One of the most common elements in Ayurveda health preparations is Amla, an exceptional source of vitamin C and antioxidants. In fact, even a tiny portion can match the power of two oranges.
Some have gone so far as to say that Amla is the world’s most powerful antioxidant. (Keep reading!)
But that’s not all.
Along with being a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, it is high in essential nutrients. It is loaded with iron and fiber. With regular use, a boost in the immune system’s function is inevitable.
Are you starting to get a good idea about the antioxidant power of Amla?
Now, what are antioxidants? Just think of it as your body’s free radical defense mechanism. Free radicals bombard the body all day long; each time we go out in the sun, by exercising, exposing yourself to chemicals or simply taking a breath of oxygen. These free radicals are nasty molecules because they’re chemically unstable.
That’s where the power of antioxidants like Amla come in.
- 1 Basic Facts About Amla
- 2 Popular Medicinal Uses
- 3 Primary Health Benefit of Amla
- 4 Additional Health Benefits of Amla
- 5 Taking Amla
- 6 Ayuervedic Medicine Energetics of Amla
- 7 The History, Uses and Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry
- 8 Health Benefits of Emblica officinalis (Amalaki Berry, Amla, Indian Gooseberry)
- 9 Other Important Information
Basic Facts About Amla
Amla is an edible fruit of the deciduous tree Phyllantus emblica. Among its other names are Emblica officinalis Garten, emblic, myrobalan, Amalaki Berry and Indian gooseberry. It comes from a source that is considered sacred since it is the subject of different cultural and religious beliefs.
One belief says it comes from the dwelling place of the Hindu god, Vishnu. Another belief says that it is an Indian emperor’s gift to a Buddhist Sangha. Its significance in Hinduism and Buddhism is illustrated in traditional verses.
Since its initial discovery centuries ago, it is believed to be very powerful. When an individual shows even the smallest sign of sickness, it is the go-to alternative health remedy. Whether the cause of the sickness is known or not, eating the fruit is recommended.
Popular Medicinal Uses
In traditional medicine, Amla is a reliable solution. Its bitter taste may be the subject of complaints, but it is always in demand. Many people gather it immediately once it ripens around autumn. Whether it is dried or fresh, it is very useful as an organic herbal remedy.
According to Ayurveda medicine, it balances all of the three doshas – Kapha, Vata, and Pitta. It is particularly helpful due to its cooling nature. It works as a Rasayana (rejuvenating medicine) and it can be used to promote longevity.
It has also undergone preliminary scientific research. Further clinical studies are necessary, but solid evidence of its power in fighting many diseases has already been established. According to the medical data, Amla demonstrates anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.
Primary Health Benefit of Amla
The primary benefit of Amla is its ability to significantly improving the immune system. It supports regularity in body functions. It ensures that natural biological processes are capable of handling their respective duties so all of the functions are coordinated.
Since it contains anti-inflammatory properties, it helps an individual stand against the threats of inflammation. It reduces swelling and prevents the exacerbation of diseases.
Additionally, as a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, it raises protection against diseases. It guards the body and allows it to function better. As a great defense against different threats to the health, individuals turn to it when they are feeling a bit under the weather.
As research shows, its elements possess a scavenging property. This scavenging property reduces the impact of damage caused by free radicals. Consequently, the natural defenses against harmful substances are strengthened.
Within little time, it supports the body’s fast recovery. In a couple of days, a sick individual can get back on track again without hint of an illness.
Additional Health Benefits of Amla
- Boosts memory and alertness
- Boosts energy
- Cleanses the blood
- Improves nutrient absorption and other digestive functions
- Improves liver function
- Cleans arterial walls
- Promotes healthy hair growth; prevents hair loss, baldness and alopecia
- Balances blood sugar
- Alleviates joint pain and rheumatism
- Soothes sore throat and cough
- Delays aging; nourishes skin
- Normalizes cholesterol levels; increases HDL (or High-Level Lipoprotein) and reduces LDL (or Low-Level Lipoprotein)
- Increases virility, sperm production, motility of sperm, and sexual vigor
- Lowers risk of the development of heart disease
- Treats weak eyesight
- Treats blood disorders
- Treats ulcers and gastric problems
- Treats age related renal disease
- Treats problems with the reproductive system
The health benefits of Amla as an herbal medicine is unquestionable. Regardless of the particular condition, it can awaken a new sense of life. With its chemical constituents, it can improve an individual’s quality of life. For best results, a consultation with an expert Ayurveda medicine practitioner or holistic herbalist should be considered.
