Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on Earth. Though unfamiliar to many, particularly in Western countries, powdered and dried amla fruit is commonly used in Ayurvedic herbal preparations and the subject of hundreds of articles in the medical literature, including papers with hyperbolic titles like “Amla…a Wonder Berry in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer.”
In vitro studies have shown that amla may have anticancer properties and not only appear able to block cancer cell growth, but also cancer cell invasion. Clinical research has also shown that amla powder may work as well as a leading diabetes drug—without the side effects. Indian gooseberries have also been found to have cholesterol-lowering and cough-, fever-, pain-, stress-, and diarrhea-suppressing effects.
Amla can be purchased online or at Indian spice stores. Although some Ayurvedic herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals, some intentionally, none of the samples of powdered amla tested so far appear to be contaminated. Whole Indian gooseberries can be found in the frozen section of Indian grocery stores, but some find them inedible—astringent, sour, bitter, and fibrous all at the same time. The powder isn’t much tastier, but it can be disguised in something with a strong flavor, like a smoothie. Alternatively, amla can be packed into capsules. Whenever I’m traveling, I try to take daily capsules of turmeric and amla until I can get back home and wrest back control over my diet.
Image Credit: oracul / Thinkstock. This image has been modified.
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Amla vs. Drugs for Cholesterol, Inflammation, & Blood-Thinning
Indian gooseberry extracts put to the test head-to-head against cholesterol-lowing statin drugs and the blood thinners aspirin and Plavix.
The Best Food for High Cholesterol
Are the apparently amazing benefits of amla—dried indian gooseberries—too good to be true?
What’s the Best Mouthwash?
There’s a cheap concoction one can make at home that safely wipes out cavity-forming bacteria on our teeth better than chlorhexidine mouthwash and also reduces their plaque-forming ability.
Boosting Immunity while Reducing Inflammation
Cooked white mushroom consumption stimulates antibody production, while potentially still playing an anti-inflammatory role.
The four most antioxidant-packed natural substances so far tested are cloves, amla (Indian gooseberries), triphala (a combination of amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki fruits), and dragon’s blood.
Amla & Triphala Tested for Metals
Both U.S.-made and imported Ayurvedic dietary supplements have high contamination rates of toxic metals such as mercury—though only a small fraction of the levels found in canned tuna.
Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure
Triphala, a combination of three fruits—amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki—is the most commonly used herbal formulation in Ayurvedic medicine, and may have powerful anticancer properties. Unfortunately, one in five Ayurvedic herbal dietary supplements were found contaminated with lead, mercury, and/or arsenic.
A Better Breakfast
The antioxidant power of American breakfast fare is compared to a smoothie that contains berries, white tea leaves, and Indian gooseberry (amla) powder.
Antioxidants in a Pinch
Some herbs and spices—including cinnamon, cloves, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, and peppermint—are so rich in antioxidants that just a small pinch can go a long way.
Amla vs. Diabetes
For a dollar a month, Indian gooseberry (amla) powder may work as well as a leading diabetes drug—without the side effects.
Amla vs. Cancer Cell Invasion
Indian gooseberries (amla) block breast cancer cell growth and metastasis potential in vitro.
Amla vs. Cancer Cell Growth
Indian gooseberries (amla), an important plant in Ayurvedic medicine, may have anticancer properties, as well as cough-, fever-, pain-, stress-, and diarrhea-suppressing effects.