Amla or Indian Gooseberry is the most used fruit in Ayurveda for hair nourishment. It ripes in autumn with taste being sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous. In India, it is common to eat gooseberries steeped in salt water and turmeric to make the sour fruits palatable.
Preservative methods include drying in sunlight and soaked in sugar syrup, made spicy pickles with, soaked in salt water and dried etc.
Amla are reputed to contain high amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 445 mg/100g and the overall antioxidant strength of amla may derive instead from its high density of ellagitannins such as emblicanin A (37%), emblicanin B (33%), punigluconin (12%) and pedunculagin (14%).
It also contains punicafolin and phyllanemblinin A, phyllanemblin other polyphenols: flavonoids, kaempferol, ellagic acid and gallic acid.
In Puranas, Amla is said to have originated from the drops of Amrit (divine syrup which gives immortality) which spilled on earth accidentally, due to the fight of Gods and Demons after ksheera sagar manthan (ocean churning). This created a belief that it almost cures every disease and is also good in extending the longevity of life.
Adi Shankara composed and recited the Kanakadhara stotram in praise of Mahalakshmi to make a poor Brahmin lady get wealth, in return for a single amla presented to her as bhiksha on an auspicious dwadasi (12th lunar) day.
In the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition half an amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist sangha by the great Indian emperor Ashoka.
Religious Significance of Amla
This tree is considered sacred by Hindus as the Vishnu is believed to dwell here. The tree is worshipped on Amalaka Ekadashi, which is 4 days before Holi (on 11th lunar day in phalgun month of vedic calender (during february-march).
Method to Nourish Hair at Home with Indian Gooseberry (Amla) in 7 days
Ingredients needed for Indian Gooseberry Hair Treatment :
1. Amla – 8 Kilos
2. Cow Ghee – 500 gms
3. Honey – 500 gms
- Extract pulp of 1 kilo Amla on evening of day 1 along with their juice.
- Pour this pulp and juice in a flat plate and spread it evenly.
- Extract juice from 2nd kilo of Amla fruits and pour that juice on the pulp spread in plate. Throw away the pulp of 2nd kilo. Let this soak well throughout the night.
- On day 2, let the contents of flat plate dry under direct sunlight. (You can place a transparent thin sheet on it to prevent dust).
Exposure to direct sunlight adds Vitamin D to existing Vitamin C of Amla fruits.
- At 2nd night, extract juice from 3rd kilo of Amlas and throw away its pulp. Pour that juice of existing contents in flat plate and let them soak overnight.
- On 3rd morning, let the contents dry under direct sunlight.
- Repeat above steps every night and day with remaining 5 kilos till 7th evening.
- After the contents dry up on 8th day, add 500 gms each of pure cow ghee and honey to it and mix well. (During these 7 days, keep stirring up the contents in flat plate to get them evenly exposed to sunlight)
Preserve this paste in a jar and consume 1 big spoon full every night after dinner.
By adding 1 kilo Amla juice every night to existing pulp, makes 1 Amla = Amla 7.
This powerful mixture will clean your skin, help promote healthy hair growth, delays premature greying of hair, boosts overall immunity of body, cleans digestive system etc.