The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the word “Amla” is the delicious taste of the pickle that our grandmother once made. A lot of memories flash with all the times your mother must have mentioned to eat Amla in some way or the other for long and thick hair.
Not to forget the most important benefits it has to the immune system in our bodies. There is so much more to this tiny fruit than just what it does to the hair or its taste. Let us explore more about this wonder fruit in this article.
What Is Amla?
Amla is the fruit form of the deciduous plant of the same name whose origin lies in and around the Indian terrain. This fruit is known as “The Indian Gooseberry” in the English language.
The scientific name for Amla is “Phyllanthus Emblica.” The Indian gooseberry or Amla is extremely sour in taste, yet a very nutritious fruit of a tree which is found in and around India, the Middle East, and some other Southeast Asian countries.
It is called as Amalka in Hindi and Sanskrit, it is called is Amalaki. The word Amalaki translates as ‘the fruit where the goddess of prosperity presides’ or ‘the sustainer.’ It also has another translation that means ‘nectar of life’. The size of this tree is small, similar to that of a shrub, and it has a fleshy fruit and leathery leaves.
Amla is a part of the Euphorbiaceae family. This fruit grows in the season of autumn in wet forests around hilly areas in the Indian subcontinent. This tree is also considered sacred in India.
This fruit is known for its being a rich source of Vitamin C. When fresh juice is made out of this fruit, it contains twenty times more Vitamin C content than a glass of orange juice. Technically, the Vitamin C obtained in one tiny fruit of Amla is equal to that of two oranges.
Apart from being an excellent source of Vitamin C and has been found to have high antioxidant properties. It also helps in curing many ailments and boosts the immune system of an individual.
Amla is considered as an extensively-used herb, for preparation of ayurvedic medicines, owing to the fact that it is so nutrient-rich that it helps in boosting skin and hair health, apart from the overall immunity of the body.
It is one of the fundamental elements in the preparation of Ayurvedic medications like Triphala and Chawanprash that are daily consumables for boosting overall health.
The fruit is light green and can be pretty bitter yet fibrous to eat. It is eaten with chilly powder and salt or is made into a sugared candy or pickle.
Amla is also prepared in several other forms, such as juice, oil, powder, tablets, and spice. Many people also devour dried Amla and Amla Tea for its compelling nutritional benefits. Due to such properties, it can genuinely deserve the position of a Superfood!
What Are The Constituents Of Amla?
The Indian gooseberry, also known as Amla is high on vitamin C and vitamin A along with high levels of folic acid and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and magnesium.
Also,100 grams of the Amla fruit containing only 44 calories, making it a low-calorie fruit. Fresh Indian gooseberries contain abundant water, along with carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and fibre. Most of Amla’s beneficial properties are mainly due to the potency of the antioxidants.
How Can You Consume Amla?
The Indian Gooseberry, Amla can be consumed in many ways such as fresh fruit, juice, or in a dried powder form to see a significant improvement in your health.
- Fresh Amla: These are easily available in season in general stores. Amla can be eaten either with salt or honey to balances its tart taste.
- Dried Amla: Amla in dried form can be chewed on, but the thing to consider is that they may have a lot of sugar added to it. The candied pickle is also known as amla murabba in India.
- Amla powder: People often mix Amla powder with water, honey, or yoghurt to be made into, a hair or face mask. It is readily available in the market.
- Amla oil: Amla oil is highly used to strengthen the hair, prevents premature greying, and stops hair fall.
- Amla juice: Having amla juice with water in the morning is good for the digestive system health and helps in managing blood sugar levels.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Amla?
Amla powder is utilized in the production of many hair tonics and oils since it enhances hair pigmentation and hair growth. It also maintains colour, reinforces the roots, and improves lustre. The application amla oil to the roots of your hair enhances hair growth and tone.
Amla oil is very trendy in India since it has always been seen to decrease the risks of baldness and hair loss. The carotene content of Amla is the reason for this quality, in addition to its antioxidant and iron content, which prevents extreme harm to the hormones and hair follicles.
Since Amla contains a powerful blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, alkaloids, polyphenols, and flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin, they have the ability to naturally boost immunity. A study published by the International Journal of Pharmaceutics states that Amla is a carrier of potential anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
In Ayurveda, Amla juice is known for increasing the production of white blood cells in the body that act as soldiers for protecting the body against infections and diseases. They are known for eliminating foreign substances like bacteria and viruses from the bloodstream.
Aids In Better Digestion
Similar to most fruits, Amla is very high in fibre. The fibre sums up the bulk to the stool, plus it also aids the movement of food through the bowels keeping bowel movements routine which lessens the risks of constipation. The soluble fibre obtained from many fruits also bulks up loose stools and in turn reduces diarrhoea.
Amla also has the power to stimulate the flow of digestive and gastric juices for the food to be digested efficiently and nutrients to be absorbed optimally, and you feel lighter and healthier.
