The amla berry, also known as the Indian Gooseberry or amla, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is an amazing superfood that can help with everything from heart health to weight loss to hair growth to digestion.
But what is so special about this berry? Why haven't we heard more of it until now? And why can you only find it in a few select places in the US? This blog post will answer these questions and more!
Table of Contents
The Amla Berry (Indian Gooseberry)
The amla berry, or the Indian Gooseberry (also known as Emblica Officinalis or Phyllanthus Emblica), is found in many Ayurvedic medicines.
It's an antioxidant that can help with everything from weight loss to digestive health and much more! But what makes it so special? Why haven't we heard of this berry before now? And why isn't there any amla available for purchase at most locations here in the US?
Well, to start, the amla berry is only native to India and Southeast Asia! Add in the fact that it's not the tastiest berry in the world so it wasn't widely cultivated as a commercial fruit, and you can see why Ayurvedic medicine was the biggest proponent for a while.
So Why Are We Talking About It Now?
Well, amla is the superfood sweeping the nation, and we want to make sure you know all about it! Over the past few years amla has become increasingly popular in North America for its amazing health benefits.
It can help with weight loss (due to appetite suppression), help increase metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels, keep your cholesterol low and prevent obesity-related problems like fatty liver disease.
It can also help with hair loss, skin problems like acne and psoriasis, dandruff issues, oral health (including tooth decay), heart disease, digestive problems including ulcers or IBS.
Should we go on? We think we should!
The Incredible Health Benefits of Amla
Incredible Source of Antioxidants and Vitamin C
To start, amla is an incredible source of antioxidants! In fact, based on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, amla has the highest concentration of antioxidants out of any fruit.
Not a bad place to start, but let's go even deeper into the amla berry.
Amla is also a ridiculously powerful source of vitamin C. Again, we're talking about the second-highest concentration on the planet! Amla has as much vitamin C content as dozens of oranges and other citrus.
This means amla can help with everything from fighting off free radicals and slowing down aging to boosting your immune system.
But the benefits don't stop there. Amla has what we call a heart health trifecta.
First, it lowers your blood sugar. Amla has been proven to help reduce fasting blood sugar levels and post-prandial blood sugar levels, and not just a little bit. In fact, the effects of amla fruit are comparable to leading medications!
Second, it can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides – both associated with heart disease – especially in those who are obese or overweight. It also increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels, for an around improvement to your lipid profile!
And finally, amla has some major effects for your blood pressure, and can help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people who are struggling with hypertension. Once again, the effects of amla on reducing high blood pressure are comparable to those that come from many leading statins!
Rolling on, the amla berry isn't done. It's also great for weight loss and has been shown to help reduce obesity-related problems like fatty liver disease.
This is likely because amla's high fiber content can suppress your appetite, which will lead you to eat fewer calories overall throughout the day as well as give you a boost of energy! With more energy during the day plus eating fewer calories, you'll be able to lose weight and keep it off without too much trouble!
And the results are there too. In fact, between amla's weight-loss and fat-burning capabilities, it's been identified as a powerful anti-obesity supplement.
Hair and Skin Health
And forget just working inside your body, amla has benefits to your external health and beauty too!
Let's start with your hair.
Amla has been shown to be a great way to boost hair growth. In one study, those who took amla extract daily showed significant increases in the number of hairs they had on their head as well as individual hair thickness compared with those taking a control group!
It works in a few different ways including increasing follicle cell proliferation, promoting hair growth through increased blood flow around the scalp, and strengthening your existing hair.
It's also a nifty astringent to help fight dandruff and other scalp health problems.
As for your skin, amla's been shown to help fight wrinkles and signs of aging, as well as assist with skin problems like acne or psoriasis!
How does it do this? For one thing, vitamin C is great for collagen production which helps keep your skin looking young and fresh. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with skin health problems.
And, of course, amla is an incredible source of antioxidants that let you fight off free radicals and other environmental threats to your skin's youthfulness!
