Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis)
English: Indian Gooseberry
Amalaki or as widely known in India today as Amla, is a very important fruit Nature has provided us with.
Widely used in Ayurveda, for various diseases, it is regarded as a Rasayana (promoting life). In Sanskrit, Amalaki means “the sustainer,” and it’s used to nourish the blood, skin, liver and bones.
The fruit has five of the six possible tastes: Sweet, Sour, Pungent, Bitter, and Astringent (it lacks salty). The main taste of Amalaki is Sour, but its potency (Veerya) is cooling, which is a Prabhava*. Its post-digestive effect is Sweet, exactly like his two ‘friends’, Bibhitaki and Haritaki (Together they form the famous Triphala).
Charaka calls it the best medicine for preventing aging. One fruit of Amalaki contains as much as vitamin C as one to two dozen oranges and it is in heat stable form and not disturbed by processing. It is abundant in antioxidants. Its flowers, bark, root and seeds also have therapeutic value.
*Prabhava – an exception of a rule. This exception means that Amalaki as Sour in taste should be hot in potency and aggravate Pitta as a result, however Amalaki is Sour but is cooling in his potency and even help balancing Pitta Dosha.
* Information: Dr. Robert Svoboda, Chopra Centre.