Amalaki: The Ayurvedic Superfruit for Health and Longevity
What is Amalaki
Amla or the Indian gooseberry is known for its medicinal and therapeutic properties since ancient times in India. It is considered as a wonder fruit which is sour, bitter, astringent in taste and quite fibrous. The fruits are highly nutritious and form an important dietary source of vitamin C, amino acids, Tannin and Gallic acid and minerals.
In the ancient Indian literatures like Vedas, Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita; Indian gooseberry is considered as Amrit Phal (life giving fruit) due to its properties like Rasayana (Adaptogenic), Ayushprada (prolonged cell life), Sandhaniya (Improves cell migration and cell binding), tissue rejuvenating herb.
Amalaki is known as tridosha-shamak which means it pacifies the three doshas i.e., vata, pitta and kapha. Its veerya (potency) is cooling and vipaka is madhur.
Amalaki has 5 tastes and is predominantly sour followed by bitter, astringent, sweet, pungent. The digestion process starts from the taste or rasa and therefore our wonder fruit aids in digestion by setting on the digestive fire.
It detoxifies the body and helps in rejuvenation with its Rasayana property. It contributes to the nourishment of the tissues of the body and contributes to the health of an individual.
Benefits of Amalaki
[Bhat PM, Umale H, Lahankar M. Amalaki: A review on functional and pharmacological properties. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2019;8(3):4378-82.]
Amalaki has potent sour taste and is known to support digestion, helping the body to easily digest, absorb, and assimilate nutrients.
Amalaki fruit possesses antioxidant properties which promotes healthy eyes, growth of hairs, nails, and skin, rejuvenates the tissues, builds Ojas (bodily strength, vigour, energy, ability) to support a healthy immune response. It promotes, protects and extends youthful state and thus, slows the aging process.
Amalaki helps to cope with diabetes. The vitamin C helps in regulating the blood sugar levels and stimulates the production of insulin.
Amalaki helps in reduction of inflammation from the sites of pain especially in cases of joint pain.
Consuming Amalaki fruit with sugar will help reduce the excessive pitta and provide relief from hyperacidity.
Amalaki is known to repair and nourish the cartilage and surrounding tissue of the joints eventually leading to reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The herb possess vrushya property which helps in improving the vigour and vitality and boosts reproductive health in both males and females.
How to consume amla?
- Amla can be eaten as raw fruit, or in the form of juice.
- Dry amla powder can be used when fresh fruit is not available.
- Amla supari [dry amla] where amla is sprinkled with salt and some spices and shade dried for preservation purposes.
- Amla murabba/moravla: amla is boiled and dipped in sugar syrup and stored. One whole fruit can be consumed.
- Amla candy is one such commercially available product that can be consumed in the absence of fresh fruit.
- Amla squash, ready-to-eat chutney, is commonly consumed in Indian households.
Formulations containing Amla
Nutritional Value of Amla
- Raw Amla provides 600 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 gm.
- Pressed juice provides 920 milligrams / 100ml.
- Dehydrated Amla provides 2500 to 3500 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 gm.
- Dried and powdered Amla provides 1800 to 2600 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 gm.