How to Take Amla for Better Health


Amalaki usesAmla fruit, also known as Indian goosberry or amalaki, is a powerful and rejuvenating superfood for better health and more energy. This page will look at how to take amla, how much to have and the best times and dosage.

How to Eat Fresh Alma Fruit and What Does It Taste Like?

Fresh amla fruit has an interesting flavor. I’d already been using the powdered version for a while when I found some in an Indian grocery store and bought a bag.

Cutting open the first amla the taste is quite sour and tart and my initial thought was that I might struggle to eat them all. I’d read though about a couple of tricks to try when eating amla.

The first was to taste a little salt before you bite into them. I tried this with a little Himalayan pink salt and it definitely improves the flavor. There was much more depth, less sourness and more of a combination of flavors, but hard to describe.

The next was to have a sip of water with it. Even stranger. The taste of the amla was suddenly sharply sweet.

I had a few more of these of these Indian gooseberries for the novelty value, but ended up using the rest of them, one a day, in both freshly made juice with amla and a delicious smoothie recipe I’ll share ahead.

If you do live near an Indian grocer who can get amla fresh and want to try some unique and unusual flavors then this would be the best way to have them. Just a single fruit a day can have some amazing health benefits.

If not, powdered amla is inexpensive, easy to use and full to bursting with antioxidants. It’s a mainstay of my daily health regime.

Amla Uses – 6 Different Ways to Take Amalaki

1. Fresh Amla Fruit

Fresh is great if you can get it, even occasionally. Some Indian specialty grocers online have weekly deliveries from India and will send out orders the same day. If you live near an Indian market they may also sell them. Look for firm fruit as apparently the older ones can shrivel a little.

Not all of us have access to fresh amalaki fruit though, so let’s look at some other options to get the benefits of amla into your diet.

2. Amla Juice

Amla juice is popular in India, but unfortunately most of the commercial products have added sugar or, even worse, glucose syrup. It’s fairly pointless to pay for a health food that is full of sugar in my opinion . The preservative sodium benzoate is also often used, which is best avoided where possible.

Local Indian grocers may stock a good version of amla juice, but based on what I’ve found online, I wouldn’t currently recommend it. If anyone does know of a high quality, reasonably priced source of amla juice please share it in the comments below.

3. Amla Candy

Obviously if supermarket amla juice is full of sugar then amla candy will be even worse. In fact, it’s even more likely to be made with glucose syrup, an ingredient strongly linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

It’s a common trick of food manufacturers to use a small amount of something healthy, while simultaneously adding lots of very unhealthy ingredients like sugar syrup. Amla candy looks to me to be a classic case of this kind of deceptive marketing. 

If you can’t get the fresh fruit, I’d strongly suggest using the powdered fruit or these high potency capsules. Amla candy is unlikely to do anything positive for your health.

If you really do want to have it then try something like this homemade amla candy recipe which looks healthier than anything you’d find in a packet.

Amla uses4. Amla Chutney

Amla chutney is an interesting way to get the health benefits of amla into your diet. The chutney can add a spicy kick to steamed vegetables and rice and should be available from specialist Indian stores. Once again though, if your health is more important than the taste, try to avoid brands with excessive sugar, salt, preservatives or flavor enhancers.

If you do have access to fresh Indian gooseberries, here’s a simple recipe for amla chutney:

  1. Take 300 grams of amla fruit, 200 grams of cilantro, 50 grams of green chilies, a small piece of ginger and sea salt to taste.
  2. Blend them all up well in a good food processor.
  3. Store in a jar and cover with olive oil or avocado oil to prevent oxidization. It should keep for at least a month in the fridge.

5. Powdered Amla

Whole fruit amla powder like this organic version is, in my opinion, the best and most inexpensive option for adding Indian gooseberries to your daily diet.

Due to amla’s positive effects on your digestion, some practitioners recommend taking a small amount of it before each meal. Personally, I find I really feel it first thing in the morning and mostly use it then, often in the afternoon before gym as well.

Suggested dosage for amla powder is 1 teaspoon, or around 4 grams. While there are no commonly reported side effects of amla, as with any new health supplement it’s best to begin slowly and see how your body tolerates it.

