Amla (also known as Indian Gooseberry, Nellikka, amalaki) is a nutritious fruit mainly grown in India and some parts of Asia. Amla or Indian Gooseberry is green in color and sour and bitter in taste. The botanical name for the Amla plant is Phyllanthus emblica. This fruit has powerful antioxidants and high vitamin C content. Besides, it is a rich source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
In India the Amla tree is considered sacred. All parts of the plant are used in ayurvedic medicine preparation. Ayurvedic practitioners swear by this fruit as a cure to most of the health issues. For thousands of years people have been using amla to improve health and immunity. According to Ayurveda, amla helps in balancing all three doshas of the body- Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Amla can be eaten raw or cooked into a variety of dishes. They are used in Amla pickles, made into sweet/masala candies or along with dal.
Amazing benefits of Amla
1. Controls blood sugar level
Amla can help diabetes by controlling blood sugar and lipids. When consumed regularly it can improve liver function and blood cholesterol.
2. Boosts immunity
Amla is a good source of vitamin C, which promotes immunity and thus prevents diseases and infections. Ayurveda believes amla slows down the aging process and provides longevity.
3. Improves hair health
Indian gooseberry has been clinically proven to promote hair growth. The vitamin C present in amla is effective in treating alopecia(hair loss). It has antioxidant properties that fight cell aging and degeneration. Amla is also used to prevent premature graying of hair.
4. Treats jaundice
Amla is one of the best home remedies in treating jaundice. It’s vitamin C and other nutrients help in liver functioning and balances the serum bilirubin level. Drinking amla juice in an empty stomach or having amla with a pinch or black salt may cure jaundice.
5. Enhances fertility
Amla supports the reproductive system in both males and females. It is known as a ‘vrishya’ herb, that helps to enhance all seven tissues, including the reproductive tissue.
6. Mental Health
Amla improves blood circulation and improves nervous system functioning. It prevents the nerve cells from radical damage that causes diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The high iron content in amla facilitates oxygen transportation, preventing brain degeneration. Regular consumption of amla helps in improving brain functioning. It is often called the food for the brain as it improves concentration, memory and cognitive functions. It also helps in relieving stress, headaches and can induce good sleep.
7. Respiratory disorders
Consuming amla may reduce cold and cough. It helps in relieving throat infection, asthma and tuberculosis. It strengthens the immune system by removing toxins from the body and improves the defense mechanism of the body.
8. Weight loss
Having amla juice daily helps in reducing fat accumulation. Amla boosts metabolism.The rich fiber content in amla helps in flushing out toxins from the body, regulating digestion, keeping the gut healthy and fighting off constipation. This helps you lose weight a little faster.
9. Promotes cardiovascular health
Amla is the purest form of Vitamin C and it enriches you from within by making the blood vessels stronger and thicker. It reduces the risk of heart disease by regulating the build-up of bad cholesterol.
10. Reduces risk of cancer
Amla is known to prevent risk of cancer. It’s antioxidant restricts the growth of cancer calls. It can also neutralize the side-effects of anticancer drugs. Amla extract has been shown to have cytotoxic activity against cervical and ovarian cancer cells. The polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins present in amla makes it a powerful tool against many lifestyle diseases.
11. Promotes skin health
Amla reduces skin irritation and blemishes. It is a natural cleanser and effective for treating acne. Amla purifies blood , thus providing a clear complexion. It also helps in restoring skin firmness, reduces pigmentation, and slows down the aging process.