Amla is an indispensable part of the Ayurvedic and Unani medicinal systems with amazing remedial qualities. That’s why it is also called “Amalaki”, “Dhartiphala”, “Divya”, “Amrut” or “AmritPhala” in Sanskrit, which literally means the “fruit of heaven”.
Nutritive value of Amla
The Amla fruit contains more than 80% of water. It is also a rich source of protein, carbohydrate, fiber, minerals, and gallic acid which is a potent polyphenol. The fruit contains nearly 20 times as much Vitamin C as orange juice. Amla is the most concentrated form of Vitamin C amongst the plant kingdom, and when the whole fruit is used rather than an active ingredient, the Vitamin C is easily assimilated by the human body. The Vitamin C in the Amla fruit is bound to tannins that protect it from being destroyed by heat or light.
The protein and ascorbic acid concentration in Amla are 3 times and 160 times that of an apple respectively. Besides, the fruit also contains higher concentration of most minerals and amino acids than apples. Amla fruit ash contains chromium, zinc and copper.
Benefits of Amla in Humans
- Enhances food absorption: The regular use of Amla berry strengthens the digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. People who use it regularly notice that they enjoy the taste of their food better. Moreover, it can be taken by people without fear of creating excess stomach acid. It also improves the assimilation of iron in the body.
- Balances stomach acids: Though Amla improves digestion, it does not heat the body; Amla berry is suitable to relieve mild to moderate hyperacidity and other digestive problems.
- Fortifies the liver Amla berry supports and strengthens the liver functions helping it to eliminate toxins from the body.
- Nourishes the brain and mental functioning: Amla enhances the coordination amongst acquisition, retention, and recall. It sharpens the intellect and mental functioning, supports the nervous system, and strengthens the senses.
- Stabilizes the blood sugar
- Strengthens the heart muscles and causes a significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Helps control the blood pressure.
- Fresh Amla fruit has a revitalizing effect on the body and helps in preserving the stamina in aged people.
- Amla is invaluable in the treatment of cough, tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis.
- Eye tonic: Fresh Amla juice or Dried Amla capsules are a good supplement to improve near-sightedness, cataract and glaucoma.
- Promotes hair growth, prevents balding, and greying of hair.
- Amla is suitable to treat white spots on the nails, Vitamin C deficiency, irritability of the bladder, painful respiration, diarrhea and dysentery, haemorrhage, and as a vermifuge.
- It is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, a wonderful antioxidant and a natural source of Vitamin C.
- Protects the body cells against free radical damage
Benefits of Amla in Animals
- It nourishes the body tissues and helps in cell regeneration process
- As a powerful antioxidant, it protects the body cells from free radical damage
- It strengthens the body’s immune system and provides resistance against many diseases, especially those of the respiratory system
- Helps to improve lean body mass in cats and dogs
Now days, research on Indian traditional medicinal plants has gained a new momentum. Though the other systems of medicine are effective, they usually come with a number of undesired effects that often lead to serious complications.
But herbal medicines alleviate all these problems as they are natural. Amla has an important position in Ayurveda and is a gift of nature to the mankind. Due to its strong antioxidant and biological properties, preventing innumerable health disorders, and a rich source of essential nutrients and highest amount of vitamin C, it can be used as a possible food additive or in nutraceuticals and biopharmaceutical industries.
Even though Amla has been used since ages for its various therapeutic effects, there is still an immense necessity to scientifically explore and evident its medicinal values at the molecular level with the help of the latest techniques.