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Amla – The most used ingredient in Ayurveda
Amla, called Amalaki in Sanskrit, is one of the most frequently used ingredients in Ayurveda, and many of the principal texts of Ayurveda speak highly of its nourishing properties. It is also called myrobalan or the Indian Gooseberry. It grows as a medium-sized tree with long deciduous branchlets that host pale pinnate leaves, greenish-yellow flowers, and a compact light greenish-yellow fruit with six vertical stripes.
Scientific name: Emblica officinalis
Rasa (taste): Sour, Bitter, Astringent, Pungent, Sweet
Virya (effect): Cooling
Guna (quality): Cold, Heavy
Part Used: Fruit
Classification: Rasayana (Rejuvenating)
Impact: Digestion, Liver, Dosha balance, Kidney, Skin, Vision
Dosha: Tridoshic – Balances Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
Amla – The most used ingredient in Ayurveda
Ayurveda highly recommends that an individual should consume amla in one form or another throughout the year. It is revered as a general rejuvenation supplement (rasayana) that supports good vision, healthy skin, physical endurance, clear digestion, reproductive function and leads to a sharper intellect. Amla contains five of the six tastes (rasa) and it is the only fruit on the planet that has such a compact and intense taste profile. The initial taste of the fruit is sour and bitter but it starts tasting sweet and astringent once it mixes with the saliva. It also tastes very sweet when you drink water after eating it.
In Ayurveda, Amla is called the most nutritional of all rasayana and the best rejuvenating food known to mankind. In moderation, amla can naturally heal and restore all dosha imbalances and help us achieve a tridoshic state (balance of all 3 doshas). It is one of the key ingredients in the many important Ayurvedic rasayana like Brahma Rasayana, Triphala, and Chawanprash.
The fruit of the amla tree and the various preparations derived from the fruit can be consumed. The fruit is a small greenish-yellow berry with a predominantly sour and astringent taste. A low-calorie super food that is packed with phytochemicals like flavonoids and anthocyanins. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants that is rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).¹ It is commonly consumed as –
- Amla Fruit (Fresh, frozen, dried)
- Amla Juice
- Powder from dried fruit
- Liquid Extract (concentrated)
- Pickles or chutneys
Digestion & Gut Health: Ayurveda says that digestion begins in the mouth when we first experience taste. This rasa (flavor or taste) prepares the inner mechanisms of the body by telling them what to expect. Amla supports the digestive system and the sour prevalence of amla kindles the digestive fire and promotes healthy appetite.
It has a cooling effect on the body and plays a major role in pacifying pitta dosha. In turn, it improves the food transformation process and nutrient absorption. This is very helpful for those who have high pitta dosha, which may lead to burning sensations, acidity, and other digestive discomfort.
Skin and Hair: Ayurveda upholds amla as a proven supplement to support scalp and hair health. It is a natural conditioner that adds luster to the hair. It promotes hair growth and prevents premature graying due to high pitta or heat in the body. It is a common ingredient in hair masks, shampoos, herbal oils, and conditioners.
Amla, being high in Vitamin C, is one of the best food sources to support healthy skin. Ayurveda recommends the periodic use of one spoon of amla powder with two spoons of raw honey for healthy looking skin.
Cleansing Properties and Bowel Health: Amla is one of the rare sour foods that balance the stomach acids without aggravating pitta. The cooling effect of amla is very helpful in calming and pacifying pitta dosha. High pitta dosha imbalance may lead to digestive discomforts like hyperacidity, reflux, and heartburn. It is a rich source of fiber and tannic acid, and the alkaline nature of the fruit encourages healthy bowel movements and promotes digestive regularity. Amla juice is also used for detoxification in Ayurveda.
Other known health benefits of amla include:
- Amla is rich in natural antioxidants and it deeply nourishes the tissues of the body
- Carotene in amla supports eye health
- Nourishes brain health and mental functions
- Supports proper function of the liver, pancreas, heart, and lungs
- Prevents toxin build-up and pacifies Pitta Dosha
- Amla juice supports a healthy metabolism, which may lead to weight loss
Frequently Asked Questions
Please consult with your health care practitioner prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant or nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition. Keep out of the reach of children.
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