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Amla Benefits: Science, History, and Side Effects

The Cabinet — 05.26.24

What is amla, and what are its benefits? The amla fruit, also known as Indian gooseberry, is popping up in supplements, powders, and even hair oils — for good reason. Thought of as the most revered medicinal berry in India, the savory and tart amla has been shown to benefit everything from gut support to vitamin absorption.

Let’s take a look at the history, benefits, and science of this healing berry.

The History

The amla berry has been called “sarvadosha hara, remover of all diseases”. The legend is that the amla tree, which is said to be the first tree on earth, manifested out of the tears of Brahma while he was meditating.

The berry is also used in Siddha, Unani, Tibetan, Sri Lankan, and Chinese medicine, but it’s one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine, a natural, holistic system of medicine indigenous to India.

The Benefits & Science

It’s no wonder the amla berry has been a mainstay of Ayurveda for thousands of years. The superpowered fruit contains more antioxidant activity than blueberries, 30 times more polyphenols than red wine, and more gallic acid (a powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit. And just a 100 gram serving of fresh amla berries contains as much vitamin C as 20 oranges — a single berry contains approximately 600–800% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.

Scientists have been studying the amla fruit for the past 25 years, and the published findings back up its reputation. Of course, the high vitamin C content has major immune-strengthening and inflammation-lowering benefits, but that’s not all. Studies also found benefits for digestion, cholesterol and inflammation.

A double-arm, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), found that taking a 1,000 mg amla fruit tablet daily reduced both the frequency and severity of heartburn and other digestive issues. The berry’s fiber content also helps the body regulate bowel movements and may help relieve upset stomach symptoms.

It can benefit your day-to-day gut health even if you’re not dealing with GERD — just one cup of amla provides 26% of the DV of fiber, helping add bulk to your stool and slow down the movement of food in your gut. And in another study, amla extract blocked the development of stomach lesions and protected against injury to the stomach lining.

And great news if you take a hard-to-absorb supplement like iron. Amla also plays well with others — those high levels of vitamin C help your gut absorb other nutrients. Together with other supplements or on its own, amla berries are well worth a try whether you’re looking to target specific symptoms or just improve your overall well-being.

What Other Advantages Does Amla Offer?

While we've explored some impressive benefits of amla, this wonder berry has more to offer. Each aspect of amla contributes uniquely to health and wellness, enriching your life in various ways. 

Let's dive deeper into additional advantages of incorporating amla into your routine.

Heart Health 

Think of amla as a guardian for your cardiovascular system — its knack for supporting balanced cholesterol isn't just about the bad stuff (LDL). It also helps support the good cholesterol (HDL). Regularly incorporating amla into your diet could be a heart-smart habit, fostering overall cardiovascular resilience.

Beauty from the Inside Out

Imagine a natural boost that benefits both skin and hair — amla is your go-to. This fruit supports robust hair growth and maintains vibrant skin by enhancing collagen production, thanks to its high vitamin C content. Whether you're dealing with dry skin or hair thinning, adding amla to your routine might be the game-changer you need.

Blood Sugar Stabilizer

For those watching their glucose levels, amla can be a supportive solution. It helps moderate the absorption of sugar, ensuring your energy levels stay balanced throughout the day. 

Even a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition observed that amla supplementation supported glucose metabolism in healthy adults and those with type 2 diabetes. This makes amla a valuable addition for anyone looking to maintain steady blood glucose levels.

Nutrient Absorption Enhancer

Do you ever feel like you’re not getting the most out of your diet? Amla might help enhance the absorption of vital nutrients such as iron and calcium, essential for everything from maintaining strong bones to ensuring your blood is rich in oxygen.

Weight Management Partner

Adding amla to your diet could also assist in managing your weight. Its fiber content isn’t just good for digestion but also helps you feel full longer, which can curb overeating and help manage calorie intake effectively.

Does Amla Have Side Effects?

While amla is lauded for its numerous health benefits, it's also wise to consider potential side effects and how to best integrate this powerful fruit into your diet responsibly.

Digestive Sensitivities

Although amla is generally beneficial for digestion, its high fiber and astringent properties might cause discomfort for some. In rare cases, excessive consumption of amla can lead to constipation or diarrhea. Moderation is key, especially if you're just starting to include amla in your diet.

Impact on Blood Sugar Levels

Amla has been noted for its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. However, for those on diabetes medication, it's important to monitor blood glucose levels closely as amla can potentially enhance the effects of these medications, leading to hypoglycemia.

