Phyllanthus emblica L., MYROBALAN,
EMBLIC, YOU GAN GUO
The emblic leaf-flower, you gan
guo (oil mandarin fruit) is also called you gan zi (oil mandarin), yu gan zi
(surplus mandarin) and niu gan guo (cow mandarin fruit). It is a small
shrub, growing to a height of 1-2 metres.
The fruit is round, with a diameter of 10-20 mm, and the surface is marked
by 5 fine lines running from top to bottom and slightly recessed into the
surface. The skin is smooth and shiny, yellow-green or cream in color when
immature. It ripens in the summer and also in the autumn when it turns red.
The flesh is firm and crisp, containing a lot of juice. When tasted the
flavor is at first acid and astringent, but it then leaves a sweet
after-taste. Inside the fruit is a round, hard kernel.
The fruit's nature is cool. It can cool heat and fevers, benefit the throat,
moisten the lungs, ease coughing and help healing. It contains abundant
vitamin C, tannin, flavone glucoside, etc.
1. LUNGS, BURNING FEELING WITH A COUGH. Take 1-2 pieces of fresh fruit,
crush, and drink the juice. Do this several times a day.
2. COMMON COLD, WITH FEVER; DRY THROAT, FEELING UPSET AND THIRSTY. Take 20
pieces of fresh fruit, crush and add one cup of cool boiled water. Strain
off the juice and drink this. Repeat 3 times a day.
3. TOOTHACHE; MOUTH AND TONGUE SORE. Take 20 pieces of fresh fruit, add a
little salt, crush, squeeze and obtain the juice. Hold the liquid in the
mouth for as long as possible and gargle, then drink it.
4. VITAMIN C DEFICIENCY. Take 10 or more pieces of fresh fruit and slowly
chew them. Do this once a day, every day.
5. DIARRHOEA AND STOMACH PAIN
CAUSED BY ACUTE OR CHRONIC GASTROENTERITIS; DYSENTERY CAUSING STOMACH PAIN;
DIARRHOEA. Take 10 pieces of fresh fruit and 10 pieces of pickled fruit,
crush, add water and simmer. Obtain the juice and drink it. Do this every
day 3 times.
6. ECZEMA; IMPETIGO; PUSTULOSIS; WEEPING SORES THAT DO NOT HEAL; FESTERING
SKIN THAT DOES NOT HEAL. Take 500 grams of fresh fruit, discard the stones
and crush. Add water and boil for one hour. Strain through clean gauze to
obtain the liquid. Use this to wash the affected parts several times a day.
7. THROAT, SWOLLEN AND PAINFUL; DIFFICULTY IN SWALLOWING. Take 10 pieces of
salted fruit, crush and add half a cup of boiled water. Soak,
then squeeze to obtain the liquid and drink it.
8. VOICE HOARSE; LOSS OF VOICE. Take some salted fruit hold in the mouth for
a long time and slowly chew. Do this several times a day.
9. WOUNDS, BLEEDING. Take an appropriate amount of fresh fruit, discard the
stone and crush the rest. Spread this on the affected parts.
1. SALTED FRUIT. Take fresh fruit, cover with table salt and keep in a dry
2. PICKLED FRUIT. Take fresh fruit and soak it in vinegar. After a number of
days it will become pickled and can be kept in this way and used as needed.
Do not eat this fruit if suffering from blood deficiency or habitual
NOTE: Because the tap water is not safe to drink in China, recipes
always call for cool boiled water. (Ed.)