How it looks - It is a small to medium sized woody tree, with light grey bark and many tiny closely set leaves. The flowers are greenish yellow and fruits are rounded, pale yellow and fleshy with 3-sided seeds.
What we use - Root bark, bark, leaves, fruits
What it does -
Fruits - sour, astringent, cooling, opthalmic, carminative, digestive, laxative, aphrodisiac, diuretic, antipyretic.
In recurrent nasal infections - Take a diet of rice mixed with amla powder, mustard powder and a pinch of rock salt regularly to prevent frequent attacks of cold and sinusitis.
In hair care - A most celebrated hair conditioner, a quarter kilo of amla fruits are boiled in a kilo of coconut oil and stored to make an effective preventive for balding and greying of hair.
In oily hair - Take half a cup of amla juice and half a cup of lime juice and dilute this to make an anti-grease hair wash.
To arrest bleeding - Drink the fresh juice of amla fruits diluted in water, or mix a tsp of amla powder in a glass of water and drink from time to time to check bleeding.
As a coolant - Goosebernes are boiled in coconut oil and massaged over the scalp during summer for its coolant activity. You could also pickle gooseberries and include in your diet during summer. This practice is prevalent especially in South India.
In white spots on the nails - Gooseberry is an excellent source of Vit-C and so serves as an effective remedy in vitamin-deficient conditions.
In anaemia - Add amla juice and honey to sugarcane juice and drink everyday to ward off anaemia.
In bleeding piles - Take the watery part of yogurt and add some amla juice to it. Drink this mixture twice daily to arrest bleeding in piles.
In white discharge - Powder the dry seeds of amla and take a tsp of it with some honey and saunph seeds twice daily. Alternatively, you could also take a ripe banana and mix a tsp of amla seed powder and eat everyday.
In colic pain - Mix a tsp of saunph powder in half a cup of amla juice and drink to relieve shooting abdominal pain.
In hoarse voice and cough - Add a tsp of amla powder to a glass of warm milk and drink thrice a day to clear an unpleasant throat. In dry cough, add some ghee to the above preparation before drinking.
In dysentery - Squeeze the juice out of a handful of amla leaves into a glass of milk. Add some honey and ghee to this milk and drink to stop loose motions accompanied by mucous and/ or blood.
In diabetes - Probably the most celebrated effect of amla is its anti-diabetic property. Take 1 / 4 cup of amla fruit juice or a tsp of amla powder with a tsp of turmeric powder everyday.
For skin tone - After brushing, hold the decoction of amla fruits in your mouth for 3-5 minutes and sprinkle the same into your eyes. This procedure done regularly, renders you free of dryness and discolourations of the skin and boils.
As a health tonic - As one of the richest sources of Vit-C, amla can be used generally to prevent infections and tone up the body.
An effective recipe - Powder dry gooseberry fruits with an equal number of dry dates and seedless raisins and some sugar candy crystals. Roll this preparation into small pills and take a pill every day as a general rejuvenator.