Gooseberry or Amla (Emblica officinalis) comes from the family Euphorbiaceae and is widely scattered in Europe, Himalayan mountain range and other parts of India, North America and Africa. It is grown for domestic and commercial purpose. Gooseberry bushes go up to 5 feet high with sharp spines, bell shaped flowers and fruits that develop into berries with a slightly metallic, sour taste known for its cooling property.
Amla fruit is a well-known berry in Ayurveda as it is one of the best sources of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. It is slowly gaining popularity in western countries due to its potent anti-oxidant nature. It is one of the most studied plants since it contains alkaloids, flavonoids, phytochemicals, terpenes and sterols. Some important phytochemicals are as ascorbic acid, mucic acid, gallic acid, emblicanin A and B, kaempferol and quercetin. All these contribute to the high anti-oxidant property of gooseberry. Apart from polyphenols, it is also loaded with high quantity of retinol, pro-vitamin A, alpha-tocopherols, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B9, B11 and B12 along with some useful macro and micro nutrients.
Benefits of Gooseberry
- Benefits to Eyes: Regular consumption of Amla keeps eye problems away such as watering eyes, short-sightedness, cataract and other eye infections because of the presence of vitamins in it.
- Nutrient Dense: Gooseberry is the richest source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and important source of valuable phyto-oxidants. All these work wonders for the health and wellbeing.
- Benefits for Bones: Gooseberry keeps the bones strong and healthy. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces swelling and pain in the joints.
- Detoxification: Gooseberry prevents the formation of free radicals due to its antioxidant property. It is helpful in detoxification and reducing inflammation.
- Increases Energy: As Amla is rich in antioxidants, it increases cell regeneration. Further, it is also very helpful in improving digestion due to the high fibre content. It cleanses the body and helps remove fatigue. Due to a combination of these functions, Amla leaves you feeling fresh and energetic.
- Improves Skin: Amla is a valuable source of antioxidants that serve as an anti-ageing ingredient to reduce wrinkles, dark spots, prevent fine lines and pigmentation. It restores the natural tone and glow of skin and keeps it youthful since it also boosts collagen. It provides ample number of vitamins along with essential minerals. Amla juice if taken on a regular basis will surely give radiant looking skin and will cleanse and detoxify the body. On topical application, it prevents pimples and acne since it is a strong antibacterial.
- Improves Hair: Gooseberry prevents dandruff, works as a hair conditioner, prevents hair fall, adds volume to hair, provides shine, strengthens and increases thickness. It also improves pigmentation and restores natural hair color, reduces gray hair and cleans the hair and scalp naturally.
- Provide relief from indigestion, constipation and acidity.
- Help to control blood sugar level and cholesterol, thus minimizing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
- Provide enough strength to the body and protects from cold, flu and other seasonal allergies.
- Sharpen memory, helpful in other brain related disorders. It is also an effective treatment for insomnia.
- Reduces inflammation and protects from bacterial and the fungal infections.
Amla or gooseberry and its safety: Unwanted weight loss, diarrhea, hypoglycemia and low B.P are the side effects if consumed in excess quantity.
Gooseberry is also known as the nectar or amrit in Ayurveda since it is the most rejuvenating and nourishing herb, which offers a plethora of benefits and can be used in many forms such as raw, oil, liquid and powder.