If you’d like to boost your body’s defenses, discover Amla, the Queen of Vitamin C!

Eating fresh fruits and berries will pack your body with antioxidants and vitamins, and is also a really delicious way to get the nutrients your body needs. This is especially true if you’re snacking on a vitamin C-rich gooseberry. 

In North America, we’re most familiar with the American (Ribes hirtellum) and European (Ribes uva-crispa) varieties, which are purplish in color when ripe. They taste like a cross between a grape and a currant. While these varieties do pack an antioxidant punch, the Indian gooseberry, Amla, has even more immune-boosting vitamin C for the health of your hair, skin, and well-being.

What is an Amla berry?

The Indian Gooseberry, (Phyllanthus emblica), is known in Sanskrit as “Amalaki” and has ties to the ancient culture as old as the Sanskrit language itself. This gooseberry, commonly referred to as the Amla berry, is grown throughout India and areas of the Middle East, and has long been revered in Eastern medicinal practices.

These gooseberries, however, are not the same as those we know in North America. 

Instead of being small in stature and sweet in taste, the Amla is larger and still green when ripe. Unlike “regular” gooseberries, these ping-pong ball-sized fruits are tart and quite fibrous when eaten on their own.  

Discover Amla, the Queen of Vitamin C goodness

It’s no secret that Vitamin C is an essential part of your body’s nutrition, (see our recent blog post: Vitamin C: Skin Defender.

And, according to WebMD the Amla berry is a tremendous source of it, with a 100-gram serving containing as much vitamin C as 20 oranges! 

How do you tap into the Amla berry’s benefits?

You can eat them, of course. Since they’re quite bitter, however, a common way to consume them is in a ground powder.

Amla powder can be ordered online, and then mixed into a variety of recipes. Or fresh amla can be prepared in ways that reduce the bitterness. For instance, you can:

  • mix the powder into a smoothie, or take it by the spoonful by mixing with honey;
  • sprinkle the powder onto other fruits for snacking;
  • make an amla chutney with cilantro, green chiles, ginger, garlic, and sea salt (eat it like a salsa or use it to top veggies, meat, or rice);
  • amla can be made into a jam or jelly, too;
  • and dried amla can be tossed with sugar, salt, or chile powder and consumed as a snack.

Other ways to use the amla:

  • mix powdered amla with water, honey, or yogurt to be made into a rejuvenating hair or face mask
  • use amla oil strengthen hair
  • amla juice taken in the morning can potentially aid in digestion (much like apple cider vinegar).

Indian gooseberries have been used in herbal medicine in India and other Asian countries for hundreds of years, and supplements derived from this fruit have many potential benefits. The increased vitamin C in the fruit alone is one of the best ways to add more Vitamin C into your diet.

(Of course, as with any supplement or changes to your diet, you should always talk to your doctor or health care provider before adding the Amla berry to your daily intake.)

Discover Amla and try it for yourself!