Gooseberry commonly known as Amla in India is a citrus fleshy fruit having a myriad of medicinal properties. It is a very rich source of vitamin C which is required by human beings to develop their immune system. Its ascorbic acid content is 1100 to 1700 mg per 100 grams which is said to be the second highest among all the fruits next only to the Barbados cherry. The fruit is useful in diabetes, cough, asthma, bronchitis, flatulence, hyperacidity, peptic ulcer, skin diseases, leprosy, inflammation, anaemia, jaundice, diarrhoea, dysentery, cardiac disorders, greyness of hair etc. Despite of having such powerful medicinal properties, amla never becomes a table top fruit like mango or apple. It is due to its sour taste. However, now amla processing is picked up and efforts are made to develop products that are good in taste so that people can consume it every day and gain health benefits.
A powerhouse of antioxidants: Amla is famously rich in one of the most famous antioxidants, vitamin C, all-healing and immune-boosting nutrients. An amla contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange. It contains some super-charged antioxidants categories including polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins. These antioxidants work together to combat free radicals from distressing body cells. They support the immune system by deterring many forms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, inflammation, liver disorder, brain degeneration, digestive condition and age-related eye problems. This fruit can heal cells when oxidative damage occurs.
Anti-ageing: We grow older internally and externally both. Due to the antioxidant properties, gooseberry helps protect and repair cells and reduce inflammation. This improves internal body ageing. It also improves external ageing by encouraging firm and supple skin. Amla gives protection against UV rays that threaten the health and youth factor of skin cells.
Antiviral: Gooseberry contains a compound that has antiviral properties against the influenza virus.
Anti-inflammatory: Extracts from gooseberry are effective anti-inflammatory agents. It helps prevent and reduce arthritis-related pain.
Antifungal: Gooseberry shows inhibitory effects against the fungi Candida glabrata, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis.
Good for eyes: Antioxidants present in amla protect the retina of eyes from oxidative stress and reduce risk of cataract. Besides eating, wash your eyes with amla water to reap these benefits more effectively.
Hair benefits: High levels of vitamin C in amla prevent hair fall, dandruff, lice and greying of hair. Amla accelerates growth of hair and makes them shiny. It also treats scalp problems. You can wash your scalp and hair with amla shampoo once or twice a week to keep hair healthy.
Skin benefits: Consumption of amla juice can reduce the toxics present within the body and thus increases the glow of the skin. If applied topically, it helps prevent and cure pimples and acne and remove dirt from within the skin. It reduces skin pigmentation and slows down the ageing process.
Helps in healing mouth ulcers: Amla possesses medicinal properties. Rinsing your mouth with amla powder or amla water can help get rid of mouth ulcers.
Aids digestion: The fibre-rich fruit strengthens the digestive system and improves the ability of the body to absorb nutrients from the food. It helps prevent constipation as well.
Cardio tonic: Gooseberry helps in preventing blockage within the heart. It helps reduce bad cholesterol and control hypertension. It improves good cholesterol and helps in maintaining cholesterol levels.
Prevents diabetes: Amla is a low-sugar and high-fiber fruit that helps in the secretion of insulin and reduces blood sugar in diabetics.
Reduces cancer risk: High levels of antioxidants in gooseberries restrict the growth of carcinogenic cells which ultimately prevents cancer cells growth in stomach, skin and liver.
Purifies blood: Amla consumption not only purifies blood but increases haemoglobin levels of the body.
Good for liver and intestines: Gooseberry can cure many liver-related and intestinal problems if consumed on a regular basis.
Gooseberry is used for making preserves and pickles, several Ayurvedic medicinal preparations and hair shampoos. It is the principal constituent of famous Ayurvedic restorative tonic called Chayavan Prash.
Gooseberry is one of the world’s leading sources of a vast array of antioxidants. It is getting popular all across the globe among people as a rich source of Natural Vitamin C and thus having incredible prevention and healing powers that are often found in superfoods. While the search for cures is underway, prevention is still our best chance for life-long health. Snack on amla every day whether fresh or dried. You can also consume amla juice, amla candies, amla powder, amla murabba, amla pickles and amla chutney. Everything works.
Caution: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult with a doctor before use. If you are on any medication, check with your doctor before consuming it.