Amla, Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry is a highly potent medicinal plant for its innumerable healing properties. Amalaki, as it is popularly known in Sanskrit and in ancient texts of Ayurveda, has various meanings – mother, nurse, immortality and it also means ‘sour.’
The small green, pulpy, juicy fruit known as usirikaya in Telugu, Nellika in Tamil, goes with the botanical names Emblica Officinalis or Phyllanthus Emblica. Ayurveda strongly recommends eating a gooseberry daily for improving immunity, boosting metabolism and longevity.
It is in fact known as a ‘divyaushada’ or a divine medicine as it contains five tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent that help in the functioning of both mind and body.
The healing and medicinal properties of amla are innumerable as it is loaded with vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorous, carotene, vitamin B, protein and fibre.
Amla holds a lot of great religious significance during rituals in the Hindu month of Kartik, that usually falls in between October and November. In many parts of India, it is a practice to offer the fruit as a Naivedya to Lord Shiva and eat it to ward off various respiratory infections, common cold, flu and other health problems that are caused due to the imbalances of vata, kapha and pitta.
Amla is a powerhouse of antioxidants and ancient medicine endorses the consumption of this fruit to prevent the formation of cancer cells. It can be consumed raw, in the form of juice, churna, candy, pickles or supplements.
If you are suffering from severe hair loss turn to Indian gooseberry, right away. Massaging the scalp with amla oil strengthens the follicles, provides luster while vitamin C prevents premature greying.
Amla juice has become quite popular in recent years and it found a place in the menus of many restaurants offering fresh vegetable and fruit juices.
How To Make Amla Juice At Home
Amla juice is a simple recipe that serves as a detoxifying drink. It provides instant energy and can be refrigerated for a few days. Drink it early in the morning, on an empty stomach to derive its full benefits.
Fresh Amla Juice Recipe
5 plump Indian gooseberries
2 tbsp honey
¼ tsp salt
300 ml chilled water
Chop gooseberries into small pieces. Discard seeds.
In a mixie, make the pieces into a paste by adding little water.
Dilute the paste into water and honey. Stir well.
Benefits Of Amla Juice:
Amla juice is referred to as tridoshic as it can clear all three doshas in the body.
Amla is low on calories and loaded with a host of phenolic phytochemicals like flavonoids, anthocyanins and a potent source of vitamin C and A. The host of plant compound provide numerous healing benefits including prevention of cancer, delayed aging, fighting inflammation and boosting memory.
Alma Nutrition Value per 100 grams
Energy 44 Kcal
Carbohydrates 10.18 g
Protein 0.88 g
Total Fat 0.58 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Folates 6 mcg
Niacin 0.300 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.286 mg
Pyridoxine 0.080 mg
Riboflavin 0.030 mg
Thiamin 0.040 mg
Vitamin A 290 IU
Vitamin C 27.7 mg
Potassium 198 mg
Calcium 25 mg
Copper 0.070 mg
Iron 0.31 mg
Magnesium 10 mg
Manganese 0.144 mg
Phosphorus 27 mg
Zinc 0.12 mg
*Source As per USDA
Benefits Of Drinking Amla Juice On Empty Stomach
Amla is a powerhouse of vitamin C thus making it an amazing immune booster. It is also loaded with Vitamin A, polyphenols, alkaloids and flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol. Studies reveal that amla increases the number of white blood cells, the body’s defense mechanism to fight allergies, infections and to flush out toxins. Eating gooseberry daily shields body against harmful bacteria and inflammation.
2.Improves Liver Function:
Amla juice possesses good amounts of phytochemicals like quercetin, gallic acid, corilagin and ellagic acids that aid body in detoxification and in fighting free radicals. This juice improves liver function, boosts vitality and provides energy.
Chromium, a mineral that helps in regulating carbohydrate metabolism and beta cells for the secretion of insulin is widely found in amla. Regular intake of this citrus fruit not only repairs pancreatic tissues but also prevents the damage of inuslin-producing cells. Eating raw amla daily in the morning enables body to more receptive to insulin.
Ayurveda strongly recommends starting your meal with recipe made from amla as it helps in detoxifying and flushing out the wastes. Rich in fibre it regulates bowel movements and also increases the production of digestive juices. It also aids the body in better absorption of the nutrients. If you are suffering from IBS, constipation or other gut issues, drink amla juice in the morning to clean your system.
Amla Juice For Hair:
Drinking amla juice daily is equally beneficial in stimulating hair growth. Regular intake provides immunity, strengthens hair follicles and adds volume to the hair, besides clearing dandruff.
