Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a tree native to China, India and other tropical areas in Asia. The extract or powder obtained from these potent gooseberries has been primarily used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Amla contains a broad spectrum of compounds that have been shown to promote health as well as fight a number of conditions and diseases.
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Amla powder extracted from Indian gooseberry contains high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C, as well as ellagic acid, flavonoids and tannin. A 2009 article found in "Phytotherapy Research" states that these compounds reduce the harmful buildup of free radicals and reduce oxidative stress with in the body.
Amla powder can be used to promote healthy hair and make hair appear more glossy and shiny. Amla powder can be combined with water and added to shampoo. Gallic acid is a powerful phenolic compound found in amla and has been shown to repair hair that has been previously damaged from dye or other environmental effect, notes a study published in the "Journal of Oleo Science."
A study published in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" demonstrated the ability of amla to reduce high cholesterol in men with elevated cholesterol levels between the ages of 35 and 55; just two weeks after stopping the treatment, cholesterol levels rose. According to IndianFoodForever.com, "the vitamin C in amla helps in dilating the blood vessels and thereby lowering the blood pressure."
Amla powder is also rich in fiber, which helps support digestion and prevents constipation. IndianFoodForever.com adds that amla may also help reduce acidity in the gut, protect from gallbadder infections, treat diabetes, prevent heartburn, reduce the risk for gastrointestinal cancer and cancer of the respiratory tract. Other components of amla powder include: albumen, iron, calcium, protein, phosphorus and carbohydrates