Also known as Indian gooseberry, amla is a type of tree native to Asia.
The tree is known for its small green fruits, which have a unique flavor often described as sour, bitter, and astringent.
Amla fruit is often enjoyed pickled or candied. It’s also sometimes sold as a powdered supplement or consumed as a juice for a quick and convenient way to squeeze some extra nutrients into your diet.
Amla juice is not only versatile and delicious but also highly nutritious and associated with a variety of health benefits.
Here are 6 of the top benefits of amla juice.
1. Amla juice promotes immune function
Amla juice is a great source of vitamin C, which is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant.
In fact, according to one review, amla is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, packing 600–700 mg of vitamin C into each fruit.
In addition to protecting the cells against oxidative stress, vitamin C can enhance immune cell function.
According to one review of animal and human studies, vitamin C could help prevent certain types of infections and may even shorten the duration of the common cold when consumed regularly.
One older animal study also found that administering large amounts of amla extract to mice helped protect against oxidative stress and cell damage caused by arsenic.
However, more research is needed to determine how amla juice may affect immune health in humans.
Summary: Amla juice is a great source of vitamin C, an important micronutrient that may boost immune function. One animal study also found that it helped protect against oxidative stress, but more research on humans is needed.
2. Amla juice enhances liver health
Although research in humans is limited, some promising animal studies suggest that amla juice could help improve liver function.
In one animal study, feeding amla to rats on a high fructose diet increased levels of several key proteins involved in metabolism, which could help prevent fructose-induced fatty liver disease.
Another animal study observed similar findings, noting that amla extract reduced body weight and belly fat while improving fatty liver disease in rats on a high-fat diet.
Amla juice is also rich in antioxidants and possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, both of which could be beneficial for liver health as well.
Summary: Some animal studies have found that amla juice could support liver health, which may be due to its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Amla juice supports healthy digestion
Interestingly, some research shows that amla juice could offer several benefits for digestive health.
For example, one study including 68 people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) showed that taking two 500-mg tablets of amla extract twice daily for 4 weeks led to significant reductions in the severity and frequency of heartburn and regurgitation.
Another 2011 animal study found that amla fruit has anti-diarrheal properties and may prevent muscle spasms, which could help treat stomach cramps and discomfort.
Several older animal studies also show that amla extract may help heal and prevent stomach ulcers, which may be due to its antioxidant content.
Further studies are needed to evaluate whether amla juice specifically affects digestive health in humans.
Summary: Animal studies show that amla could help treat and prevent several digestive issues, including GERD, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers.
4. Amla juice promotes heart health
Multiple studies suggest that amla juice may improve several aspects of heart health.
Suggested read: 6 benefits of bitter melon (bitter gourd) and its extract
In one study, consuming 500 mg of amla extract twice daily for 12 weeks reduced triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in 98 people with abnormal blood lipid levels.
What’s more, those who consumed amla extract experienced a 39% reduction in the atherogenic index of the plasma compared with a control group. The atherogenic index is used to measure the risk of excess cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
Another small study found that supplementing with amla extract for 12 weeks improved several risk factors for heart disease in 15 adults with overweight or obesity, leading to a reduction in cholesterol levels and inflammation.
Plus, some studies have shown that amla extract may decrease blood pressure, which is another key risk factor for heart disease.
However, keep in mind that these studies evaluate the effects of highly concentrated amla extract doses rather than amla juice itself. Therefore, more studies should be conducted to determine whether amla juice offers similar benefits for heart health.
Summary: Amla extract may reduce several risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels, as well as inflammation.
5. Amla juice may increase hair growth
Amla is often used to stimulate hair growth and protect against hair loss.
In one study in 42 people with hair loss, applying a serum comprising amla and other ingredients like coconut water and selenium to the hair daily for 90 days led to significant improvements in hair growth and density.
Another older study found that amla blocked a specific enzyme involved in hair loss.
According to one test-tube study, amla extract could stimulate hair growth by promoting the proliferation of specific cells in hair follicles.
Suggested read: Is tomato juice good for you? Benefits and downsides
While it’s unclear whether drinking amla juice may also help boost hair growth, it contains several nutrients that may be beneficial, including antioxidants and vitamin C.
Still, more research is needed to understand how drinking amla juice affects hair health.
Summary: Amla extract could help prevent hair loss and increase hair growth by blocking the activity of a specific enzyme and promoting the proliferation of certain hair follicle cells.
6. Amla juice improves kidney health
Likely due to amla juice’s antioxidant content, research shows that it may support kidney health.
For instance, one animal study showed that administering amla extract to rats helped protect against kidney damage and preserve kidney function.
Similarly, another older animal study showed that amla extract helped prevent age-related kidney dysfunction by reducing oxidative stress.
Furthermore, one animal study found that amla extract helped normalize kidney function and increase antioxidant status in rats given a medication to induce kidney toxicity.
Additional studies are required to determine how drinking amla juice in normal food amounts may affect human kidney function.
Summary: Animal studies have shown that amla extract helps protect against kidney damage and preserve kidney function.
How to make amla juice
Amla juice is easy to make at home and requires just a few simple ingredients.
To get started, chop up 2–4 Indian gooseberries and add them to a blender, along with 1–2 cups (250–500 mL) of water.
You can also mix in other ingredients, such as ginger, black pepper, honey, or sea salt.
Next, blend all ingredients thoroughly, use a strainer to filter the liquid and remove any pulp, and serve.
If you’re having trouble finding amla fruit, you can also buy premade amla juice from many online retailers and specialty stores.
For best results, be sure to look for a variety that’s free of added sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Summary: You can easily make amla juice at home or purchase it premade from many online retailers and specialty stores.
Amla juice is highly nutritious and has been linked to several impressive health benefits.
In particular, studies suggest that it may improve kidney, liver, and heart health, enhance immune function and hair growth, and promote digestive health.
Plus, amla juice is delicious and easy to prepare at home, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.