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Kenneth Byrd

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Published on: 04 Feb 2017 by kenneth

Amla Oil: The Indian Gooseberry

Amla Oil, which comes from the Indian Gooseberry, Emblica officianalis, is a well-known Ayurvedic cure for premature graying and unhealthy hair in the Hindu tradition in India. It has become popular around the world over the past twenty years and is readily available through online ordering and in natural foods stores or Indian food stores where ayurvedic supplies are found.


The Amla or Gooseberry tree has been worshiped since ancient times as a symbol of good health. It is a small deciduous tree which smells like lemons and grows in the most marginal of soils. There is a festival, “Amala Navami” celebrated among the Indian people in which the trees are propagated and distributed among each other and cultivated for good health. The tree and berry have historically been associated with ayurvedic cures for sexuality issues.


Amla Oil Nutritional Components


Amla has three times the protein and 160 times the ascorbic acid of an apple. It has more vitamin C than any other natural occurring fruit in nature. This fruit also contains higher amino acids and minerals than an apple. Amla oil is made by immersing dried fruit in an oil such as coconut or sesame oil. After several days of soaking, or after utilizing a boiling process, the oil is filtered and purified. This means that the oil is then high in essential fatty acids.


Since the fruit has about twenty times the vitamin C of an orange, it is high in anti-oxidants, and this is believed to give it anti-aging properties and help in fighting free-radicals. Eating the fruit may also help boost the immune system and help fight diabetes, as it is high in chromium and vitamin B, calcium, phosphorus, iron and fiber. This may have an overall positive effect on the hair.


Stimulating Hair Growth


Most notable of all of amla oil’s properties is its ability to regenerate hair growth and stem graying hair (source: www.curlcentric.com/gray-hair/). When applied to the scalp, it can strengthen the hair follicle and thereby stimulate hair growth and prevent premature graying. Though some sources claim there is little scientific evidence to support this, its long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine would suggest otherwise.


How to Use Amla Oil and Powders


Since it is an artificial oil, being derived by soaking the dried berry in an oil such as coconut, the dried berry is also sold as a powder, and some choose to use this powder to make a paste that can be applied as a separate treatment. This paste is seen as softening and thickening the hair and is often applied like a masque to the hair before shampooing and conditioning the hair. It is shown to leave it soft and manageable.


According to ayurvedic practitioners, applying amla oil itself to the scalp fifteen minutes before shampooing and massaging into the scalp can rid it of impurities and help with the treatment of dandruff. The oil should then be washed out of the hair with a mild shampoo. You can then condition and style as usual. In serious cases, the oil can also be covered with a towel and left on the hair overnight, then shampooed out. 


Amla oil can be added to shampoo in small quantities to add the positive qualities of the oil, such as hair strengthening, non-graying, and anti-dandruff properties, to the shampoo.


Amla oil has a cooling effect on the scalp, so it is a fantastic stress reliever to its user. This is perhaps its strongest effect. The oil is well known for its peaceful, relaxing qualities among all who use it. While Amla oil may not have the scientific proof behind it of some other oils that are widely used, it is well-accepted among the Indian community and is gaining popularity among a much wider audience.

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