Amla is a berry that is native to the Indian subcontinent and neighboring areas. It has a long history of medicinal use as a remedy for everything from vision problems, to almost every digestive complaint, allergies, low immunity, and even hormonal imbalance in women.
A flurry of recent research has given a new scientific validation to this unique healing berry. Among other things, it was found to be one of the most potent antioxidants known. When compared to 1,000 herbs with well-established antioxidant properties, it was found to be among the top four in terms of beneficial effects and the ability to prevent cell-damaging effects from the strongest oxidants and carcinogens.
Amla was found to protect the liver from oxidative damage caused by chemicals or alcohol. It was found to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus slowing aging of the skin and – of course – preventing skin cancer. In studies performed on diabetics, it was found to protect the heart as well as the kidneys.
In cancer research, Amla was found (a) to prevent cancer and protect from chemicals with carcinogenic properties, and (b) to inhibit growth of cancer cells in individuals with known cancer. Not only this, Amla was also shown to moderate the toxic side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, but without reducing their beneficial effect as anti-cancer therapies.
Oddly for a product that might be considered primarily an antioxidant, it was found to have benefits for the brain by acting as a natural antidepressant. Although not based on research, my personal experience in recommending it to patients confirms that it can help in this area and sometimes helps children focus better as well. It can also break the vicious cycle of repetitive infections, whether in children or adults.
I am now stocking again a product called Amla-plex at my office, and this product is available through my website as well. It is a pleasant-tasting paste made according to a traditional recipe from India reported to be 5,000 years old. Although Amla is the main ingredient, it contains a total of 38 herbs with known synergistic effects. It is scooped out of a jar with a small spoon that is provided and allowed to dissolve slowly in the mouth. Children as well as adults like it and – more importantly – it makes a difference!
To read more about this fascinating berry and see all the research references go to www.allergyresearchgroup.com/focus/201203_amlanewresearch.htm