Amla: The Wonders of Indian Gooseberries

Jul 28, 2019 | India, Taste

East Asia DeskKari.Amarnani author

Gooseberries | Peter Forrest

Indian gooseberries are taking Hollywood by storm as the most efficient beauty trend in the market

Once upon a time, in the subtropical outskirts of India, there was a tiny berry that, according to famous poets, brought celestial nourishment to the nation’s royalty. This berry tugged on the strings of longevity, granting a long and happy life to he who eats it. Indian folklore and scriptures seem to mention this mysterious berry unceasingly. Sushruta, the father of ancient medicine, wrote texts explaining the miraculous effects of the fruit. It did not take long for the berry to be ingrained in the country’s history for its rejuvenation properties— existing as an emblem that grants perpetuity to the nation and its people.

If you happen to be roaming the streets of India, try not to catch yourself saying anything bad about amla because the repercussions will be bad. Yeah, I’m talking dirty looks and baffled faces. In fact, the entire country is rife with anecdotes about amla, proclaiming that it cured diseases from a simple cough to serious medical conditions.

Indian gooseberries, also known as amla, are small, light green spherical-shaped berries exceptionally rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Because of the high levels of vitamin C, the berry is extremely acidic. The perfect word for an amla would be ‘astringent’. Amlas taste of sour tartness mixed in with subtle bitterness. I know, doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? If it tastes that acidic, why are people raving about it? Well, the amla has a pleasant aftertaste. So pleasant that you completely forget you’re ingesting large doses of vitamin C. Try not to get lost in that deliciously sweet swirl.

Amla season begins in October and lasts through April. Uttar Pradesh, an Indian province, is the country’s primary cultivator of the gooseberry. Following closeby is Varanasi. Though it does not grow nearly as much as Uttar Pradesh does, it is renowned for its quality flavor. When picking out your amlas, it would be best to grab the firmest ones. And if they happen to be even a bit bruised or misshapen, that’s a no-no. Proper amlas are pristine and taut.

Too Good to be True: Amla’s Miraculous Benefits

Indian gooseberries pack a lot of vitamins and nutrients, but those aren’t the only major perks going on. With a single cup of amla, you get half of your daily requirement of vitamin C, sufficient dietary fiber and ample amounts of manganese and vitamin A. And it’s about to get even better: the berries are extremely low in calories. So yeah, you’re getting those heavy-duty vitamins with little to no sacrifices. 

Amlas have many purposes. They aid with digestion, acting as a natural laxative and diuretic while also being an aphrodisiac. How wild is that? Amla shines when it comes to its beautifying advantages. Extracts of the berry provide fullness and volume to the hair when it is applied topically. The miracle berry can heal a cough, fever,  jaundice, inflammation, diabetes, hemorrhages, blood toxicity— hell, even morning sickness. What can’t it do?

From the Simple Appreciation Back Home to the Trends of the West:

Amlas are widely beloved by Hollywood celebrities. A variety of pills and creams contain the elixir fruit infused into them. Household names such as Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Britney Spears have all endorsed the products at one point in time. Vergara, in particular, wastes no time declaring her gratitude towards Dr. Raj Kanodia, a well-known plastic surgeon in Hollywood, for letting her in on the amla craze and bringing the amazing products to life. Kanodia has always been a firm believer in amla’s benefits and he constantly and strongly recommends it due to its anti-aging properties.

Amla’s all-natural characteristics are precisely what makes it a greatly desired product. These days, consumers look for organic and herbal treatments for their beauty regimens. To adhere to consumer needs, amla commodities are infused with creatine, folic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. 

No matter the reconstruction and evolution of amla, it will always be safe in its pure reputation back home as a celestial token. Nothing will ever change that.