The usages of the āmalaka fruit in ancient China

WANG Dawei1,2 GAO Yongxiang3

(1.Institute of Taoism and Religious Culture, Sichuan University)
(2.Postdoctoral Research Station, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine)
(3.College of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine)

【Abstract】As Buddhism was disseminated in China, āmalaka had been known and recognized gradually by ancient Chinese physicians. According to ancient Indian medical classics, it has a very wide range of usage. In related Chinese literature, āmalaka has detoxifying, tonifying and hair nourishing functions, especially the detoxificationfor mineral toxicity which has not been recorded in modern pharmacopoeia. Buddhism is the intermediary for the dissemination of the uses of this herb. If there has been no much mention of āmalaka in Buddhist scriptures, ancient Chinese probably had no much interest in this herb. The exotic touch and Buddhist background of this herb are important reasons for its uses in traditional Chinese medicine and its role as an e epitome of the mutual exchanges between Chinese and Indian civilizations.

【Keywords】 ancient China; āmalaka fruit; usage;


【Funds】 Western Project of China National Social Science Fund of China (15XZJ007)

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(Translated by LIU Yuhui)


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This Article


CN: 11-1299/B

Vol , No. 06, Pages 75-81

December 2017


Article Outline



  • 1 Characteristics of āmalaka in ancient Indian culture
  • 2 Āmalaka as a traditional Chinese medicine
  • 3 Conclusions
  • Footnote