How to Take Amla for Better Health
Amla fruit, also known as Indian gooseberry or amalaki, is a potent and rejuvenating superfood.
It is particularly high in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds for cellular protection and inflammation reduction.
This page will look at how to take amla, how much to have, the best times to take it and the ideal dosage.
Amla Uses — 6 Different Ways to Take Amalaki
1. Fresh Amla Fruit
Fresh is great if you can get it, even occasionally. Some specialty grocers online have weekly deliveries of amla 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 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 I’ve seen have added sugar or, even worse, high fructose corn 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 different versions, but the only one I’ve found online to recommend is this new USDA certified organic juice at Amazon. It’s made from fresh berries and is the only brand of amla juice I’ve seen that isn’t loaded with sugar or corn syrup.
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 fattening fructose syrup.
It’s a common trick of food manufacturers to use a small amount of something healthy, while simultaneously adding lots of unhealthy ingredients like sugar syrup. Amla candy looks to me to be a classic case of this kind of deceptive marketing.
4. Amla Chutney
Amla chutney is an interesting way to get the benefits of amalaki into your diet. The chutney can add a spicy kick to steamed vegetables and rice and should be available from specialist Indian stores.
If you have access to fresh Indian gooseberries, here’s a simple recipe for amla chutney:
- 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.
- Blend them all up well in a good food processor.
- Store in a jar and cover with olive oil or healthier avocado oil to prevent oxidation. It should keep for at least a month in the fridge.
5. Organic Capsules
The simplest way to get the benefits of Indian gooseberries is by taking capsules of amla powder.
While I personally prefer the powder as I use it so often, these high strength organic capsules are good value and easy to take to work or with you when travelling for extra antioxidant protection.
They are best taken morning and evening just after a meal and are a convenient way to get the nutritional properties of amalaki wherever you are.
6. Powdered Amla
Whole fruit amla powder, like this organic version I use, is in my opinion the best and most inexpensive option for getting the many benefits of Indian gooseberries into your daily diet.
Personally, I find I really feel it first thing in the morning and mostly use it then in smoothie recipes or just mixed into a glass of water with lemon juice. I regularly use it in the afternoon before gym as well.
Indian Gooseberry Powder Dosage
The recommended dosage for amla powder is 1 teaspoon, or around 4 grams. Take it twice daily, morning and afternoon or evening for best results.
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 dosage to a maintenance dose of 4 grams each time you use it.
Different Ways to Take Amla Powder
Some sites recommend taking amla powder with a teaspoon of sugar or honey. This seems like unnecessary sugars when so many of us are already overloaded with the stuff.
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.
In the past, I’ve sprinkled it on soft fruit like bananas and papaya, mashed it up with a fork and barely tasted it when I eat it.
These days, the best way to have amla powder that I’ve found is to mix it into one of these superfood smoothies. Just add a teaspoon to your blender for an antioxidant boost you can feel.
I’d be interested to hear of any other ways you know of to use amla. While it is still relatively unknown in the United States, I don’t think a superfood this good will stay unknown for much longer.
You can see my latest recommendations for the best amla brands for organic powders and capsules here.