Those who are interested in alternative medicine or in medicine that comes from other, non-Western countries, should look into an Indian herb called amla. This amazing plant has many benefits and uses and it has a special place in the Indian medicine.
What is amla?
Amla, also known as aamla and Indian gooseberry, is a deciduous tree originating from India. It has an edible fruit that is used for many purposes, from culinary to medical.
The tree of this plant is small or medium-sized, with narrow leaves and greenish-yellow flowers. The fruit, which ripens in autumn, is round, small, smooth with six ridges, and its color is greenish or yellow.
Amla fruit has a quite astringent, sour and bitter taste. Although it can be eaten unprocessed, it is usually soaked in salt water with turmeric, which improves the taste.
Health benefits of amla
Amla is a very important part of the Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda recognizes three doshas or body types or humors - vaata, kaph and pitta dosha. Amla is often used to treat issues and problems related with the pitta dosha, especially in the summer. Those problems may range from mild to serious, and the most common ones are acidity and increased body heat.
This herb is particularly useful for boosting the immune system. This is very important because human body needs good and strong immune system in order to stay healthy and disease-free.
Amla is also very beneficial for men who have problems with impotence. It enhances sexual vitality and vigor by stimulating the glands responsible for semen secretion. It also increases the sperm count and thus improves fertility, with no side effects whatsoever.
Amla can be used alone or in combination with other powerful herbs and plants. In India, they make a herbal jam that lists amla as one of the main ingredients and it is called chyawanprash. This jam is traditionally used to improve overall health and to prevent diseases.
Another important use of amla is for the hair. Indian women traditionally use it as a hair eilixir, which makes it shiny, smooth and strong. It can also be used as a hair straightener.
There is a herbal product called trifala, which uses amla and another two amazing herbs, haritaki and bibitaki. The main purpose of this elixir is to balance the three doshas, which assures high enery levels and good health. It is also widely used as a bowel tonic.
Amla is mainly used in India but today, thanks to the global market, it can be found in specialized stores and markets worldwide.