It will help you lose weight and ensure beautiful hair and a good-looking complexion. Amla, because that’s what I’m talking about, is becoming more and more popular even though, in fact, it has been used for centuries. Discovered in traditional Indian medicine of Ayurveda, amla has become popular due to its anti-inflammatory, immunizing, and bactericidal properties.
What benefits does it bring us today? You will find out everything about amla in this article. But first, the basics.
What is Amla
Amla (Indian gooseberry, tannin leaf flower, Latin Emblica Officinalis) is a fruit that has been used in the medicine of India, where it comes from, for many years. And for a good reason. In this part of the world, this fruit is considered a means for longevity. Natives believe the amla tree to be the seat of the goddess of fortune, wealth, and beauty. In Ayurveda, all parts of the plant, not just the fruit, possess rejuvenating benefits. Other names for amla are Indian gooseberry, tannin leaf flower, amalaki, amlabaum, and dhatri.
Even though amla has only recently gained traction and is more often used in Europe, its excellent effect on the human body has been known for many centuries.
Books of Hinduism often mention this plant, which also emphasizes its excellent influence on the health and condition of the human body.
Amla is a tree that grows in Asian countries and can grow up to 18 meters in height. It’s common in India, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The plant has gray bark and light leaves with a lemon scent and greenish-yellow flowers. Despite its name, however, it has little in common with the classic gooseberry known in Europe.
Interestingly, the fruit comes from the spurge family and is not directly related to our gooseberries. The name Indian gooseberry comes from the English, for whom its fruit resembled European gooseberries. Indian gooseberry is very popular in both natural medicine and cosmetology. You can also find it in Indian cuisine. It is a spice with both a sour and bitter taste.
You should reach for Indian gooseberries if you:
- are on a slimming diet;
- suffer from diabetes;
- have high cholesterol;
- experience reduced immunity;
- suffer from hemorrhoids;
- have acne and oily skin;
- want nice hair and a healthy complexion.
Health properties of Amla fruit
Amla fruit is a rich source of vitamin C. So much that 100 g of fresh fruit contains 600 mg of this precious vitamin. This means that the fruit contains over 10 times more vitamin C than the famous citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, or pomelos!
In fact, amla fruits are at the forefront of products richest in ascorbic acid – right after acerola (from 1000 to 4500 mg / 100 g) and camu camu (1230 mg – 2061 mg / 100 g according to various sources). From our native fruit, only wild rose (250-800 mg / 100 g) can match it.
Although you can find the highest content of vitamin C in fresh fruit, powdered amla contains quite a lot of it as well.
In practice, eating just two tablespoons of amla fully meets our daily requirement for this ingredient. Vitamin C found in Indian gooseberry is very easily digestible, which makes it much better suited to supplement deficiencies and strengthen immunity than classic dietary supplements.
In addition to a large dose of natural vitamin C, amla fruit also contains a large portion of natural flavonoids as well as gallic and ellagic acids. Additionally, other ingredients found in Indian gooseberries give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Regular use of amla has a great effect on the condition and functioning of the circulatory system, which allows you to more effectively protect yourself against the development of cancer cells and neoplasms. It also has a positive effect on the hair and skin.
Amla also belongs to the group of adaptogens, herbal drugs that increase resistance to stress and help the body in fatigue. It effectively fights viruses, bacteria, and fungi present in the body, and supports the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and hemorrhoids.
Other than that, amla improves digestion, cleanses the body of toxins, reduces coughing, relieves asthma, strengthens the heart and eyes, and for constipation and fever. Amla is also common in cosmetics – its oil stimulates hair growth and improves its condition.
1. Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
Due to the high content of vitamin C, amla fruits have many health properties – they strengthen the immune system, bones, and joints, and also support the circulatory system. Vitamin C seals and strengthens blood vessels, which prevents the easy formation of bruises, bleeding, or bleeding gums. They also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Indian scientists from Baroda Medical College confirm it. They conducted a study on 60 people aged 35-65 years with type II hypercholesterolemia to compare the effectiveness of amla fruit with statins – drugs that help normalize blood cholesterol levels.
Of the 60 patients, 40 received a capsule containing amla fruit extract (500 mg daily for 42 days) and 20 patients received simvastatin (a statin drug) in a capsule (20 mg daily for 42 days).
Treatment with amla fruit extract capsules resulted in a significant reduction in TC – total cholesterol – “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). It also significantly increased good HDL cholesterol.
Treatment with simvastatin produced the same effects. Both treatments also led to a significant reduction in blood pressure, but this beneficial effect was more pronounced in patients receiving amla fruit extract.
Researchers believe that adding amla fruit to current hypolipidemic therapy would provide significant protection against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. This would lead to reducing the side effects of hypolipidemic agents due to a reduced dose of synthetic drugs.
