What Is Amla Oil?

Amla oil is derived from the amla fruit, also called Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis L.), which is known for its use in Ayurveda medicine.

Amla oil is made by drying the fruit and soaking it in a base oil such as mineral oil. It is grown in tropical and subtropical countries like India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Amla berries in and around a wicker basket.
RBB / Getty Images

Amla oil is said to boost hair growth and prevent hair loss. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this claim. Amla oil is usually either applied directly to the scalp or consumed in an oral form.

This article discusses the purported uses of amla oil, its side effects, and precautions to take when considering this supplement.

Dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLabs, or NSF.

However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily safe for all or effective in general. Therefore, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and check in about potential interactions with other supplements or medications.

Supplement Facts

Active Ingredient(s): Polyphenols, phytochemicals, vitamin C, linolenic acid, linoleic acid

Alternate Name(s): Indian gooseberry

Legal Status: Not currently regulated by the FDA

Suggested Dose: No suggested recommended dose.

Safety Considerations: Not recommended during pregnancy, lactation, or children. Check with healthcare provider before taking amla oil.

Purported Uses of Amla Oil

Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Research on the potential health benefits of amla oil is limited. While the amla fruit has been studied in lab and animal studies for certain health conditions (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancers, gastrointestinal disorders) and for antibacterial and antimicrobial properties (destroying the growth of bacteria or viruses), there is NOT enough evidence to support its use for any of these conditions due to a lack of human research. More research is needed.

Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia is characterized by the gradual loss of hair from the top and front of the scalp. Despite it often being called male pattern hair loss, this condition can affect anyone.

Amla oil has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to help with hair nourishment and promote a healthy scalp. However, there is limited research on the use of amla oil for hair care. There are some studies suggesting it may help with hair loss, but these were conducted primarily in labs and not human populations.

For example, one study examined 17 plants commonly used for hair treatments. Amla oil extract was shown to be the second strongest inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, which is an enzyme that can lead to baldness.

However, it has not been proven how well it actually works when applied directly to the skin versus taken in pill form. Moreover, this study was a lab study and not a clinical human trial.

What Are the Side Effects of Amla Oil?

Amla oil has not been thoroughly researched. It may lead to side effects in some individuals. It is unknown whether amla oil interacts with other medications taken by mouth or when applied to the skin.

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of short- or long-term use of amla oil. Stop using it and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects.

Precautions

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children should not take amla oil in any form. Not enough research has been done on these populations. Always speak with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement.

Dosage: How Much Amla Oil Should I Take?

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage is appropriate for your individual needs.

There is not enough scientific evidence to determine a standard or appropriate dose of amla oil at this time. More research is needed on dosages for specific health needs and populations. Studies investigating amla oil have used varying amounts, generally under medical supervision.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Amla Oil?

As a general guideline, never take more than the manufacturer's recommended dosage. If you experience side effects of any kind, stop taking amla oil and call your healthcare provider.

Interactions

It is essential to carefully read a supplement's ingredient list and nutrition facts panel to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included. Please review this supplement label with your healthcare provider to discuss potential interactions with foods, other supplements, and medications.

Currently, there is a lack of research regarding interactions with different medications. However, some studies have suggested amla oil may potentially interact with antidiabetic agents and anticoagulants (blood thinners).

Before using amla oil, please check with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.

How to Store Amla Oil

Store amla oil according to manufacturer's directions on the package. Discard as indicated on the packaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm pregnant. Can I use amla oil?

    At this time, it is recommended that you do not use amla oil as there is not enough research on its safety during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about safe supplementation options for you.

  • Can amla oil help with hair loss?

    There have been some lab and animal studies that suggest that amla oil may help with hair loss, but more human research should be done. For this reason, you should not rely on amla oil as a treatment for hair loss. Talk to your healthcare provider about other options available for this purpose.

  • What is amla oil?

    Amla is a fruit, and it is native to India and other tropical countries such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The amla fruit has a greenish-yellow color with a sour and sweet flavor when eaten. Amla oil is made by drying the fruit and adding base oil to it.

Sources of Amla Oil & What To Look For

Amla oil or amla oil-based products can often be purchased online or at health food stores. They are usually either applied directly to the hair or scalp or taken in an oral form. Always read the instructions on the label for how to use each product.

It is important to note that Ayurvedic remedies aren't typically regulated in the United States. In some cases, a product may be contaminated or contain products other than those listed on the label. Remember that it is illegal for any company to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease.

Summary

Amla oil is from the fruit of the amla fruit. It is thought to strengthen hair and boost its growth, but not enough evidence supports this use. More clinical trials in humans are needed.

Amla oil can be purchased online or in stores that carry Ayurvedic products. However, when selecting an oil, read the label carefully. Like most supplements, amla oil is not strictly regulated by the FDA, so it's important to let your healthcare provider know if you're considering using amla oil for any health purpose.

If you are concerned about hair loss, ask your healthcare provider about other treatment options that may be more effective.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Choudhary M, Grover K. Amla (Emblica officinalis L.) oil. In: Ramadan, M. (eds) Fruit Oils: Chemistry and Functionality. Springer, Cham. 2019. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-12473-1_48

  2. Kumar N, Rungseevijitprapa W, Narkkhong NA, Suttajit M, Chaiyasut C. 5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment. J of Ethnopharmacology. 2012;139(3):765-771. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.010

  3. Akhtar MS, Ramzan A, Ali A, Ahmad M. Effect of Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) on blood glucose and lipid profile of normal subjects and type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011;62(6):609-616. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.560565.

  4. Fatima N, Pingali U, Muralidhar N. Study of pharmacodynamic interaction of Phyllanthus emblica extract with clopidogrel and ecosprin in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. Phytomedicine. 2014;21(5):579-585. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.10.024

  5. Gul M, Liu ZW, Iahtisham-Ul-Haq, et al. Functional and nutraceutical significance of amla (Phyllanthus emblica L.): a review. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022;11(5):816. doi:10.3390/antiox11050816

  6. Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair oils: indigenous knowledge revisited. Int J Trichology. 2022;14(3):84-90. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_189_20

By Alena Clark, PhD
Alena Clark, PhD, is a registered dietitian and experienced nutrition and health educator

Originally written by Cathy Wong
Cathy Wong

Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.

Learn about our editorial process