The botanical name of Amla or the Indian gooseberry is Phyllanthus emblica. Taxonomically, it belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It has a sour, bitter, and astringent taste. It is also rich in fiber. The fruit, available in the autumn season, can be eaten fresh or in dried form. It is also available in the form of juice. In Ayurveda, it is believed that amla balances the humors vata (wind) and kapha (phlegm) and also controls pitta (bile). Amla is a very important ingredient in Ayurvedic and Unani medicinal formulations.
Amla is the richest source of vitamin C. It has 30% more vitamin C than an orange. Many vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and vitamin B complex are also found in amla. It contains tannin, which is responsible for preserving the nutrients in the dried form. Amla is a strong antioxidant agent. Due to its antioxidant property, amla prevents the oxidation of harmful free radicals that are produced in our body. This property plays a very important role in anti-aging and cancer prevention.
The Indian Gooseberry is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces inflammation of various tissues of the body, including the joints and is also beneficial in the treatment of fevers. Amla juice improves eyesight and reduces the intraocular tension.; It makes the heart muscles strong and controls the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. This fruit is very high in its fiber content, which helps in relieving constipation and regulating bowel movements.
The fruit is a stress buster and is useful in treating insomnia. Besides having a very cool and soothing effect on our body, it is also known to strengthen the lungs, improve fertility, and build up the immunity against numerous diseases. It acts as a very good aliment against sunburns, sun stroke, and urinary tract infections.
Amla acts as a natural astringent and exfoliating agent, which makes your skin look younger. It can tighten the skin and reduce sagging. It also prevents hair loss and premature graying, whilst improving the growth, thickness, color, and luster of your hair, at the same time. Amla helps in calcium absorption, thereby helping in the maintenance and formation of bones, teeth, and nails. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say “An amla a day can keep the doctor away.”