Ayurveda considers gooseberry or Amalaki as the most effective rejuvenating agent in the plant kingdom. It has been fondly called as dhatri (mother or nurse) as it takes care of those who consume it. Gooseberry is a powerful and sour small fruit that originated in the Himalayan mountain region. It is the fruit of a medium-sized deciduous tree which may grow in variable agro-climatic and soil conditions.
Botanically it is called Emblica Officinalis which comes under the family Euphorbiaceae. It can tolerate temperatures as high as 45 degree Celsius and freezing temperature also. Its natural habitat extends from Burma in the east to Afghanisthan in the west. Charaka Samhitha says Amalaki is equalent to Amrith, the elixir of life. Another feature of Amalaki is that it contains all the tastes such as sour, astringent, sweet and pungent, except salty and hot tastes. Besides, it is one of the items in Thriphala which is being widely used for treating all diseases nowadays.
Amalaki helps in balancing the glucose-level in the blood and improves the haemoglobin-level. It acts as a potent anti-inflammatory medicine and is used in various gastrointestinal tract inflammations. It promotes spermatogenesis. It raises the total protein level and increases the body weight due to positive nitrogen balance. It has an effect on CNS also. The concoction made out of Amalaki juice, turmeric powder and honey is the best for controlling the blood glucose-level. This concoction should be taken on an empty stomach. Besides, Amalaki is used to treat many complaints such as baldness, boils in the mouth, cataract, chicken pox, constipation, common cough, cold and fever, discharge of Albumin, dysentery, dyspepsia, premature ejaculation, hysteria, impure blood, eruptions, jaundice, migraine, obesity, nose bleeding, pimples and piles.
Taking Amalaki juice and Guduchi Satva (Tynosspora cardifolia extract) twice a day is an effective remedy for piles and nonspecific epitasis. In the case of jaundice, the mixture of Amalaki juice and honey is effective. The powder mixture of dry Gooseberry and sugarcandy taken along with a glass of water on an empty stomach helps in stabilising blood cholesterol.
Researches are going on regarding the usage and effect of Amalaki on the human body. Preliminary research says that its extracts induce apoptosis and modify gene expression in Osteoclasts, involved in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis. Experimental preparations of leaves, bark and fruit have shown potential efficacy against diseases such as cancer, inflammation, age-related renal diseases and diabetes mellitus.
Gooseberry stimulates secretion of natural insulin. If one consumes one tablespoon of gooseberry juice plus one cup of fresh bittergourd juice a day it would prevent eye complications in diabetics. Gooseberry is being widely used to prepare pickles, wines, Arishtams as it is rich in Vitamin-C. It is a common practice, especially in Kerala during the winter season to eat the gooseberry which has been kept in honey for two months. It is said that this can increase immunity. Vitamin–C is abundantly present in gooseberry. The main property of gooseberry is that the Vitamin–C content in it does not diminish even after cooking. It was widely used for treatment of scurvy during the Hissar Famine of 1939-40.
In Ayurveda the paste of soaked dry Amalaki is used for the treatment like Thalapotichil, which cures all mental diseases. If one consumes a mixture of one tablespoon of dried Amalaki powder soaked in one cup of water overnight and 1/8 tablespoon of black pepper powder and 2 teaspoons of lime juice it will reduce anxiety.
If the water in which dry gooseberry has been soaked for over 12 hours is used to wash hair it will give strength and colour to the hair. Dry gooseberry mixed with rice stalk is also good for the hair. The application of gooseberry paste plus honey on the face twice a day can give a natural glow to the skin.
- Anti oxidant
- Hypo glycemic
- Hypo lipidemic
- Hypo tensive
- Mild laxative