Among the list of fruits that are best suited for health & can be consumed daily (“Nitya Sheelaneeya” in Ayurveda), Amalaki is given the first priority (Charaka Samhita, a Sanskrit text on Ayurveda). This is because it pacifies Tridoshas (all three basic elements of the body), provides necessary micronutrients to the body and support to a healthy immune system.
Mother nature has gifted mankind with tremendous medicinal plants to maintain a healthy life. Ayurveda, a science and the traditional Indian system of medicine encompasses the essence of all these medicinal plants. One of the most widely used amongst them is the Indian gooseberry or Amla, also known as Phyllanthus emblica, (Emblica officinalis). The importance of Amalaki has been described in Ayurvedic texts dating back thousands of years. Even today, Ayurvedic practitioners use this wonder herb for various ailments & remain as one of the most researched plants.
The most revered medicinal berry in India—Amla berry, is said to be the first tree to appear on earth, manifested out of the tears of Brahma (Creator). These mythological tales could be seen as a way of conveying the remarkably varied, potent, broad-spectrum healing powers of the Amla berry, which is called “Sarvadosha hara” – Remover of all doshas/ailments. In Sanskrit literature, Amla has been referred to as “Divya” and “Amrut” which means fruit of heaven or nectar fruit. In Hindu mythology, Amlaki is revered and worshiped as it translates as the Sustainer or the Fruit where the Goddess of Prosperity resides.
Its fruit possesses multiple benefits and is of immense use in Ayurveda. And yet this sour, tasty berry, about the size of a plum, is still largely unknown outside India.
New research is backing up the ancient science; peer review studies document Amla’s amazing antioxidant ability and sophisticated technologies are revealing the potency of its novel blend of molecules—such as polyphenols like gallic acid, esters, alkaloids, vitamins, bioflavonoids, minerals and Emblicanin A & B, a hydrolysable tannin especially found in Amla having an antioxidant function similar to ascorbic acid.
Amla belongs in the pantheon of rare super berries, and its antioxidant abilities create a deep foundation for its unique health benefits.
Amla is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, abundantly grown in India. Amla is highly nutritious and an indispensable part of the Ayurvedic system of medicine. When it is referred to as Amla, it is generally the fruit, which is light greenish-yellow in colour that possesses innumerable health benefits.
Today, it is one of the fast growing botanicals in the world having numerous applications.
It is extremely important to be aware that there is a distinct difference between the Indian gooseberry and the gooseberry known in western countries like USA and Europe. Amla available in India belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family.
Amla, an Emblic myrobalan, a very useful antioxidant to support normal oxidative stress levels during the body’s natural aging process. It is one of the three key ingredients in the formulation Triphala, a herbal compound that provides overall support for digestive function and helps ensure that the digestive tract works at optimal levels. Amla is known to have effective capabilities to promote healthy inflammatory response as one of the key functions.
Amla fruit is the king of whole food antioxidants, boasting more antioxidant power than any other intact whole food. These gooseberries are an antioxidant powerhouse that modern medicine is only beginning to understand.
According to the data published in the Nutritional Journal, Antioxidant properties of Amla are (measured in ORAC values) –
- 75x higher than Goji Berries*
- 45x higher than Pomegranate*
- 36x higher than Raw Blueberries*
- 7x higher than Blackberries*
- 2.5x higher than Acai Berries*
- 2x higher than Ground Turmeric*
Frequent exposure to whole food antioxidants is known to improve cellular longevity. When cells are capable of living for a longer period of time withstanding the free radical damage, they are less prone to inflammation, which in turn reduces the risk of various health problems.
“What that means is simple – the healthier the cells live, the healthier we live.”
The rasayanas are used to promote health and longevity by increasing defence against disease, improving the healthy aging process and revitalizing the body in debilitated conditions. The clinical efficacy of the fruits of Emblica officinalis is held in high esteem in Ayurveda and Amla is referred to as a “Maha Rasayana” – meaning a “Great/Powerful Rejuvenator”. It constitutes nearly 70% of the Chyawanprash, an ancient rejuvenating tonic used for general health and immunity. According to ancient texts, Amla is considered the best among the rejuvenating herbs.
The concept of plants with revitalizing or restorative properties that can enhance health has been around for thousands of years, although “adaptogen” is a modern word that has been used to describe them only since the 1940s. Many of the herbs that we know as adaptogens today were first used many generations ago in Ayurveda for its various restorative action. Amla is one such herb that is known to be a potent adaptogen by various researches and text references.
Many of the health benefits of Amla are due it’s rich concentration of hydrolysable tannins (antioxidant) that act synergistically with the Vitamin C & polyphenols like Gallic acid & Ellagic acid.
Though Amla known to be the richest source of Vitamin C, investigations show that Vitamin C present in Amla is not as a free Vitamin C, but in a complex form. Emblicanins, the active ingredient of Amla is constituted with Gallic acid or Ellagic acids structures attached to the Vitamin C. Even when dried and processed, Amla retains much of its Vitamin C attached to other constitutes. The Vitamin C in the amla fruit is bonded with polyphenolic compounds that protect it from being degraded by heat or light. The antioxidant activities exhibited by Emblica officinalis extract are superior to those of ascorbic acid itself.
This emphasises a need for the Full spectrum extract wherein most of the phytochemical constituents are retained at its best natural proportions without standardising or optimising on any one potent constituent.
- Candy – Murrabba
- Food preparations
- Leyham – Paste
- Juices and Squash
- Dried Amla
- Salted Amla
- Turmeric flavoured Amla