What are the Benefits of Amla?

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Amla or Indian gooseberry botanically known as Phyllanthus emblica or Emblica officinalis is extensively used in Ayurveda owing to its immense health benefits. It belongs to the Phyllanthaceae family. The extract of amla is used to make juice which has great health benefits. The vital constituents of amla contribute to its use as digestive, cooling, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, diuretic, and astringent properties. Hence it is useful in a range of health problems that include chest infections, digestive disorders, jaundice, eye disease, gynecological problems, piles, skin and hair problems among others. Amla can be used in various forms as a fresh fruit, juice, dried fruit, or powder having the same health benefits.

 

 

How does the Amla tree look like?

Amla is a deciduous tree bearing a reddish tinge and a greyish bark. Amla trees grow to a medium height of 8 to 18 m in variable soil conditions including dry, semi- arid regions, salt and saline-affected soils as well as in marginal soils. Amla trees can bear extreme temperatures once it is settled and well matured. Hence hot weather measuring even 450C or frosty temperatures do not have any adverse effects on them. Oblong shaped leaves have a lemony smell with a feathery touch. Amla tree grows in abundance over the Indian subcontinent not only on the plains but also on the sub-mountain tracts. The flowers are greenish-yellow in color. Fruits are fibrous, spherical shaped and light greenish yellowish in color. They are hard on appearance, with 6 vertical stripes. Amla fruits have a sharp astringent taste and is used as a fresh fruit or in its dried form.

 

 

What is the history behind Amla?

In India, Amla fruit is considered “sattwick” or that which promotes spiritual purity. It has immense health benefits and hence the amla tree is considered auspicious and worshipped ardently since ancient times. In fact, a unique festival called "Amala Navami" is dedicated to it and celebrated at the commencement of the winter season as per the Hindu calendar. During this occasion, the Amla tree is worshipped with great religious fervor.

 

 

What are the active ingredients present in Amla?

Amla contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B, carotene among others which explains its extensive use in Ayurveda to cure a range of illnesses and diseases. Moreover, it includes 11 active compounds: gallic acid, 3, 6-di-O-galloyl-D-glucose, 1-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose, ellagic acid, quercetin, chebulinic acid, 3-ethylgallic acid, isostrictiniin , corilagin, 4,5-dihydroxy-benzoic acid, and ascorbic acid. 

 

 

What are the health benefits of Amla?

General well-being: Amla has a high content of vitamin C with 100gm of amla juice containing nearly 900 mg of Vitamin C. Amla is the main ingredient of the ayurvedic preparation called Chyavanaprasha which is consumed on a daily basis to keep the body fit and healthy.

Improving Appetite: Amla juice helps in reducing the cholesterol levels, particularly the triglycerides or fatty acids. Regular consumption of amla powder with butter and honey before meal improves appetite. It helps in balancing nitrogen level and enhances weight in a healthy way.

Anti-aging: Amla is used to control free radicals as it has vital ingredients that help in antioxidant activities. 

Skincare: Amla powder can be mixed with turmeric and oil to form a smooth paste, which when applied on the face and body rejuvenates the skin leaving behind a smooth and radiant skin. Similarly drinking juice in the morning clears the body system and the result is a blemish-free and clear complexion. If you are troubled by pimples and the resulting scars, then applying amla paste on the affected area helps in clearing up the pimples and blemishes.

Haircare: The pulp of amla when massaged on the head before shampooing not only helps in reducing heaviness but also helps to keep the eyes cool and free from any burning sensation. Amla is used in many hair tonics. It enriches hair growth. It strengthens hair roots, maintains color and luster. Amla oil is very popular in India. Amla checks hair loss and is a great cure to prevent baldness and premature graying of hair. Fresh amla juice can be rubbed into the scalp for about ten minutes and then washed off with a mixture of amla juice and water to restore the strength and bounce of the hair. 

Eyecare: Amla is greatly beneficial as an eye tonic. It helps to keep the eyes cool and healthy. In order to improve and rejuvenate eye-sight it is advisable to wash eyes with amla solution. It is prepared by dissolving amla powder in water. Amla is a vital ingredient of Triphala powder which when consumed daily in a recommended dosage of 10gms with a teaspoon of honey can help to retain the health and sparkle of the eyes.

Diabetes: Chromium is an active ingredient of amla which has a therapeutic effect in the cure of diabetes. Regular intake of amla helps in the secretion of insulin by stimulating the cells and thus lowers the blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Heart disease: Amla keeps the heart muscles healthy so that the heart functions to its optimum by pumping blood to the body.

Diarrhea and dysentery: Amla has laxative, cooling and digestive properties. Regular consumption prevents gastric disorders.

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