Remember our childhood days when we eagerly awaited the arrival of Winters to bite into some Amlas? Fresh, juicy Amlas sprinkled with a dash of salt and chilli powder made a quick snack that filled our mouths with delicious goodness. Little did we realise that we were unknowingly enjoying the amazing amla benefits for good health!
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Amla (scientific name “Emblica Officinalis”) is a green-coloured fruit commonly found in India and its name is derived from the Sanskrit word “Amalaki” which means “Divine Nectar”. The other Indian names for this fruit are Indian gooseberry (English), Usirikaya (Telugu), Nellikai (Tamil, Kannada), Amlaki (Bengali) etc.
Amla Nutritional Benefits:
Let us look into the nutritional facts of Amla per 100gm serving:
Total Energy: 44 Calories
- Carbohydrates (Total): 10.18 gm
- Fat (Total): 0.6 gm
- Protein: 0.88 gm
- Dietary Fiber: 4.3 gm
- Calcium : 3% of DV
- Manganese: 7% of DV
- Copper – 4% of DV
- Iron – 2% of DV
- Vitamin C – 33% of DV
- Vitamin B6 – 6% of DV
- Water – 87.87 gm
Evidence-Based Amla Benefits For Health, Hair and Skin:
Amla was regarded as “Dhatri” by the ancient Indians, meaning a substance that nurtures us like a mother. It was also known as “Tridoshahara” in the Ayurvedic context, which means it balances all three doshas – Vata, Pittha and Kapha. This fruit also has five different tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent).
Fascinating, isn’t it? Let us now discuss some of the best medicinal uses of Amla for our bodies.
Amla Health Benefits:
Here are our 9 scientifically proven – Indian gooseberry health benefits. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Keeps Constipation At Bay:
If you are struggling with poor digestion and constipation, Amla is a must-try food in your diet. It is rich in dietary fibre – soluble and insoluble. Studies show dietary fibre plays a key role in maintaining the health of your digestive system by regularizing bowel movements and freeing up your gut(1). Eating whole Amla every day can aid in better digestion of food and speed up your body’s metabolism.
2. Promotes Faster Weight Loss:
Many studies have been performed to understand the link between dietary fibre and weight regulation. Some of them show that eating fibre-rich food like Amla can promote faster weight loss by reducing hunger cravings and speeding up the elimination process(2). Also, Amla is a low-calorie food that can keep you satiated for a long to help you lose weight and lower the risk of obesity.
3. Controls Blood Sugar Levels:
Another impressive benefit of Amla for health is its ability to control elevated blood sugar levels. Amla contains high amounts of Chlorogenic Acid which is known to lower the readings of blood sugar and HbA1C (3). This is done by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates and glucose during digestion and increasing insulin sensitivity.
4. Prevents Hypertension and Heart Diseases:
A study shows that Amla works as a Hypolipidemic agent (cholesterol-lowering) which can reduce lipid profile levels in the body along with lowering blood pressure levels (4). This can lower the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
5. Works as a Detoxifying Agent:
Indian gooseberry is a wonderful detox agent that helps in eliminating toxins from the body. It works as a natural laxative to Aida better bowel movement and flushes out the unwanted wastes from the body(5). In this process, Amla enables better functioning of the gastrointestinal tract to support faster digestion and achieve better weight loss results.
See More: Amla Juice Benefits
6. Reduces Risk of Brain Diseases:
Many studies show that Amla is beneficial in improving brain functionality and better memory power. Amla contains high amounts of antioxidants like ascorbic acid, gallic acid and other phenolic compounds which can be effective in reducing degenerative diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s, brain strokes etc (6).
7. Boosts Immune System:
One of the biggest benefits of Amla for the body is its ability to strengthen the immune system. Amla is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and flavonoids which fight free radical damage in the cells (7). These compounds also help in combating viral infections, seasonal coughs & colds and even certain types of Cancers.
8. Strengthens Eyesight:
Research suggests that Amla extract was beneficial in reducing the thickness and severity of Cataracts in rats(8). Scientists attribute this to flavonoids like anthocyanins which improve blood circulation in optical nerves to promote better eyesight and a lowered risk of degenerative eye diseases.
9. Natural Body Coolant:
Ever wondered why many people have Amla juice during Summer? Because Amla is a natural body coolant which reduces the production of excess heat during the digestive process(9). This can help in protecting your body from heart-related side effects like boils, rashes etc.