You could start with just a quarter of a teaspoon, approximately 1 gram, building up to half a teaspoon or 2 grams over the course of week. If this is well tolerated, the following week you could increase your amla dosage to a maintenance dose of 4 grams.

I’ve read of some Ayurvedic practitioners recommending taking a teaspoon of powdered amla after each meal to help treat digestive problems and acidity in the body. This would likely be a temporary dosage though and it would be advisable to seek the advice of someone knowledgeable in Ayurveda if you intend to use it in these larger amounts.

Some sites recommend taking amla powder with a teaspoon of sugar or honey. Once again, that seems like unneeded sugars when so many of us are already overloaded with stuff (antibacterial manuka honey with all of its beneficial properties could be a good exception).

While the powder isn’t sweet, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be mixed up in a small glass of water, perhaps with some fresh lemon juice for cleansing the digestive system first thing.

Amla Powder

In the past, I’ve sprinkled it on soft fruit like bananas and papaya, mash it up with a fork and barely tasted it. It can also be mixed in with a small amount of good quality fruit juice (but be aware that large glasses of commercial juice can really spike your blood sugar, often leading to a tiring crash after that brief sugar high). Generally it’s much better to make your own.

These days, the best way to have amla that I’ve found is to mix it into a superfood smoothie. I share the complete recipe with lots of variations next.

Amla powder is also a key ingredient of one of the most famous Ayurvedic preparations – Triphala. I’ll be covering this amazing superfood in detail ahead.

6. Amla C Capsules

The simplest way of all to use Indian gooseberries is in the very popular amla capsules. While I personally prefer the powder as I use it so often, these Amla C Gold capsules have a very high percentage of antioxidant tannins and beta glucogallin and are good value on special.

Amla capsule suggested dosage is usually to have them both morning and evening. They are generally best taken just before a meal to help improve digestion and are a convenient way to get the extensive nutritional properties of amla where ever you are.

I’d be interested to hear of any other ways you know of to use amla. While it is still relatively unknown outside of the Indian community in the United States, I don’t think a superfood this good will stay that way for much longer.

Photo 1 credit: HeraldDesa / Photo 2 credit: Badagnani / Photo 3 credit: Parvathisri

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40 Responses to “How to Take Amla for Better Health”

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  1. Tabia Coulibaly says:

    Your site is very helpful to me. In terms of alma, David “Avacado” influenced me to buy some powder but have not found how to use it; the sour taste really put me off. Now have some great ways to use it. Thanks

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for your positive comments Tabia. I use a few superfood powders in my daily smoothies but amla is a key one.

  2. omkar says:

    is taking raw amla is good for health if yes then tell me the benefits of raw amla.

  3. rk.srivastava says:

    i want to knowledge amla candy&amla pawder,sodium benzoate property

    • Jim says:

      Hi there. There’s no sodium benzoate in the amla powder I recommend above but amla candy may well have it and attempts to make candy healthy always seem a bit pointless to me. Hope this helps.

  4. shanti2u says:

    I am trying to find out what would be an approximate equivalent amount of amla powder made from 10-11 fresh Indian gooseberries (amla fruit). Or, for example, how many fresh Indian gooseberries does it take to produce a certain amount of grams or ounces of powdered amla ? Could you please give me at least an estimate of the equivalent amounts between the fresh amla fruit (one or more) and it’s powdered form (in grams or ounces). Thanks.

  5. S. K. Yamdagni says:

    I have absolutely no doubt about the great health benefits of Gooseberry. After a long gap of not using it , I found very inviting fresh Gooseberries in the Market. At home I took a glassful of Juice (Maid only knows how many pieces went into that juice) and some crushed fresh Gooseberries as fresh Chutney. I am sure I took an overdose and suffered extreme acidity followed by vomiting and loose motions for two days. I will be thankful if you could guide me how many pieces of fresh gooseberry one can take per day

    • Jim says:

      Hi there,

      It sounds like you did take a bit much, especially if it wasn’t something that you’d had for a while. If you have access to fresh amla, the recommended intake is just one of the fruit a day, it’s that powerful. Over time you may be able to increase this a little if you are experiencing benefits form it but you’d need to work out how much that is for the juice or chutney.

