Benefits of eating super food amla: What stars like Malaika Arora promote for immunity-boost, enhanced health – Times Now

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The goodness of amla as an immunity-booster is well-documented.

The goodness of amla as an immunity-booster is well-documented.&  | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • Amla is an Indian fruit with a tangy and sour taste that is known to have medicinal value.
  • Most of the traditional kitchens in India will have amla in some form or the other – whole fruit, pickled amla, dried and powdered amla etc.

In recent times, when the importance of potent human immune response to pathogens such as novel coronavirus is being discussed widely, people have increased the consumption of natural immunity boosters like Amla, turmeric, tulsi (basil leaves) etc. Amla is one fruit that has made inroads into several aspects of the lives of us Indians. It has endeared itself to cosmetic manufacturers due to its uses in the treatment of scalp and uses as a natural dye enhancer when mixed with henna, to Ayurvedic medicine practitioners due to its medicinal properties, and to the food industry with the array of dishes and drinks – healthy or just fun – that is possible to be prepared with the amla as its base.

Amla has reverential status in society:
Emblica Officinalis Gaertn or Phyllanthus Emblica Linn, commonly known as the Indian gooseberry in English or amla in Hindi, is one of the most important medicinal and dietary plants in the Indian subcontinent. Its medicinal value is so well known through the ages that to protect and promote the plant, our ancestors wove it into Pauranic tales and gave it a high status in religion. The Indian Gooseberry tree is considered auspicious according to Hindu scriptures and Lord Vishnu is said to reside in it. Here are a few of its well-documented uses:

Use against diabetes:
Citing purely from the US National Library of Medicine, Amla and/or some of its important constituents (including gallic acid, gallotanin, ellagic acid and corilagin), possess anti-diabetic effects through their antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. 

For Cardiac health benefits:
Amla has also been reported to prevent/reduce hyperglycemia, cardiac complications, diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, cataractogenesis and protein wasting. However, the research paper also cites that clinical trial data with human subjects on this topic are limited and preliminary.

To restore Liver health:
Amla is also reported to impart beneficial effects on liver function and to mitigate hyperlipidemia and metabolic syndrome. A report that features in the US National Library of Medicine also lists that Amla possesses protective effects against chemical-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in animal models of study. 

Source of Vitamin C:
Amla fruit is considered a highly nutritious and important dietary source of vitamin C, amino acids, and minerals. Vitamin C is a great immunity booster and amla has become a preferred fruit in these days of the fight against COVID-19 where one’s immunity plays a big role in fighting off the invasion by the novel coronavirus contagion. Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans, with pleiotropic functions related to its ability to donate electrons. It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress. See below the Instagram post of Bollywood actor Malaika Arora who shares the recipe of her dose of Vitamin C, she prepares every morning by mixing Amla fruit, fresh Haldi (turmeric) bulbs, peppercorns, and fresh ginger roots, Though she strains this mixed-herbs drink before consuming it, there are others who prefer to not toss away the fibre and consume the drink straight out of the blender without straining.      

Anti-bacterial properties: 
A study apprised of the antibacterial potency of Quercus infectoria (gall), Phyllanthus Emblica (fruit) – Amla fruit – individually and synergistically against antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Enteritidis in a time and dose-dependent manner. This means, if your treating doctor gives a nod and directs you about how much amla you can have during Typhoid fever etc, you can have the prescribed amount at prescribed hours. The natural anti-microbial qualities of Amla will aid your antibiotics in making fast work out of the infection-causing bacteria. Chomp! Chomp!! Gone!!!

Amla as a natural hair dye:
This is a treatment for the scalp and hair, to strengthen the roots of the strands. You can add amla to the henna you mix in water in a black iron kadhai. The trick to minimize henna’s reddish tones and create darker, cooler colours, is using amla powder. This dried amla powder plus henna (Mehendi) paste made by mixing with water is kept overnight in the black iron kadhai to oxidise further. The next day, on a dry, clean scalp and hair, apply this paste. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. The hair goes black without the red tinge of heena.

Amla as a Paachak (digestive-stimulant):
The fibre in amla berries helps the body regulate bowel movements. Users claim that using amla helped them control/manage chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome etc. High levels of vitamin C in Amla berries helps your body absorb other nutrients, so they may be helpful if you take iron and other mineral supplements. Some users swear by amla’s ability to cure cough, cold ailments and digestive disorders. Many have amla juice first thing in the morning mixed with a bit of lemon juice and honey to enhance the palatability. There are Ayurvedic remedies packaged with a mixture of amla juice with Jamun (Indian blackberry) and karela juice (bitter gourd) to manage diabetes better. Amla juice in combination with aloe vera juice is said to help lower cholesterol and stop hair fall.

A word of caution: Despite the potential to enhance your health that amla and its various forms promise, we suggest you speak to your doctor about your specific health condition and take his/her advice on whether you can safely use amla products and what is best for you.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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