Amla (Emblica officinalis), also known as the Indian gooseberry, is one of the best gifts that nature has bestowed upon mankind. It has a special role to play in Ayurveda, and is capable of treating many disorders.
Amla belongs to the family of Euphorbiecae and is found in two forms--namely cultivated and wild. Differentiating between the two is not difficult because their appearance is quite different from each other.
The wild variety of amla is small in size, is hard, and has a lot of fiber in it. On the other hand, the cultivated form of amla is almost as big as a lemon and is extremely juicy.
Amla can either be eaten in its raw form, its juice can be extracted from the fruit, or it can be powdered and consumed thus. In fact, amla eaten in any form provides for a number of medicinal properties, and in India it is extensively used for improving the health of the hair and skin.
For Hair Growth
To make amla powder, the gooseberries are dried in the shade. This ensures that a maximum amount of Vitamin C is retained. Great hair health can be derived either by direct consumption or by external application--which means that it can be eaten in its raw, or in its juice form, or the powder or juice can be applied to the scalp and the length of the hair.
Amla is known to improve the pigmentation and color of the hair--thus, with regular usage, the hair becomes darker as well as thicker. A number of hair care products include amla oil or powder. People suffering from hair loss should start using this powder because it helps in strengthening the hair and promotes hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles.
This powder can also be used for cleaning the hair--regular use of the same will add shine and luster to the tresses. Different scalp problems like itching, dandruff, and boils, as well as premature graying can be cured/prevented with regular usage of the same.
Ways of Using Amla Powder
The most simple way of using this powder is to mix it with water. Make a thick paste of the same and apply to the roots as well as the length of the hair. Leave it on for an hour and wash off with warm water.
Another method is to mix the powder with coconut oil and boil it to make amla oil. Apply and massage this oil every night or every alternate night to the scalp and wash off in the morning.
Another way of using this powder is to mix it with olive oil and make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the hair and scalp and massage gently. Next, dip a towel in warm water and cover your scalp with the towel.
When the heat from the towel has cooled off, repeat the step. Do this at least 4-5 times. Then cover your scalp with a shower cap and leave it on for 30-60 minutes before washing your hair.
Likewise there are several benefits that amla juice offers as well--drinking amla juice first thing in the morning will promote hair growth. Alternately, one can even mix 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon of amla powder with 1 cup of hot water and drink it first thing in the morning for excellent hair health.