Indian gooseberry or Amla is a fruit native to South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It is a round shaped fibrous fruit of the deciduous tree “Euphorbiaceae”. Botanically known as Phyllanthus emblica, Amla is also known as Emblic, which stems from its other botanical name Emblica officinalis. Rich in Vitamin C, the fruit is extensively used in Indian medicine and Ayurvedic tonics for boosting the functioning of the immune system and thereby treating various conditions. Amla has several rejuvenating properties which makes it one of the main ingredients in preparation of cosmetic products to maintain the health of your skin and hair. According to studies, it contains phenols, flavonoids, and tannins, as well as a variety of other antioxidants that are beneficial for our health.
For thousands of years, Amla has been used in Ayurveda and other medicinal practices. Amla or Indian gooseberry is also known as "amalaki" in Sanskrit. Other Sanskrit nicknames for amla include "mother," "nurse," and "immortality," all of which allude to the fruit's restorative properties.
Except for Lavana (salt), it has all five rasas (tastes), with Amla being the most prominent (sour). It is Sita (cold) in virya (potency) and performs activities such as Tridoshahara (balancing all doshas), Rasayana (rejuvenation), Chakshushya (beneficial for eyes), Vrishya (aphrodisiac), Keshya (beneficial for hair), Vaysthapana (anti-aging), Ruchya (enriches taste),etc.
The cooling effect of Amalaki helps to eliminate excess pitta from the GI tract, promoting a healthy stomach lining and adequate digestive acid activity. It also detoxifies the colon, removing toxins and heat while promoting regular bowel motions. Amalaki is a rich source of natural antioxidants that is also extremely nutritious to the body's tissues. It helps in proper functioning of liver, pancreas, heart, and lungs while promoting healthy eyes, bones, blood, teeth, hair, and nails.
Healthy blood sugar levels
Amla helps in prevention of pancreatitis. Insulin, which is generated in the pancreas, is necessary for controlling blood sugar levels. Amla contains chromium, a mineral that helps in regulating carbohydrate metabolism and makes the body more receptive to insulin thus keeping a check on blood sugar levels.
Improves Gut Health
Amla is rich in fibre which is one of the key nutrients for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It works as a natural laxative, binding faeces, facilitating bowel movement, and keeping the gut healthy. As a result, constipation can be easily confronted with amla.
Free radicals in our body may harm the heart, skin, and even impair our immunity. This is due to the fact that free radicals produce inflammation, which is the root cause of majority of illnesses. Amla's antioxidants aid in the neutralisation of free radicals which leads to reduction of inflammation in the body.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
The antibacterial properties of Amla helps in prevention of infections and healing ulcers. It is also useful for cleansing of the mouth and strengthening the bones and teeth.
Good for Skin and Hair
Amla contains vitamin C, which promotes healthy skin and hair. This fruit is high in antioxidants, which can help your skin seem younger and fight ageing cells. It also prevents premature graying, dandruff and provides extra shine to your hair.
Along with vitamin C, Amla contains about 80% water, as well as protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and vitamin B-complex. These minerals aid in boosting metabolism.
Amla powder can be used in different ways. You can consume ½-1 teaspoon of amla powder every morning on an empty stomach with 1 teaspoon of warm water. Amla powder along with ginger powder, lime juice and honey can be mixed together for a drink, or amla powder can be added to a glass of fresh juice for breakfast. You can also mix it with a little bit of ghee and raw honey and consume it empty stomach every morning. Unless you have joint problems, arthritis, or any other vata disorder, it can be taken with milk.
While Amla has innumerable benefits, it is possible that it may not suit your body. It is important to listen to your body and discontinue using Amla if it leads to any or all of the following symptoms after having used it for at least 4-5 days:
· Stomach ache
Furthermore, it has the potential to reduce blood sugar, which might pose problems for those with diabetes who are taking medication. Your healthcare professional may need to alter your diabetic medicines in such a case. Amla might increase the risk of bleeding if you already have a bleeding disorder and hence it recommended to use it with caution especially during or after a surgery. Finally, if you are pregnant or lactating you should consult with your health care practitioner.
Q1. Is Amla powder good for the heart?
Ans. Amla's antioxidant properties aid in the fight against free radicals and the inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation. This reduces the formation of plaque in the blood vessels, lowering the risk of blockage and heart attacks.
Q2. What is amla sourced from Uttar Pradesh in India?
Ans. Amla is a subtropical plant and prefers dry climate. The ideology behind getting Amla from Uttar Pradesh is because of its bioavailability and weather conditions. The weather,soil and terrains are more suitable and nutritional, for the herb to grow in that region.
Q3. Can we consume Amla powder on an empty stomach?
Ans. Yes, Amla powder can be taken on an empty stomach due to its Sita (cool) and Pitta balancing properties. It is effective in getting rid of acidity when taken on an empty stomach.
Q4. How can we use Amla Powder for consumption?
Ans. Amla powder can be used in different ways.
- You can consume ½-1 teaspoon of amla powder every morning on an empty stomach with 1 teaspoon of warm water.
- Amla powder along with ginger powder, lime juice and honey can be mixed together for a drink, or amla powder can be added to a glass of fresh juice for breakfast.
- You can also mix it with a little bit of ghee and raw honey and consume it empty stomach every morning.
Q5. Can Amla powder help in weight loss?
Ans. Amla Powder, due to its high fibre and moisture content, can help to control body weight and prevent hunger. Furthermore, Amla, as an antioxidant, boosts metabolism, which is essential for weight loss.
Q6. Is Amla good for the skin?
Ans. Amla improves skin elasticity and aids in the removal of dead skin cells by forming new cells. Because of its strong antioxidant properties, it also protects the skin and prevents UV ray damage.
Q7. Is Amla good for hair? / Does amla help in reducing hair fall?
Ans. Consumption of Amla in any form can help reduce hair loss and promote hair growth. Amla, because of its antioxidant properties, fights free radicals and prevents premature or early greying of hair. All of these advantages combine to make Amla an effective hair tonic.
Q8. What is the recommended dosage of Amla Powder?
Ans. Ideally, one can consume 1-2 teaspoon of Amla powder every day.
Q9. Can a diabetes patient consume Amla Powder?
Ans. Amla has the potential to reduce blood sugar, which might pose problems for those with diabetes who are taking medication. Your healthcare professional may need to alter your diabetic medicines in such a case.
Q10. Does Amla powder have any side effects? / Any precautions when using Amla Powder?
Ans. Amla might increase the risk of bleeding if you already have a bleeding disorder and hence it recommended to use it with caution especially during or after a surgery. If you have a dry scalp or dry skin, eating too much amla can aggravate the problem. It can lead to problems of hair fall, itchiness, dandruff and other hair-related problems. If you are pregnant or lactating you should consult with your health care practitioner.