A discussion on vitamin C reminds us of citrus fruits like lemon or orange. However, little comes up about Amla, the most potent source of vitamin C. Call it as Amla, Amalaki, or Indian Gooseberry, this tropical fruit is among the most antioxidant-rich foods nature bestowed on us.
While modern researches and products highlight the potency of Amla in anti-aging and immunity building, authentic Indian Ayurveda has recognized the benefits of Amla and given utmost importance to this tangy little fruit since ages.
Origin of Amla
The scientific name of Amla is Emblica officinalis. The plant belongs to the Euphorbiaceous family. It widely grows in the forests and hilly areas of India. Ages ago, Indian medical researchers identified the rich nutrition hidden in Amla. Most Ayurvedic formulations designated for building immunity, anti-aging, and healing contain Amla as one of the vital components.
Nutrition in Amla
Amla is known for its highest concentration of vitamin C. Researches found that one Amla provides vitamin C equivalent to 20 oranges. Compared with lemon, Amla contains almost more than 6 times vitamin C.
Amla is also an excellent source of vitamins A and E, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. The main advantage of relying on Amla as a source of course of vitamin C is its tannins that prevent vitamin loss. In other words, consume Amla ripe, raw, processed, sundried, or as a tangy sweet, it provides its vitamin C.
Health benefits of Amla
Amla is one of the fruits that Ayurveda considers a curative. Its nutrition and fiber content makes it useful in treating many conditions including aging, boosting immunity, hair strengthening, constipation, blood sugar abnormalities, and more.
- Natural detox: Amla promotes gut health and aids in smooth elimination. It soothes, nourishes, and protects the gastrointestinal lining.
- Prevents urinary tract infection: Owing to its blood-flow-stimulating nature, Amla helps clear the urinary tract by stimulating the healthy excretion of urine.
- Promotes lustrous hair: One of the proven advantages of Amla is its role in protecting hair and delaying greying. Ayurveda has recommended the usage of Amla in the form of oils to prolong hair health.
- Protects muscles: The sweet nature of Amla helps in nourishing the muscles. Its effect also extends to promoting a healthy circulatory system and respiratory system.
- Imparts calming effect: Amla is sattvic in nature. In other words, it stabilizes human thoughts and emotions. Ayurvedic tonics meant to enhance memory and calm the mind always contained Amla as a key ingredient.
- Helps anti-aging: Its clearing and detoxifying property, muscle toning ability, and the highest dose of vitamin C impart Amla its anti-aging property. It is an ancient Indian ritual to eat Amla with honey to retain youthfulness for a long.
How to use Amla in daily life?
One can consume Amla in a variety of forms as mentioned below:
- In powdered form: Mix amla powder in warm water and consume on empty stomach for body detoxification and smooth elimination.
- In tablet form: It is recommended to consume Amla in tablet form post-meal for nutrient absorption and easy elimination.
- In syrup form: Many anti-aging, anti-acne, and detox syrups contain Amla in liquid form.
- As hair oil: Massaging hair with amla-infused oils is a proven way to nourish hair with the richness of Amla.
- As Chyavanprash: This ancient Indian formulation, Chyavanprash, is sweet and tangy in nature. It is a practice in India households to consumer Chyavanprash to reap the benefits of Amla.
- As tooth powder: Traditional tooth powders contain Amla as it plays a predominant role in strengthening teeth and preventing decay.
Amla – Contraindications
In smaller doses, Amla is safe for individuals of any dosha or body nature. Especially for pitta-dominated personalities, Amla is highly beneficial due to its calming effect.
- Individuals with a Kapha nature must consume Amla only in a limited portion on the doctor’s advice.
- Amla may also reduce the availability of iron. Hence, individuals with iron deficiency or anemic conditions must consult a doctor about incorporating Amla into their diet.
- Pregnant and lactating women and individuals suffering from long-lasting health conditions must seek medical advice about using Amla.
This article is only for educational and informative purposes. It is in no way a substitution for expert medical suggestions. It is recommended that all individuals must consider medical advice before starting any dietary and lifestyle changes.