Gooseberry, aka amla or nellikai as we call it in South India, is commonly found in India and is packed with nutrients. It can be very sour in taste, but then therein lies the power of this humble berry.
It is commonly used to make pickles and candied gooseberry. It is also used to make chyavanprash, a thick ayurvedic tonic.
One of the main nutrients in gooseberry is vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, can help fight hypertension and reduce heart disease risks, among other things.
Good for hair
The fruit promotes hair growth and pigmentation. It helps retain the black colour of your hair. It can also help strengthen the roots and reduce hair loss and baldness. Its antioxidants can keep a check on hormones and free radicals that can lead to bad hair. In fact, gooseberry is widely used in hair care products across South Asia.
Slows down ageing
It is known to prevent hyperlipidemia, an excess amount of bad cholesterol in the body. It helps in slowing down ageing by reducing the effects of free radicals in the body.
Good for immunity
It can help build one’s immunity as it has vitamin A and C in it. A study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics says that it has potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. According to Ayurveda, the intake of amla juice can increase white blood cells in the body. Having the proper level of white blood cells is important because they are the ones that help the body have a good immune system. It is also said that having the fruit can help relieve cold.
It is a known fact that gooseberry contains chromium, which can help in blood sugar control. It stimulates insulin-secreting cells which keeps blood sugar in check.
A common traditional Indian remedy for people with low appetite is to consume gooseberry powder before a meal.
Improves heart health
Gooseberry powder is known to strengthen heart muscles; this improves blood circulation, keeps a check on accumulation of cholesterol in the heart and helps produce new red blood cells.
Aids in digestion
The fruit is fibre-rich and this can help in clearing the intestinal tract, helping in bowel movement and preventing constipation. Amla is also good for treating diarrhoea.