|Synonym:||Emblica officinalis Gaertn.|
|Local Names:||Nelli, Amla, Indian Gooseberry|
Flowering and fruiting: July – February
Distribution:Throughout the tropics
Habitat: Dry and moist deciduous forests, also cultivated in the plains
Uses: The fruit is an extremely rich source of ascorbic acid. The fruits have diuretic, laxative and purgative activities and also show molluscicidal and antimicrobial properties. A principal ingredient of various Ayurvedic tonic formulas. The fruit is given in order to allay the effects of aging and to restore the organs. The sour fruits are one of the ingredients of 'triphala', an Ayurvedic rejuvenating, laxative tonic based on this species plus the fruits of Terminalia bellirica and Terminalia chebula. The juice of the fruit is also given in order to strengthen the pancreas of diabetics, as well as in the treatment of eye problems, joint pain, diarrhoea and dysentery.
Key Characters: Deciduous trees, bark grey-brown, rough. Leaves simple, alternate, oblong or linear-oblong. Flowers unisexual, greenish-yellow, densely clustered in leaf axils. Male flowers: tepals 6, oblanceolate, stamens 3, anthers oblong. Female flowers: tepals 6, oblanceolate, obtuse; ovary superior, 3-celled; ovules 2 in each cell; styles 3, recurved, stigmatiferous. Fruit a capsule, subglobose, dehiscing into 6 cocci, disc enlarged to give an appearance of fleshy yellowish-green, indehiscent berry..