Indian gooseberry, commonly known as “AMLA” in Asia, is known by different names in different parts of the world like Phyllanthus emblica (scientific name), or emblic, emblic myrobalan, myrobalan and malacca tree; is an integral part of every household kitchen. People relish its sour taste in home made ketchups, pickles, murabbas and even as fresh fruit. However, more importantly, Amla has a lot of associated medicinal values.
This small green translucent gooseberry is the richest source of Vitamin C. Moreover it contains respectable amounts of proteins, minerals, carbohydrates and fibre. From common cold to cancer, Amla offers strong resistance against many deficiencies, diseases and illness. It is an effective remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anaemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, cerebral, gastric and cardiovascular illness. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol levels, increases red blood cell production, and strengthens teeth and nails. With 8 times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and around 17 times that of a pomegranate, the humble Indian gooseberry, inarguably deserves its ‘Super food’ status.
Including Amla in your diet offer magical benefits to your overall health; some of which are listed below.
- Beautiful Hair
Amla is beneficial for your tresses in every way; no secret to anyone. Traditionally, Indians apply amla oil on the scalp to treat hair loss and baldness. The magical combination of carotene, iron and antioxidants in amla reduces the free radical damage in hair follicles, checks hormonal imbalances; and prevents hair fall as well as baldness. It also saves you from pre mature greying by maintaining the natural colour of your hair. Further the high concentration of amino acids helps in faster growth of stronger and shinier hairs. All these merits make amla an equally vital ingredient of various hair care products and herbal hair packs.
Amla is very beneficial for our heart. Owing to its chromium content, amla helps in chucking out the plaque build up from the blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. Moreover the amino acids and antioxidants in amla improve the overall functioning of heart by providing strength to the heart muscles. With high concentration of iron, amla stimulates blood circulation and ensures oxygenation of body organs. Drinking amla juice is an easy and effective way to regulate your cholesterol levels.
You may use amla to fight any kind of marks, blemishes and pigmentation. It is one of the age old anti-ageing foods. The high vitamin C content fights well with free radicals related to wrinkles, fine lines and ageing spots. Amla also tightens the skin, oxidises the melanin and stimulates collagen production. It also keeps your skin hydrated. Whether you include it into your daily diet or use it as a face mask, either ways amla will help you achieve the smooth, flawless, radiant and beautiful skin that you always dream of.
Consuming amla on regular basis can cure many eye related problems like, cataract, intra-ocular tensions, reddening, itching and watering of eyes. High amounts of carotene and vitamin A in amla further helps in reducing macular degeneration, night blindness and avoiding age-related degeneration as well. Taking amla juice before sleeping is a well proven remedy for improving eyesight.
Amla’s vitamin C content is the same in fresh as well as dried fruit. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the human body to combat free radical damage. It also provides strength and thickness to blood vessels, which in turn strengthens the immune system on the whole. Amla contains high amounts of polyphenol, which inhibits the development of cancerous cells. Rich in iron, amla is often recommended to achieve and maintain good haemoglobin levels. It also supports liver in purifying the blood from foreign toxins and promotes white blood cell count in the body. Drinking amla juice and eating amla powder with jaggery/honey are equally effective in strengthening your body defence.
The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of amla help in keeping infections away. It is a powerful home remedy to treat cough, cold and flu. Take amla powder with honey several times a day to get quick relief from cough and cold. High concentration of vitamin C offers strong protection and control over throat infections. Amla protects your body against various bacterial diseases like staphylococcus, ulcers and cholera. Moreover, gargle with amla powder in water is an easy cure for mouth ulcers.
Amla is naturally endowed with diuretic properties. It increases the volume and frequency of urination and thus cleanses our body from unwanted toxins and excess salts, uric acids, water and fat (in smaller amount). This way amla helps in maintaining the health of our kidneys and protects us from uterine as well as urinary infections.
High fibre content in amla makes it amazing for digestive system. It has the ability to enhance the secretion of gastric & digestive juices, which further results in better digestion of food and better absorption of nutrients. Taking amla powder with water provides quick relief from constipation, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and several other gastrointestinal troubles. Moreover it keeps the digestive tract clean from toxic substances. Strong cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of amla makes it an effective cure for diarrhoea & dysentery. The alkaline nature of amla also helps in reducing the acid levels in stomach.
- Menstrual Cramps
Consuming amla has a lot of benefits associated with menstrual health. Eating amla a few days before the start of your period can help a lot in alleviating menstrual cramps. Also its regular consumption helps in regulating the irregular menstrual cycle within a few months.
Amla is one of the few fruits that have the ability to regulate blood sugar. It increases your energy levels without spiking the blood sugar levels in the body. High amount of chromium in amla helps in reducing the blood sugar by stimulating the group of cells that are responsible for secretion of insulin in the body. Additionally, it also protects diabetic patients from various health conditions related to the vital organs, like brain, heart and kidneys.
11. Weight loss
Another benefit of including amla into your regular diet is that it will help you in losing some extra flab and in achieving a healthy weight. It speeds up the metabolism by flushing out the toxins that impede the functioning of digestive system and ensure better absorption of various essential vitamins and nutrients in the body. Drinking amla juice is a good way to satisfy your hunger pangs. It will not only save you from unhealthy snacking but also keeps you full for longer hours. Its protein richness further helps in growth and development of muscles.
- Strong bones
The combination of calcium and phosphorus in amla is beneficial for our bones. Amla ensures better absorption of calcium which is the primary requirement of our nails, teeth and bones. Containing exceptionally high amounts of antioxidant vitamin C, it prevents free radical damage and contributes to overall bone health. Including amla into your diet can help in the prevention and cure of many diseases related to bone health like osteoporosis, both in men and women.
- Protection against scurvy
Having high concentration of vitamin C, amla aids in the treatment of Scurvy; a health condition caused by vitamin C deficiency. It increases your energy levels instantaneously and removes depression, fatigue and connective tissue defects.
As is evident, amla offers health benefits from head to toe, ranging from skin to other vital organs of the human body. Drinking amla juice is the easiest way of including it into your diet; else you may have it in its powdered form and also as a fruit, if its sour taste doesn’t irk you. Don’t forget to make it a part of your diet plan and share your experience in the comments below.
Happy Eating!! Happy Living!!
A full time work from home mother, she utilises her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to. Trust Aafiya to provide apt advice on diet mechanism, nutritional facts and common home remedies.
Away from writing, Aafiya is statistics post graduate, has worked earlier in the field of Research & Education and loves travelling.
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