Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry has a very important place in Ayurveda. According to ancient Indian Science, amalaki is considered as amrita or heavenly nectar. It is holistic form of medicine which has innumerable effects on the whole body.
From the dacon of Ayurveda, amalaki has been used for various health related purposes. Even today this wonder herb is used to treat and heal plenty of disease.
Amalaki is more than a medicinal herb, it is actually a rejuvenator. Ayurveda texts consider it as the best rejuvenator of all. What surprising is that it has no harmful effects, as it benefits all the system of the body.
Scientifically the botanical name of amalaki is Emblica officinalis. It has the following properties according to Ayurveda.
Rasa (taste) – All 5 tastes – Sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent except salty.
Vipaka (post digestive effect) – sweet
Viryam (potency) – sheetham (cold)
The part used is fruit. Among the sour fruits amlaki is the superior.
Benefits in different body parts
Amlakai has the richest source of vitamin C. The amount of vitamin C in amlaki is 4 times greater than orange and 8 times greater than tomato. Since rasayana is the cream of Ayurveda, amlaki plays a good role in being a rasayana.
- Daily use of amlaki:- Strengthens the digestive, absorption and assimilation power of the GI tract.
- Benefits the liver :- by removing its toxicity. Enhance the functions of the liver. Amlaki here acts as a good detoxifier.
- Benefits the brain and higher mental functions:- Continuous usage of amlaki sharpens the intellect, and the mental functions. Good for memory retain and recall.
- Benefits the heart:- Amalaki according to Ayurveda is hridhya – meaning nourishes the heart. So gives a good support to the blood and its circulation.
- Benefits the lungs:- Amalaki strengthens and nourishes the lungs, increases the breathing power. Good for the entire respiratory system. Able to reduce the stress of allergic conditions.
- Benefits the elimination procedure in our body. Eases constipation and allows smooth passage of bowel.
- Benefits the urimary system:- helps in reduce burning michuration.
- Benefits the skin:- Enhances and moisturize the skin tissue toxicity. Increases skin immunity and fights bacterial infection.
- Benefits hair – all people know amalaki is used in almost all hair oils since it gives a healthy hair.
- Gives hair its natural colour, improves its texture, strengthens hair follicles, reduces premature graying.
- Benefits the fertility procedure:- Improve vitality, supports reproductive system of both men and woman. Can overcome the difficulty of getting pregnant. It is vrishya. It nourishes the ovaries and sperms, strengthens the uterus. It is garbhasthapana (ie. Causes conception.)
- Benefits the eye:- It is chakushya (good for eyes) – provides healthier eye functions.
- Benefits the muscular system:- Since presence of vitamin C in plenty it is good for bones, nails, hair and improves the muscle tone.
- Acts as an anti-oxidant – amalaki is the best option to stay young as it slows the aging process and reduces the risk of diseases.
Scientific discoveries on Amalaki
Scientific study has proved that it is a great anti oxidant and can reduce stress and has immense immuno modulatory properties. This has already been discussed by Charaka, centuries before in his Samhita. He says it is the best rejuvenator among all herbs.
Anti cancerous properties
This theory of rejuvenation has given us a new chance to study in anti cancer treatment. It seems that amalaki has slowed development and growth of cancer cells.
Ayurveda texts mentions thriphala ghritam, mahatriphala ghritam, triphala churnam and other products containing amalaki for diseases of the eye. This has now been tested and proved that amalaki can prevent cataract in people with diabetes.