Oxidative Stress (And Cancer Prevention?)
We talked a bit above about how amla is incredibly dense in antioxidants, which is one of the reasons it's so beneficial and protective for your health.
This is because oxidative stress, which is generally damage to your cells caused by toxins in our environment, can lead to everything from heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's
And one of the big ones is that antioxidants also have an effect on cancer risk. While more research needs to be done (and more studies are coming out every year!), some evidence suggests that antioxidants like vitamin c may help prevent certain types of cancer.
Then you get into some truly fascinating effects of Indian gooseberry, like the fact that amla berry extract has been shown to slow cancer cell growth without damaging normal human tissues.
A pretty impressive feather in the cap of Emblica Officinalis extract.
Liver, Digestion, and More
And finally, there are a number of benefits of amla fruit that we don't really even have time to get into, like its hepatoprotective (liver function), anti-ulcer, and digestive properties.
There's a reason that amla fruit was considered by many to be the most important medicinal plant in the Indian traditional system of medicine, and has been called a "wonder berry" by some.
Why It Hasn't Made Its Way to the US
With so much potential health power, you'd think amla fruit would be pretty popular.
And when it comes to India and southeast Asia, it is! But it's not exactly the most accessible product to find in your local grocery store if you live in the US. So why is that?
Skepticism and Lack of Evidence (At First!)
Well, amla's incredible breadth of claimed uses may have turned some people off at first. After all, when something is supposed to do everything, from wound healing and anti-aging to protecting you from heart, cancer, and liver damage, along with making your hair grow, it's natural to be skeptical.
But as the benefits of amla have been tested over and over and over, the evidence of its benefits has become overwhelming.
That body of evidence (including some promising progress with the Food and Drug Administration) was the first reason behind amla's push into the western world.
It's An Acquired Taste
The second reason amla hasn't made it big in the US is a little more understandable -- not everyone likes amla fruit, and if you don't know about its benefits, why would you want to eat something that tastes so strange?
Amla has a taste that can be described as bitter and sour, with astringent qualities that some people find off-putting. This isn't surprising considering the fruit's high tannin content, and the fruit itself can also be a bit grainy to eat.
It was the same reason amla didn't sweep the globe originally despite being popular -- most people just like tasty fruits!
Hard to Surce Fresh Amla
And even as the evidence of amla's benefits has been building up, fresh Indian gooseberries haven't always been easy to find. In fact, the fruit is often dried and sold as a powder or mixed with other ingredients as juice.
This isn't necessarily because demand for the fruit dropped -- it's more the fact that it's hard to get amla fruit outside of India and Southeast Asia.
Where You Can Find Amla Berries
When it comes to finding amla fruit, and we mean high quality, organic Indian gooseberry, it's not super easy in the US, though there are some options.
After all, there simply aren't many importers of Indian produce here in the US, and when you are able to find amla fruit, there's a chance it's been frozen, or pickled, or candied for the trip.
You'll Have to Go to Your Local Indian Grocer
The best option to try to find fresh amla is your local Indian grocer.
Indian grocery stores may not be super common in the US, but if you live near a major city like San Diego or New York, there's bound to be at least one store around (and probably more!).
When it comes to fresh amla fruits that haven't been dried and concentrated into powder form, these local stores are your best bet.
Easier Forms of Amla To Find
However, if you're looking for the awesome health power of the heaviest hitter in Ayurvedic Medicine, there are some great options.
Indian Gooseberry Extract
The first one we recommend is Indian gooseberry extract, also known as amla berry extract or amla fruit extract.
Amla fruit extract is made by taking the fruit and grinding it into a powder, and then soaking in it in a liquid that draws out the nutrients.
The end result is a concentrated amla fruit extract that has all of the potent antioxidants and high vitamin c content you want from Indian gooseberry, but is easily transported.
