Amla is a deciduous tree that grows up to 30 feet in height. The botanical name for the Amla plant is Phyllanthus emblica. The amla tree is native to India and Nepal, and that is why it is referred to as the Indian Gooseberry. This tree is considered sacred in India. It has been worshiped since ancient times as the “Earth Mother”. The tree is best known for its succulent fruit. The fruit is small and light green in color with six vertical stripes and a hard seed inside. The fruit has a sour and astringent taste.
The word “amla is derived from the Sanskrit word “amlaki”, which means “the sustainer” or prosperity. The fruit belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Amla is considered as one of the most popular herbs for improving our health and well-being. It is a major part of the Triphala Churna, which is a combination of three potent herbs. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla balances all three doshas of the body- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In ancient Ayurveda, amla was used for promoting longevity, digestion, for enhancing concentration and alleviating respiratory problems.
Health Benefits of Amla:
Amla is known to provide a number of health benefits owing to the wide array of nutrients present in it. The health benefits of amla can be attributed to the high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants present in it. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla can help us live for more than 100 years. Some of the common amla benefits for health include:
Amla is known as a vrishya herb, which means that it helps to enhance all seven tissues, including the reproductive tissue. Amla supports the reproductive system in both males and females, overcoming difficulty in conceiving. The vipaka properties of amla help to revitalize semen in men by improving the quality of sperms.
2. Bone health:
The scientists of Ferrara University have found that amla extracts can slow the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down the bone. The anti-inflammatory properties of amla help to reduce pain and swelling of the bones in arthritis patients.
3. Eye sight:
Amla is very beneficial for eye health as well. It is believed to improve eye sight and prevent age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants present in amla protect the eye retina from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cataract. Soak amla in water and wash the eyes with the infusion to improve your eyesight.
Amla is a potent stress reliever and can help to induce sound sleep. Massage your scalp with amla oil to induce sleep and relieve headaches. Application of amla oil to the scalp before bathing removes night blindness and bilious giddiness.
5. Mental health:
Amla improves nerve health by facilitating proper flow of blood. Regular consumption of amla improves cognitive function, increasing concentration and memory. It also protects the nerve cells from free radical damage, preventing diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The high iron content in amla facilitates oxygen transportation, preventing brain degeneration.
Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidemia by alleviating oxidative stress in the ageing process. It also protects the body from radiation.
7. Respiratory disorders:
Amla is considered to have a beneficial effect on respiratory disorders. Vitamin C in amla makes it a mighty herbal medicine against cold and cough. Consumption of amla is known to boost immunity, reducing flu and throat infection. It helps to deal with chronic cough, tuberculosis and blocked chest problems. It is also found to alleviate asthma symptoms.
8. Fight Infections:
The antibacterial properties of amla help the body to fight against bacterial, fungal and viral infections, making the body more resistant to diseases. It strengthens the immune system by removing toxins from the body. It also improves the defense mechanism of the body.
9. Weight Loss:
Health-conscious people should definitely add amla to their diet. Amla boosts metabolism, leading to the reduction of fat accumulation in the body. It also keeps the stomach full for a longer period of time. One need to include amla juice for weight loss.
The high content of antioxidants in amla protects the body from the action of free radicals. It promotes longevity and slows down the ageing process.
11. Cardiovascular health:
Amla is also known to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. It is rich in many heart-friendly nutrients, which prevents the blockage of blood flow to the heart, reducing bad cholesterol. It strengthens the heart muscles, lowers cholesterol and controls hypertension. Amla contains potent antioxidants like amino acids and pectin, which helps in decreasing serum cholesterol in the blood, reducing low density lipoprotein in the body. It also helps in increasing good cholesterol in the body. Triglyceride and C reactive protein are significantly reduced by its consumption. It also protects the arteries from fat and plaque accumulation, preventing atherosclerosis.
The high levels of antioxidant in amla restrict the growth of carcinogenic cells, preventing cancer. It keeps the harmful free radicals at bay, preventing stomach, skin and liver cancer. Its Oxidative Radiance Activity Capacity (ORAC) prevents cell damage from oxidative stress, preventing tumor cell growth. Amla also counteracts the side effects of anti-cancer drugs.
Amla is a low in sugar and a high fiber fruit, making it perfect for diabetics. It stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete insulin. This reduces the blood sugar in diabetes patients. Take amla juice with turmeric twice a day to control diabetes. It is also rich in chromium, which makes it very beneficial for diabetics. The antioxidants in amla regulate glucose levels in the blood, decreasing albumin levels in patients. It inhibits the production of glycosylated hemoglobin, thus reducing blood sugar levels.
Amla is a fiber-rich fruit. It aids healthy bowel movement by keeping the gastrointestinal tract clean. It strengthens the digestive system, improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. The sour and bitter taste of amla triggers the taste receptors, making the digestive enzymes active. Amla helps to get relief from gastritis syndrome and hypochlorhydria. Take amla powder with milk twice a day to cure bloating and acidity. The cooling and laxative properties of amla are very beneficial for treating diarrhea. It works as a natural laxative to clear the accumulated matter from the intestinal tract, relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Amla benefits for Skin:
The cooling properties of amla make it ideal for treating all kinds of skin disorders. Some of the benefits of amla for skin include:
15. Reduces Skin Irritation & Blemishes:
Amla flushes out toxins from the body, reducing skin irritation and blemishes.
