Ayurveda is the tradition of using plants as medicines to cure various kinds of diseases. Ayurveda has been our Indian tradition for more than 5000 years. Due to this fast-moving world, we are getting far away from nature. People are getting affected by lots of simple and curable diseases. Recent studies have proven that nearly 60 % of the population in the world consume frozen foods. Amla (Emblica Officinalis) or Indian gooseberry is a medicinal plant. In addition, it has various health benefits that play an important role in our ayurvedic tradition. The aim of this article is to highlight its benefits in the medical field as well as dentistry.
HISTORY OF AMLA TREE:
Amla grows well in sunlight and is native to subtropical South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It is grown in tropical areas of India and commercially produced in other parts of the world.
It is one of the medicinal plants with extensive uses and it contains tannins such as Emblicanin A and B, Punigluconin, chebulinic acid. Alkaloids such as phyllantine, phyllembein, phyllantidine. Phenolic compounds like gallic acid, methyl gallate, ellagic acid, triallyl glucose. Amino acids like glutamic acid, proline, aspartic acid, alanine, cysteine, lysine, and carbohydrates like pectin. Above all, it is rich in Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid). Further, flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and organic acids like citric acid are present.
Vitamin C – 600mg /100 g
Carbohydrates – 14.1%
Protein – 0.5%
Calcium – 0.05%
Phosphorous – 0.02%
Nicotinic acid – 0.2mg/100g
Iron – 1.2 mg/100 g
Fiber – 3.4%
Mineral content – 0.7%
MECHANISM OF ACTION OF AMLA:
Amla is rich in vitamin C ,tannis and ascorbic acid .The main reason for decreased immunity in our body is improper pH mechanisms taking place in our body. Intake of this juice maintains the homeostatic mechanism in our body. Secondly, it acts as an immune booster. It has the ability to scavenge the free radicals acts as an antioxidant in our body. Since it is rich in vitamin C it has the ability to prevent various gum diseases and essential for maintaining good oral hygiene.
It is available commercially as traditional ayurvedic products in the market such as,
AMLA JUICE :
The juice that is extracted from this fruit can be used as tonic to boost up the immunity.
It is commercially available as an ayurvedic formulation in the market. It contains honey, ghee, amla, sesame oil, and various spices. Chyawanprash boosts our immune system.
Triphala is a rasayana drug in ayurvedic medicine. It is composed of Amalaki(Emblica Officinalis) known as amla, Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) known as kaduka, Bibhitaka (Terminalia belerica) known as almond. This is available in the forms of mouthwash, tonic, and powder. This hastens our immune system. Further, it has many dental implications.
DENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF AMLA:
- It has an anti-caries effect that reduces acid buildup and prevents demineralization. Used in treating bleeding gums, gingivitis, and stomatitis due to its anti collagenase property.
- Acts on a variety of bacterial species inhibit cell division of bacteria (antibacterial effect). It can also be used in the treatment of pericoronitis in the form of toothpaste.
- Amla pickles: This can be used as a preservative
- Shampoo: Amla can be used in the form of shampoos to promote hair growth.
- Oil: Amla oil prevents balding, prevents greying of hair.
It is rich in vitamin c so it can be used to increase our immunity. Various studies have proven the energy promoting benefits and it also increases white blood cell count in our body. Further, to strengthen our immune system it can be taken in the form of tonic.
It reduces the level of cholesterol, can be used for weight loss. By adding this to green tea it plays important role in weight loss.
Respiratory disorders like pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis show improvement with amla. By consuming amla with honey early morning, is an excellent natural remedy for this kind of respiratory disease.
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders which occurs due to increased blood glucose level in the blood. Amla has the ability to maintain the blood sugar level in our body. Since it is rich in vitamin C content, consuming amla juice with bitter guard juice will help the pancreas to secrete insulin, and regulates the function of the liver. This will be an excellent natural remedy for diabetic patients. By consuming this on an empty stomach early morning very good results will be seen for diabetic patients.