      Hope that helps

      • S. K. Yamdagni says:

        Dear Jim,
        Many thanks for the helpful information. Yes, I must admit that I was over enthusiastic and had an overdose of AMLA. I will now start with one/day and may be two if I do not experience acidity.

    • Sanjay Singh says:

      get the amla juice between 25 ml to 50 ml twice a day once empty stomach in morning and again after or between meal in evening

      • Jim says:

        Hi Sanjay,

        If you can get fresh amla juice this would be great. I’m not sure the commercial stuff with it’s additives is that beneficial.

      • K.WILSON CHRISTOPHER says:

        I am age of 55years, how long amla juice can take regularly.

        • Jim says:

          Hi there. Your age shouldn’t affect your ability to take amla, in fact it should be even more beneficial. Start off slowly and see how it affects you and follow the information in the article for timing and dosage.

          All the best.

  6. reddy says:

    Hi,

    Nice article. Quite informative.

    Was just wondering if its ok to have amla powder with lemon juice and honey in the morning for weight reduction. I heard lemon juice and honey is helpful for reducing weight but am not sure if amla can be used for enhanced benefit. Please advise. Thanks

    Regards
    Reddy

    • Jim says:

      Hi Reddy,

      I’m a fan of both lemon juice in water and amla as per the instructions in this article. I tend to alternate them but you could potentially have the lemon water first and then the amla. While honey is better than sugar, it’s still high in glucose and fructose and as such is a hinderance rather than a aid to weight loss. If you need to sweeten the drink you could use a couple of drops of stevia but Ayurvedic practitioners say it’s important to have a full spectrum of tastes to balance our bodies and the sharp tastes of these two may well be beneficial.

  7. K.Arul kumar says:

    Hi I’m arul from tamilnadhu , I have amla cultivation around 100 acer , now plan to set up a processing plant , earning profit is not my motive beyond that I want to give quality product with minimum profit , pls suggest me few products

  8. Rema says:

    Hi,
    Do you know if amla has garcinia cambrosia in it? I want to take it as a fat buster as discussed in the Dr oz show. I have thyroid issues and am afraid to take the capsule forms sold in the market. I would much rather prefer to take it in a pure natural form.

    Thanks

  9. kalam says:

    Hii..

    I get fresh and raw Indian gooseberries easily, I just wanted to kno the timing of eating them.. (morning or evening)

    thank you. .

    • Jim says:

      Hi Kalam,

      I wish I had easy access to fresh Indian gooseberries. Morning first thing is probably slightly better but evening is fine as well. Before rather than after a large meal would be better.

      Hope this helps.

  10. Saima says:

    I have lots of pre age grey hair, really stressful for me…..

    Is there any easy to use remedy for my grey hair, I would appreciate if something is available to eat rather than apply on my hair as I do not get time to it.

    Can you please also guide me which stores I can get the ingredients like Amla etc.

    Thanks!

    • Jim says:

      Hi Saima,

      Unfortunately there’s no definitive remedy for grey hair or it would certainly be well known and popular. The Chinese herbal treatment He Shou Wu works well for some and I’ve recently been reading about using raw potato juice to increase the catalase enzyme to help prevent grey hairs.

      It’s a topic I’ve like to write more about on Superfood Profiles in the future. I believe these hair tratements http://superfoodprofiles.com/tag/hair-treatments/ will help improve the quality of your hair but it seems reducing stress and having a very healthy diet full of a variety of foods is the best preventative against grey hair. Individual foods, herbs or supplements seem to have mixed results.

      On amla I use this http://superfoodprofiles.com/go/organic-amla-fruit-powder-amazon but if you’re outside the US then http://iherb.com will deliver worldwide cheaply and there’s a $5 discount at the checkout with the code DIL799.

      Hope this helps.

