The Indian gooseberry, known as Amla locally, is a very nutrient rich fruit. It is very commonly used in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal practice. Ayurveda says those who regularly consume Amla can live up to 100 years or even more.
Amla is a storehouse of good health with large amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants and is considered sacred and worshipped in India. It originated in India and Nepal and is therefore called the Indian gooseberry.
It is a very rich source of Vitamin C, calcium and iron.
It can also bring beauty benefits to our hair and skin.
Though the best way to consume Amla is in the fresh fruit form, those who cannot get it can use its powder which is the most convenient way is to use it.
Some of the important health benefits of Amla are:
Slowing down the aging process – Amla is considered to be a superfruit. It is found to contain large concentration of antioxidants which are known to effectively reduce cell damage. It reduces the impact of free radicals and thus effectively controls the aging process.
Useful in diabetes – High blood sugar has an oxidative nature and polyphenols, with their antioxidant activity can effectively counter them. Amla can therefore be very beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. It also has chromium which helps the absorption of insulin and thus reduces blood sugar levels. That is why it should be included in the daily diet of people afflicted with diabetes. (See precautions at the bottom of this article)
Stops premature hair loss
Amla has good amounts of carotene as well as iron. This combined with its antioxidant properties can counter premature hair loss and prevent baldness. Antioxidants fight free radicals which have a tendency to harm hair follicles. Even those who apply amla oil on their scalp successfully counter hair loss. Many hair tonics include amla which has been found to strengthen the roots of hair and enhance their luster. It also slows down greying of hair if regularly applied to the scalp.
Helps in absorption of calcium – Calcium is an integral part of our bones, teeth and hair. Vitamin C is an aid in the proper absorption of calcium and ensures the health of our bones, teeth and hair. Amla being a rich source of vitamin C helps our bodies greatly in the absorption of calcium and the benefits of it.
Strengthens our immune system – It also strengthens our immune system so that we can fight infections easily.
Controls cholesterol – Amla regulates the increase in bad cholesterol in our bodies and reduces the risk of heart ailments.
Useful in arthritis
Amla has anti-inflammatory properties. Swelling of the bones and pain in arthritis patients can be greatly reduced by using amla.
Amla oil in headaches – Massaging the scalp with amla oil induces sleep and relieves headaches.
Good for nerve health – Amla is good for nerve health because of its two pronged action. First, by its high iron content amla facilitates the transportation of oxygen which prevents the degeneration of brain cells. Second, due to its antioxidants, it protects the nerve cells from the harm that can be caused by free radicals. Thus, consuming amla regularly can improve cognitive function, increasing memory and concentration. It can also prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Useful in respiratory and lung problems – Chronic cough, tuberculosis and problems of blocked chest are greatly helped by the use of amla. Even asthma symptoms are alleviated by it.
Weight loss – By boosting the rate of metabolism, amla leads to the reduction of fat in the body and prevents its further accumulation.
Amla is also useful in clearing acne and pimples. Amla extract is directly applied to the face to reduces oiliness and pimples.
Helpful in constipation
Due to large fibre content, amla is very effective in dealing with constipation.
Prevents Ulcers – Amla reduces the acidity level in the stomach and prevents the formation of ulcers. Also mouth ulcers are known to be caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. Amla being very rich in vitamin C can help cure it. (See precautions at the bottom)
Detoxification due to high diuretic activity – It increases the diuretic activity causing more frequent urination and helps release unwanted uric acid and toxins. It thus has a detoxifying effect on our bodies.
In spite of the great benefits, there are some precautions to be taken care of in using amla, particularly amla juice-
Avoid taking it on an empty stomach as it can trigger painful hyperacidity.
It lowers blood sugar levels. So those who are on diabetes medication should consult their doctors before drinking amla juice..
Also, check if you are allergic to amla juice.
Keep these precautions in mind and start with small quantities of amla. This way you can avoid the unwanted side-effects and take advantage of its beneficial properties.