Amla Or Indian Gooseberry
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Indian gooseberry is often referred to as Amla, and vice versa.
But if you want to get down to specifics...
The two terms may be interchangeable, Amla may actually be the technical term for the tree, or plant that the berries come from.
But, like I said before, both have been used interchangeably for quite some time, so there is really no need to confuse the two terms.
The History of Amla
Let’s first start off by saying that Amla is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Not only is this plant and berry strong, it’s considered to be one the most powerful fruits around.
Mainly cultivated in places like India, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia, Amla (the technical name being Phyllanthus emblica), is a deciduous tree that
produces a tiny, green berry.
This berry, although very bitter, is one of the strongest, antioxidant-rich foods that the world has ever seen.
Overflowing with vitamin C, gallic acid, ellagic acid, calcium, iron, and many other helpful compounds you may see improvements in your overall health!
In fact, people in India, and other parts of the world, have been using it as a way to prevent, or even improve many different health ailments.
And, on a really cool note, it’s great for improving the health of your hair and skin.
Amla may also go by many different names. In fact, here are just a few:
• Indian gooseberry
• Amalki (Hindu)
• Amalaki (Sanskrit)
Amla contains plenty of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other compounds that could drastically add years to your life.
But one of the most important nutrients it contains would be vitamin C. This powerful vitamin has been shown to scavenge free radicals, therefore enabling your body to protect healthy cells from damage.
It is also a vitamin that is especially important for boosting your immunity to fight off dangerous pathogens, bacteria, and dirty viruses that could make you sick.
Thanks to the high vitamin C content found in Indian gooseberry, this berry is very bitter and sour tasting.
It’s so sour, in fact, that many people who consume the juice, do so by adding cayenne pepper, salt, sugar, or even honey to the mixture.
However, you shouldn’t! This berry is the “king” of whole food antioxidants and rushes powerful antioxidants to your body when you need it the most.
That’s why it’s vitally important that you consume Amla every day.
The Health Benefits of Amla
By now, you should understand just how powerful indian gooseberry can be. Not only does it contains the compounds that you need to improve your health…
…it’s low in calories, packed with fiber and protein, and contains essential fats that your body needs to repair cells, make hormones and enzymes, and do a whole host of other jobs in your body.
That’s why including complete foods, like Indian gooseberry, is vital to living a long and healthy life!
So how could you be benefiting from including it in your diet right now?
Here’s a short list:
1. Diabetes Control
As you know, diabetes is one of the most widely diagnosed diseases around the world. Over 100 million people are currently living with diabetes, or pre-diabetes.
Controlled by high blood sugar and/or poor insulin sensitivity, this disease can lead to blindness, amputation of limbs, and heart disease.
Amla contains one important nutrient that has been shown to improve diabetes. That nutrient is chromium.
Chromium, a mineral found in certain foods, may naturally lower blood sugar levels, by increasing the production of insulin by your pancreas.
This could lead to better blood sugar management, which could reduce your risk for developing diabetes, or even living with diabetes.
2. Improves Heart Health
Heart disease continues to kill at a rapid pace. Every day, there are like 10 people who die every minute from this dreadful health condition.
It may not be a heart attack…but it could be a stroke, vascular disease, heart failure, or even organ failure due to heart disease.
One of the main issues with heart disease is the increase in LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol itself may not be bad…
Once it’s oxidized, however, it becomes a hazard in your body. That’s why people are often told to lower their LDL cholesterol levels, so you have less that could be oxidized.
Amla, which contains plenty of powerful compounds, may lower both TOTAL and LDL cholesterol levels, which could improve your risk for developing heart disease.
Plus, it may also lower blood pressure, which could prevent hardening of your arteries.
3. Promotes Better Liver Health
Your liver is a pretty important organ in your body. Not only does it filter blood every single second…
…it also produces hormones, bile to digest fat, and other functions that are essential to life.
But sometimes your liver gets bogged down with toxins that could make you feel sluggish and fatigued.
Amla or Indian gooseberries have been shown to promote liver health and improve the function of this organ.
Not only does Indian gooseberry raise the antioxidant level in your liver, it could also protect this vital organ from toxicity.
4. Improved Digestion
Not only does Amla contain plenty of fiber that could help with constipation and adding bulk to your stools….
…it also has been shown to increase the secretion of stomach acids, which could aid in the digestive process.
Simply put, it could make breaking down food easier and more efficient, therefore keeping common digestive issues at bay.
The Take Home Message
The terms Amla and Indian gooseberry are considered the same thing. Both are talking about the deciduous tree that grows Indian gooseberry.
The tree is considered scared in Ayurvedic medicine, and has been used as a medicine for centuries.
Overflowing with powerful compounds, there may be nothing Amla can’t improve.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato