Amla, to me is synonymous to growing up in the backyard of my dearest Nani (grandma). We kids loved it. We loved it for its sourness and the luscious bite, of course chewing on the seed till it gave way was a favourite pastime of sorts too. We really loved the seed- a bitterish, sweetish taste that was the ultimate prize.
My grandma insisted we eat amla every day. Her reasons for us to eat healthy foods were plenty- some made up I dare say! She would often say, amla has the strength of 8 eggs. This went down very heavily with us- why were we needed to be this strong? I rather eat boiled eggs anyway! Despite giving a valiant fight for the sake of it, we all loved amla in every form. We loved the amla sweets she made, the pickles, the sweetened syrup, and the fruit itself.
It was only when I was a tad grown up that she revealed that amla would make us girls so pretty that our skin would shine strong enough that we won’t need lights on in the night. Damn, we all believed her too. I remember those days so fondly and with an ache too. My grandma has gone, but her wisdom lives in each of us cousins.
As I charted my career in beauty science and in helping people to stay healthy naturally, amla came up tops in the preservation of skin health and physical health. It’s famed as an elixir for rejuvenating skin in many ways. Some of these are:
1. Amla helps treat pigmentation. It’s reputed for its lightening qualities as its loaded with citric benefits due to the high levels of Vitamin C.
2. Amla is loaded with anti-oxidants that repel free radicals and help in anti-ageing.
3. Amla is also used to gently and slowly bleach the skin. With regular use, amla gradually lightens the skin and in some cases, can lighten the complexion by a few shades in fact.
4. Amla has curative properties that help tighten skin laxity. It is extremely beneficial in reducing open pores and minimising their appearance.
5. Amla helps in tightening the skin as it tones it. When your skin loses collagen, its tissues lose firmness and softness. Vitamin C is an excellent collagen booster, making your skin soft, supple, toned and youthful.
6. Amla juice is very curative due to the high content of vitamin c in it. It helps speed up the repair and rejuvenation of the damaged tissue. So, it works very well in lightening scars from acne or mild abrasions.
7. Amla is also famed for helping reduce the life cycle of acne once these breakout. Dabbing it on the acne helps reduce inflammation too.
8. Amla seed powder is a good reach-out-to product to keep handy. It can be mixed with aloe gel to make a gentle scrub for all skin types.
Natural products can also be allergens to us. Just like some people have lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, before you start any treatment with amla (or for that matter any natural product) it’s wise to do a patch test. You can do a patch test by applying the juice to the jawline, as well as dabbing some on your cheeks. If you feel a little tingling- it’s nothing to worry about. It’s the juice going to work on your skin repairing it. However, if it gets unbearably itchy and starts getting red, it’s advisable to wash the area with some chilled water and dab the area with ice for 4-5 mins. Then pat dry with a tissue.
Click on the next page to read about amla remedies for different skin types!