of diabetics. The juice is given to treat eye problems, joint pain, and diarrhea and dysentery. The astringent Indian gooseberry is given to allay the effects of aging and restore the organs. In recent research, it suggests that it may have a remarkably wide range of potential medicinal benefits. Studies show in Kerala, India, that it may have protective activity against liver cancer. Other studies indicate potential anti-inflammatory and fever inhibiting effects, and a cholesterol lowering action. In a Bombay study, the fruit might prove useful in the treatment of acute pancreatitis.

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