Gooseberry for Good Health

Amla in Hindi and ‘Nellikai’ or ‘Nellikaa’ in most south Indian languages, the gooseberry.  is also known as an elixir for long life thanks to its powerful medicinal properties.

The humble gooseberry is very much a part of all our childhoods. Who does not remember spending time with cousins, plucking and biting into the gooseberries in grandma’s backyard? Some would dip it in salt, some in chili powder while others went for a combination of both. Everyone would immediately sip water to experience the aftertaste of this sour berry, which would magically turn sweet!

The gooseberry belongs to the Phyllanthus Emblica family. Highly rich in Vitamin C, gooseberries are also a good source of bioflavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids and flavones. Ayurveda holds the berry on a high pedestal, establishing that it maintains the balance of the three doshas of the human body: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This berry is used to counter skin, eye and hair problems, strengthen the nervous, circulatory and digestive systems, clear the respiratory system, help in bladder control and acts as an aphrodisiac. It is also used to combat diarrhea, treat antibacterial infections and is regarded as the best remedy for age-related disorders. No wonder then that this berry commands so much respect in Ayurveda and is highly recommended for a long and healthy life.

gooseberry-1Some of the more popular uses of gooseberry in Ayurveda are:

For haircare: Eating gooseberries raw or applying it in a paste form to the hair will provide exceptional nutrition to the hair. Many of the herbal haircare products marketed today include gooseberry as a primary ingredient.

For relief from sore throat: Mixing gooseberry powder in equal amounts with carom seeds and turmeric and consuming it with honey provides relief from a sore throat.

For breathing problems: Gooseberry juice mixed with honey will help in easing breathing problems.

For eyecare: Gooseberry is good for getting rid of dark circles. Mix a few grams of gooseberry in water and use the solution as an eyedrop.

For nausea: Gooseberry juice is helpful in countering nausea.

For urinary infections: Mix gooseberry juice, turmeric powder and honey. Take this mixture twice a day to treat urinary infections.

For indigestion and constipation: Boil gooseberry till it attains a semi liquid form. Dry it well in the sun. Make a powder of this along with pepper, ginger, cumin and black salt. Consume this mixture with asafetida powder every day and get rid of indigestion in just a few days. Gooseberry powder mixed with water, taken regularly, helps eliminate constipation, headaches and piles.

For longevity: Last but not the least, this powerful berry promotes longevity of life. Mix gooseberry powder and gooseberry juice with ghee and honey. Consume this mixture with a glass of milk regularly and live a healthy and long life.