Amla is one of nature’s most precious gifts. Also known as Indian Gooseberry, the distinctive small green and sour berries have truly earned their status as a super-fruit.
Amla has been used in India since ancient times, being used in their traditional medicine system (Ayurveda) for a huge number of different health issues. The fruits are quite sour to eat, but powder gives an easier way to get the benefits from this magical fruit (it can be put into smoothies, juices, chutneys and so on as well as mixed with various oils to be applied to the skin). It is packed with nutrients, and just 100g of fresh Amla has the same amount of vitamin C as 20 oranges.
It would take an entire book to cover all the benefits of Amla, but here are some of them. It can provide radiant skin, thanks to its high antioxidant content that prevents fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature ageing. Its antibacterial properties can prevent acne and other skin problems, and its high concentration of vitamin C aids collagen production making Amla a great ingredient to add to a facemask. It can also be mixed with a base oil and applied to the scalp. This keeps the hair looking healthy and shiny, preventing hair loss and premature greying. It even brightens the eyes and slows age-related sight deterioration thanks to its vitamin C and vitamin A content.
Amla is currently being investigated for its effects on brain health. It contains Citric acid which prevents brain cells from being damaged by free radicals. It is currently being investigated as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain problems. A recent literature review concluded that “Amla, and its extracts, exert many positive effects on dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and autophagy, that contribute to AD risk.” see https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32083581/
The high vitamin C content means it promotes the immune system – we know that this vitamin is involved in various aspects of immune function.
Amla is also being investigated as a treatment for diabetes. One of the ways it can help with this condition is by preventing pancreatitis (which damages insulin-producing cells).
Research has shown that Amla may be effective for many more conditions, including cardiovascular health (it lowers blood pressure) and joint health (it has anti-inflammatory properties).
The vast array of benefits of Amla means many people consume it daily as a kind of super-supplement.