Testing: Debunking the myth of vitamin C and amla

Published: 15-Jan-2021

While amla has many benefits, it is falsely touted as being high in vitamin C by unscrupulous suppliers. However, assessing isotopic content and distribution is a foolproof way of pinpointing the origin of false ‘high vitamin C’ amla. Sabinsa’s Muhammed Majeed, Shaheen Majeed, Alpana Pande and Kalyanam Nagabhushanam reveal more

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Natural products have been a major part of every traditional indigenous healthcare system across the world, many of which have been practiced for centuries.

Today, 80% of the population relies on these traditional herbal medicines for their health care needs.

Ayurveda, the traditional medicinal system of India, provides rich resources of such herbal medicines, and one of the widely used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine is a widely available fruit known as amla.

Amla, commonly called Indian gooseberry, is a deciduous tree belonging to family Phyllathaceae and botanically classified as Phyllanthus emblica L. and synonymously as Emblica officinalis Gaertn. This tree grows in subtropical and tropical regions and is native to the Indian subcontinent.

According to Indian mythology it is believed to be the first tree created in the universe[1].

The amla tree is known for its significant therapeutic value, and its bark, leaves, root, fresh and dried fruits have all been used for their medicinal properties[2].

Among the traditional uses for amla are: as a laxative[2], in the management of diabetes[3] and as a treatment for the common cold, cough, scurvy[4], burns and indigestion.

Amla fruit has been part of many Ayurvedic preparations, such as chayawanprash and Triphala, through the ages.

Amla fruit, due to its significant health benefits, is referred as a super food. The fruit has also been used in the treatment of jaundice having being converted into fermented liquor[2].

The plant has antipyretic, anti-inflammatory[5], antimicrobial, antitussive, reno-protective, dermato-protective, antidiarrheal, adaptogenic, diuretic, immunomodulatory and anti-hyperthyroidism activity[6].

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