Several stories surround the amla or nellika, known as the Indian gooseberry, a name that heralds its origin. These stories, emanating mostly from our sacred lore, attest to the sterling qualities of this phenomenal tree and its fruits. For millennia, Ayurveda has been prescribing amla for various ailments. This fruit, in fact, harbors five out of the six tastes: sour, sweet, pungent, bitter and astringent. All parts of the tree have medicinal properties, with the fruit being the most potent.
The tree is considered sacred by Hindus, as God Vishnu is believed to dwell in it. The tree is worshiped on Amalaka Ekadashi. In other Hindu beliefs, Amla is said to have originated from the drops of Amrit which spilled on earth accidentally, because of the fight of Gods and Demons after ksheera sagar manthan. And hence also this religious belief makes claims that it almost cures every disease and is also good in extending the longevity of life. In the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition half an amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist sangha by the great Indian emperor Ashoka. According to Hindu tradition, Adi Shankara of Kerala composed and recited the Kanakadhara stotram in praise of Mahalakshmi to make a poor Brahmin lady get wealth, in return for a single amla presented to him as bhiksha on an auspicious dwadashi day. According to a Tamil legend, Avvaiyar (Tamil: ஔவையார்), a female poet, ethicist and political activist of the Sangam period was gifted with one amla by King Athiyaman to give her long life. In Theravada Buddhism, this plant is said to have been used as the tree for achieving enlightenment, or Bodhi by twenty first Lord Buddha called “Pussa – ඵුස්ස”.
According to Ayurveda, amla balances all three doshas. While amla is unusual in that it contains five out of the six tastes recognized by Ayurveda, it is most important to recognize the effects of the “virya”, or potency, and “vipaka”, or post-digestive effect. Considered in this light, amla is particularly helpful in reducing pitta because of its cooling energy. It also balances both Pitta and vata by virtue of its sweet taste. The kapha is balanced primarily due to its drying action. It may be used as a rasayana (rejuvenative) to promote longevity, and traditionally to enhance digestion (dipanapachana), treat constipation (anuloma), reduce fever (jvaraghna), purify the blood (raktaprasadana), reduce cough (kasahara), alleviate asthma (svasahara), strengthen the heart (hrdaya), benefit the eyes (chakshushya), stimulate hair growth (romasanjana), enliven the body (jivaniya), and enhance intellect (medhya).
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Note: We advise that natural products be consumed in their pristine form, without any preservatives or processing chemicals added, unless a preparation is advised by an Ayurvedic doctor.
It gives maximum health benefits and keeps costs low (compared to the huge medical costs due to modern diseases.)
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