Amalaki, also known as Amal, is a fruit and an herb that has been enjoyed in both culinary and medicinal uses for centuries.
As a fruit (which may commonly be referred to as the “Indian Gooseberry”), it is one of natures most supreme sources of vitamin C. In fact, its juice has about 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice. ( http://www.chopra.com/amalaki )
Straight out of a bunch, the round lemon sized fruit can taste potently sour. As such, it is often cooked in other dishes, pickled with spices and oil, prepared as a jam with ghee and honey, or steeped in a sugary syrup and then consumed after a meal.
As an herb, or additive, Amalaki shines, and its uses for Ayurvedic purposes has transcended into modern times. Today, you can find it available in many local drugstores, supermarkets and online pharmacies.
One of its primary uses is as an antioxidant, detoxifying and rejuvenating the digestive system and GI tract, aiding digestion and elimination. It has also been shown to help treat gastric ulcers by reducing excessive stomach acid production while stimulating stomach mucus production, which can be helpful in coating and protecting the stomach lining, thus limiting the onset and development of future ulcers. ( http://www.livestrong.com/article/165651-amalaki-benefits/ )
A human pilot study demonstrated a reduction of blood cholesterol levels in both normal and hypercholesterolemic men with treatment. It also promoted the spontaneous repair and regeneration process of the pancreas occurring after an acute attack. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllanthus_emblica )
Indian gooseberry seems to work by reducing total cholesterol levels, including the fatty acids called triglycerides, without affecting the “good cholesterol” called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). ( http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-784-INDIAN%20GOOSEBERRY.aspx?activeIngredientId=784&activeIngredientName=INDIAN%20GOOSEBERRY )
In the Ayurvedic healing tradition, Amalaki is considered the most powerful rejuvenating medicine. In Sanskrit, Amalaki means “the sustainer.”
Of all the rasayanas — ayurvedic formulations revered for their positive influence on the physiology — Amalaki is considered one of the most potent and nourishing. The Charaka Samhita says, “Amalaki is the best among rejuvenative herbs.”
Amalaki balances all three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), especially Pitta.
It contains five of the six tastes, which is a very rare and valuable property because it indicates how this one herb balances all the laws of nature operating in the mind and body.
• 1 teaspoon Amalaki powder
• 2 c. milk
• 1/2 c. orange juice
• 8-oz. carton vanilla yogurt
• 1 banana, sliced
• 1 c. strawberries
• 1 c. crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Makes 4 servings.