Amla: The Indian Gooseberry Healthy Tree Plant With Innumerable Healing Properties
Amla is a highly potent medicinal plant with innumerable healing properties. Super-fruit amla derives its name from the sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ meaning “nectar of life”and adding to your daily diet is a great way to get antioxidants and vitamins that offer several health benefits. Amla has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. You'll also find notable amounts of polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids. The whole plant including the fruit, leaves, and seeds is utilized in traditional Indian medicine and are defined in the following shloka as:
हरीतकीसमं धात्रीफलं किन्तु विशेषतः। रक्तपित्तप्रमेहघ्नं परं वृष्यं रसायनम्।
हन्ति वातं तदम्लत्वात्पित्तं माधुर्यशैत्यतः। कफ रूक्षकषायत्वात्फलधाञ्यास्त्रिदोषजित्।
यस्य यस्य फलस्येह वीर्यं भवति यादृशम्। तस्य तस्यैव वीर्येण मज्जानमपि निर्दिशेत्।
Ayurveda doctors claim that amla fruit can help balance the three doshas (Kapha/vata/pitta) in the body and eliminate the underlying cause of many diseases. Amla balances Vata because of Amala (sour) taste, balances Pitta because of its Madhura (sweet) and Sita (cold) nature. It also controls Kapha due to its Ruksha (dryness)-Kashya (astringent) properties.
Amla plant is a part deciduous tree of the family Phyllanthaceae with scientific name Phyllanthus emblica, native to tropical and southern Asia. It is also known as emblic, emblic myrobalan, myrobalan, Indian gooseberry, Malacca tree. The branchlets are not glabrous or finely pubescent, the leaves are simple, subsessile and closely set along branchlets, light green, resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish-yellow, quite smooth and hard on appearance, with six vertical stripes or furrows.
Ripening in autumn, the berries are harvested by hand after climbing to upper branches bearing the fruits. The taste of Indian emblic is sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous. One can consume it raw, in pickled form, as a dried powder, or as homemade sweet berry concoctions that are extremely beneficial for health. It can be consumed as a raw drink, along with jaggery, or as murabba. It is also a seasonal fruit during winters.
Amla has high fibre content and acids like tannic which help relieve constipation and make you look less bloated and may help to relieve symptoms from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. The antioxidant properties of Amla make it fit for people who have fatty liver and a weak digestive system. It accelerates metabolism and helps you to burn calories. Amla helps in flushing toxins from the body during the menstrual cycle as well and maintains the hormonal balance, which will automatically improve women’s fertility.
High concentrations of vitamin C in amla helps the body recover from illness and different infections. It has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry, and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. Amla's high concentration of Vitamin C helps your body produce norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter believed to improve brain function in people with dementia. Amla is also rich in vitamin A, which not only improves vision, but it also may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The presence of both vitamins and antioxidants purify the blood and makes your skin look radiant.
Amla, like curry leaves, is a proven tonic for hair. It has plenty of essential fatty acids which penetrate deep into the follicles and slow down greying, prevents dandruff, and strengthens hair follicles. This tangy fruit has high iron and carotene content, thus boosting hair growth.
Amla is loaded with chromium which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and also helps stimulate insulin production, thereby reducing the blood glucose level of diabetics. Along with antioxidants, Amla contains a notable amount of potassium. Therefore, due to potassium’s ability to regulate blood pressure, it has been used regularly in the diet of patients suffering from blood pressure problems.
But there are certain aspects that you should consider before including amla in your daily routine. If not consumed in controlled quantity, it can make matters worse.The dosage of Amla juice can lead to dryness of the skin. For some allergic people, intake of Amla products can increase the risk of bleeding. For a diabetic patient, amla should be taken with proper precautions as its intake can drastically drop blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before you start eating it.