What is Amla / Amalki ?
According to the Hindu tradition and mythology, from the tears of Brahma sprouted the first tree on earth while he was meditating. The tree is sacred to both the Hindus and Buddhists. Amla (Phyllanthus emblica), also known as Indian gooseberry, is the fruit of this tree. The vedic text anoints this fruit as “Sarvadosha Hara”, which is the remover of all diseases, and that makes Amla the most revered fruit in the science of Ayurveda.
How and where is Amla cultivated ?
This tree grows to the height of 20 to 30 feet, it is scanty and the branches are not very strong. The bark has pale brown to whitish colour. The leaves look similar to the Imli tree small and green in colour. The fruit itself is round and green to yellowish in colour, with seed in the middle. This tree is a proud heritage of India. Historically the most suited soil for this tree is still Pratapgarh and Prayagraj in U.P. India.
What are the medicinal uses of Amla ?
According to Ayurveda the fruit of Amla has the following tastes:
that gives it five out of six tastes (rasa) in Ayurveda. Its qualities are light and dry, while the energy emanated from Amla is cooling in nature. The fruit is Tri-doshahara, which means it pacifies all the three doshas. The fruit is easily absorbed by the body and does not loose its characteristics even after being boiled or dried. The Vitamin C in the Amla fruit is bonded with tannins that protect it from being destroyed by heat or light. This makes it the most valuable fruit in Ayurveda. These qualities along with the active ingredients in the fruit help address the following ailments.
Amla is said to contain four times the vitamin c of an orange. Vitamin C is known to increase the activity of natural killer cells leading to toxicity and breakdown of the cancerous cells. It may prove to inhibit the growth and multiplication of cancer cells to some extent. Amla contains iron and also improves the absorption of iron in the body which provides nourishment for healthy blood.
Indigestion & Hyper Acidity / Diarrhea & Constipation
Regular use of Amla fruit can strengthen digestion, and increase absorption of food. Thereby increasing the Ojas by supporting the digestive fire (Pachak Agni) which will help control indigestion. This also helps calm Pitta related digestive adversities like Hyper Acidity. Amla’s mildly laxative property assists in the cleansing of the digestive tract, and regulate the bowels, which helps to pacify Apana Vata, and ease constipation. Amazingly Amla’s antispasmodic properties can help relax the abdominal muscles, and provide relief in diarrhea and dysentery too.
Since Amla helps in purifying the blood (Rakta Dhatu) and also the vitalizing fluid (Rasa Dhatu), it actually helps detoxify the liver. This eliminates toxins from the body. Coupled with increased metabolism as mentioned above, it helps lower bad cholesterol. This will balance the cholesterol ratios in the body. Modern studies have evidence that a protein compound PPAR-α increases with the consumption of Amla, which is the main ingredient in cholesterol metabolism.
Once again the role of Amla is evident when it increases the digestive powers the metabolism will increase and this will support weight loss.
Sandhivata is a condition according to Ayurveda, when Vata gets aggravated which leads to Osteoarthritis and Joint pains. Amla has properties to balance vata and thereby provide relief in both the conditions by significantly increasing mobility.
Pancreatitis & Diabetes
There is no established cure in Pancreatitis, however Amla may prove effective by fighting free radicals in the body, by doing that it also lowers risk of diabetic complications.
Amla supports glucose metabolism, thereby supporting blood glucose levels in the body, useful for diabetics.
Anti Aging (Vaysthapana)
The constant attack of Oxidative stress on the body can be handled by the use of Amla, which acts as an Antioxidant and a Rasayana which is rejuvenating. Amla enhances immunity and slows down the process of aging. A body with good metabolism and sufficient intake of Vit C, Calcium, iron and other nutrients from Amla, have the following benefits. It promotes healthy hair and skin, plus healthy bones and teeth. It also is said to improve eyesight (Chakshushya).
Amla is a Vrishya fruit, which means it promotes virility and fertility. It does that by nourishing and replenishing all the seven layers that make up the human tissues (dhatus), which includes the reproductive tissue. Specific foods can be selected to nurture a particular tissue. Amla as Vrishya addresses the reproductive layer of the tissues. Ayurvedic anatomy defines seven layers of tissues that cover the body.
Heart & Lungs
Vitamin C in Amla supports the arteries and thereby strengthening heart health. Other nutrients such as potassium also contribute, lastly as a Antioxidant it significantly reduces the risk of heart disease. Overall it’s good for the cardiovascular system as it improves blood circulation.
Shlesha Kapha is attributed to regulate the moisture in the lungs, Tridoshari Amla neutralises and pacifies the Kapha dosha, rendering the lungs to perform optimum functions, by maintaining the balance of moisture in the lungs.
There are host of other benefits which have been observed and classified that occur due to the intake of the Amla or the Amalki fruit. Following is a brief list:
- Immunity Builder
- Increases Food Absorption
- Balances stomach acids
- Supports healthy defecation
- Strengthens the Liver
- Supports healthy Urinary functions
- Eliminates toxins
- Invigorates the mental faculties
- Supports muscle tone
- Energises the skin tone
Why Age Ayurveda Amalki ?
In the Charak Samhita, the very first mention of any fruit or herb is of Amalaki, It is by far the most valuable and potent fruit that exists in Ayurveda. Maharishi Bharadwaj, after gaining the knowledge of Ayurveda from Bhagwan Indra descended to earth and made his Ashram at the banks of the Ganges at Prayagraj, admist the area that is till date considered the Amla belt. Age Ayurveda is nestled in the same area and uses the Amla fruit of Prayagraj or Pratapgarh forest regions.