Profiling: Amla (Pyllanthus Embilica)

Amla – Indian Gooseberry is the quintessential ayurvedic herb used both for treatments and body well being.  The berries are greenish yellow a small to medium-sized deciduous tree native to India. they have a sour, bitter, and astringent taste. In Hinduism, the amla tree is considered sacred to the goddess Lakshmi.


Amla’s botanical name is Pyllanthus Embilica although Embilica Officinalis is a common synonym. The vastness amla growing towns and their different cultural nuances contribute to the many names used to refer to Amla. Some of the most common names include:

  • Amla
  • Aamla
  • Adiphal
  • Amalaki
  • Amalika
  • Awala
  • Aonla
  • Amritphal
  • Dhatriphal
  • Nelli
  • Ushirikai
  • Vayashya

Amla Indian gooseberry

The berries are dried in the shade(to preserve vitamin C)and then ground into fine powder for consumption. In hair care, amla is used as a paste, tea or infused into oil. Amla powder is mainly used to strengthen hair root to prevent pre-mature falling (shedding). Amla also preserves eumelanin (the more the eumelanin the darker the hair) and melanin (hair pigments) and therefore prevents premature graying.


Smooth creamy cake batter consistency was easy to work with.

Clings to the hair root and strands very well.

Amla powder felt light on my head after a full generous application

Easy rinsing with no product residue

Amla gives curl definition. Not as much as bentonite clay but it’s definitely noticeable

No shampoo or conditioner used — Hair felt soft and airy with a lot of movement

Final Thought:  Amla was wonderful to work with so it’s officially a part of my Ayurveda hair care recipes.