Article by Dr Manasa
According to Ayurveda, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis / Phyllanthus emblica) or Indian Gooseberry is the best Rasayana (Rejuvenating agent, Anti-ageing medicine, Immunity modulator herb). Its benefits are unlimited. It is a medicine, a food inclusion and a plant which is worshiped in Indian tradition. It’s presence in the premises of our home is said to be an auspicious sign.
Amalaki is known to ward off many diseases and prevent as many diseases when regularly consumed. Thus Amalaki is not only a part of Ayurveda but also a part of belief in Indian religion; it is a part of Indian culture.
Amalaki can be used both internally as well as externally. When taken internally Amalaki helps to prevent many diseases, cures as many and provides good immunity.
Amalaki has a similar impact when used externally too. Amalaki is skin and hair friendly. Amalaki is used in many oils, skin cleansers, shampoos, hair washes and soaps. Apart from having a coolant effect, it prevents damaging of skin and hair. It can also be used as a skin scrub.
In this article I am trying to give wonderful information about the benefits of Indian Gooseberry or Amalaki (Amla) when used for bathing purposes.
Bathing with Amalaki water (Indian Gooseberry shower) –
यः सदा आमलकैः स्नानम् करोति स विनिश्चितम्।
वली पलित निर्मुक्तो जीवद्वर्शशतम् नरः॥ Yogaratnakara
A reference form an old Ayurveda text, Yoga Ratnakara explains the benefits of external application of Amalaki as –
“The person who uses Amalaki for bathing purposes will surely avoid Vali (premature ageing and wrinkling) and Palita (Premature greying or maturing of hairs) and will live a healthy life span of 100 years”
This explanation points out towards the skin and hair protective property of Amalaki. We can conclude that Amalaki provides a long standing protection to skin and scalp making them immune to heat, light, pollutants, allergens and irritants.
Why don’t we regularly use this easily available wonderful herb for bathing purpose especially after knowing how good it is for skin and hair health?
Benefits of Amla shower:
Skin protection and rejuvenation, Twak rasayana – Amalaki provides a long standing protection to skin and scalp making them immune to heat, light, pollutants, allergens and irritants
Promotes hair growth, Keshya – Amalaki also would strengthen the hair roots and make them long thick, strong, dark and denser, not allowing untimely greying of hair or hair-fall.
Natural hair conditioner – Amalaki provides long standing conditioning to hair and skin, thus making the skin look young and attractive. When used for a prolonged period, it avoids the ageing of skin by avoiding the wrinkles and maintaining the texture. The rich Vitamin-C in Amalaki and its anti-oxidant properties can be credited for its property of skin-hair protection.
Natural coolant property – Apart from this Amalaki would keep the skin cool due to its coolant property and prevent boils and eruptions due to its Pitta-alleviating property. Thus its activity on Bhrajaka Pitta located in skin can be substantiated.
Beautification, soundarya vardhaka – Amalaki keeps up the skin glow and gives a soft texture, making the skin beautiful and attractive.
Scrub and cleanser, twak shodhana – Amalaki powder or paste when used as a scrub removes dirt, dead cells and microbes, keeping the skin healthy and clean.
Intake of Amalaki simultaneously will help. Regular detoxification with an herbal laxative (at least at weekends) would work wonders for skin and hairs.
Discuss with your Ayurveda doctor before using any herb or herbal compound
Take the opinion of your Ayurveda doctor before using shampoos and hair conditioners, though they are herbal. Something else might be better for your constitution.
You may also require some additional internal medications and treatment especially in chronic skin and scalp conditions. (Many skin, hair and scalp diseases are due to metabolic errors, systemic diseases and disorders related with immunity).
How to take ‘Amalaki Water’ Bath?
Mix Amalaki powder in water (cold or warm depending on one’s body constitution). Use this water for head and body wash (bath)
Apply paste of Amalaki over the body and scalp. Wash off with water.
Apply paste of Amalaki over the body and scalp. Take bath with Amalaki mixed water.
Use the same Amalaki paste or powder for scrubbing
Use a suitable herbal shampoo, soap and conditioner, preferably having Amalaki as one of the ingredients
Do not rub the hairs hard during hair-wash
How long to use?
Amalaki snana can be practised life long without worrying much
Excellent properties of Amalaki in a nut shell:
Qualities of Amalaki
Special qualities of Amalaki:
Shivam – Auspicious and good in all aspects
Doshanulomanam – Propels Doshas in downward direction for elimination
Deepanam-Pachanam – Good in kindling the metabolic fire (appetizer), aids digestion and metabolism, Digests ama (metabolic wastes) and prepares tehm for elimination
Aayushyam – Good for life, enhances the life quality of each and every cell
Poushtikam – Nutritive
Dhanya – The person taking Amalaki regularly lives a disease free life devoid of any fear and thus is blessed
Vaya Sthapana – Enhances and establishes the life span of an individual (and of every individual cell also)
Sarvaroga prashamaneem – Alleviates many diseases
Buddhi-indriya-balapradam – Strengthens brain, intellect and senses
Amalaki medicinal uses
Medicinal uses of Amalaki:
Amalaki when taken individually or in combination with other beneficial and compatible compounds is said to alleviate the below said diseases effectively:
Kushta – Skin ailments
Gulma – Abdominal tumors
Udaavartam – Retrograde movement of Doshas and body components
Shosham – Depletion of tissues, Consumption
Pandu – Anaemia, Effects of blood loss
Arsha – Piles / Haemorrhoids
Grahani dosha – Metabolic errors of small intestine, Sprue, Irritable bowel, Malabsorption
Purana Jwaram – Chronic fevers
Vishama Jwaram – Inconsistent fevers of chronic nature
Hridroga – Heart disorders
Shiro Roga – Diseases pertaining to head
Atisaram – Diarrhoea
Arochakam – Anorexia
Kasa – Coughs
Prameha – Diabetes, Urinary disorders
Aanaaha – Flatulence, Bloating
Pleeha – Spleno-Hepatomegaly
Udaram – Abdominal disorders of recent onset
Kaphaprasekam – Excessive salivation, Water-brash
Vaisvaryam – Disorders of voice
Vaivarnyam – Discolouration of body due to various diseases and causes
Kaamalam – Jaundice and other liver related diseases
Krimi – Worm infestations
Shvayathu – Swelling and inflammation
Tamakam – Dyspnoea, Breathing disorders, Asthma
Chardi – Vomiting
Klaibyam – Impotency, Sexual disorders
Angaavasaadanam – Fatigue syndrome
Vividha srotovibandhaan – Removes many blocks in the cells and channels of the body
Hridaya-urasaha-pralepam – Heavyness and a constricted feeling in the chest and region of heart
Smriti pramoha – Diseases affecting the memory process
Buddhi pramoha – Diseases affecting the intellect
Read related: Amla Benefits, Dose, Usage, Side Effects – Complete Ayurveda Details
Amalaki can be individually administered as a single entity or as a part of a compound. Ayurveda makes adequate use of Amalaki in various preparations especially Rasayana’s (Rejuvenators) and Vajikarana’s (Aphrodisiacs), It is used in wet (juice) and also in dry (powder) form.
Amalaki is the riches source of Vitamin-C and is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-ageing agent.
Medical research has established the anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-arthritic properties of Indian Gooseberry
Finally I would like to conclude by saying –
The whole world knows what Ayurveda and natural healing is. Amalaki is very popular herb globally. It has been used as a remedy for many ailments.
This article was to give an extra and added dimension to its usage. Hope this helps to all those who are healthy and beauty conscious. Use Amalaki and enjoy holistic and comprehensive health.