Indian Gooseberry

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What other names is Indian Gooseberry known by?

Aamalaki, Amalaki, Amblabaum, Amla, Amla Berry, Aonla, Aovla, Arbre de Malacca, Arbre Myrobolan, Dhatriphala, Emblic, Emblica, Emblica officinalis, Emblic Myrobalan, Groseille à Maquereau Indienne, Groseille Indienne, Groseillier de Ceylan, Grosella de la India, Indian-Gooseberry, Mirobalano, Myrobalan Emblic, Mirobalanus embilica, Neli, Phyllanthus emblica, Yu Gan Zi.

What is Indian Gooseberry?

Indian gooseberry is a tree that grows in India, the Middle East, and some southeast Asian countries. Indian gooseberry has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Today people still use the fruit of the tree to make medicine.

Indian gooseberry is taken by mouth for high cholesterol, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), diabetes, pain and swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis), cancer, upset stomach, eye problems, joint pain, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea (dysentery), osteoarthritis, obesity, and "organ restoration." It is also used to kill germs and reduce pain and swelling caused by the body's reaction to injury or illness (inflammation).

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking Indian gooseberry for 4 weeks decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
  • Osteoarthritis. Research shows that taking two capsules of an Ayurvedic formula containing Indian gooseberry and several other ingredients three times daily for 24 weeks is as beneficial as taking glucosamine sulfate or the drug celecoxib for reducing pain in people with knee osteoarthritis.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Cancer.
  • Swelling of the pancreas.
  • Indigestion.
  • Eye problems.
  • Joint pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bloody diarrhea (dysentery).
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate Indian gooseberry for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Indian Gooseberry work?

Indian gooseberry seems to work by reducing total cholesterol levels, including the fatty acids called triglycerides, without affecting levels of the "good cholesterol" called high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Are there safety concerns?

Indian gooseberry seems LIKELY SAFE for most people when consumed in amounts found in foods. Ayurvedic formulations containing Indian gooseberry have been linked to liver damage. But, it's not clear if taking Indian gooseberry alone might have these effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Indian gooseberry as medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Bleeding disorders: Indian gooseberry might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in some people. If you have a bleeding disorder, use Indian gooseberry with caution.

Diabetes: Indian gooseberry might decrease blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Liver disease: In theory, taking Indian gooseberry with ginger, Tinospora cordifolia, and Indian frankincense might make liver function worse in people with liver disease. But it's not known if taking Indian gooseberry alone can have these effects.

Surgery: Indian gooseberry might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking Indian gooseberry at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Indian gooseberry might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Indian gooseberry along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some Ayurvedic formulations that contain Indian gooseberry have been linked to liver damage. While it's not clear if Indian gooseberry or other ingredients in these formulations caused the liver damage, in theory, taking Indian gooseberry along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage.

Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), and many others.



Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Indian gooseberry might slow blood clotting. Taking Indian gooseberry along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosing considerations for Indian Gooseberry.

The appropriate dose of Indian gooseberry depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Indian gooseberry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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