If you’re fortunate to live where the amalaki fruit grows naturally, you should consider eating it raw on an empty stomach. As mentioned, Indian gooseberry has amazing detoxifying health benefits and eating it on an empty stomach will help to acidify your system. There are major benefits to eating Amla or drinking its juice daily!
Ayuervedic Medicine Energetics of Amla
- Virya (or energy): cooling
- Rasa (or taste): astringent, sour, bitter
- Guna (or quality): light, dry
- Dhatu (or tissues): affects all tissues, especially in the muscles and blood
- Vipaka (or Post-digestive effect): sweet
- Srotas (or channel): elimination, circulation, and digestion
The History, Uses and Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry
Emblica officinalis is one of the oldest plants used in Ayurvedic medicine. Known as Amla in the country of its origin, this fruit-bearing tree was traditionally used as a poultice and placed on the head in the belief that it can cure the mental illness of the person receiving the treatment.
According to the Indian Materia Medica the tree, also known as Indian gooseberry, was used to cure vertigo and giddiness in the early days of traditional Indian medicine.
Unlike other Ayurvedic medicines, the fruit of the Indian gooseberry is highly-edible. In fact, it contains more vitamin C, minerals, and amino acids than an apple. With these natural components alone, one can easily imagine the wide-range of health benefits it can provide.
The amla fruit is also a part of Indian culinary tradition. The gooseberry is usually pickled as an alternative to regular pickles. It is sometimes cooked in a sugary syrup with lemon to turn it into a dessert.
Habitat of Amalaki Berry
Emblica officinalis is commonly found in regions with a tropical climate. It is typically grown in southwestern and northern parts of India, including Kashmir.
Growing an Indian gooseberry tree is fairly easy. However, one must take note that it takes a minimum of five years before it bears fruits. While the tree can withstand any type of weather, it grows best in less sunny and windy areas. Additionally, it can grow in deep, well-drained, and loamy soil. Planters must also take note of the tree’s inability to withstand sandy and clay-rich soil. It also doesn’t sit well in water-saturated soil.
The Indian Gooseberry tree likes to be watered plentifully on a regular basis during its early years. Once it has grown and the characteristics of a tree have been established, a planter need not worry about watering it every day. Furthermore, an Indian gooseberry tree grower is advised to only use organic fertilizer on the soil where it grows. If the tree has reached full-maturity but still bears less or no fruit at all, the planter can mix a fruit fertilizer with the soil.
To prevent any growth stagnation, planters are also advised to plant each seed or commercially grafted tree twenty to thirty feet away from eachother.
Health Benefits of Emblica officinalis (Amalaki Berry, Amla, Indian Gooseberry)
The tree’s leaves, flowers, bark, and seeds may be used medicinally. But it is the fruit of the Indian gooseberry that is widely-used in both the eastern and western world.
As an antioxidant, the high-dosage of vitamin C found in Indian Gooseberry helps prevent many types of disease. This important role of the vitamin allows the Indian gooseberry fruit to provide quite a number of other health benefits:
- It prevents and treats common colds.
- Others use it to remedy the symptoms of skin infections like furunculosis or boils.
- It kills acne-causing bacteria.
- It can cure a gum infection.
- It helps people with HIV disease to not easily develop infections and other illnesses triggered by a weak immune system.
- It prevents other infections or any of its symptoms from worsening like stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and dysentery.
- It is highly-effective in treating scurvy where gums bleed and wounds that already healed re-open.
- It revitalizes the skin and prevents premature aging.
- It helps maintain good eyesight.
- It prevents and helps cure glaucoma and conjunctivitis.
- It enriches the hair and prevents it from graying.
- Indian gooseberry helps in maintaining normal blood sugar levels in people. It stimulates the pancreas and allows it to secrete more insulin.
- It has been said to decrease the amount of bad cholesterol (low density lipoproteins or LDL) in the body.
- It is still being used to cure diarrhea, including dysentery.
Other Important Information
Like other vitamin C rich fruits, Indian gooseberry tastes sour with a hint of bitterness. Because of this quality and wide-range of health benefits, the fruit has become a regular fare in Indian cuisine and in many Ayurvedic health supplements. However, people suffering from blood disorders are required to seek the advice of their doctors before including Indian gooseberry in their treatment. Also, if a person has a liver condition, they are recommended not to take Indian gooseberry with Indian frankincense, Tonispora cordifolia, or ginger. Recent studies show combinations of the plant with any of these worsen liver conditions.
Anyone who wants to include Amalaki Berry in their health regimen must still consult their doctors. Their overall health condition and age must be taken into consideration before a physician can prescribe the right dosage of the fruit supplement.