Amla (Sanskrit name – Amalaki or ‘the sustainer’ or ‘the fruit where the goddess of prosperity presides’) is one of the most important fruits in Ayurveda. This sour fruit grows well in a warm climate. Both dried and fresh fruits can be used. The amla or Indian gooseberry is packed with minerals and vitamins to keep a plethora of diseases at bay.
The nutrition values per 100 gm of amla are: Moisture – 81.8%; Minerals – 0.5mg; Fiber – 3.4%; Calories – 96; Proteins – 0.5%; Fat – 0.1%; Carbohydrates – 13.7 gm; Calcium – 50 %; Iron – 1.2 mg; Carotene – 9 microgram; Thiamine – 0.03mg; Riboflavin – 0.01mg; Nicene – 0.2mg; Vitamin – 600mg and Energy – 58 kilo calories.
- Is known to reduce cholesterol, prevents accumulation of plaque in the arteries thus keeping heart disease under check.
- Assists in the proper absorption of insulin, thus helping in the control of diabetes.
- Rich in Vitamin C, amla is a great source of antioxidants. This gives it the potential to keep cancer at bay.Amla extract can reduce the harmful effects of radiation and chemotherapy without reducing their beneficial effects as an anti cancer treatment.
- Amla extract is rich in Vitamin A, a collagen producing which helps keep the skin looking young and elastic. It can help clear out pimples that are caused due to impure blood.
- Helps provide relief in chronic cough, child hood tuberculosis and allergic asthma.
- The fiber, polyphenol and water content of amla combined with its anti-inflammatory properties make it a great antidote for an upset stomach.
- Has properties that protect the liver from oxidative damage caused by chemicals or alcohol. It thus helps purify and clean the blood.
- Enriches hair growth pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair, prevents premature graying, helps removal of lice and prevents dandruff.
- Serves as blood purifier; helps increase red blood cell production, and increases hemoglobin.
- Strengthens the teeth and nails.
- Helps treat urinary problems.
- Effective in treating night blindness and giddiness.
- Helps boost protein metabolism, enhances the body's ability to burn fat and keep slim, thus aiding in faster weight-loss.
When in season, it can be consumed as a fruit, or in chutneys/pickles, else in form of murabba. It is also available in a dried form; Amla powder or in liquid form such as Amla Juice. Triphala (a combination of 3 herbs, one being amla), an Ayurveda formulation is available over the counter. For health enthusiasts Amla bar is available in a (ready to chew) form. Another Ayurveda formulation “Chyawanprash” too has amla as one of its main ingredient.
Have 2 to 3 amla's preferably in the morning. Having 1 tsp of Amla Juice on an empty stomach can take care of acidity and resolve a stomach upset. 1 tbsp of amla leaf paste mixed with honey make an effective medicine for diarrhoea. Mix Amla Juice with some ginger for instant relief from a sore throat and cough. After a long night of partying, have a piece of amla first thing in the morning, to get rid of hangover and keep your liver safe. Amla Candy can also be had; it is the dried form of amla Fruit in Sugar Syrup. To clear lice from the hair, apply the paste of Amla powder mixed with lemon on the roots of the hair and wash after half an hour. For curing piles, taking fresh amla juice with half tsp of ghee, 1 tsp of honey and 100 g of milk after lunch. Amla powder with radish helps in clearing bladder stones by breaking the stones and eliminating them with urine. Triphala can be taken in morning with honey, in the day time with warm water and at bedtime with warm milk. Dosage – 2g.
Amla powder and its juice are brown in colour. Please purchase either from a trusted source. Adulteration could be dangerous. If you have a heart condition, please check with your doctor before taking amla regularly since amla stimulates the heart.
Dr. E.V.Venkatarama Gupta MBBS, DTCD, FCHA (LONDON) is Free-lance Editor and a Consultant physician, who has to his credit many awards.He is the author of ‘Vruddhapyadalli Aaarogya’ 1999, which was reprinted in 2001 and 2002, being very popular among Kannada readers.He is the author of ‘Drugless Healthy Life Style Manegement’ in 2003.He is actively working with various Non-Governmental Organizations to promote health awareness. He has conducted more than 200 medical camps and health education lectures.He was recently awarded “ Life -Time -Acevement Award” on18th December 2011, by Karnataka Arya Vysya Sahitya Parishath Bangalore.