Amla is a deciduous tree that grows up to 30 feet in height. The botanical name for the Amla plant is Phyllanthus emblica. The amla tree is native to India and Nepal, and that is why it is referred to as the Indian Gooseberry. This tree is considered sacred in India. It has been worshiped since ancient times as the “Earth Mother”. The tree is best known for its succulent fruit. The fruit is small and light green in color with six vertical stripes and a hard seed inside. The fruit has a sour and astringent taste.
The word “amla is derived from the Sanskrit word “amlaki”, which means “the sustainer” or prosperity. The fruit belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Amla is considered as one of the most popular herbs for improving our health and well-being. It is a major part of the Triphala Churna, which is a combination of three potent herbs. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla balances all three doshas of the body- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In ancient Ayurveda, amla was used for promoting longevity, digestion, for enhancing concentration and alleviating respiratory problems.
Health Benefits of Amla:
Amla is known to provide a number of health benefits owing to the wide array of nutrients present in it. The health benefits of amla can be attributed to the high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants present in it. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla can help us live for more than 100 years. Some of the common amla benefits for health include:
Amla is known as a vrishya herb, which means that it helps to enhance all seven tissues, including the reproductive tissue. Amla supports the reproductive system in both males and females, overcoming difficulty in conceiving. The vipaka properties of amla help to revitalize semen in men by improving the quality of sperms.
2. Bone health:
The scientists of Ferrara University have found that amla extracts can slow the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down the bone. The anti-inflammatory properties of amla help to reduce pain and swelling of the bones in arthritis patients.
3. Eye sight:
Amla is very beneficial for eye health as well. It is believed to improve eye sight and prevent age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants present in amla protect the eye retina from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cataract. Soak amla in water and wash the eyes with the infusion to improve your eyesight.
Amla is a potent stress reliever and can help to induce sound sleep. Massage your scalp with amla oil to induce sleep and relieve headaches. Application of amla oil to the scalp before bathing removes night blindness and bilious giddiness.
5. Mental health:
Amla improves nerve health by facilitating proper flow of blood. Regular consumption of amla improves cognitive function, increasing concentration and memory. It also protects the nerve cells from free radical damage, preventing diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The high iron content in amla facilitates oxygen transportation, preventing brain degeneration.
Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidemia by alleviating oxidative stress in the ageing process. It also protects the body from radiation.
7. Respiratory disorders:
Amla is considered to have a beneficial effect on respiratory disorders. Vitamin C in amla makes it a mighty herbal medicine against cold and cough. Consumption of amla is known to boost immunity, reducing flu and throat infection. It helps to deal with chronic cough, tuberculosis and blocked chest problems. It is also found to alleviate asthma symptoms.
8. Fight Infections:
The antibacterial properties of amla help the body to fight against bacterial, fungal and viral infections, making the body more resistant to diseases. It strengthens the immune system by removing toxins from the body. It also improves the defense mechanism of the body.
9. Weight Loss:
Health-conscious people should definitely add amla to their diet. Amla boosts metabolism, leading to the reduction of fat accumulation in the body. It also keeps the stomach full for a longer period of time. One need to include amla juice for weight loss.
The high content of antioxidants in amla protects the body from the action of free radicals. It promotes longevity and slows down the ageing process.
11. Cardiovascular health:
Amla is also known to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. It is rich in many heart-friendly nutrients, which prevents the blockage of blood flow to the heart, reducing bad cholesterol. It strengthens the heart muscles, lowers cholesterol and controls hypertension. Amla contains potent antioxidants like amino acids and pectin, which helps in decreasing serum cholesterol in the blood, reducing low density lipoprotein in the body. It also helps in increasing good cholesterol in the body. Triglyceride and C reactive protein are significantly reduced by its consumption. It also protects the arteries from fat and plaque accumulation, preventing atherosclerosis.
The high levels of antioxidant in amla restrict the growth of carcinogenic cells, preventing cancer. It keeps the harmful free radicals at bay, preventing stomach, skin and liver cancer. Its Oxidative Radiance Activity Capacity (ORAC) prevents cell damage from oxidative stress, preventing tumor cell growth. Amla also counteracts the side effects of anti-cancer drugs.
Amla is a low in sugar and a high fiber fruit, making it perfect for diabetics. It stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete insulin. This reduces the blood sugar in diabetes patients. Take amla juice with turmeric twice a day to control diabetes. It is also rich in chromium, which makes it very beneficial for diabetics. The antioxidants in amla regulate glucose levels in the blood, decreasing albumin levels in patients. It inhibits the production of glycosylated hemoglobin, thus reducing blood sugar levels.
Amla is a fiber-rich fruit. It aids healthy bowel movement by keeping the gastrointestinal tract clean. It strengthens the digestive system, improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. The sour and bitter taste of amla triggers the taste receptors, making the digestive enzymes active. Amla helps to get relief from gastritis syndrome and hypochlorhydria. Take amla powder with milk twice a day to cure bloating and acidity. The cooling and laxative properties of amla are very beneficial for treating diarrhea. It works as a natural laxative to clear the accumulated matter from the intestinal tract, relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
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