Amla Benefits For Skin:
Here is our top 2 amla uses for skin. Let’s have a look at them.
10. Delays Premature Signs of Ageing:
Amla is also an excellent anti-ageing food that can delay signs of premature ageing on your skin. Certain studies show that the antioxidants present in Amla fight free radicals to reduce oxidative stress on the skin cells. It can also improve skin firmness and elasticity by promoting better collagen synthesis(10). Thus, Amla benefits in the prevention of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots etc. to help you attain younger-looking skin.
See More: Amla Powder Benefits
11. Lightens Pigmentation:
A group of studies performed on Amla show that the fruit has a high antioxidant strength which can be beneficial in skin lightening and whitening (11). Also, Amla is known to protect our skin from UV damage to minimize the loss of moisture, skin sagging, tanning and pigmentation.
Amla Benefits For Hair:
Here are our 4 best amla fruit benefits for hair. Let’s have a look at them.
12. Controls Dandruff:
Amla is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent that can effectively fight yeast overgrowth and scalp inflammation. It can also maintain the pH levels of your scalp to reduce the symptoms of itchiness and white flakes.
13. Acts as a Natural Hair Conditioner:
Amla is also a natural hair conditioner that can treat dryness and frizz. Its deep cleansing action removes product build-up on hair to leave your scalp squeaky clean. You can use Amla powder in your pre-shampoo mask to deep condition your hair and make it silky soft.
14. Amla Reduces Premature Greying of Hair:
Amla is widely used in Indian hair tonics and oils to attain pigmentation on hair (12). It is known that Amla is rich in minerals like copper which increases blood circulation and the formation of melanin, a dark pigment responsible for black hair. Using Amla in the form of oil or a hair mask can strengthen the roots and nourish the strands from within.
15. Prevents Hair Loss and Baldness:
A study shows that Amla extract may be beneficial in delaying the degeneration of hair follicles to prevent baldness due to ageing (13). Using hair care products with Amla extract as a key ingredient can improve the quality of hair and create an appearance of a thicker mane.
See More: Amla Oil Uses
Amla Side Effects:
Amla may be a superfood, but it is not completely free from side effects. Here are some of the adverse reactions of consuming this food in excess:
- Increases the risk of bleeding in people who have undergone surgeries or those who use blood thinners.
- May lower blood sugar levels with diabetic medications are not adjusted as per quantity consumed.
- Overconsumption can lead to hyperacidity, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
- People with sensitive skin and scalp may experience redness, irritation, burning sensation etc. while Amla is applied topically.
How To Use Amla?
Amla can be used in different forms for edible and topical application purposes. Some of the best ways to use this fruit are:
- Whole Fruit: Wash and clean the fruit. Chop it into pieces and discard the seed. Add it to your salads or sprinkle some salt to enjoy the taste.
- Powdered Form: Sundry Amla pieces and grind them into a fine powder. Add this to warm water and drink it every day for better digestion and quick absorption of nutrients.
- Juice: You can extract juice out of Amla pieces and dilute it with water. This can be had once a day for promoting better digestion and warding off gastrointestinal disorders.
- Dry Candy: Soak the Amla pieces in salt or sugar and dry them in sun to enjoy tasty digestive Amla Candy called Amla Murabba.
- Pickles: You can make a spicy Amla pickle with salt, chilli powder and oil to enjoy year-long goodness.
- Tablets: There are many brands which sell Amla tablets for quick absorption of nutrients.
- Mix Amla Powder with other ingredients like Henna, Hibiscus powder, Neem powder etc. to make a DIY hair pack
- Apply diluted amla juice on your skin to treat acne, pigmentation and dull skin.
Recommended Dosage of Amla:
Amla can be exceptionally healthy if consumed in moderation. The recommended daily allowance of Amla is 1-2 fruits per day for adults and one small fruit for children. If you are drinking Amla juice, then limit your intake to 10-20 ml per day.
With science telling us so many wonderful Amla Benefits for our body, we have no excuses to ignore it! The sour Amla, in fact, brings plenty of sweetness to our life, doesn’t it? So, make sure that you devour these amazing fruits to enjoy their wholesome goodness. If you have any more such benefits or Amla recipes, do let us know, we’d be happy to feature them here!