The Rejuvenating Tree

Amla or Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus Emblica/आवळा, आमलक) is a gift of Nature to mankind. It is a moderate sized deciduous tree. Amla is considered as the best herb in Ayurveda having extreme regards in the minds of herbalists world-wide. That is why it has been used to treat various diseases through Ayurvedic medicine therapy dating back to many centuries.

Of all the Rasayanas, Ayurvedic formulations revered for their positive impact on the overall physiology, Amalakah is considered one of the most potent and nourishing. The Charaka Samhita says, "Amalakah is the best among rejuvenating herbs."

Amla is supposed to rejuvenate all the organ systems of the body, provide strength and wellness. According to ayurvedic experts regular usage of Amla will make our live more than 100 years like a youth. In fact, this tiny berry is reported to contain nearly 20 times as much vitamin C as orange juice. The edible Amla berry tissue has 3 times the Protein concentration and 160 times the Ascorbic acid concentration of an Apple. The fruit also contains considerably higher concentration of most minerals and amino acids than Apples. Amla berry ash contains traces of Chromium, Zinc and Copper. The berry is considered an adaptogenic that improves immunity. It is also blessed with very important bioflavonoids, flavones and polyphenols along with certain carotenoids.

It is important to know that vitamin C when taken in the form of supplements, is not always easily absorbed. But when you eat an Amla berry, the vitamin C present is easily assimilated by body. So the next time you think of reaching for a supplement, think again and reach for an Amla berry instead!

All parts of the plant are used in various Ayurvedic herbal preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. It is considered as a single herb treatment for almost every disease present on the face of the Earth. It helps in maintaining the balance in all the three Doshas that is vital for proper functioning of the body. In Ayurvedic polyherbal formulations, Amla is a common constituent, and most notably is the primary ingredient in an ancient herbal rasayana called Chyawanprash. The ancient & famous Ayurvedic formula, Triphala consists of equal parts of the dried Amla fruits with those of Baheda Nut (Terminalia Bellirica/बेहडा, बिभितकी) and Haritaki Nut (Terminalia Chebula/हिरडा, हरितकी). Triphala is traditionally used in the treatment of heart disease and as a blood purifier.

Here are some of the benefits of Amla :

1. With its anti-oxidant and detoxification properties, Amla is well known for treating skin disorders. It prevents premature aging.
2. It acts as natural hair conditioner and provides good nourishment and also helps in normalizing blood supply.
3. It stimulates hair follicles thus promoting hair growth and also improves texture of the hair.
4. It prevents premature greying of hairs and dandruff.
5. It acts as an effective natural cure for indigestion, acidity, constipation, gastric troubles and flatulence.
6. It is helpful in improving liver function and strengthening lungs.
7. It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level.
8. It has very good results in chronic cough, child hood and allergic asthma and tuberculosis.
9. It provides nourishment to the nerves and is helpful in paralytic conditions.
10. It also works as brain tonic and helps to alertness and memory.
11. It also acts as anti-inflammatory agent thereby suppresses pain and swelling. Also acts as a coolant.
12. Amla finds great application in improving eyesight.
13. It also improves general health weakness and makes our body’s immune system strong therefore help to fight diseases.

And so on... Instead of having such number of benefits, Amla is popularly used in inks, shampoos and hair oils. The high tannin content of Amla berry serves as a mordant for fixing dyes in fabrics. Also it is widely used in jams, relishes, and candied confections.

In Hinduism, Amla is regarded as a sacred tree attributed to Goddess Lakshmi. It is worshiped as the Mother Earth and is believed to nurture humankind because the fruits are very nourishing. It stimulates spiritual purity. The tree attracts notable attention from wildlife. It is a source of food for number of birds and wild animals like languor, herbivores in dry deciduous forests.

Amla can grow in light as well as the heavy soils. It is grown under the tropical conditions. Amla is generally propagated through seeds. Though it starts bearing fruits in seven years from the day of planting, nowadays grafted varieties are available which starts fruiting at five years of age. It appears very beautiful due to the unique leaves which are simple, nearly stalkless and closely set along slender branchlets. The small leaves easily breakdown to impregnate soil. Hence it is one of the ideal tree for urban plantations.

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