One problem with amla fruit extract is that you lose some of the fiber, which can be important to the weight loss and blood-glucose-lowering (anti-diabetic) activity of amla.
Amla Berry Oil
Amla oil is another way to get all of the high vitamin C content and other potent antioxidants out of amla without needing to eat the raw Indian gooseberry.
Amla oil is made by pressing the amla fruits into a fruit oil like sesame, coconut oil, or others, and then adding some herbs for flavor (if desired). The end result is an extremely potent Indian gooseberry extract that has been concentrated so much it actually comes out as an oil.
Again, you lose some of the fibers in this process, and you may dilute the health of amla through other ingredients if they're not medicinal plants, but it's a great option nonetheless!
Another, somewhat newer option that's come to the table is amla tea.
Amla tea is simply made by taking amla powder and mixing it into black or green teas, adding some herbs for flavor (if desired), and then steeping the mixture like normal!
This isn't nearly as potent an option as any of the other ways to take amla juice, but if you like green or black tea, it can be a satisfying way to get your amla in!
Our Favorite: Amla Powder
When it comes to getting Indian gooseberry in the United States, the best option in our opinion is simply to get amla powder.
Amla fruit extract and oil are fantastic, but they're also somewhat expensive for what you actually get, especially compared with the price of a pound or two of amla powder!
Plus, if you have digestive troubles -- which can be common in US adults since we eat so much processed food that lack dietary fiber -- it may be better to take amla powder.
You can simply mix some into water, juice, yogurt (if you tolerate dairy), or even smoothies!
All the Key Nutrients
One of the biggest reasons we love Indian gooseberry in its powdered form is the fact that you don't lose anything. You keep vitamin c and all of the other potent antioxidants in amla, along with the incredible anti aging benefits, adjustments to blood glucose levels, and much much more.
And you also keep the digestive and weight-loss support, which can make a world of difference for your health.
Amla powder is also great because it's so convenient to take. You can mix some into water or juice and drink it quickly. You can put it into capsules and take them like medicine. You can mix them into smoothies, yogurt, or other foods.
Altogether it's a great option!
Easy to Store and Ship
Then you add in the big pro of amla powder, which is that it's so easy to store and ship.
Amla fruit extract or oil are liquids, but they have a relatively short shelf life before oxidation ruins their health benefits.
On the other hand, you can freeze-dry amla -- any part of Indian gooseberry -- into an easily stored powder that's great for long-term storage!
You can also easily ship amla powder without needing to worry about it getting crushed or ruined like other options.
Altogether, you get the perfect way to take Indian gooseberry in a convenient, easy-to-store, and -ship powdered form -- which is why we think this is the best option if you're looking to change up your diet.
Taking It to the Next Level with Amla Green
We were big fans of Indian gooseberry long before we had the chance to create Amla Green!
If you've ever wanted an Indian gooseberry supplement that includes all of the antioxidant, weight-loss, and diabetes support but with some extra benefits like vitality boost or brain health support thrown in for good measure (to make it even more powerful), this is definitely your new go-to!
20x Concentrated Amla
For the most important part, we work with organic, high quality producers to create a 20x concentrated powder of amla. That means that for every 100g of Amla Green, you're getting the health benefits of 2kg of raw amla berries.
Combined with Green and Herbal Tea (The Double Whammy!)
There's another reason that we add these teas -- it's to keep Amla Green tasting fantastic!
Try it Risk-Free
So the result is an all-natural formula that's packed full of powerful antioxidants and other nutrients to help you lose weight, get healthier skin, a better brain, higher energy levels -- it can even be used for support in your joints!
Overall we think this is the best way to take Indian gooseberry if you're going to have one supplement. It has everything you need, and it's powerful enough to be a true all-in-one supplement.
And we're so excited about sharing Amla Green with the world that we're offering a risk-free guarantee.
If you don't like Amla Green, you can just tell us, and we'll give you your money back.
But we've got a feeling that, just like us, you'll be hooked!
Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
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