Amalaki or Amla is also known as Indian goose berry. It is a deciduous tree which reaches a height of 5 meters. The bark of this tree is light brown in colour. Leaves which are 10 mm long and 3 mm wide are closely set in pinnate fashion giving a feathery appearance. Flowers are pale green and occur in cluster of 6 to 10. Fruits are fleshy, globe shaped and depressed at poles. They weight 6-8 gms.
Fruits of amla tree are used in ayurvedic preparations. Amla fruit is praised as DHATRI (god of health) in Ayurveda. .The ayurvedic medicinal properties of amla are as follows
Effects on Tridoshas: It alleviate tridoshas and specially normalizes pitta. Hence it is very useful in diseases which arise due to aggravation of pitta.
Effects on skin: The juice of amla fruit reduces burning sensation of skin. It strengthens the hair follicles and reduces the inflammation of scalp skin. Amla boosts immunity of skin and helps to prevent acne and pimples.
Effects on eyes: Amla fruits help to reduce burning sensation in eyes and help to maintain health of eyes.
Effects on nervous system: According to texts of ayurveda amla enhances memory power and strengthens the nervous system. It sharpens the sensitivity of sense organs.
Effects on digestive system: It normalizes digestion, reduces acidity and rejuvenates liver. It relieves constipation when taken in more quantity.
Effects on Circulatory system: Amla acts as a cardiac tonic and helps in anemia
Effects on respiratory system: Clears respiratory system in infection as it reduces kapha.
Effects on urinary system : It helps to soothe inner layers of bladder and helps to reduce frequency of urination.
Home remedies with amla or Emblica officinalis
Amla juice mixed with water help to lower the body temperature during summers. It also helps to reduce body temperature during fever.
Amla helps to expel body toxins. Regular use of amla in the form of powder, juice or raw fruit helps to detoxify liver and body, retard aging process and boosts body immunity.
Wash face thoroughly and apply juice of amla or amla water (3 tea spoons of concentrated amla water). Its astringent properties help to reduce wrinkles and close pores. Amla keeps the skin healthy and increases its fairness and glow.
The berries of amla help to normalize metabolism thus prevents accumulation of fat.
Regular consumption of amla helps to rejuvenate liver, reduce acidity and problems arising due to pitta . Researches have shown that amla can reduce blood sugar level. For this add 3 tea spoons of amla water to a glass of regular water and consume regularly around 4-5 times a day.
Amla is known to improve health of hair. Use pure coconut oil boiled with amla fruits for regular application on hair. Apply this oil at night and massage scalp. Wash it off next day morning. Persons with oily hair can use amla water (mix 3 tea spoons of amal water + 3 tea spoon of lemon juice + water – quantity required) as hair wash.
Amla is known as “vrishya “ in Ayurveda. Vrishya means aphrodisiac. It helps to rejuvenate male reproductive system and to increase the fertility of women. Hence it is included in Vajikarana Therapy
Preparation of Amla water: Amla water can be used when fresh amla fruit juice is not available. Follow these steps to make amla water. Take 3 tea spoons of dry amla fruits. Thoroughly wash them and soak over night in clean water. Mash and Squeeze the soaked amla fruits next day morning and filter the juice. Store this juice in a small jar and refrigerate it. Mix this concentrated juice to clean water according to use.
Amla powder: Powder dry fruits of amla. Add hing, rock salt according to taste. Consume this mixture with hot cooked rice and a tea spoon of ghee. This helps to reduce indigestion and acidity.
Amla in ayurveda texts
The medicinal properties of Amla or Emblica officinalis has been mentioned in various ayurvedic texts. Few are quoted here.
Acharya Bhavaprakasha praises medicinal properties of amla as follows.
“Hareetakisamam dhaatriphalam kintu visheshataha |
Raktapittapramehaghnam param vrishyam rasaayanam ||”
Dhatri phala or amla is equalent to haritaki (Terminalia chebula) in its medicinal properties but it is especially helpful in conditions like allergies or rashes and increased frequency of urination. It is the best aphrodisiac and rejuvenator.
Acharya Charaka explains the medicinal properties of amla as
“Amlam samadhuram tiktam kashaayam katukam saram |
Chakshshyam sarvadoshaghnam vrishyamaamalkiphalam ||”
Aamalakiphala has five rasas (tastes ) like amla (sour), madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent taste) and katu (pungent taste). Amla is very useful in diseases of eyes. It alleviates tridoshas. It is the best aphrodisiac.
Amalaki or Amla helps to boost body immunity and slow down aging process. It detoxifies body and reduces excess body fat. Its usefulness in conditions like diabetes and hair loss have been established through researches.