Dear Members,According to The Dhamma Encyclopedia, Phussa Buddha was sitting under the beautiful Amalaka tree (Phyllanthus Emblica) when he became enlightened.
Amalaka tree (Phyllanthus Emblica)
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
also known as indian gooseberry juice amalaka juice
Phyllanthus emblica (syn. Emblica officinalis), the Indian gooseberry, or aamla from Sanskrit amalika, is a deciduous tree of the family Phyllanthaceae. It is known for its edible fruit of the same name.
The tree is small to medium in size, reaching 8 to 18 m in height, with a crooked trunk and spreading branches. The branchlets are glabrous or finely pubescent, 10–20 cm long, usually deciduous; the leaves are simple, subsessile and closely set along branchlets, light green, resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, quite smooth and hard on appearance, with six vertical stripes or furrows.
Ripening in autumn, the berries are harvested by hand after climbing to upper branches bearing the fruits. The taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous. In India, it is common to eat gooseberries steeped in salt water and turmeric to make the sour fruits palatable. It is also used to straighten hair.
Cultural and religious significance
In the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition half an amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist sangha by the great Indian emperor Asoka. This is illustrated in the Asokavadana in the following verses: "A great donor, the lord of men, the eminent Maurya Asoka, has gone from being lord of Jambudvipa [India] to being lord of half a myrobalan." (Strong, 1983, P.99) This deed became so famous that a stupa was created to mark place of the event in modern day Patna and was known as the Amalaka stupa.
The tree is considered sacred by Hindus as the god Vishnu is believed to dwell here. The tree is worshipped on Amalaka Ekadashi.
 Medicinal use
In traditional Indian medicine, dried and fresh fruits of the plant are used. All parts of the plant are used in various Ayurvedic/Unani medicine (Jawarish amla) herbal preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. According to Ayurveda, aamla fruit is sour (amla) and astringent (kashaya) in taste (rasa), with sweet (madhura), bitter (tikta) and pungent (katu) secondary tastes (anurasas). Its qualities (gunas) are light (laghu) and dry (ruksha), the postdigestive effect (vipaka) is sweet (madhura), and its energy (virya) is cooling (shita).
According to Ayurveda, aamla balances all three doshas. While aamla is unusual in that it contains five out of the six tastes recognized by Ayurved, it is most important to recognize the effects of the "virya", or potency, and "vipaka", or post-digestive effect. Considered in this light, aamla is particularly helpful in reducing pitta due to its cooling energy. and balances both Pitta and vata by virtue of its sweet taste. The kapha is balanced primarily due to its drying action. It may be used as a rasayana (rejuvenative) to promote longevity, and traditionally to enhance digestion (dipanapachana), treat constipation (anuloma), reduce fever (jvaraghna), purify the blood (raktaprasadana), reduce cough (kasahara), alleviate asthma (svasahara), strengthen the heart (hrdaya), benefit the eyes (chakshushya), stimulate hair growth (romasanjana), enliven the body (jivaniya), and enhance intellect (medhya).
Particularly in South India, the fruit is pickled with salt, oil, and spices. Aamla is eaten raw or cooked into various dishes. In Andhra Pradesh, tender varieties are used to prepare dal (a lentil preparation), and amle ka murabbah, a sweet dish indigenous to the northern part of India (wherein the berries are soaked in sugar syrup for a long time till they are imparted the sweet flavor); it is traditionally consumed after meals.
Note: These fruit pickled are quite popular in Thailand, I loved loved to eat them when I was in Thailand...so yummy. May be that's why I'm so strong/healthy.
 Other uses
Popularly used in inks, shampoos and hair oils, the high tannin content of Indian gooseberry fruit serves as a mordant for fixing dyes in fabrics. Amla shampoos and hair oil are traditionally believed to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature grey hair