Most sites that sell Amla products describe the fruit's rich content of vitamin C, (“The fruit contains the highest amount of Vitamin C in natural form “) which is often said to be responsible for several of the therapeutic actions of the fruit. They are wrong and have not really done their research and are just repeating (or copying verbatim) incorrect information that was put out almost 50 years ago.
In fact, it has been shown that Amla does not contain any significant amount of vitamin C, but instead other organic acids (such as malic acid and mucic acid) and various common tannoids (small tannin-like molecules) and some unique tannins, one or more of which were mistaken for vitamin C in the initial tests conducted more than 50 years ago. Even so, at the levels described (at about 0.5-0.7% of the fruit pulp), the amount of vitamin C consumed would be small by modern standards.
The dominant active constituent of Amla is a group of tannins derived from gallic and ellagic acids, which make up a large portion of the extractable constituents and from other polyphenols. The fruit also contains flavonoids and kaempferol. The presence of a large proportion of tannins, the other polyphenols and flavanoids in the fruit easily explains many of the reported benefits of Amla, including treatment of respiratory and intestinal disorders, particularly intestinal ulcerations. In addition, polyphenols have been shown to have numerous health protective benefits, including lowering blood lipids and blood sugar, enhancing blood circulation, and blocking the action of carcinogens, which together contribute to the antiaging effect. The apparent superior effect of the mistaken "vitamin C" component is actually the more stable and potent anti-oxidant effect of the tannins, the other polyphenols and flavanoids in the Amla.