Amla Oil for Hair Care:
Amla or Indian gooseberry is a must-have ingredient in all herbal based hair care products. And if your grandmother strongly recommended you apply amla hair oil to stop hair fall, she has a reason. Rich in carotene, iron and antioxidants, amla not only rejuvenates hair follicles but also prevents loss of hair and baldness.
Hair fall is a common problem and it is caused due to poor dietary habits, pollution, lack of nutrition, stress, hereditary etc. In fact, regular intake of amla also restricts hair loss.
How To Make Amla Hair Oil At Home:
10 fresh amla
250 ml pure coconut oil
Cut amla into small pieces.
In a thick bottom vessel, heat coconut oil.
Add amla pieces and let is simmer for 10 minutes.
Switch off the stove once the oil turns dark in colour. Allow it to cool.
Strain it in a glass bottle and use it daily.
Benefits Of Amla Hair Oil:
Amla and coconut are wonders of Mother Nature. These oils can easily penetrate the roots, stimulate follicles for better hair growth. Applying the oil daily can arrest further hair fall.
Amla Hair Oil Benefits:
Indian gooseberry possesses various plant compounds, vitamins and minerals that aid in growth of healthy hair. Vitamin C in amla increases the collagen that adds length and volume to the hair. It also replaces dead hair cells on the scalp and regenerates the new ones.
Do you know that amla is the richest source of vitamin C? One small fruit provides you more vitamin C than you can find in a single serving of orange. Regular intake of amla hydrate the scalp and prevents dandruff. Being strong in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it also prevents scaling and itching.
3.Delays Premature Greying
According to Ayurveda premature greying is a disorder that is caused due to excessive pitta in the body. Amla is a natural coolant and it slows down greying. Add amla powder to henna and apply it as a hair pack to retain natural colour of the hair. Regular intake of amla in the form of juice, powder and candy is also highly beneficial in preventing premature greying.
Regular application of amla hair oil serves as a conditioner and it helps in strengthening and nurturing the hair. It also makes your mane look lustrous as one single amla contains around 80 per cent of moisturize. If you have oily hair, use this daily as it absorbs excessive oil and conditions the hair.
Benefits Of Amla For Treating Various Health Conditions:
1.Amla For Diabetes:
Amla is a traditional and an amazing home remedy for diabetics. It not only prevents pancreatitis but also manages levels of blood sugar. Vitamin C serves as a powerful antioxidant and it reverses the effects of oxidative stress, one of the reasons behind diabetes.
Eat fresh amla, drink amla juice or relish amla murabba, the popular Indian recipe made from this bitter-sweet fruit. You can also try consuming dried amla powder with water to witness the drop in your sugar levels.
2.Amla For Hypertension:
Studies reveal that regular intake of amla helps in lowering blood pressure and also helps in reducing the effects of cardiovascular diseases. The abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals specially potassium in the Indian gooseberry makes this fruit truly notable for a high blood pressure diet. Potassium is extremely effective in dilating the blood vessels which in turn reduces the blood pressure and controls the various symptoms of hypertension.
Drink amla juice mixed with one tablespoon of honey to bring down the blood pressure naturally. Drinking this juice daily helps controls both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
3.Amla For PCOS:
Ancient texts in Ayurveda recommend amla for improving fertility in women. It flushes out toxins, regulates menstrual cycle and causes hormonal balance. It also fights against the negative effects of PCOS like obesity, unwanted hair growth etc.
Drink amla juice mixed with warm water daily in the morning to flush out toxins and aid in weight reduction. Adding small pieces of amla to your daily diet is also beneficial.
4.Amla For Weight Loss:
Indian gooseberry stimulates metabolic activity, prevents the formation of fat in unwanted places and flushes out toxins. Slow metabolism, fat accumulation and toxin build-up are primary causes behind obesity and amla help in fighting all these issues.
Eat raw amla, drink amla powder along with honey and warm water to lose weight and excess fat.
5.Amla For Skin Conditions:
Amla is a natural blood purifier and intake of the juice or fruit helps the skin glow from within. If you are suffering from acne, pimples, blemishes, freckles, go for amla based face packs to restore skin health. This succulent fruit also helps in boosting collagen, keeps skin youthful.
Mix plain amla powder in water and apply it as a face pack. Let it dry and clean after 20 minutes. Do it regularly to fight various skin allergies and conditions.
Amla In Ayurvedic Medicines And Supplements:
Ayurveda and ancient texts on holistic medicine consider Amla or Amalaki as a divine medicine and it is also known as a Rasayana. Rasyana means a top herbal product with outstanding rejuvenating, longevity and holistic properties that ensure both mind and body balance.
