Emblica Officinalis A Review

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About Authors:
Mohd Farhan
Department of Pharmacology,
Vidyabharti college of pharmacy

The herbal medicine are in the great demand in the developed as well as developing countries for primary health care because of their large biological activities, higher safety margin and lesser cost. one of the common traditional herbal drug is Emblica officinalis, commonly known as Amla, is a member of a small genus Emblica (Euphorbiaceae). It grows in tropical and subtropical parts of China, India, Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. All parts of the plant are used for medicinal purpose. The fresh (or) the dry fruit is used in traditional medicines for the treatment of diarrhoea, jaundice and inflammations. The pulp of the fruit is smeared on the head to dispel headache and dizziness Emblica officinalis leaves and fruit have been used for fever and inflammatory treatments by rural populations in its growing areas. The earlier study have demonstrated potent anti-microbial, adaptogenic, hepatoprotective, anti-tumour and anti-ulcerogenic activities in the fruits of Emblica officinalis. Leaf extracts have been shown to posses anti- inflammatory activity. vitamin C, tannins and flavanoids present in amla have very powerfull antioxidant activity. Due to rich in vitamin C amla is successfully use in the treatment of human scurvy.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1557

Emblica officinalis(EO) enjoys a hallowed position in Ayurveda- an Indian indigenous system of medicine. According to believe in ancient Indian mythology, it is the first tree to be created in the universe. It belongs to family Euphorbiaceae. It is also named as Amla, Phyllanthus Emblica or Indian gooseberry. Other vernacular names of EO  are Dhatriphala, Amla, Amaliki, Amalakan, Sriphalam, Vayastha. It  grows in tropical and subtropical regions including Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Srilanka, South East Asia, China and Malaysia. The fruits of EO are widely used in the Aryuveda and are believed to increase defense against diseases. It has its beneficial role in cancer, diabetis, liver treatment, heart trouble, ulcer, anemia and various other diseases. Similarly, it hasapplication as antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antipyretic, analgesic, cytoprotective, antitussive and gastroprotective. Additionally, it is useful in memoryenhancing, ophthalmic disorders and loweringcholesterol level. It is also helpful in neutralizingsnake venom and as an antimicrobial.

Geographical Distribution:
E. officinalis Geart. genus Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) is widely distributed in most tropical and subtropical countries. It grows in tropical and subtropical parts of China, India, Indonesia and on the Malay Peninsula and indigenous to tropical India and Southeast Asia .(18)

Tree; leaves alternate, bifarious, pinnate, flower -'bearing; leaflets numerous, alternate, linear-obtuse, entire; petioles striated, round; calyx 6-parted; flowers in the male very numerous in the axils of the lower leaflets, and round the common petiole below the leaflets; in the female few, solitary, sessile, mixed with some males in the most exterior floriferous axils; stigmas 3; drupe globular, fleshy, smooth, 6-striated; nut obovate-triangular, 3-celled; seeds 2 in each cell; flowers small, greenish yellow. Flowers during October.15,18

It is a tree of small or moderate size with a greenish-grey bark and greenish-yellow flowers, formed in axillary clusters. The feathery leaves are linear-oblong, with a rounded base and obtuse or acute apex, subsessile, closely set along branchlets, light green and resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish yellow, borne in axillary fascicles, giving way to a globose fruit. The tender fruits are green, depressed, globose or oblate, indented at the base, smooth, fleshy and shining. The nearly stem 6-lobed splitting into three segments. Fruits are about 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter with six softly defined ridges and six seeds and green at first, become whitish or a dull, greenish-yellow or more rarely, brick-red as it matures. They are hard and unyielding to the touch. The skin is thin, translucent and adherent to the very crisp, juicy, concolorous flesh. They average 5 to 6 g in weight and 4 to 5 mL in volume. Ripe fruits are astringent, extremely acidic and some are distinctly bitter. They are capsular (drupaceous) berries with a fleshy exocarp. The edible part of the fruit is the mesocarp and the endocarp forms the hard stone which encages the seeds.15

