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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Indian Gooseberry (Amala in Sanskrit, Amla in Hindi and Nellikka in my mother tongue) is a nutrient dense fruit which is hard, sour and pungent. It is very rich in vitamin C. For a fruit, it is very low in carbohydrates (including fructose) – just 13g in 100g of fruit of which 3.4g is fibre. Since very ancient days, it has been used in medicinal preparations in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Charaka Samhita, the treatise of the ancient physician Charaka mentions Amla, so its use in medicines is at least 2300 years old. In the popular Ayurveda preparation Chyavanaprasha, the main ingredient is Amla. Maharshi (“great sage”) Chyavana is said to be the originator of this preparation and legend has it that he regained youth in his old age by the consumption of Chyavanaprasha. But the reality is that countless Indians and others, including this humble self, have consumed chyavanaprasha through the ages but there is no record of anyone “regaining” youth :D. Amla is also an ingredient in Ayurvedic hair oils as it is supposed to improve the “health” of the hair. My wife uses Amla hair oil (with coconut oil as its basic ingredient) but I suspect that even if she didn’t use it, her hair would be as thick and black as it is today. A Wikipedia article has this to say about Amla:

“Indian gooseberry has undergone preliminary research, demonstrating in vitro anti viral and antimicrobial properties. There is preliminary evidence in vitro that its extracts induce apoptosis and modify gene expression in osteoclasts involved in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. It may prove to have potential activity against some cancers. One recent animal study found treatment with E. officinalis reduced severity of acute pancreatisis (induced by L-arginine in rats). It also promoted the spontaneous repair and regeneration process of the pancreas occurring after an acute attack.”

Why this rant about Amla today? Because we had Nellikka (Amla) Chammanthi (=thick, almost dry paste) and Dosa for breakfast today. Here is a recipe for Nellikka Chammanthi. It says “serves 7” but just the two of us (wife and self) finished the chammanthi off with two dosas each this morning. Amla has a sour and pungent taste which I like. Coconut mellows the sourness and pungency of Amla, so the chammanthi is delicious. For the low carbers, this chammanthi is very low in carbs.

Regards,
Rad
 

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Thanks, Rad! I have used amla infusions on my hair. I like shikakai better, but amla worked well too.

I have never eaten amla, but have had a S Indian friend recommend it. I may need to look into it ...
 
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