Gooseberry is a tart fruit high in nutrients, such as vitamin C. It has several potential health benefits, including anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

People eat gooseberry in fresh or in canned form. Some people also use it as a supplement or beauty product. Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, has been linked to several health benefits.

This article discusses gooseberry and explores eight potential health benefits. In addition, it explains how to use gooseberry and looks at any safety issues.

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Gooseberry is the common name for a small round edible fruit. People use gooseberry fruit to make pies, jellies, and jams. Additionally, some varieties have herbal properties, and people use the plant in alternative medicine.

There are various types from different regions, including:

  • European gooseberry: A green and hairy fruit whose botanical name is Ribes grossularia var. uva-crisp. It is indigenous to Europe; northwestern Africa; and west, south, and southeast Asia. People eat European gooseberries in puddings, jams, and pies.
  • American gooseberry: A green to purplish fruit that grows naturally in the northeastern and midwestern United States. People commonly plant American gooseberry in fruit or vegetable gardens, and its botanical name is Ribes hirtellum.
  • Indian gooseberry (Amla or Emblic fruit): A yellowish-green fruit that grows in India, Southeast Asia, China, Iran, and Pakistan. Its botanical name is Emblica Officinalis.

Gooseberries are nutritious fruits, low in calories and fat, and can help someone achieve their daily amount of nutrients as part of a balanced diet.

Additionally, the fiber they contain may help keep a person’s bowel movements regular, allow them to feel full, and manage their weight.

Gooseberries contain the following beneficial nutrients:

Per 100 grams (g), raw gooseberries contain:

NutrientsAmount (per 100g)
Fiber4.3 grams (g)
Vitamin C27.7 milligrams (mg)
Vitamin A, RAE15 micrograms (mcg)
Calories44 kcal

The natural phytonutrients that gooseberries contain may be beneficial for the skin and aging.

For example, a 2016 laboratory study found that Indian gooseberry had antioxidant, anti-elastase, and anti-collagenase (substances that play a role in wrinkle formation and aging skin) activities.

Other research suggests that the Phyllanthus species, which Indian gooseberry is part of, may protect the skin from sunlight and UV damage to the skin’s DNA.

Since Indian gooseberry contains vitamin C and other antioxidants, manufacturers use the extract in skin products, including creams and serums.

Gooseberries contain several antioxidant compounds, including:

  • anthocyanins
  • flavonoids
  • phenolic acids

The antioxidants that gooseberries contain may play a vital role in preventing chronic diseases by counteracting oxidative stress processes in the body.

Research links oxidative stress to the development of many disorders, including:

Therefore, including gooseberries as part of a balanced diet may benefit health.

A 2021 study suggests that Indian gooseberry may have potential as an anticancer agent. Laboratory and animal studies indicate that the fruit reduces the incidence and number of tumors at various organ sites.

The above study shows that Indian gooseberry has anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic properties. However, human research on Indian gooseberry and cancer is limited.

Learn more about carcinogens.

A small study indicated that 500 mg of Indian gooseberry in concentrated power supplement form daily for 18 weeks improved endothelial function in blood vessels (which regulates blood clotting), reduced oxidative stress, and lowered cholesterol.

In addition, the researchers concluded that ellagitannins and ellagic acid in the fruit might regulate blood processes and prevent arterial thrombosis.

Additionally, another study suggested that 12 weeks of supplements containing Indian gooseberry lowered cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese adults.

Scientists have used Indian gooseberry leaves, fruits, and flowers to study their effects on diabetes.

Evidence suggests that ellagitannins, compounds in gooseberry, may reduce blood glucose levels and could potentially be used as a treatment for diabetes. However, most research is on animals, and human studies are inconclusive.

A 2018 review suggests that Indian gooseberry may be beneficial for brain function. The review notes that animal studies demonstrate improved learning and memory with gooseberry extract.

Moreover, gooseberry may have neuroprotective effects and enhance cognitive function.

A 2017 study suggests that Indian gooseberry strengthens hair and promotes growth, noting that people use traditional recipes containing Indian gooseberry for enriching hair growth and pigmentation.

The study researchers used Indian gooseberry in an extract with other ingredients and concluded that the combination promoted hair growth in animals. They suggest this may be a future treatment for alopecia.

Learn more about Amla oil for hair growth.

People can use fresh or canned gooseberries in several ways, including:

  • as fresh fruit or as part of a fruit salad
  • stewed as a dessert
  • to make jams and jellies
  • as a pie filling
  • to make wine and syrups

Additionally, retailers sell various Indian gooseberry products for health, many of which they market under the name Indian gooseberry. Products include:

  • supplements
  • powders
  • creams for the skin and hair

Consuming gooseberries as food is generally safe. Toxicological studies do not show adverse effects, even at high doses.

However, eating fruit in large quantities may affect blood sugar, so people with diabetes must consider this and speak with a health practitioner if they are concerned.

If someone wishes to take a herbal remedy containing Indian or other gooseberry ingredients, they should seek advice if they have a health condition or are taking medication.

Gooseberries are a nutritious fruit containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are low in calories and fiber-rich, helping people to manage their weight.

Scientists have studied the active compounds in gooseberries and suggested they may benefit cancer, brain function, and diabetes. In addition, people have used Indian gooseberry traditionally for healthy skin and hair.

People can add gooseberries to their diet or take them as a supplement or beauty product. However, a person should speak with a health practitioner before using herbal remedies, especially if they have a health condition.