The Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica – Binomial name) known as Aamla or Amla in Hindi and amalika in Sanskrit, is a deciduous tree of the Phyllanthaceae family. The Indian gooseberry or Amla is an edible fruit and is sour, bitter, astringent and quite fibrous.
Amla is highly valued by nutritionists and Ayurvedic practitioners alike. For those of you who haven’t heard about Ayurveda, it’s a 5000 year old natural healing system of medicine that is indigenous to India. In India, it is common to eat the Amla or Indian gooseberries in the pickle format. It is probably the most important natural source of vitamin C, which is easily absorbed by the digestive system. The Indian gooseberry or Amla ripens in autumn, around October till December and is commonly harvested by hand after climbing to the branches bearing the fruits.
Medicinal Uses of Aamla or Amla
According to Ayurveda, Aamla or Amla fruit is sour and astringent in taste, with sweet, bitter and pungent secondary tastes. Aamla’s qualities are light and dry, the post digestive effect is sweet and its energy is cooling. As per Ayurveda, Aamla or Amla balances all the 3 doshas. Aamla or Amla is used to revitalising potency and the digestive system, rejuvenating longevity, treat constipation , reduce fever, purify the blood, reduce cough, alleviate asthma, strengthen the heart, benefit the eyes, stimulate hair growth, enliven the body, and enhance intellect.
Nutritional Value of Aamla or Amla
- Raw Amla provides 600 milligram Vitamin C per 100 gram.
- Pressed juice provides 920 milligram / 100ml.
- Dehydrated Amla provides 2500 to 3500 milligram Vitamin C per 100 gram.
- Dried and powdered Amla provides 1800 to 2600 milligram Vitamin C per 100 gm.
Best way to eat Aamla or Amla
The best way to eat Aamla or Amla is to eat it raw (with the least loss of vitamin C). In India it is commonly added to the chutneys.
- 1 tablespoonful of Aamla or Amla juice and honey taken every morning promotes vigor and vitality and is useful in preserving eyesight.
- Aamla or Amla helps reduce blood sugar in diabetics. 1 tablespoonful of Aamla or Amla juice mixed with one cup of bitter gourd juice, if taken early morning for two months, can control blood sugar.
- Aamla or Amla is considered an effective remedy for heart disease.
- Aamla or Amla is helpful in tuberculosis of lungs, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Aamla or Amla prevents ageing and maintains strength in old age
- Aamla or Amla helps enriching hair growth and hair pigmentation.
- Aamla or Amla improves immunity and protects from common cough and cold.