  11. tina says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Does anyone know where to buy good quality whole dry amla, online or some store in India???
    Acording to my research, whole amla is better than powder, but don’t know where to get it. Thanx

  12. Hari says:

    Hi Jim

    Nice set of articles on Amla. We call.it Nellikai around here and yes it is an essential in any large rice-rich meal. It is also integral to Indian culture and religion. Have you ever thought about growing amla in your backyard? It might need some initial effort but the results would turn up sooner than you‘d expect. Seeing your responses I think youʹd really like to get your hands on the raw fruit.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Hari,

      It’s a good idea. I know David Wolfe grows many of his superfoods to eat. Something for the future I think.

      All the best.

  13. Vaibhavi says:

    Thanks for great informtion of amla! which one is better to take in early morning like , amla or lemon juice especially for getting glowing and healthy skin ? I tried amla but I felt drowsy afterwords , is it because of amla? Is it because of winter season? please guide !

    • Jim says:

      Hi Vaibhavi,

      That’s a good question. Both have their benefits. I think the ideal would be to have one for one week and then alternate the other for the next week. This way your body would never get too used to their initial impact and they’d always be cleansing.

      Some initial tiredness is common with highly cleansing preparations like Amla. This should lessen after visiting the bathroom but if not I would half the dosage and start off slower.

      Hope this helps.

  14. ajeet rawat says:

    after drinking juce of amala in the morning empty stomach loose motion occur give me solution plzzzzz

    • Jim says:

      Hi Ajeet,

      I’d reduce the amount of amla juice you’re drinking ny half and see if this helps. It’s very high in vitamin C and other compounds that could be responsible for this. If half the amount doesn’t cause problems you could slowly increase the amount you drink to find what’s right for you.

      Hope this helps.

  15. Abbas Devaswala says:

    Hi Jim,

    Very useful article by you. Do you know how much amount of Amla Juice should be taken? And if i am taking it with water, what should be the quantity of water? shall i take it in warm water for added benefits ?

    • Jim says:

      Hi Abbas,

      It would depend greatly on the strength of the preparation if it’s pre-made and should have it on the bottle. If you’re making it fresh you only need a couple of amla a day. Warm water is fine but not necessary and the more water the better, whether with or after the amla juice.

      All the best.

  16. Hiru says:

    Hi Jim,
    Very interesting article and comments from the forum, thanks for sharing the benefits for this highly potent fruit.

    It is considered the “mother” in Ayurveda, meaning that it takes “care” of you.
    Just to clarify on the taste of Amla – it is one of the very few fruits that have 5 of the 6 tastes as categorized by Ayurveda : Sour, Bitter, Sweet, Pungent & Astringent, the only taste missing is Salty, hence in India it is generally eaten with salt.

    In the past weeks I have been reading quite some articles about AMLA and have taken to it, eating a few berries everyday, I must say that inspite of age, stress at work etc, I feel a lot better, not just in the physical sense, but also in the psycological sense.

    Amla is being researched around the world and resutls show it has the ability to improve mental health and could possibily aid in deseases like alzhiemers / dementia etc…..

    It is considered anti-ageing in India, that is probably true as the the research results around the world show…..

    Sharing a bit of what I learnt about this fruit and it’s benefits for the rest……there are a huge number of data on the web on this fruit……if people have the time, they could do a bit more reading to convince themselves of the benefits……

    thanks,
    Hiru

    • Jim says:

      Hi Hiru and thanks for your positive comments.

      I agree Amla is quite an amazing little fruit and I hope more and more people learn about how good it is for you.

      All the best.

  17. manisha says:

    In February I made amla juice. It was almost 10 litres .I have kept it in the fridge. Everyday in the morning I give it to my son.But now its taste has changed a bit. I have heard it is an anti bacterial fruit. Is fermentation possible? when I opened one unused bottle there was gas as if it is a soda bottle. Can you guide me? Is it worth using now? and which gas is generated in it?

    • Jim says:

      Hi Manisha,

      I haven’t heard on whether amla can be fermented properly without issues but that does sound like what has happened unfortunately. I’d imagine it should be ok for several days and would definitely last longer than most fruit juices but this might have been a bit long. Fresh would be better but one option might be to freeze it in small plastic cups and give your son one a day.

      Hope this helps.

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