Amla, emblica, myrobalan, Indian gooseberry is a deciduous, subtropical tangy, seasonal fruit of the family of Phyllanthaceae. It comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Amalaki which means ‘’Sustainer’ and also ‘dhatri’ meaning ‘nurse’. The tree of the fruit is of a medium size with greenish yellow flowers. The fruit of the tree is spherical, hard, like round berries with translucent skin with furrows over it giving it a segmented look. The skin is tough and thin with juicy inside flesh combining a sour and bitter taste together. It is a fibrous fruit. These marble shaped berries are used in a variety of culinary preparations and Ayurvedic medicines. It is a magical powerhouse of goodness having a rich mix of nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, potassium, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Amla is available during the winter months.
It is native to the subtropical South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. It is commercially produced mostly in northern India.
Amla has an exceptional antioxidant amount of antioxidants. The berry juice is extracted and dried into powder to make capsules. It has a good amount of phenols, flavonoids, tannins and other antioxidants too. The Indian gooseberry has 20 times the amount of vit C as an orange. It helps in building, repairing and sustaining the human body. It is rich in vitamin C which helps in the synthesis of collagens which improves the condition of hair, nails, teeth and skin. It aids in digestive, excretory, respiratory, reproductive and nervous systems. It has 3.4% of fibres,0.5% of proteins,0.1%of fats,50% of calcium,13.7gm carbohydrates,1.2 gms of iron,9 micrograms of carotene,0.03 mg of thiamine,0.01 of riboflavin and 600 mg of vitamins.
Properties of amla as an immunity booster
The recommended amount of consumption of amla fruit for adults is 75-90 mg per day.
A healthy mind and body requires firstly a strong immune system and in the current scenario of the global pandemic eating us out,it has become the most essential priority of the moment.A strong immune system is the first safeguard for the human body against virus and deadly diseases ready to bring forth complications resulting in death.So to stay healthy you must do the first and foremost thing,eat a healthy and balanced diet to gear up for the fight against diseases.One of the foremost fruits which comes up in mind for immunity balance is Amla or Indian Gooseberry.Some of the reasons why amla is an immunity-booster are—
1.Presence of chromium—Amla has chromium which helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the body. It has been found that the heart is a vital organ that can get affected by the COVID 19 virus. So it’s so important to take a heart-healthy diet which has to include amla.
2.Rich in antioxidants—Amla has many antioxidants that help to neutralize the free radicals saving us from a number of diseases. Amla has also antibacterial properties helping to detoxify our system. It also helps to reduce acne and dandruff.
3.Helpful for fat reduction—As we all know obesity is the cause of not one but many diseases including heart and diabetes. And amla can help to get a healthy body mass index(BMI)by supporting active weight loss. The fiber content in amla helps to stay energized for a longer period of time and also improves digestion.
4.Helpful to reduce cough and cold—-In the present time it’s important to strengthen the respiratory system as COVID-19 is a respiratory infection. And amla can be quite effective here. Because it has a large amount of vitamin C it helps to melt chest congestion.
5.It improves eyesight-–The carotene in amla helps fight eyesight problems and improves vision. It reduces cataract problem, intraocular tension and also prevents reddening, itching and watering of eyes.
6.Helps build strong immunity-–-Amla has antibacterial and astringent properties which boost the immune system. Lot of serious health problems like cancer are caused by oxidative damage. It is a process where when the body cells use oxygen they leave harmful by-products called free radicals behind. As amla is a potential antioxidant agent it prevents and repairs the damage.
7.Helps in hair nourishment––Amla is a proven cure and a tonic for hair. It slows down greying, prevents dandruff, strengthens hair follicles and increases blood circulation thus improving hair growth. It is a natural conditioner. Amla oil should be used to beautify hair or alternately amla powder can be mixed in with henna to nourish hair growth.
8.It improves skin issues—Amla has been seen to be the best anti-aging fruit.
9.Helpful to relieve pain—Amla helps to relieve pain of joints in arthritis, mouth ulcers as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
10.Has antibacterial properties––Amla can help to reduce the risk of skin and hair problems as it has anti-bacterial properties. It also helps to detoxify the system.
11.Helpful to cure life-threatening diseases––Amla helps to cure many life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, anemia and some other problems like acidity, fever, gonorrhoea, pruritus, eye disorder, diarrhea, aging etc.
Uses of amla
Amla is a heavenly fruit considered to be the fruit from heavens, a blessing of God. It is packed with nutrients and is a natural product with no side effects. It is available from December through April.
It can be had in dried form as a snack or candy.It can be pickled or can be made into murabbas. It can be made into a juice.
Amla is one of the most important and oldest medicinal plant mentioned in Ayurveda. The various parts of amla plant like nut, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers are used to treat many diseases. It has a number of phytochemical components in the fruit and other parts of the tree. The fruit of amla can be had fresh or can be used in dried form also. The fresh fruit is acidic while the dried one is sour and astringent. The fruits, bark and leaves of amla tree are rich in tannin. According to studies amla has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, antipyretic, analgesic, cardioprotective, gastroprotective.