Interactions With Medications

Due to its potent vitamin C content and other bioactive compounds, amla can interact with certain medications, especially those that affect blood clotting and blood pressure. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplementation, particularly if you are taking prescription drugs.

Pregnancy and Nursing

Pregnant and nursing women should consult their healthcare provider before adding amla supplements to their routine. While amla is safe in food amounts, the concentrated doses found in supplements may not be advisable.

Allergic Reactions

While uncommon, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to amla, especially if they have sensitivities to other berries or plants. Symptoms could include itching, swelling, or respiratory issues. Starting with small amounts can help mitigate potential reactions.

Long-term Use

While incorporating amla into your diet can offer significant health benefits, long-term use of high-dose amla supplements should be approached with caution. Continuous, high-level intake may lead to an accumulation of tannins, which can affect other mineral absorptions.

How Do I Incorporate Amla Into My Daily Routine?

Amla is a versatile superfruit that can enhance your diet and overall health in numerous ways. If you're looking to reap the health benefits of amla, from boosting your immune system to enhancing hair health, here are some practical tips to help you seamlessly integrate this powerful antioxidant into your daily life.

Morning Ritual With Amla Water

Kickstart your day with a refreshing twist by adding amla to your morning hydration routine. Simply soak a few dried amla pieces in water overnight, and drink the infused water first thing in the morning. This not only hydrates you but also jumpstarts your metabolism with amla’s detoxifying benefits.

Amla Smoothie Booster

Elevate your smoothies with a scoop of amla powder. Blend it with your favorite fruits, greens, and a protein base like Greek yogurt or a plant-based alternative. Amla's tartness pairs well with sweeter fruits like bananas or mangos, balancing the flavors and adding a vitamin C boost.

Tangy Amla Dressing

Whisk together amla powder with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs to create a zesty salad dressing. This not only dresses your greens with flavor but also infuses your meals with antioxidants and helps in managing blood pressure and enhancing lipid profiles.

Amla Natural Hair Tonic

Utilize amla oil as a hair tonic to nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. Massage the oil into your scalp before bed, allowing the amla to work overnight. This regular practice can strengthen hair follicles and reduce the risk of hair loss.

Homemade Amla Tea

Brew a homemade amla tea by boiling dried amla fruit in water, letting it steep, and then straining it. You can add honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a cozy, comforting beverage that soothes your stomach and supports your body’s natural fight against oxidative stress.

Amla Snack Bites

Create nutritious snack bites by mixing amla powder into no-bake energy balls made from oats, nuts, seeds, and binding agents like honey or peanut butter. These are great for a quick snack that boosts immunity and provides a sustained energy release.

Culinary Experiments With Amla

Incorporate chopped amla into chutneys or relishes that complement Indian meals or as a tangy addition to sandwiches and wraps. Its sour flavor adds a unique twist to your dishes, boosting the antioxidant properties of your meals.

Homemade Amla Candy

And last but not least, consider creating your own amla candy for a healthy, sweet treat. Start by slicing amla into thin pieces and sprinkle with sugar, letting them sit overnight. The next day, spread the slices on a tray and leave them to sun-dry for a few days until they're dehydrated and chewy. 

Store your homemade candy in an airtight container and enjoy a piece or two daily to satisfy your sweet tooth while taking advantage of amla's numerous health benefits. This homemade version allows you to control the amount of sweetness and avoids any artificial additives found in store-bought versions.

How Can Hilma Help Enhance Your Amla Experience?

Discovering the multifaceted benefits of amla is just the beginning. At Hilma, we integrate this superfruit into our holistic health solutions, helping you tap into its potent natural properties with ease and efficacy.

Our Stomach Recover + Hydrate blend is a prime example of how we harness the power of amla alongside other gastroprotective ingredients. This unique formulation is designed not just to soothe your stomach but also to maintain optimal hydration. 

Each sachet contains a thoughtful blend of amla fruit, goji berry, coconut water, and marine algae — ingredients chosen for their ability to support gut health and hydration. Whether you're facing daily digestive challenges or seeking a reliable way to stay balanced, this product is an excellent addition to your wellness regimen.

By choosing Hilma, you're opting for products that are not only rooted in scientific research but also crafted with your holistic health in mind. Our commitment to clean, natural ingredients means you're supporting your body with the best of what nature has to offer, without any unnecessary additives.

So, if you’re ready to elevate your health with amla and other natural remedies, Hilma is here to support you every step of the way. Trust us to help you navigate your health journey with products that are as effective as they are natural. Why settle for less when you can soothe, hydrate, and recover with Hilma’s carefully curated blends?

This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician before treating any disorder.


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