Ayurveda in its numerous treatments and formulations often makes use of a tiny little fruit called amla, and is commonly known as “Indian gooseberry”.
This tangy seasonal fruit has been used for more than 5000 years in India in order to rejuvenate the body and strengthen the immune system. Amla is yellow and green in colour and is available during the winter months, when it can grow up to 18 meters.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols found in most berries can provide protection against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Amla is an excellent source vitamin C, which helps to destroy free radicals that damage cell membrane.
100 grams of Amla can provide up to 450 milligrams of the vitamin, so its juice can have up to ten times more vitamin C than fresh orange juice. Heat or air can easily destroy vitamin C, but the large concentration of this vitamin that amla contains protects it from being completely destroyed in the process of preparation.
Amla (Amalaki fruit) is an extraordinary potent fruit with numerous beneficial properties that serve our health:
- Stomach ache
Numerous abdominal issues can be solved with this Amalaki fruit, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps, infections and other digestive problems.
- Diabetes prevention
Amla improves the function of the liver, helps in pancreatitis, swelling, pain and the function of the pancreas. Its regular consumption lowers the sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes by regulating the insulin secretion. Namely, study findings proved that only 3 g of amalaki powder is more efficient than many medications used in diabetes treatments.
- Liver detoxification
It is scientifically proved that amalaki is amazing in cleaning the liver from toxins, especially from negative effects made out of drugs (especially those against tuberculosis).
- Cancer treatments
In the treatment of cancer, antioxidants play a major role. They can even in help in prevention of one, since they help reduce the inflammation and the damage of the cells.
- Skin recovery
This amazing fruit is used as a treatment against rashes, pimples, acne and other skin problems, including all sorts of inflammations.
- Stimulating the hair growth
Another advantage of its use is that it will help encourage growth, hydration, protection, shines and softness of your hair. Simply mix Amalaki powder with little warm water, leave it for an hour, and then apply it by massaging on your hair. Leave it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then rinse it off. The effects are marvellous!
- Beautiful skin, hair, nails
As claimed above, this fruit is beneficial for the hair, preventing hair loss, stimulating its growth, prevents appearance of grey hair and is used as a natural remedy against dandruff. In addition, Amalaki helps the regeneration of the tissue, thus making the body feel rejuvenated. As a result, is often found as main ingredient of many products such as shampoos, facial creams, hair masks and others.
How to use these Indian gooseberries and enjoy in their beneficial effect? You have a few options:
- Fresh amla:
The fresh amla fruit is very tasty and has an amazing flavour with a sprinkling of red chilli powder. You can also enjoy a fresh amla juice, which is a fantastic drink with delicious taste and favourable properties. Its preparation is easy as well: Remove the seeds of two amlas and grind them into a paste. Mix the paste with 1 cup of water and use a sieve to strain it. Add 1 – 2 teaspoons of honey and a pinch of salt. The ground amla paste can also be mixed with a blend of spices to make chutneys.
- Dried amla
Pick the larger variety of amla and chop into small pieces, then sprinkle salt on it and let it dry. When completely dried, store it in an airtight container.
You can also prepare a supari, which can be eaten as a mouth freshener after meals. Simply grate it, and then sprinkle on some ginger juice, lime juice, black / rock salt and spice powders like cumin (jeera)/ carom (ajwain). This mixture should be spread on a tray and left to dry for a couple of days.
- Preserved amla
You will prefer this option if you are one of those who enjoy murabbas and chutneys. You need to take the smaller variety of amla, boil them and add sugar, spices and salt. Cook this mixture and make a preserve like, marmalade, jelly, or a jam.