A decrease in the quality of hemoglobin or decrease in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the red blood cells results in anemia. Most common is iron deficiency anemia occurring in teenage girls, pregnant and middle-aged women.
Amla remains an excellent source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants. It has the ability to increase hemoglobin, by increasing red blood cell count (RBC). By consuming amla in raw form, the tonic form helps to maintain a proper menstrual cycle for women. It also plays important role in treating anemia.
HEART PROBLEMS AND HYPERTENSION:
Amla can prevent accumulation of high density lipids.
The emblicanins present in amla act as cardioprotective agents preventing heart problems. Amla has been an excellent source of vitamin C, it maintains blood cholesterol levels in our body. Further, consuming amla in a powdered form reduces hypertension.
Amla has lots of anti-inflammatory properties. Amla heals conditions like the cold. By consuming amla juice in warm milk is an excellent remedy for throat infection.
By consuming raw amla with honey effectively treats common cold.
Conjunctivitis occurs due to inflammation of the corneum. Glaucoma results due to a decrease in the intracranial pressure in the eyes.
Conjunctivitis and glaucoma are two conditions that show good improvement with regular consumption of amla. In addition, it reduces the intraocular pressure in the eyes.
HAIR GROWTH AND ANTI-AGING:
Massaging amla oil in the scalp promotes hair growth , prevents balding and greying of hair.
In addition, fresh amla has lots of nutrients, this prevents wrinkles in the skin, acts as scavengers in removing the free radicals promotes an anti-aging look.
Amla has the ability to scavenge the free radicals in our bodies. It nourishes our skin, regenerates by providing lots of nutrition. Moreover, it also reduces white spots on the nails which occurs due to vitamin deficiency.
Amla is an important traditional herb, which prevents stomach upset. Consuming amla with buttermilk treats diarrhea. Consequently, it is an excellent remedy for treating diarrhea in children.
IMPROVES DIGESTION, STOMACH ACIDS:
Further, it improves digestion, balances pH in the body, maintains the acid production responsible for digestion.
Amla is an excellent source of vitamin C, this is the best medicine to treat scurvy. In addition, vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy. The symptom of scurvy is bleeding gums. Above all, consuming amla in raw form is the only remedy for scurvy. Moreover, raw amla serves as an excellent source of nutrition.
Aphthous ulcers are most common in the oral cavity. Most commonly occurs in lips, cheeks( buccal mucosa), tongue, soft palate, etc. There are three types of aphthous ulcers such as aphthous ulcer major, aphthous ulcer minor, and herpetic form ulcers. Herpetic ulcers are of viral etiology, aphthous ulcers occur due to stress. Further, using amla mouth wash prevents these kinds of ulcers. In addition, it has bactericidal properties. Secondly, it serves as an excellent source of vitamin C to prevent this kind of mouth ulcer.
Amla acts as an excellent analgesic agent, relieves tooth pain. Further, a small amount of water to dilute the leaves of this plant serves as medicine. This is a traditional home remedy for tooth pain. Moreover, placing this juice on the tooth pain area relieves pain immediately.
To maintain good oral hygiene, the periodontal status of the oral cavity places a very important role in it. To clarify, the periodontal health includes the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone (bone present under tooth), cementum (the structure that covers the root surface). Further, consuming fresh amla provides strength to the teeth, increases blood supply, and provides nutrients to the oral cavity. Hence to maintain a good oral cavity, consumption of amla plays a very impotant role.
To sum up, Emblica Officinalis is one of the miracle fruit which has plenty of uses. There are many studies that have proven the scientific benefits of Amla. It plays a very important role in our ayurvedic tradition. Moreover, commercially available forms like chawanprash, Triphala have proven good results. Amla can be used to treat diseases like diabetes, respiratory diseases, hypertension, common cold and has various implications in the oral cavity.