Amla is a gift of nature to mankind. It is an indispensable part of the Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine. Amla has amazing remedial qualities. In Sanskrit, it is called amalaki or dhartriphala. It belongs to the family Euphorbiecae and its scientific name is Emblica officinalis.
There are two varieties of amla – cultivated (gramya) and wild (vanya). The wild amla is small, hard and has lots of fiber while the cultivated amla is big, smooth and juicy. The fruit of the amla tree possess medicinal value. It is basically sour but at times it is sweet and pungent also.
Composition of amla:
The Amla fruit contains more than 80% of water. It also has protein, carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and vitamins. It also contains Gallic acid which is a potent polyphenol.
Rich Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for human beings. It is necessary for the synthesis of the inter cellular cement “collagen”. Collagen is responsible for keeping the cells of the body together. 100 Gms of amla contains – 700 mg Vitamin C. If amla is dried in the shade then much of the vitamin C is retained. To get the maximum out of amla it should be taken raw with very little salt.
Amla & Common Ailments:
1. Constipation causes infrequent stool, anal and perianal pain and abdominal discomfort. This persistent straining during the defecation leads to bleeding piles (hemorrhoids). Amla being rich in fibre regulates the bowel action and keeps constipation at bay. Juice of amla taken with 250 mg of giloy extract provides an effective remedy for hemorrhoids.
2. If your blood cholesterol troubles you then take amla. The vitamin C in amla helps in dilating the blood vessels and thereby lowering the blood pressure.
Grind dried amla into a fine powder and mix it with sugar candy (mishri). Store this mixture in a glass bottle and take one teaspoon of this mixture every day empty stomach. This will help maintain the cholesterol level.
3. Amla has anti diabetic quality. Make a mixture of equal quantity of amla, jamun and bitter gourd powder. Take one teaspoonful of this mixture once or twice a day. This mixture is also useful in treating conjunctivitis and glucoma
4. In case of acidity take 1 gram of dry amla powder with a little sugar in milk or water twice a day.
5. 1 tablespoon of paste of amla leaves, mixed with honey is an effective treatment for diarrhea.
6. For promoting hair growth and prevent premature graying of hair one can use amla rich oils and shampoos. For a quick home remedy soak amla powder in water for a week. Then use it wash hair. This preparation is a 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner and hair dye.
7. Amla is helps in restoring Vitamin C level in elderly, diabetic patients, hypertensive and women using oestrogen contraceptives.
8. Deficiency of Vitamin C makes a person lethargic, susceptible to infections, rheumatic pains and intestinal disorders. Consuming amla removes this lethargic feeling and makes one vibrant and upbeat.
9. According to a research low vitamin C levels puts a person at risk of developing gallbladder disorders. Taking amla saves one from gallbladder infections.
10. In children low vitamin C levels leads to disturbed growth and fragile disorders. For a person with low vitamin C level healing of wounds and fractures is a slow process. For quick healing, one must consume amla.
11. Amla is also a cure for scurvy. Dry amla powder mixed with an equal quantity of sugar taken in doses of one teaspoon thrice a day with milk provides enough vitamin C to beat scurvy.
12. Amla also works wonder with pregnant andlactating mothers.
13. It also reduces the incidence of cancer of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.
14. It provides protection against pollution.
15. Amla is nature’s best antioxidant. Food rich in antioxidants combat free radicals naturally and without any side effects.
When amla is in season it should be consumed in chutneys and pickles. And when not in season it can be taken in the form of murabba.
Triphala is the best formulation of amla. It is a household name in India. As the name suggests it is a combination of 3 herbs – amla, harad (chebulic myroblan) and beheda (belleric myroblan). Triphala is prepared by mixing the powder of these three herbs together.
It should be taken in the morning with honey. During day time it should be taken with warm water and at bedtime with warm milk. Average dose should be 2 – gm.