The Health Benefits of Amalaki Powder

Amalaki powder, or amla, is a supplement derived from the Indian gooseberry. It is a rich source of vitamins and bioactive compounds, and research suggests it may help support the immune system, improve digestion, and even protect against cancer.

Amalaki powder is perhaps most widely promoted for its anti-aging properties.

This article discusses the current research on the benefits of amalaki powder and how to use it. It also details possible side effects of its use, interactions you should know about, and what to look for when buying it.

indian gooseberry fruit in tree
Shashanth K/EyeEm/Getty Images

What Is Amalaki Powder?

A bitter-tasting fruit grown in Southeast Asia, amalaki (Êmblika officinalis) is harvested, dried, and ground into a powder that can be used loose or put into capsules. It is sold in the United States as a nutritional supplement.

Amalaki has long been used as a natural remedy by practitioners of Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system that has its roots in ancient India. In Sanskrit, the word Amalaki means "the sustainer."

It's also a component of a popular Ayurvedic remedy called Triphala, thought to enhance immunity, relieve abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation, amongst other things.

Also Known As

• Amla

• Indian gooseberry

Health Benefits of Amalaki Powder 

Amalaki is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamin C, amino acids, pectin, and antioxident-rich polyphenols such as tannins and gallic acid.

Amalaki also has anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.

In Ayurvedic medicine, amalaki has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation
  • Jaundice
  • Diabetes

Ayurvedic practitioners also believe amalaki improves functioning of the liver, heart, brain, and lungs.

Although the efficacy of amalaki for treating these conditions in particular has not been proven, the fruit has been studied as a treatment for heartburn, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Many of these studies show promising results, but more evidence is needed to determine whether amalaki can be used as a complementary treatment for specific conditions.


Studies have shown amalaki may be beneficial in treating heartburn. A 2018 study tested 68 people who had symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

One group was given two 500-milligram (mg) amalaki tablets twice a day after meals, while the other group was given a placebo, or sham treatment. After four weeks, the patients who took the amalaki tablets had a significant reduction in heartburn and regurgitation symptoms.

High Cholesterol

Amalaki may have some benefits in preventing hyperlipidemia, which is characterized by abnormally high levels of lipids (fats) in the blood.

A 2019 study tested 98 patients who received a 500-mg amalaki tablet or placebo twice a day. Those who received the amalaki extract had significantly lower total cholesterol and triglycerides.

The researchers noted larger studies are needed to help confirm the effectiveness of amalaki for high cholesterol.


Some research has looked at the effect of amalaki on diabetes. A 2012 study on diabetic rats found that amalaki extract improved antioxidant levels, limited free radicals, and reduced the risk of diabetes complications.

Because this study was conducted on animals, more research is needed to determine whether amalaki can benefit humans with diabetes in the same way.

Age-Related Conditions

Amalaki may have anti-aging properties. A study of people aged 45 to 60 revealed that amalaki helped maintain the length of DNA telomeres, structures located at the ends of chromosomes to protect them from damage.

As cells divide, telomeres tend to become shorter. They eventually become too short for the cells to divide, meaning they age rather than replicate.

The researchers concluded that because amalaki helped maintain the length of telomeres, it may promote healthy aging over time. Further research is needed to determine how amalaki might affect aging and age-related diseases.

Possible Side Effects of Amalaki 

Although amalaki has been used for centuries, much is unknown about its safety and effectiveness. Certain effects have been documented, however.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Amalaki powder is rich in fiber. For some people, increasing fiber intake can cause bloating, stomachache, and diarrhea.

Lowered Blood Sugar

Research shows it may increase the blood sugar-lowering effect of metformin and other diabetes medications.

Medication Interactions

Amalaki is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which can interact with certain medications. These include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Amphetamines, such as ADHD medications
  • Antacids that contain aluminum
  • Barbiturates
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies containing estrogen
  • Protease inhibitors, including Crixivan (indinavir)

Check With Your Provider

Before taking amalaki powder, check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you:

  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have any health condition
  • Take any medications

Dosage and Preparations

You can find amalaki powder and capsules, as well as extracts, tinctures, and tablets, online or in stores that sell supplements. When part of Triphala, amalaki is combined with two other fruits that come from the bibhataki and haritaki trees.

Amalaki powder is generally safe to eat but can taste bitter. It is commonly mixed with other foods or used in candies and juice.

Amalaki supplements are typically available in a 500-milligram (mg) capsule. Dosages may differ depending on the product, but in research, a typical dose is 500 mg capsules twice daily.

What to Look For

Dietary supplements aren’t reviewed by the government before they are marketed, and the Food and Drug Administration prohibits claims that a dietary supplement will treat or cure a disease. As such, be skeptical of any health claims made by a manufacturer.

Look for amalaki supplements that have been tested by an independent third party, including the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, and ConsumerLab. This certification ensures that the supplement contains the correct ingredients.

When choosing an organic supplement, look for the U.S. Department of Agriculture label that says "USDA Certified Organic." This indicates the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients, which helps limit exposure to pesticides and other toxins.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is amalaki good for your liver?

    Amalaki could have some protective effects on the liver, but studies are limited. According to a 2013 review, amalaki may prevent or improve damage to liver cells caused by the toxic effects of environmental chemicals, but more research is needed.

  • Is amalaki good for your hair and skin?

    Amalaki is sometimes used in beauty products because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Amalaki is thought to strengthen hair as well as brighten your complexion, but there is little scientific evidence to back these claims.

12 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.
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Additional Reading

By Barbara Bolen, PhD
Barbara Bolen, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and health coach. She has written multiple books focused on living with irritable bowel syndrome.