Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Angiospermae
Class : Dicotyledonae
Order : Geraniales
Species: Emblica officinalis
Common name: Amla
Description: The tree is small to medium sized, reaching 8 to 18 m in height, with crooked trunk and spreading branches. The leaves simple, sub-sessile and closely set along branchlets, light green, resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, quite smooth and hard on appearance. The taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent, and is quite fibrous.
- Fruit sour and astringent, cooling, diuretic, laxative, eaten raw or cooked, also pickled, a rich source of vitamin C ; containing as much vitamin C a orange juice. Seeds yield a fixed oil. Fruits, bark and leaves are rich in tannin.
- Popularly used in inks, shampoos and hair oils, the high tannin content of Indian gooseberry fruit serves as a mordant for fixing dyes in fabrics. Amla shampoos and hair oil are traditionally believed to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature grey hair.
- Wood is used for making agricultural implements, poles, and inferior quality furniture.