Chemical Composition:
 Plant have so many important chemical constituents Zhang and coworkers have reported that fruit juice of E. officinalis contains phenolic constituents like gallic acid, L-malic acid 2-o-gallate, Mucic acid 2-o-gallate, Corilagin Chebulagic acid, putrajivain A, elacocarpusin, mucic acid, 1-o-galloyl-β-D-glucose, Mucic acid 6-methyl ester 2-o-gallate, Mucic acid 1,4- lactone 2-o-gallate, Mucic acid 1-methyl ester 2-o-gallate, Mucic acid 2-o-gallate, Mucic acid 1, 4-lactone 6-methyl ester 2-o-gallate, mucic acid 1, 4-lactone 3-o-gallate, mucic acid 1,4-lactone 3,5-di-o-gallate   have reported that fresh pericarp of E. officinalis contain higher amount of hydrolysable tannins like emblicanin A and B, punigluconin, pedunculagin The structure have been established by spectroscopic analysis and chemical transformation ( Kumaran and karunakaran have performed an activity-directed fractionation and purification process to identify phytochemicals present in E. officinalis. They have identified gallic acid, methyl gallate, corilagin, furosin and geraniin inE. officinalis by chromatographic and spectroscopic method Phytochemical investigations reveled thatE. officinalis contains higher amount of flavonoid like quercetin and fruits were also analyzed for their alkaloidal content. Alkaloids like phyllantine and phyllantidine were confirmed by chromatography and IR spectral studies.It has been reported that fruits ofE. officinalis contains higher amount of Vitamin C  and considerably higher concentrations of most minerals, protein and amino acids like Glutamic acid, proline, aspartic acid, alanine, cystine and lysine.18

Ethnobotnical uses:
Emblica Officinalis has been used as a valuable ingredient of various medicines in India and Middle East from time immemorial. The green fruits are made into pickles and preserves to stimulate the appetite. Medical studies conducted on Amla fruit suggest that it has antiviral properties [Udupa] and also functions as an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent The use of amla as an antioxidant has been examined by a number of authors [Bhattacharya; Chaudhuri]. Experiments conducted at the Niwa Institute of Immunology in Japan have shown Amla to be a potent scavenger of free radicals. The studies showed that Amla preparations contained high levels of the free-radical scavenger, superoxide dimutase (SOD), in the experimental subjects [Treadway]Amla is believed to increase ojas, and is considered to be one of the strongest rejuvenative herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is the primary ingredient used in one of the renowned Ayurvedic herbal formulae, called Chayavanprasha which has great respect as a tonic. The preparation is named after Chayavan who was sitting in the forest when the Emperor’s daughter who was playing while blindfolded in the forest fell over him. Not knowing he was a stranger, she ran her fingers through his hair and decorated him with a garland of flowers, which must have been quite an accomplishment while wearing a blindfold! Needless to say, her father found out and insisted that the wise old sage marry his daughter (as a woman was only allowed to be touched by one woman in her lifetime). The old sage created chayavanprasha and lived on it for 2 months, during which time he regained youthfulness and sexual vitality [Watson]. Beside amla, chayavanprasha contains around 30 to 50 other herbs depending on where it is prepared.  For sexual rejuvenation, stir Chyavanprash into warm milk or spread on toast, and consume every day The pericarp of the fruit is often used in decoctions along with other ingredients and also applied externally on boils with cow ghee to promote suppuration [Jayaweera].  Photoaging of the skin is a complex biologic process affecting various layers of the skin with major changes seen in the connective tissue within the dermis. Emblica was shown to reduce UV-induced erythema and had excellent free-radical quenching ability, chelating ability to iron and copper as well as MMP-1 and MMP-3 inhibitory activity [Chaudhuri, Guttierez, and Serrar, 2003]

Pharmacological and biological activities:

Antioxidant activity:
In this study The antioxidant activity of free and bound phenolics of amla (Emblica officinalis) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) was investigated. The Emblica officinalis free (EOFP) and bound phenolics (EOBP) showed between four- to 10-fold higher levels of antioxidant activity as evaluated by both free radical scavenging and reducing power assays compared to that of Curcuma longa free (CLFP) and bound phenolics (CLBP). Higher level of antioxidant activity in E. officinalis has been attributed to the phenolic content (12.9%, w/w,correlation coefficient R ¼ 0:74) in them. results clearly suggest the presence of potent antioxidants such as gallic acid in E. officinalis and protocatechuic acid and ferulic acid in C. longa, in addition to the known ascorbic acid and curcumin in E. officinalis and C. longa, respectively.10


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