In A Nutshell: Regular consumption of Amla as raw fruit or juice in small doses offers several health benefits, including hair and skin health. In addition, Amla can help you manage diseases such as diabetes, pancreatitis, respiratory troubles, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. Read on to know the innumerable health benefits of Amla and the medicinal properties that make this humble-looking fruit a wonder. Also, learn useful tips on how to use Amla, how much to take, and precautions.
Scientifically known as Phyllanthus Emblica or Emblica Officinalis, Amla or Indian Gooseberry is native to the Indian subcontinent. The species grows in tropical and subtropical regions, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and Uzbekistan. Though it is a seasonal fruit of winter, the fruit is quite available throughout the year.
Amla possesses a high medicinal value and therefore finds extensive use as medicine in several ancient medications of India. Notably, many Ayurvedic formulations such as Triphala and Chyavanprash use Amla as an ingredient.
The fruit is said to possess five of the six tastes, namely, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent, and sweet; however, sour is the predominant taste.
Amla enhances the body’s immunity and hence provides defence against diseases. The fruit possesses,
- strong antibacterial and astringent or Kashaya properties
- rich in antidiabetic and antioxidant properties
- has powerful hepatoprotective and neuroprotective qualities
- also consists of bulk iron and vitamin C, which nurtures gut health, thus bolstering the immune system.
Diseases That Can Be Prevented, Managed, And Cured By Amla
Due to the various medicinal properties of Amla, several diseases can be prevented, and several others can be managed well. Thus, you can enjoy general health benefits with regular use of Amla as juice, buttermilk, or raw fruit. In addition, with prescribed use as medicine, Amla can reduce the severity and symptoms of certain illnesses.
1. Helps manage diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic ailment that can manifest into several other medical conditions. With Amla, you can manage blood sugar levels very well; hence regular consumption of the fruit can help diabetics and pre-diabetics.
Amla regulates blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance. Further, the presence of chromium helps regulate carbohydrate metabolism resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
2. Amla reduces inflammation in pancreatitis
The pancreas produces enzymes that help digestion and hormones that help your body use glucose (sugar) from food. Inflammation of the pancreas can lead to a condition called pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis can lead to various problems, including diabetes, malnutrition, and pancreatic cancer.
The ancient medicine of Ayurveda suggests Amla as a remedy for pancreas-related disorders. Several studies show that consuming Amla can relieve various pancreas-related problems, including acute pancreatitis. Loaded with Vitamin C, Amla has strong anti-inflammatory properties and thus can help lessen the inflammatory substances that can lead to pancreatitis.
3. Enhances skin health
We all know, Vitamin C is essential for skin health. The antioxidant properties and its role in collagen production make Vitamin C vital for your skin’s rejuvenation.
Amla, rich in Vitamin C, helps combat skin issues such as acne, fine lines, rashes, inflammation, and dark spots. It also purifies the blood by boosting haemoglobin production and removes toxins from the body, leaving a fresh glow on the face. Further, Amla fights the free radicals present in the skin tissues, which prevents ageing.
4. Improves Eye health
Amla can prevent and cure degrading eyesight. Vitamin C in Amla enhances the functioning of retinal cells and helps in healthier capillaries. It is also excellent herbal medicine for dealing with watery eyes, infection/ redness, and itchiness of the eyes.
5. Cure For Hair problems
Who wouldn’t want beautiful hair? The humble-looking fruit Amla can, in fact, offer many benefits and fix several of your hair problems. The rich reserves of vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties promote healthy hair growth and curb dandruff from the scalp.
It also helps in preventing premature greying of hair. Amla oil is a boon for hair health as it works as a chelating and cleansing agent. Besides, the properties of Amla cut the melanin loss, which stimulates the darkening of hair.
6. Helps in respiratory ailments
Amla induces a defence network in the body that imparts strength to combat respiratory issues such as asthma, scathing tuberculosis, and chronic cough. It alleviates the congestion in the chest by naturally purifying the lungs. However, according to Ayurveda, Amla should not be consumed by people with aggravated Kapha.
7. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Amla substantially reduces bad cholesterol and stimulates the production of good cholesterol. Also, it helps in balancing accurate triglyceride levels, thus strengthening heart health. Taking Amla juice in the morning can help you get the benefits mentioned above.
8. Prevents cancer
Cancer is one of the most dreadful diseases as it induces a trail of destruction. Indian gooseberries can prevent cancer and can also control cancer cell growth when regularly consumed. The high envelopes of antioxidants hamper the growth of carcinogens and avoid cancer spread in the body.
9. Weight loss
Obesity and unhealthy weight are becoming a grave concern for a large population. An unhealthy diet and changing environmental patterns contribute to increasing weight. Amla juice helps in improving the metabolism of the body by strengthening the digestive system. It also removes toxins from the body and helps in the digestion and assimilation of food. With improved metabolism, proper digestion, and nutrition absorption, Amla cuts your body’s calories, thus shedding the extra folds of weight from the body.
Tips and guidelines on how to use Amla
You can add Amla to your daily diet in a variety of ways.
- The simplest way is to eat raw Amla (not more than two fruits per day) by washing and cleaning it thoroughly. If you don’t enjoy the sour taste, sprinkle some black salt and chilly powder and enjoy it.
- Amla juice is also an excellent alternative for assimilating the benefits of Amla. You can minimise its sourness by diluting it with water. Add some enhancers such as honey, ginger, lemon, beetroot, and carrot to make it a yummy drink.
- Amla pickle, churna, and chutney are also useful modes to consume Amla, but raw Amla and juice are more potent.
- Yet another healthy alternative is the Spiced Buttermilk With Amla that can be made in no time and can quite refresh you after a hard day at work!
- Last but not least, you can use Amla powder in your hair pack. Buy a good brand of Amla powder, make a DIY hair mask, and enjoy the benefits.
Precautions you must follow before integrating Amla into your diet
- Though Amla offers numerous health benefits, the dosage of Amla juice should be between 5ml to 20 ml. If taken as a fruit, restrict your consumption to not more than two Amla fruits a day.
- As Amla can increase the risk of bleeding, do not take Amla as medicine if you have a bleeding disorder. Also, if you have recently undergone surgery, avoid taking Amla as it might increase the risk of bleeding.
- People with chronic diabetes should not altogether stop their medications and consume Amla as medicine.
- Amla might worsen liver damage when taken by people with liver disease.
- Avoid drinking packed amla juice as it may contain preservatives and contaminants and not give you the intended benefits. Always go with a fresh glass of amla juice prepared at home.
The Final Word
Amla is one of the wonderful fruits that offers several health benefits and is great for your eyes, skin, hair, lungs, and heart. Regular consumption of Amla in small amounts or doses is excellent for a healthy life and can help in diabetes and pancreatitis. However, under chronic medical conditions, you must be careful with its use, and it is best to consume with expert advice.