Amla or Indian gooseberry- Phyllanthus Emblica, has topped the chart for being the powerhouse of nutrients. Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, it is one of the most important fruits that should be incorporated in our day to day eating habits for a healthy life. The word Amla comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ which means ‘nectar of life’. Being awarded such a prestigious title, it undeniably stands out due to its multiple benefits. The medicinal properties of Amla make it rank as a top ingredient in ancient branches of medicine like Ayurvedic, Siddha, and Unani.
Amla is significantly symbolic in the Buddhist tradition. The story has it that half of an ‘Amlaki’ fruit was gifted to the Buddhist sangha by the great Indian emperor, Ashoka. The Theravada Buddhism sect had used the Amlaki tree for achieving enlightenment or Bodhi. It was first used by the twenty-first Buddha named Phussa Buddha.
According to Ayurvedic doctors, Amla helps to keep the equilibrium in our bodies by balancing out the three doshas- Vata, Kapha, Pitta. Harbouring the five tastes like sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, and astringent, it contains vitamin C equivalent to twenty oranges. Pickled with salt, oil, and other spices, Amla is a common ingredient in Indian households.
Whether eaten raw or cooked or squeezed as juice or dried as mouth fresheners, Amla has the following 10 health benefits:
- Helps to fight and prevent common cold- Amla is rich in vitamin C and if consumed daily, it helps to boost immunity that prevents common cold, flu and gives permanent protection against it. It enriches from within and strengthens the blood vessels making it thicker. It acts as an instant relief to cough and cold and provides cure too. Gargling with Amla powder helps to cure mouth ulcers as well.
- Helps to improve eyesight- Carotene in Amla helps to improve vision. Daily consumption leads to overall good eye health and prevents cataract problems, reddening of eyes, itching, intra-ocular tension, watering of eyes.
- Helps to boost the immune system- The antibacterial and astringent properties boost the immune system. The oxidative damage which is the by-products and is caused when the body uses oxygen is prevented and repaired by Amla. Oxidative damage causes many health problems one of them being cancer. Amla helps to reverse such damage.
- Boosts healthy digestion- The high fiber content and acids present in Amla aids proper and healthy bowel movement. It relieves constipation that prevents bloating and gastric issues. Overall it flushes out all the toxins from the body.
- Acts as a blood purifier- Amla along with 1 teaspoon of jaggery powder gives the body a dose of iron thereby improving the haemoglobin level in the blood. It purifies the blood naturally and also keeps the body hydrated.
- Keeps the chronic ailments under check- Amla contains chromium that helps to reduce bad cholesterol which helps to keep the blood pressure level under control. It also stimulates the production of insulin which reduces the blood glucose level in diabetic patients. Therefore, it helps to keep such chronic ailments under check and promotes overall well being.
- Acts as a pain reliever- The anti-inflammatory properties in Amla helps to relieve the different joint pains related to arthritis. It keeps the inflammation under control thereby soothing the pain. It also relives of the pain caused by the painful mouth ulcers. Gargling with Amla powder provides an eventual cure of the mouth ulcers.
- Makes hair beautiful and lustrous- Amla boosts the blood circulation in the scalp that strengthens the hair follicles which in turn helps in hair growth. It also prevents dandruff and slows down the greying of hair. When applied to hair directly as oil or hair pack, it gives a soft shimmering texture to the hair. Therefore, it is rightly known as a hair tonic.
- Helps to burn fat- The protein present in Amla prevents the hunger pangs thereby stopping one from eating now and then. It also boosts the metabolism rate, which helps to lose weight and stay in shape.
- Gives a glowing skin- When you glow from inside, it shows outside! Amla helps to flush out all the toxins from the body that helps to cleanse the system from within and give a radiating skin outside. The anti-aging property of this fruit prevents premature aging and the onset of wrinkles and fine lines and when applied topically, it makes the skin free from blemishes. It prevents hyper-pigmentation and improves skin colour. It speeds up the healing process and repairs the damaged tissues of the skin and gives an even tone.
The above-mentioned benefits of Amla indeed makes it the ‘nectar of life’. It ensures an overall well being by providing cure to the chronic ailments and by preventing other ailments from entering the body. Adding it to the regular diet will keep one fit and healthy.
So what are you waiting for? Start having Amla from today and reap the benefits yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which is the best time to consume Amla?
The best time to consume Amla is in the morning in the empty stomach as juice by diluting it with water. However, it can be consumed at any time during the day.
In which season is it available?
It is usually available in the winter season. In India, it is available from December.
How can I use it on my skin?
Amla juice can be diluted and directly applied to your skin. Making a paste of it with other oil or powders can make it a wonderful face pack for your skin.
How can it be stored for a longer time?
Cut Amla into pieces and mix it with salt and then dry it in sunlight. Once it is completely dried, store it in a glass container and have it any time you want. You can also make pickles out of it by mixing Amla with salt, oil, and other spices and then store it. You can enjoy it with your food during your meals.