Amla oil is a natural remedy that is prepared from the fruits of the Indian gooseberry tree, although the original home of the Indian gooseberry tree is India, today it is also grown commercially in the regions of the Middle East and Asia, while all parts of the amla tree are believed to have medicinal benefits. Amla is particularly rich in Vitamin C as well as many other antioxidants and nutrients. Amla fruits have been ingested or converted into tonics and oils for thousands of years and have been used as both curative and preventive medicine.
Fast facts on amla oil:
- The amla tree is a very important plant in the traditional Indian medicine system.
- Amla oil is usually applied directly to the hair, scalp or skin.
- In many parts of the world it is easy to make amla oil at home.
How is amla oil made?
Amla oil is made by soaking dried amla fruits in a kind of oil for several days, where coconut oil or sesame oil is often chosen, which encourages the fruit oils themselves and are full of nutrients to release themselves into the mixture, and before use the mixture is filtered and purified to remove the fruits. Many health stores, natural pharmacies, and Indian grocery stores have dried, fresh or frozen fruits, as well as amla powders and juices, and amla powders and formulas can be easily purchased online.
The amla fruit season is usually from October through March and making amla oil at home allows people to choose the potency and base of the oil as well as individualizing dosage, nutrients, and ultimately the health benefits of the mixture. There are several different methods of making amla oil depending on the intended use or individual preferences.
How to make amla oil
Steps to make amla oil from fresh fruits or fresh amla fruit juice at home:
- We extract fresh or frozen amla fruit juice by sprinkling it, then squeezing it and filtering it by a sieve over a cup or bowl.
- Bring 1 tablespoon of the oil, most people prefer to use extra virgin or organic oils such as coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil to ensure that the base is as pure and effective as possible.
- Mix the amla fruit or the powder and the oil together for several minutes, or until the mixture appears homogeneous, where you can use a mixer or shake the mixture manually.
- If using solid oils, heat the mixture over a very low heat until the oil dissolves completely and mixes with the fruit juice.
- While the mixture is still warm, put the oil on the scalp for an hour or two before rinsing it off, you can leave the mixture overnight and take a shower the next morning, and you can also put the mixture on the skin and leave it for a period of time because of its benefits for the skin as well.
Steps to make amla oil from amla powder at home:
- We start by mixing 1 tablespoon of amla powder with 5 tablespoons of oil in a skillet.
- Heat the pan on the lowest possible temperature, then stir the mixture occasionally for 10 minutes or until it smells nice.
- Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, making sure the mixture does not boil.
- Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
- Allow the mixture to interact for at least 24 hours.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve or cloth into a bowl or bottle.
- Apply the oil mixture to the scalp or body for the required time before washing it off.
Most of the research indicates that glass jars help natural oils stay fresh longer than plastic products. Glass also has a lower chance of interacting with the compounds in the mixture, which could alter their strength or effect. Most natural oils can be kept for about a year if stored in a cool, dark place.
Benefits and uses of amla oil
The most famous uses of amla oil are to promote the health of hair and the scalp, but it has many other uses and benefits for the human body. Among the most famous benefits and uses of amla oil are:
- Improve body immunity.
- Lowering or controlling cholesterol levels.
- Lowering or controlling blood sugar levels.
- Improve brain health and function.
- Reducing the effects of premature aging.
- Improve vision and eye health.
- Moisturizing the skin and reducing skin dryness.
- Lighten skin tone.
- Improving respiratory function and coughing.
- Speed up the recovery time from colds and flu.
- Reducing the risk of cancer and chronic diseases.
- Improve blood pressure.
- Improve cardiovascular health.
- Reducing the appearance of scars, blemishes, age spots and wrinkles.
- Reducing infections in the body.
- Reducing sinus congestion.
- Improving digestion and absorption of food.
- Boost fertility in men.
- Improve urinary health.
Does Amla Oil really give all these results?
Most of the reported health benefits of amla oil have not been scientifically proven. But amla fruits are known to be rich in powerful antioxidants and other nutrients that have many health benefits. Amla oils also contain additional nutrients and antioxidants related to the type of oil used.
Common compounds and nutrients found in amla fruit and oil:
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin A.
- Amino acids (alanine, leucine, proline, aspartic acid, glutamic acid).
Amla oil has been used and consumed in practice by humans for thousands, even tens of thousands of years. The use of Amla oil is very important in many ancient systems of medicine, whose teachings are now slowly being supported by scientific research. A study conducted in December 2017 confirmed that the seven phenols in the fruits of amla oil have anti-cancer properties, and another study in late 2017 found that female hypothyroid mice who continued on a high-fat diet containing amla oil for 6 weeks reduced stress. Oxidative stress and inflammation in these mice, and several studies have also shown that amla oil may have anti-diabetic properties.
As with the potential benefits of any other food ingredient, the health benefits of Amla Oil are still confirmed using modern day science, but the Amla fruit is well known in ancient oriental medicine and is widely used in many countries to improve hair and scalp health.
Benefits of amla oil for hair
The potential benefits of amla oil for hair and scalp include:
- Strengthen the scalp as well as the hair.
- Reducing the appearance of white or gray hair.
- Stimulate hair growth.
- Reducing hair loss.
- Prevents or treats dandruff and dry scalp.
- Preventing or treating parasitic hair and scalp infections such as lice infestation.
- Preventing or treating fungal and bacterial infections of hair and scalp.
- Improving the overall appearance of hair.
Amla oil and treatment of baldness in men
Male hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia, is characterized by a receding hairline and the gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp area, it can affect both men and women and may occur in conjunction with other diseases such as PCOS.
A 2012 study found that out of 17 commonly used plants for hair treatment, amla extract was the second most effective inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, which is the same enzyme targeted by the oral drug Finasteride which is used to treat male pattern hair loss in addition to an enlarged prostate. However, the effectiveness of applying amla oil locally has not been proven yet, but only the effectiveness of consuming its fruits.
Another study conducted by Yeungnam University in Korea evaluated a natural hair product called DA-5512 which contains six plant extracts including amla oil.According to the scientists, when applied daily to mice for 16 weeks there was significant hair growth compared to what was seen in mice treated with minoxidil ( A topical medicine used to treat male pattern baldness).
Possible side effects of amla oil
Amla oil is not usually associated with any side effects, but in some rare cases it has been reported that the use of amla oil causes lichen planus pigmentosa (LPP), especially when exposed to ultraviolet rays, as well as in people with naturally dark skin. Amla oil is also known to rarely cause inflammation and irritation of the skin in some people.
More than a dozen studies have demonstrated the potential antibacterial, fungal, and antiviral properties of amla fruit and extracts. Recently, amla fruits have been proposed as an alternative to the traditional antibiotics used in food production. Amla oil can be safely used to reap a variety of benefits, but it should not act as a substitute for any medicinal treatment.