Amlaki or Indian gooseberry has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is one of the three constituents of the Ayurvedic formula Triphala. It is a rich source of vitamin C and is useful for the body, no matter what form it is eaten in, and has enormous health benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant and contains a good amount of calcium, iron, carotene, and vitamin B complex. It is easily assimilated by the body. The best way to eat it is raw, in which form, there is the least loss of vitamin C. It is a laxative and diuretic. It is also effective in the treatment of respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.
Botanical Name – Emblica officinalis
Sanskrit – Amalaki
Tamil – Nellikkai
Hindi – Amla
Common name – Indian gooseberry
The amounts of Vitamin C in mid-sized Amalaki are four times and eight times more than that in a medium-sized orange and tomato respectively. The best thing about Amalaki fruit is that the ascorbic acid found is nearly indestructible even when burning or drying it. It facilitates the absorption of iron in the body and improves hemoglobin levels. It helps boost immunity and restores the body’s vitality. It can be used as a natural home remedy for various conditions. Gooseberry helps control acute bacillary dysentery. It helps preserve eyesight due to its carotene content. Gooseberry is very useful in the treatment of rheumatism.
Amla health benefit for Diabetes
A tbsp of Amla juice mixed with a cup of fresh bitter gourd juice stimulates the cells that secrete insulin. It thus reduces blood sugar in diabetes. An equal quantity of Amla powder, Jamun powder, and bitter gourd powder should be mixed and a tsp full taken twice a day will check the progress of diabetes. It should be taken for a couple of months.
Amla health benefits for the heart
India gooseberry is good for the heart. It strengthens the heart muscles. The Ayurcure website says that, in clinical trials, feeding Amla to hypercholesterolemic rabbits for 12 weeks showed a two-pronged effect, its feeding increased the lipid mobilization and catabolism and retarded the deposition of lipids in the extrahepatic tissues. Feeding of E. officinalis initially raised the plasma lipids and cholesterol levels but by the end of 12 weeks, their levels were reduced significantly below the levels in the control group. At the University of Delhi and the University of Rajasthan in India, two separate studies revealed that Amla also seems to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels (Jacob 1988; Mathur 1996).
Natural remedy for Digestion
Gooseberry has anti-inflammatory properties and is hence used in various gastrointestinal tract inflammations such as gastritis. It contains natural digestive enzymes and hence aids digestion. A decoction prepared from the dry fruit combined with Harada (Terminalia chebula) and Bahada (Terminalia belerica) is useful in chronic dysentery and biliousness, in doses of 1 oz. once or twice daily.
Good for the eyes
Amla is known as a natural eye tonic. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it useful for disorders of the eyes like redness, burning, and itching. It also helps to improve eyesight. Tannins in Amla help to manage diabetic cataracts and also prevent loss of vision by reducing the fluid pressure in the eye.
Prevents pre-mature aging
The fruit, being a powerful antioxidant, helps to protect the cells against free radical damage and helps to prevent premature aging. It has revitalizing effects. It improves the immune system and builds resistance against infection. It promotes vigor and vitality in the body.
Natural remedy for the hair
It is one of the world’s oldest, natural hair conditioners and has been accepted traditionally as a hair tonic. It helps hair growth and prevents premature greying of hair. It nourishes the hair and strengthens the root, thus preventing hair fall while keeping it free from dandruff.
How to make amla oil the ayurvedic way. This is a very simple method to make ayurvedic oil. You can easily make this at home.
Good for Dyspepsia
In clinical studies, when the therapeutic efficacy of gooseberry in cases of dyspepsia was evaluated, the results indicated the efficacy of E.officialinis in relieving dyspeptic symptoms as well as in promoting the healing of ulcers. Gooseberry also benefits people with a burning sensation in the abdominal and cardiac regions.
Amla benefits for the skin
Amla is very often used in skincare products. Amla improves skin elasticity and helps to get rid of dead skin by forming new cells. Its strong antioxidant properties protect the skin and prevent damage by UV rays due to its strong antioxidant properties. Amla also has great healing properties and hence is good for controlling acne and inflammation of the skin. Amla also helps control excessive oil on the skin as it acts as an astringent. The topical application of Amla juice accelerates wound healing and helps in preventing infection of the wound.
Health benefits of Amla juice
Amla juice has a very unique taste. It has a combination of sour, bitter, and astringent tastes. It is quite tasty once you get used to it. And of course very nutritious.
- Firstly, it is an immunity booster, as it has a good amount of vitamin C which is a great antioxidant.
- Amla, being a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, may help protect the liver and improve liver function.
- Animal studies show that Amla could help in digestion and acid reflux.
- Animal studies also show that Amla helps to protect the kidneys and prevent kidney damage.
- The nutrients in Amla help in maintaining eye health. It also helps in controlling and preventing the eyes from cataracts.
- The juice of Amla is a natural detoxifier and blood purifier. The antioxidant properties of Amla help in flushing out the toxins from the body resulting in an increase in hemoglobin and red blood cell counts.
- Cut the fruit and dry it in the shade. Boil the pieces in coconut oil, till they become charred. This oil is very effective in preventing greying of hair. The water in which the dried Amla had been soaked overnight is a good conditioner for the hair.
- Being rich in vitamin C, it is very good for scurvy. Dry the gooseberry and powder it. Mix it with an equal quantity of sugar and take a tsp of the powder with milk, three times a day.
- A tbs of dry Amla powder mixed with two teaspoons of jaggery, taken twice for a month, helps people with rheumatism.
- A cup of gooseberry juice mixed with honey, taken twice daily helps in eye disorders.
- A tbsp of fresh gooseberry juice, sweetened with honey and taken once in the morning, and half a tsp of dried powder taken with hot water at bedtime decreases the level of low-density blood pressure which causes atherosclerotic changes and cholesterol deposits in the inner walls of the blood vessels.
- Mix dried Indian gooseberry turmeric and fenugreek-seed powders in equal quantities and have a tsp of it thrice a day with water. This is good for early diabetes.
- A tsp of dried Amlaki powder, boiled with a glass of water, is used as an eye wash to soothe sore eyes in conjunctivitis.
- Amla is a natural home remedy for all chest infections. Half a tsp of dried gooseberry powder mixed with a tsp of honey should be taken every morning with warm water. Honey and gooseberry are beneficial for all chest infections. If fresh fruit is available, a segment can be ground and had with honey. It also soothes the throat.
- Take 4-5 soft, fresh, new leaf buds of an Indian gooseberry shrub and grind them to a fine paste. Add to a cup of fresh buttermilk and drink twice or thrice a day for diarrhoea.
- Indian gooseberry chutney or sherbet with jaggery taken 3-4 times a day is nourishing for the liver.
Side effects and precautions while taking amla
Amla may lower blood glucose levels, and hence it is advisable to monitor the blood glucose regularly if you are taking Amla along with anti-diabetic drugs.
While taking amla juice as a medicine always take it in the recommended dose and under a doctor’s supervision, as a high dose can cause dryness in the skin.
Avoid drinking Amla juice at night, as it is a cooling fruit and may aggravate cold and coughs if you have it.
Due to lack of scientific evidence, medicinal use of Amla should be avoided during pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding