Bot Name: Emblica officinalis
Family name: Euphorbaceae
Local name: Amla (Hin), Nellikka (Mal and Tam)
Amalaki is regarded by modern science as one of the richest source of vit C. In Ayurveda it is regarded as the best Vayasthapana or heath maintaining drug.
In the market one comes across majorly 2 varieties of Amalaki. One is small and the other one is big (as big as a golf/table tennis ball). The smaller, is the country variety and more potent. Amalaki like Hareetaki also contains the 5 tastes. But mostly, Amalaki which comes into the market is unripe. They cant afford to wait till it ripens. Ripe Amalaki is the one which contains the sweet taste, and this taste is one major quality in Amalaki which makes it Vaysthapana.
In Ayurvedic formulations, if not specifically mentioned, Amalaki is supposed to be used in the dry state. This is one fruit which can be consumed on a daily basis. Now how to do that? Take 365 ripe country fruits and place it in a porcelain jar. Fill it with water and add Saindhava lavana (rock salt and not sea salt). Take one fruit daily and consume it. If you notice, in villages grandmothers ask us to eat Amalaki with salt. Why? Salt is the only taste missing from Amalaki.
Some common applications
- Amalaki powder along with turmeric powder, 2:1, when consumed on empty stomach with warm water keeps blood sugar level under check.
- Amalaki powder made into a paste with water and applied on hair as shampoo for cleansing and nourshing.
- Bhoomi amalaki (Phyllanthus niruri or keezhanelli) paste (size of Amalaki) taken alongwith Amalaki juice on empty stomach for jaundice. Amalaki juice continued for a 2 weeks to maintain bilirubin levels.
For general health, Chyavanaprasham can be consumed by all in the dose of 1 teaspoon after breakfast followed by a glass of hot milk. For specific indications, dose and time of administration may change.