Amla Facts and Nutritive Value with Health Benefits
Amla, Scientifically known as Emblica Officinalis or Phyllanthus Emblica, Amla grows wild or can be cultivated. It is known by many names like amla or usirikai, Nelli, gooseberry etc.
Amla are green when tender, changing to light yellow or brick red when mature. The fruit is sour and astringent and is occasionally eaten raw; small children especially enjoy the sweet after-test of a glass of water after eating amla. The fruit is a rich source of pectins and is thus highly useful in making jams and jellies. Amla is much esteemed for making pickles and preserves.
A small variety of amla, known as gooseberry is sour in test and usually eaten raw. Amla is probably the richest known natural source of vitamin C. The fruit pulp is reported to contain as much as 600mg of the vitamin per 100 g and the pressed juice as much as 920 mg/100ml; nearly twenty times as much as in orange juice. One tiny amla is equal in vitamin C value to one or two oranges.
The fruit contains a chemical substance which prevents the oxidation of the vitamin in it. Therefore amla is a rich source of vitamin C in the fresh as well as the dry condition. It is a custom in many Hindu families to include amla in the diet, especially in the first meal taken after a day of fasting. The vitamin is well conserved by preserving the fruit in solution or in the form of dry powder. The dried fruit is reported to loss only 20% of its vitamin in a year when kept in a refrigerator and about two-third when stored at ordinary temperature.
Vitamin C in amla has been shown to be readily assimilated by the human systems and amla was successfully used in the treatment of human scurvy in the Hissar famine of 1939-40.
Amla And Disease and some health Benefits
Amla fruit has been held in high esteem in indigenous medicine. It is acidic, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic and laxative. It is claimed that the dried fruit is useful in haemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery. In combination with iron, amla is used as a remedy for anaemia, Jaundice and dyspepsia. A fermented liquor prepared from the fruit is used in Jaundice, dyspepsia and cough. Acute bacillary dysentery may be arrested by drinking a sherbet of amla with lemon juice. Amla is one of the three ingredients in Triphala, a compound in indigenous medicine, used in the treatment of headache, biliousness, dyspepsia, constipation, enlarged liver and ascites.
Nutritive per 100g of amla.
Protein – 0.5 g
Energy – 58 Kcal
Vitamin A – 151 I.U.
Carotene – 9mcg
Calcium – 50 mg
Iron – 1.2 mg
Phosphorus – 20 mg
Fibre – 3.4 g
Vitamin C – 600 mg