This wonder fruit corrects digestive disorders, boost immunity, serves as an astringent, works for all body types and is popular for pacifying all three doshas of the body – vata, kapha and pitta.
In fact, amla is a quintessential ingredient in all popular ayurvedic formulations. These supplements are not only readily available but also are quite affordable.
Triphala is a widely acknowledged ayurvedic formulation for its innumerable health benefits, boosting immunity and to aid in weight loss. Triphala is a combination of three fruits – amalaki, bhibhitaki and haritaki. These fruits are dried and powdered in right proportions for making Triphala churna.
Intake of triphala daily on the empty stomach acts as a digestive cleanser, promotes liver function, flushes out toxins, boosts immunity, treats dental problems like gum bleeding, gingivitis, mouth ulcers and plague. It is also available in the form of drops for treating computer vision syndrome.
Chyawanprash is perhaps an ancient jam recipe that aids in restoring health, vitality and acts as an aphrodisiac. A blend of various ingredients including Indian gooseberry, ghee, sesame oil and honey, it helps in regenerating and revitalizing the body cells. It is a powerful immunity booster, stimulates the production of hemoglobin, white blood cells, cleanses liver, spleen besides toning muscles. It is widely recommended for respiratory health and to deal with issues related to fertility.
Eat a spoonful of chyawanprash daily in the morning or mix it with milk or water for consumption. You can also serve it with bread or roti as a jam.
Ashokarishta is an ayurvedic tonic that is mainly recommended for hormonal balance in women. It is known as a ‘natural’ friend for women dealing with emotional and hormonal rollercoasters and it also increases fertility. The tonic is made by mixing Amalaki, with other medicinal herbs like dhataki, musta, haritaki, jeera, jaggery, mango seeds along with the decoction made from Ashoka tree.
The tonic is rich in amazing anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties. It treats pelvic inflammatory disease, eases menstrual cramps, prevents osteoporosis, depletion of minerals from the bones, promotes digestions besides boosting stamina. Drink a tablespoon daily with equal amounts of water after the meal to reap its benefits.
Kanchanar Guggulu is an ayurvedic formulation for treating hypothyroidism, PCOS and joint pains. These tablets are made from mixing amalaki along with the bark of Kanchanar tree, ginger, black pepper, long pepper, haritaki, bhibhitaki, cardamom, cinnamon all in equal amounts.
These ayurvedic tablets detoxify the system, purify the blood, regulate thyroid functioning, aid in weight loss and treat PCOS. It also works wonders for burning belly fat and aids body in better absorption of the nutrients.
Amla is a seasonal fruit and it is not easy to reap on its benefits throughout the year. However, the goodness amla is now found in the form of tablets, tonics and other supplements. Take amla supplements to lower the risk of side effects caused due to other medications, symptomatic relief, for treating chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, hormonal disorders.
Amla is a wonder fruit and can be made into yummy recipes. In many houses of South India, amla pickle is a staple, while amla murabba is quite famous in northern parts of the country. This juicy fruit is also extensively used in candies, chutneys, rasam and various other side dishes.
We bring you most popular recipes that are made from Indian gooseberry.
15 fresh amla
250 grams sugar
15 grams elaichi powder
Wash amlas and let dry. Prick holes in the fruits with a fork.
In a deep bottomed vessel, boil water and add amla. Let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. Drain the water and keep fruits aside.
Add sugar to 3 cups of water and let it boil. Add fruits and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Keep the sugar soaked amla aside for 2 days. Do not refrigerate.
Drain the sugar syrup into a deep bottom pan.
Put in on flame, add cardamom powder. Add drained fruits, let it cook for 5 minutes.
Cool it completely before transferring the contents into an air tight glass container or jar.
It stays fresh for 6 months even without refrigeration.
Amla Murabba is a famous Rajasthani recipe and it can be relished throughout the year. Eating this recipe provides instant energy, thanks to sugar while cardamom contributes to flavour and digestion.
250 grams fully grown amla
2 tbsp freshly ground mustard powder
1 tbsp freshly ground methi powder
4 tbsp groundnut or sesame oil
100 grams red chilli powder
50 grams turmeric
Salt to taste
Wash and dry amla completely. Make 4 incisions on each fruit.
Do not cut completely. Heat oil in a kadai and add amla.
Cook till it turns golden in colour.
Allow it to cool a little bit before adding, mustard, methi, chilli powder and salt.
Cool it completely. Mix well. Check salt and add if needed.
Store it in an air tight container. Serve hot with rice.
This pickle can be stored up to one year and this aids in digestion. Mustard is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, healthy fats while methi is rich source of soluble fibre, promotes digestion and stabilizes sugars.