A study proclaimed in the American Journal of Food Technology discovered that Amla and Amla powder preserved water. This property of the fruit helps in reducing constipation and helps to protect the body from many gastrointestinal disorders.
Helps Controlling Diabetes
Amla is a source of chromium, that has a healing value for people with diabetes. It provokes the isolated bunch of cells which discharge insulin, therefore decreasing the blood sugar level in diabetic sufferers.
Glucose is utilized by the cells as functional energy, as a result of the reduction of the blood sugar level. Hence, the metabolism gets more active, and you become more energetic, free of the falls and rises in blood sugar, which is unhealthy for people with diabetes.
Chromium also intensifies the effect of beta-blockers used toward heart health by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. A research study has also claimed that the impact of the amla fruit on blood lipid and glucose profile of the people with type 2 diabetes stated had lipid-lowering properties and anti-hyperglycemic.
Helps Prevent Heart Diseases
Another essential health benefits of Amla is that they have established to promote heart health. Amla powder reinforces the heart muscles in such a way that the blood circulation is more active all through the body.
Chromium present in amla powder helps in reducing the risks of plaque buildup or atherosclerosis in the arteries and vessels by reducing excess cholesterol buildup. Another benefit of this is, it helps reduce the possibilities of heart attack or stroke.
The content of iron in Amla also supports the production of new red blood cells, consequently enhancing circulation and oxygenation of the cells and organs in order to optimizing regeneration and growth of tissues.
Drinking Amla juice, with a spoon of honey, is useful for improving eyesight since it is a rich source of Vitamin A. It also aids in enhancing myopia (shortsightedness) and cataracts whereas decreasing intraocular tension.
The reason for this is due to its remarkable carotene content, which has been known for its strong effect on vision-related conditions containing these that branch out from this free radical damage. Carotene and Vitamin A helps improving vision and simultaneously also reducing the risk of night blindness and macular degeneration.
Acts As A Diuretic
Amla is also slightly diuretic in nature, besides being a fruit that is very powerful in water content. This indicates that it raises the volume and frequency of urination. Urination supports our body to eliminate the unwanted toxins and excess levels of salt, uric acid, and water. Consequently, a diuretic substance often proves to be beneficial for keeping kidneys healthy and preventing uterine and urinary infections.
The Cytotoxic activity against cervical and ovarian cancer cells is seen in the extract of Amla. A study found by a group in Montreal, Canada, published that the extracts of Amla have active tumour suppressive properties against several types of cancer.
Another research by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention states that this tiny superfood is packaged with potential flavonoids, tannis, and polyphenols, which makes it a powerful defender of various conditions that include cancer and diabetes.
Boosts Liver Health
As per Ayurveda, drinking amla juice regularly increases vigour and vitality, and the fundamental reason for it is linked to its capacity to revitalize the liver. Liver health is not usually given enough attention to, in spite of the fact that it affects a considerable part of the population.
A study on the Hepatoprotective properties of Amla published in the International Journal Food & Function journal states that the fruit is efficient in limiting the toxic impacts of toxic metals and extreme medication. The existence of phytochemicals like gallic acid, corilagin, quercetin, and ellagic acid in Amla aids in free radical purification and at the same time, detoxifies the body.
Early ageing of the skin is one of the most trending topics these days because of the increase in toxins in the environment. The best way is known to tackle ageing, it the natural way as we all know.
The antioxidant properties of Amla help in preventing the health-related hyperlipidemia by reducing the number of free extremities in the body. The presence of Vitamin C and antioxidants in Amla, helps in scavenge these radicals which are associated with signs of ageing like dark spots and wrinkles. When used on the face as a paste made from Amla powder, the results are amazing on the removal of spots.
Improves Calcium Absorption
People do not usually know this or discuss this benefit of Amla since it is less known. Amla positively helps in the absorption of Calcium in the body.
Calcium is a necessary nutrient that is good for our teeth, bones, and nails, and plays a vital role in ensuring we have vibrant and shiny hair. One of the ways to attain its advantages is by drinking diluted amla juice on an empty stomach.
Boosts Metabolic Activity
In order to maintain higher metabolic levels, it is essential to consume foods rich in protein. Apart from being abundant in other nutrients like antioxidants and Vitamins, Amla is a protein-rich house of nutrients.
Protein is necessary for muscle development, cellular growth, organ health, and a broad range of metabolic actions that we require to endure healthily. The enzymes can tear open plant proteins to amino acids and rearrange them into useful proteins for our body.
The health benefits of Amla can be partly credited to its high vitamin C content. Amla, also known as The Indian gooseberry, slowing down ageing, assists in boosting the immune system, reducing blood sugar levels, treating throat infections, and improving heart health.
Amla is considered an excellent food for the brain. It not only nourishes the mind but also enhances memory power and improves intelligence. Drinking Amla juice twice a day could do miracles to your body. It is also advised that you drink it before food.