16. Heals Pimples & Acne:
Amla powder is very useful for clearing pimples and acne. The amla extract is applied directly to the face to reduce pimples and oiliness.
17. Natural Cleanser:
A face pack prepared with amla powder acts as a natural cleanser to remove dirt and grime from the face. Make a thick paste using amla powder, water and olive oil. Apply it on the face and wash it off after 10 minutes.
18. Astringent Nature:
Oily and pimple-prone skin can also benefit from amla. Make a face pack using amla powder, rose water and lemon juice. The astringent properties of amla and lemon will tighten the pores, giving you clear and healthy skin.
19. Brightens Skin Tone:
Drinking amla juice on a regular basis can also help to brighten the skin tone. The anti-bacterial properties of the fruit purify the blood, revealing the natural glowing complexion beneath. It also revives the skin’s texture, making it smooth and supple.
20. Restores Skin Firmness:
Amla contains high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, making it very beneficial for skin health. It restores skin firmness by stimulating collagen production.
21. Reduces Pigmentation:
The high levels of Vitamin C in amla flushes out the toxins and metals from the body, aiding digestion. This helps to reduce skin blemishes and pigmentation.
22. Restricts Free Radical Skin Damage:
You can control acne and breakouts by regularly consuming amla. The antioxidants in amla help in restricting free radical damage to the skin, preventing the onset of acne and age spots.
23. Anti-Viral Nature:
The anti-viral properties of amla protect the skin from harmful pathogenic diseases.
Amla benefits for Hair:
The Indian market is flooded with hair products containing amla as one of their active ingredients. There are plenty of amla hair oils, shampoos and hair masks available in the market. Amla is very beneficial for maintaining the health of the hair. Some of the benefits of amla for the hair include:
24. Treats Hair Fall:
Amla contains high levels of Vitamin C, the deficiency of which can lead to severe hair fall.
25. Prevents Premature Hair Graying:
The antioxidants present in amla enrich the pigmentation of the hair. Topical application of gooseberry in the form of powder or paste nourishes the scalp and prevents premature graying.
26. Promotes Hair Growth:
Amla strengthens the hair roots, promoting hair growth. The nutrients present in amla penetrate into the follicles, making the hair softer, shinier and voluminous. It also conditions the hair, making it less prone to breakage.
27. Natural Hair Color:
A mixture of amla and shikakai powder can be used to color the hair naturally.
28. Accelerates Hair Growth:
Amla contains essential fatty acids that help in accelerating hair growth. Massage your scalp with amla oil to get thick, long and shiny hair.
29. Treats Scalp Conditions:
The antibacterial properties of amla prevent scalp conditions like eczema and dandruff. It clears the build-up from the scalp, reducing itchiness of the scalp.
You can easily prepare amla shampoo at home. Take dried amla and boil it with reetha and shikakai in water for 10 minutes. Leave the solution overnight, drain and use it for washing your hair.
Amla Juice Benefits:
30. Natural Remedy Against Diseases:
The best way to consume amla is by extracting its juice. Drinking gooseberry juice on a regular basis acts as a natural remedy against many diseases.
31. Aids Digestions:
Amla juice is a healthy drink to energize you at any time of the day. It breaks down proteins, making digestion more efficient. Amla juice also neutralizes acidity in the stomach with its cooling properties.
32. Rich Source of Vitamin C:
Amla juice is rich in Vitamin C. A glass of amla juice contains almost fifteen times more Vitamin C than a glass of orange juice.
33. Strengthens Body & Mind:
Take amla juice in between meals to dispel weakness of the body and mind.
34. Improves Vision:
Amla contains several essential nutrients required for improving the eyesight. Drinking amla juice with honey reduces intra-ocular tension, improving vision.
35. Cures Bleeding Nose:
Add a few drops of amla juice to the nostrils to cure a bleeding nose.
36. Strengthens Teeth & Nails:
Amla juice helps to strengthen your teeth and nails.
37. Heals Menstrual Sickness:
Amla juice also helps to reduce menstrual disorders and cramps.
38. Cures Anemia:
The high levels of iron in amla juice prevents anemia by increasing the hemoglobin levels in the body.
39. Lowers Fat Content:
Amla juice is found to be very effective in lowering the fat content in the body.
Dried Amla Uses:
40. Treats Intestinal Problems:
Dried amla is excellent for the digestive system. Consume it after meals to get rid of intestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
41. Purifies Blood:
Amla powder, when taken with honey purifies the blood.
42. Dissolves Kidney Stones:
Taking amla powder with radish helps to dissolve kidney stones.
43. Remedy for Hyperacidity & Ulcers:
The powder of dried amla fruit is an efficient remedy for hyperacidity, ulcers and other blood impurities.
44. Enhances Appetite:
Take amla powder with butter and honey before every meal to enhance your appetite. This will help to increase the pounds in a healthy way.
45. Amla is mostly used as an ingredient in pickles, juice and sweets. An amazing quality of amla is that heating or drying does not reduce its nutritional value. You can add chunks of amla to your curries and cooked vegetables. Amla chutneys and pickles are another way to include this healthy fruit in your diet. Other ways to consume this fruit is in the form of candies, sweets and murabba.
Amla: Nutritional value:
Amla is a very low calorie fruit. It contains mere 60 calories per 100 grams of serving. Amla has high water content. It contains almost 80% of water per fruit. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates. It also provides nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus and antioxidants.
Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||0.58 g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber||4.3 g||11%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.286 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||290 IU||10%|
|Vitamin C||27.7 mg||46%|