2. Protects the liver
Chinese and Taiwanese scientists from National Chung Hsing University and Taipei Medical University prove that amla fruit protects the liver and may be helpful in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a disease caused by an excess build-up of fat in the liver.
In the experiment, researchers used an aqueous amla fruit extract to test its effect on the livers of high-fat diet rats. It turns out that the extract can significantly reduce body weight (reduces the amount of visceral fat), increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and improve the condition of a fatty liver.
3. Lowers blood sugar levels
Pakistani scholars at the University of Sargodha have come to this conclusion. They divided people with type 2 diabetes who participated in the experiment into 2 groups.
The first received a drug used to treat diabetes (glibenclamide), the second – amla powder (1, 2, or 3 g dissolved in 30 ml of water, every morning and evening). The results of the study show a significant decrease in blood glucose levels after a meal on an empty stomach and within 2 hours after a meal in both people taking amla and the drug.
4. Amla for weight loss
Manufacturers of amla-based supplements are outdoing each other in the number of kilograms that you can allegedly lose while taking them. They argue that it is a very effective fat burner, thanks to which you can lose 10 kg in 30 days. How is it, really?
Amla fruit extract normalizes blood sugar levels, which is very important in the weight loss process. When blood sugar levels rise rapidly, the sudden bursts of insulin immediately remove them from the bloodstream (this happens when we eat, for example, sweets).
When the brain runs low on an energy source, it signals that it needs sugar, triggering ravenous hunger.
Consequently, we take in more calories from food than the body needs, leading to overweight and obesity. Consuming amla lowers blood sugar levels, which in turn prevents hunger pangs, and indirectly leads to less obesity.
5. Amla for hair
Amla fruit in the form of a powder, macerate or infusion is widely used by women in India as a care and strengthening agent for hair and skin.
It has an extremely beneficial effect on the hair. Especially when it’s in the form of an oil, it has very similar properties to castor oil. How does it work? It makes hair grow faster and prevents it from falling out as much.
Natural cosmetics for hair care containing amla:
|stimulate hair growth|
|strengthen the bulbs|
|give the hair shine|
|prevent hair loss and prevent premature graying|
|prevent split ends|
|make hair stronger|
|have anti-inflammatory properties on the scalp|
|care for the scalp|
|work against dandruff|
|reduce greasy skin and hair|
Amla oil has a conditioning effect and can darken strands. It works very well when we want to achieve this effect with gray or blonde hair.
Various uses of amla fruit
In India, amla fruit is consumed in the form of preserves. It’s pretty difficult to find fresh fruit in western countries, so I wouldn’t count on it unless you’re super lucky.
Amla (Indian gooseberry) can be purchased both in its pure form and among the ingredients of care cosmetics. Amla is available in the form of a liquid, gel, hair oil, and capsules (dietary supplement). There is also amla powder available, which can be used differently – more on that in a minute.
While dried fruit can be added to porridge or ground and drunk with water, the oil is rubbed into the hair and scalp. Where can you buy amla? The easiest way is in herbal stores, health food stores, pharmacies, and online auctions. Its prices vary greatly, depending on the form of the product.
Although amla is safe, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. You should also avoid it if you’re diagnosed with oxalate stones or blood coagulation disorders. It cannot be taken before dental procedures and operations.
How to get the most out of amla fruit powder
As mentioned, you can buy amla fruit in a powdered form. You can easily find it in herbal and health food stores. The optimal dose of amla powder ranges between 3-6 grams of powder twice a day.
We can also add amla powder to the porridge or dissolve it in water and regularly drink it this way.
Amla in the form of a powder dissolved in clean water is also perfect as a hair rinse and a tonic for cleansing the skin of the face, which can be used regularly to provide hair with shine and intense color. It can also improve the smoothness and even color of the skin.
The caring effect of Amla powder can be seen on many levels:
- thickens and strengthens the hair structure, thanks to which it becomes smooth
- regenerates and, as a result, restores shine – rebuilds damaged hair so they don’t feel dull and flat anymore
- prevents hair loss – the nutrition reaches deep and reaches the hair bulbs, which strengthens the hair and limits its loss
- reduces the visibility of gray hair – emphasizes the natural color of the hair and delays the process of pigment loss.
Uses of amla fruit in the kitchen
Amla fruit is an ingredient of chyawanprash. It is a mixture of over 40 herbs and clarified butter, sesame oil, cane sugar, and honey in the form of jam, prepared according to an Ayuwedian recipe. Chyawanprash has a beneficial effect that maintains youth, vigor, and vitality.
Maharashtra (one of the states in India) is one of the largest producers and suppliers of Indian gooseberries. In this region, the fruit is often marinated with salt, oil, and spices.
The pro-health and healing properties of amla are invaluable.
Amla is a natural product with a very versatile effect that is worth trying, especially if you suffer from some of the above-mentioned ailments.