There are many properties ascribed to amla and it is a necessary constituent of many Ayurvedic medicines. Various polyherbal formulations, such as Amlakadi gritha, Amlakadi Tailya, Alakyadi Churna, Aamalaki Rasayanam, Asokarista, Avipatikara Churnam, Chyavananaprasa Leham, Dasamularishta, Dhatri lauha, Dhatryarista, Kumaryasava, Panchatika Guggulu Ghritam, Triphala Lepam, Triphala Guggulu, Triphala Ghritam, and Triphala Churnam, are commonly used to treat various ailments.
It is used in various medical systems such as Siddha, Unani Tibetan, Sri Lankan, and Chinese medical systems. Amla is used in Ayurveda as a potent Rasayana and is useful in stalling the degenerative and senescence process, promoting longevity, enhancing digestion, treating constipation, reducing fever, purifying the blood, reducing cough, alleviating asthma, strengthening the heart, benefiting the eyes, stimulate hair growth, enliven the body, and enhance the intellect.
In different traditional medicines the fruits, which are astringent, are useful in treating ophthalmic problems, diabetes, cough, asthma, osteoporosis, premature graying of hair, weakness and fatigue, dyspepsia, gastritis, hyperacidity, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, hematuria, menorrhagia, treat anemia etc.
Amla as an Antineoplastic Agent
Nowadays it is observed that the extract of amla, which contains gallic acid (21%), inhibited the growth of A549 (lung), HepG2 (liver), HeLa (cervical), MDA-MB-231 (breast), SK-OV3 (ovarian), and SW620 (colorectal) cells in vitro, tannins (43%) and uronic acid (11%).
Many studies have also shown that some compounds in amla are effective in inhibiting the proliferation of neoplastic cells in vitro and also in tumor-bearing animals. The hydrolyzable tannins of amla are also reported to possess selective cytotoxicity to the human oral squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumor cell lines, while they were nontoxic to the normal human gingival fibroblasts.
Chemotherapy is also known to possess deleterious on normal cells. At some times, the effects can be extremely severe and can compel the physician to discontinue or reduce the dose of treatment.
The aqueous extract of amla has been observed to be effective at reducing cyclophosphamide-induced suppression of humoral immunity and to restore the levels of glutathione and the antioxidant enzymes in the kidneys and liver of rats.
Immunomodulatory Effects of Amla
Immunostimulants enhance the whole immunity of the host, present a non-specific immune response against microbial pathogens and increase immune responses, and humoral responses, by either enhancing cytokine secretion, or by directly stimulating B-lymphocytes or T-lymphocytes.
Research has shown that amla increases natural killer cell and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in BALB/c mice.