The health benefits of Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla, can be partially attributed to its high vitamin C content. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acids, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, and supports the heart. It also strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, improves skin quality, and promotes healthier hair. This fruit acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, aids in vision care, improves muscle tone, and acts as an antioxidant.
What is Gooseberry?
The Indian gooseberry belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. This fruit ripens in the autumn in wet, forest, hilly areas on the Indian subcontinent and is considered as a sacred tree in India. The fruit is very nourishing, but it tastes sour. Both, dried and fresh fruits can be consumed for their respective health benefits.
It provides remedies for a lot of diseases and is, thus, widely used in Ayurvedic treatments. Gooseberry is very rich in vitamin C and contains many minerals and vitamins like calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and vitamin B complex. It is also a powerful antioxidant agent.
Many health problems are caused by oxidative damage (when body cells use oxygen, they produce by-products called free radicals that can cause damage). Antioxidant agents prevent and repair these damages. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant agent, which makes gooseberries a powerful tool against a variety of conditions, including various types of cancer.
Health Benefits of Amla (Gooseberry)
Being a multi-purpose food, amla has a large number of benefits with its antioxidant, skin enhancing, hair enriching, and many more abilities for everyone. Let’s take a look at the major benefits in detail.
Amla is used in many hair tonics because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots, maintains color, and improves luster. Eating fresh gooseberry or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color. Amla oil is very popular in India because it has been shown to reduce the chances of hair loss and baldness. This quality is due to the carotene content of amla, as well as its iron content and antioxidant capacity, which reduces hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles or impact the hormones that can cause premature hair loss.
Drinking Gooseberry juice with honey is good for improving eyesight and studies have shown it to improve near-sightedness and cataracts while reducing intra-ocular tension. This is mainly due to its impressive carotene content, which has long been known for its powerful effect on vision-related conditions, including those that stem from the free radical activity. Vitamin A and carotenes reduce macular degeneration and night blindness while strengthening your vision before the age-related degeneration from free radicals can occur.
Aids in Calcium Absorption
One of the less discussed benefits of amla is how it helps the body absorb calcium in a positive way. Calcium is an essential component of our bones, teeth, and nails, and also ensures that we have beautiful lustrous hair. So, eating a vitamin C-rich fruit like the Indian gooseberry is a great way to keep your body looking and feeling great.
Improves Metabolic Activity
Eating foods that are high in protein is one of the most important ways to stay healthy since proteins are an essential part of our body’s metabolic activities. Our enzymes can break down plant proteins into amino acids and reassemble them into usable proteins for our body. Protein is necessary for cellular growth, muscle development, organ health, and a wide range of metabolic activities that we need to remain healthy.
Treats Menstrual Cramps
The minerals and vitamins in amla combine to make it very useful in the treatment of menstrual cramps. Since it takes a while for the necessary elements to accrue in the body, it is better to consume amla on a regular basis so that its nutrients are always in the system and menstrual cramps can be prevented.
Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetic patients. Indian gooseberry stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients and keeping their body balanced and healthy. When blood sugar is reduced, glucose is also being used by the cells as functional energy, thus, the metabolism is stronger and you have more energy, without the plunges and spikes in blood sugar that are dangerous for diabetics. Chromium also enhances the effect of beta-blockers, which are used for heart health, by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body.
Besides being a fruit that is very high in water content, amla is also slightly diuretic in nature. This means that it increases the frequency and volume of urination. Urination helps our body eliminate unwanted toxins and excess levels of water, salt, and uric acid. Furthermore, it can help you lose weight since up to 4% of urine is actually composed of fat. Therefore, a diuretic substance is always necessary for keeping your kidneys healthy and for preventing urinary and uterine infections.
Aids in Digestion
Amla is very high in fiber, like most fruits. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps move food through the bowels and keeps their movements regular. This reduces the chances of constipation. Fiber can also bulk up loose stools and reduce diarrhea. It also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently, nutrients are absorbed in an optimal way, and you feel lighter and healthier. Reducing constipation can also protect you from various gastrointestinal disorders, and even colorectal cancer.
Prevents Heart Diseases
As mentioned above, gooseberry strengthens the heart muscles, so the blood circulation is done throughout the body. By reducing excess cholesterol buildup, chromium in amla can reduce the chances of atherosclerosis or plaque buildup in the vessels and arteries. This can reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack. The iron content in it promotes the creation of new red blood cells, thereby increasing circulation, and the oxygenation of organs and cells to maximize growth and regeneration of tissue while keeping the blood vessels and arteries clean.
Due to its antibacterial and astringent attributes, Indian gooseberries protect against infection and improve the body’s immune response. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, which is famous for its impressive antioxidant abilities. It increases the white blood cells in the body, which are the main line of defense for the immune system since these cells attack and eliminate foreign toxins and substances in the bloodstream throughout the body.
Relieves Diarrhea & Dysentery
Due to its strong cooling and laxative properties, Gooseberry is a useful component in remedies for diarrhea and dysentery. It provides great relief for the gastric syndrome and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in the abdomen). As a laxative, it helps flush out toxins or harmful substances that cause discomfort or illness, so the healing process can begin. It then cools the burning sensation and reduces the discomfort often felt during diarrhea.
Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidemia by reducing the number of free radicals in the body through its antioxidant qualities. Free radicals are associated with signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots.
The fresh fruit of gooseberries contains more than 80% water, protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is also used as a remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, cerebral, gastric and cardiovascular illness. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol levels, increases red blood cell production, and strengthens teeth and nails.
In other words, consume Indian Gooseberry (Amla) as a fresh fruit, juice, or in a dried powder form to see a big improvement in your health.