Amla: The Indian Gooseberry

Amla or Indian gooseberry is an extremely sour, nutritious fruit. The powerful antioxidant properties of the fruit make it an essential ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines. The health benefits of Amla can be mostly attributed to its high vitamin C content.

The fruit is light green and can be quite tart and fibrous to eat. Amla is available in many forms, such as powder, juice, oil, tablets, and spice.

Different Forms of Amla

You can consume Indian Gooseberry (Amla) in many forms, which include:

  1. Fresh Amla: Amla slices can be eaten raw with salt and spices, or mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Honey helps in balancing the tart taste of the fruit.

  2. Dried Amla: Dried fruit is usually chewed as candy, but it may have a lot of sugar added to it.

  3. Amla juice: Dilute amla juice with water and drink early in the morning on an empty stomach. This helps to keep the digestive system healthy and aids in managing blood sugar levels.

  4. Amla oil: Oil from Amla helps to strengthen the hair, prevents premature greying, and stops hair fall.

  5. Amla powder: Amla powder can be mixed with water, honey, or yoghurt to be made into a hair or face mask.

Nutritional Values of Amla

Amla is an abundant source of vitamin C, and A. Amla contains high levels of folic acid and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, carotene, and magnesium. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 grams of fruit containing only 44 calories. Fresh Amla contains more than 80 percent water, in addition to minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. The beneficial properties of Amla are mainly due to the potency of the antioxidants.

Let’s take a look at the significant benefits of Indian gooseberry (Amla) in detail:

1.    Boosts Immunity

Amla is a natural immune booster as they contain vitamins C and A, alkaloids, polyphenols, and flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol. According to a study, Amla has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

In Ayurveda, Amla juice is often used to increase the WBC count in the body, which are the main line of defense.

2.    Controls Diabetes

Amla contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for people with diabetes. A 2011 research study stated that Amla has anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties. Chromium stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete insulin, thus reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients.

Chromium enhances the effect of beta-blockers, which are used for heart health by reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body.

3.    Aids in Digestion        

The high fiber content in Amla adds bulk to the stool and reduces the chances of constipation by keeping bowel movements regular. The Soluble can also bulk up loose stools and reduce diarrhoea.

Amla also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently, nutrients are absorbed optimally.

A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Food Technology found that the amla and amla powder retained water.

4.    Prevents Heart Diseases

Amla powder strengthens the heart muscles, it reduces excess cholesterol buildup, and chromium in amla powder helps reduce the chances of atherosclerosis or plaque buildup in the vessels and arteries, reducing the risk of heart diseases.

The iron content in Amla promotes the creation of new RBCs, which increase oxygenation and circulation to the organs and cells which helps to maximize growth and regeneration of tissues.

5.    Acts as a Diuretic

The diuretic properties of Amla increase the frequency and volume of urination, thereby eliminating toxins and excess levels of salt, water, and uric acid. Therefore, Amla is beneficial for keeping kidneys healthy and for preventing urinary and uterine infections.

6.    Hair Care

Amla is used in the preparation of many hair tonics as it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. Amla helps in strengthening the roots, maintaining color, and improving the luster of the hair. Applying amla oil to the roots of the hair enhances hair growth and color.

7.    Anti-aging Agent

Antioxidants present in Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidemia by reducing the number of free radicals in the body. Vitamin C and antioxidants remove free radicals which are associated with signs of ageing. Amla powder is used in a face masks to remove age spots.

8.    Eye Care

Drinking amla juice, which is a rich source of vitamin A with a bit of honey is good for improving eyesight. It helps improve nearsightedness and cataracts by reducing intra-ocular tension. The carotene content in the Amla is known for its powerful effect on vision-related conditions. Vitamin A and carotene improves vision, while also lowering the risk of macular degeneration and night blindness.

9.    Anticancer Properties

Amla extract has been shown to have cytotoxic activity against cervical and ovarian cancer cells. A study found that Phyllanthus Emblica extracts have strong tumor repressive properties against several cancer types.

10.    Treats Menstrual Cramps

The minerals and vitamins in the Amla combine to make it very useful in the treatment of menstrual cramps. Consuming Amla regularly helps in reducing and preventing menstrual cramps.

11.    Miscellaneous

Consuming amla powder with butter and honey before a meal can improve appetite. The other benefits include a remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, and cerebral, gastric, and cardiovascular illnesses. Amla also strengthens teeth and nails.

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