(Indian Gooseberry) or ‘amalaki’ is a translucent fruit with many therapeutic benefits. It’s considered to be one of the most important plants in Ayurvedic medicine and is a unique balance of sour, sweet, pungent and bitter.
It’s rich in Vitamin C and also loaded with a range of polyphenols (gallic acid, ellagic acid, luteolin, corilagin etc). Polyphenols are antioxidants that prevent damage to free radicals in the body and fight different types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It is believed that amla can help balance all the three doshas (vata/pitta/kapha) in the body and treat the underlying cause of many health problems.
What makes this Desi Superfood so super:
1. Boosts hair growth: Amla is rich in iron and has antioxidants which reduce hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles. Amla also enhances hair growth and prevents premature graying. Eating fresh amla or applying its paste to the roots of your hair improves both growth and color. (5 food that promote hair growth)
2. Improves eyesight: Studies have shown that eating amla improves eye health, cataracts and also reduces intraocular tension which is the pressure you feel in the eye. High level of carotene present in amla is known to improve vision related conditions.
3. Improves digestion: Amla is high in fiber and helps in regularizing bowel movement. It reduces constipation and stimulates the secretion of gastric juices. It also improves digestion and allows for more nutrient absorption.
4. Diabetes Management: Amla is rich in chromium which is therapeutic for diabetic patients. It stimulates insulin production which helps in reducing blood glucose levels. Chromium also enhances the effect of beta-blocker and thereby helps in reducing LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol.
5. Diuretic and liver detoxification: Amla increases the frequency and volume of urination. It has a high water content which helps in eliminating toxins from the body.
6. It improves appetite.
7. It prevents ageing: High antioxidants in amla prevent cells from free radical damage.
8. Reduces infections and enhances immunity: Amla has antibacterial and astringent attributes which means it helps in increasing a person’s immunity and protects the body from various infections.
How can you include amla in your diet:
1. Eat it fresh.
2. It can be taken in the form of amla juice.
3. Make an amla chutney
4. Amla muraba is another good option and you can include it in your daily diet.
5. Powdered amla can also be taken every day.
Home remedies you can make with amla:
1. How to treat cold and cough: Take 2 tsp of amla juice and mix it with 2 tsp of honey. Have this every day as it improves cough and treats cold. Eating a bit of amla powder with honey two or three times a day also works to cure long-term dry cough.
2. Mouth ulcers: Gargle twice a day with 2-3 tsp of amla juice mixed with normal water. This will relieve you from the pain of awful mouth ulcers.
3. Dandruff: Wash your hair with a decoction of amla to eliminate dryness of the scalp. It also helps to curb extreme hair fall and early graying.
4. Constipation: Take 1 tsp of amla powder with lukewarm water at night to relieve constipation.
5. Acidity: Eat one tsp of dry amla powder along with honey soon after your meal.
Include amla in any form in your daily diet and you’ll soon notice a dramatic change in your health.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author.