Amla Benefits and Uses

 Amla benefits and uses

Amla has been prized for its medicinal properties for centuries. In Ayurveda, Amla is known as the “king of herbs,” or the “imperial herb”. It is considered to be one of the most powerful medicinal plants and is revered for its many health benefits.

What is Amla?

Amla is a type of Indian gooseberry that is cultivated throughout the Indian subcontinent and in parts of Southeast Asia. Also known as Phyllanthus Emblica, it belongs to the genus Phyllanthus, in the family Phyllanthaceae. It is a popular fruit in the Indian subcontinent, also used for making pickles and candies. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine extensively, where it is also seen as a cooling diuretic. 

Characteristics of the Amla Plant

The Amla plant thrives on the warm and humid climate of the Indian subcontinent and is cultivated mostly in the Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. Its tree grows up to a height of about 15-30 feet and is cultivated in an unheated greenhouse.

The tree is cultivated in both tropical and subtropical regions. The Amla plant has a smooth and shiny green long stem, with long, broad leaves that are dark green in colour. It bears yellowish-white fragrant flowers that turn into bright green or yellow fruits. The tree is evergreen, so it provides its fruits all throughout the year. Fresh fruits have a sour taste, and the dried powder has a bitter taste.

Why is Amla also known as Amalaki?

Amla is also known as Amalaki in Ayurveda. In the ancient Indian language Sanskrit, amalaki is referred to as “amla”, “amalika”, or “bhallataka”.  Amalaki, which means "the sustainer" in Sanskrit, has long been recommended to boost immunity and calm the body.

Amla powder from Hesh

What are the health benefits of using Amla?

Amla is a crucial component of a healthy diet because of its many health advantages. People of all ages can benefit from frequent use for overall health and wellness.

Helps against heartburn

When stomach acid backs up into the tube that transports food from your mouth to your stomach, it results in heartburn. It may be brought on by a particular meal or beverage, such as coffee, tomatoes, wine, chocolate, or foods that are fatty or spicy.

You may also experience heartburn by being overweight, by smoking, by being pregnant, or by stress. This acid reflux can also lead to vomiting in severe cases. Amla could reduce the frequency of heartburn and vomiting and improve. It may also reduce the severity heartburn and vomiting.[1]

Anti-cancer effects

Indian gooseberry extract possesses powerful anticancer qualities. Polyphenols, particularly tannins and flavonoids, are regarded to be the main mediators of the bioactivity in this extract. Polyphenols from Amla incorporate both cancer-preventative and antitumor properties. The antioxidant function can account for some of the anticancer activity, but other mechanisms equally contribute.[2]

Boosts immunity

Our immune system, a network of complex bodily processes and pathways, guards us against dangerous germs as well as some diseases. It takes immediate action after identifying foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Vitamin C, phenols, dietary fibre, and antioxidants are all present in abundance in Amla and its processed products. This makes it a reliable supplement to boost one’s immunity which shall contribute to a healthy lifestyle. [3]

Helps with diabetes

There are various forms of diabetes, each with its own causes, but they are all characterised by an excess of glucose in the blood. Treatments include medications and/or insulins. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is also advised to prevent diabetes which includes being more physically active and often losing a little weight.

Results of a recent study suggest that the hypoglycemic and antioxidant properties of Amla could be responsible for its protective efficacy in arsenic-induced blood sugar increase.[4] This makes it an excellent supplement that can be added to your diet if you are diabetic or prone to diabetes.

Amla powder

Traditional Use of Amla in Ayurveda

Amla is known to have cooling properties in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic texts recommend consuming it in the fall and winter months to boost immunity. It is additionally applied topically to treat burns, insect bites, and skin infections.

For thousands of years, Amalaki has been revered in the Ayurvedic tradition. All three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha—are known to be calmed by it, but pitta is the one it calms the most.

Rasa (taste): primarily sour, pungent, bitter, astringent
Vipaka (post-digestion taste): Sweet
Virya (action): Cooling

Amalaki is a rasayana herb, noted for its profoundly reviving and nourishing qualities throughout the body, even as it cleanses and detoxifies the system. This makes it a potent factor in the development of ojas, the body's vital store of youth and immunity.

Modern Scientific Research on Amla

Some of the most promising research on the Amla benefits is related to its role in preventing and treating cancer, diabetes, certain cardiovascular diseases, etc. Those among with some other seminal works that testify to its health benefits are listed below.

  • “Emblica officinalis (Amla) Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Alteration of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology” [6]
  • “Efficacy and safety of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica L.) in non-erosive reflux disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial” [7]
  • “Anticancer Properties of Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry)” [8]
  • “Enhancing the functional properties and nutritional quality of ice cream with processed amla (Indian gooseberry)” [9]
  • “Anti-diabetic Effect of Emblica- officinalis (Amla) Against Arsenic Induced Metabolic Disorder in Mice” [10]
  • “5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment”[11]

Amla benefits and uses in Ayurveda

How to take Amla as a supplement

Amla Juice

To get the maximum health benefits of Amla, it is best to consume it in its juice form. You can easily make the juice at home by extracting it from fresh fruits. Simply peel the skin off the fruits and extract the juice using a juicer.

Amla oil

The fruit is dried, and then soaked in a base oil, such as mineral oil, to create Amla oil. Although daily use of it on the scalp is encouraged, weekly use can also work wonders. Apply the oil at least 30 minutes before hair wash.

Amla Powder

Amla powder is obtained by drying the fruits and grinding them into a fine powder. You can use Hesh’s Amla Powder in various cooking recipes to add a subtle sour taste to food. You can also use dried powder to make the juice by adding water to it.

Amla capsules

Capsules tend to have a higher concentration of the substance. Therefore, capsules make it easier for the ingredients to be absorbed into your bloodstream. You can take Hesh’s Amla Vegan Capsules with a glass of water or warm milk. You may take it twice a day after meals for the best results.

Is it safe to take Amla?

Amla is a natural herb that is safe to consume, even for those who have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. However, it is important to check if there are any allergies associated with it before consuming it.

People who are suffering from liver diseases and diabetes can consume Amla in moderation. The fruit is safe to consume during pregnancy, but it should be avoided during breastfeeding.

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