Amla is rich in vitamin C and also contains tannin like in green tea and wine. It is typically eaten after being marinated in salt or honey. I ate one raw, but it was just too bitter to eat and I decide to dip it in a lemon/salt mixture. But as the old proverb says, good medicine is bitter in the mouth.
According to this article, Amla can be pickled with salt, oil, and spices, and also used as a primary ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. It normalizes body function, balances the neuroendocrine system, and improves immunity.
It is almost like an anti-aging drug (youth in both physical and mental health). The efficacy of this fruit varies. The same article above mentioned that it works for the following (I sort of liked "sensation like a wet blanket covering the chest" - hmmmm I wonder what it is like):
"vitiligo, abdominal tumors, flatulence, dropsical swellings (edema), chlorosis, alcoholism, piles, ailments of the grahani (duodenum), chronic intermittent fever, diseases of the chest, diseases of the head, diarrhea, disgust for food, cough, gonorrhea, epistasis, enlargement of the spleen, abdominal dropsy when new, discharge of phlegm matter, hoarseness of the voice, discoloration or loss of complexion, anemia, intestinal worms, waste of dhatus (main body components), some forms of asthma, vomiting, loss of virility, weakness of the limbs, blockage of ducts of various kinds, sensation like a wet blanket covering the chest, a similar sensation in the heart, and dullness of the memory and understanding."
Anyway, Mary and I started to do our own marinating (in honey). You can also buy pickled ones in a jar, and I heard there are dried ones, too.