Popularly referred as amla, the gooseberries are small, round and oval-shaped fruits whose outer surface has a smoothy texture. They are light green in colour. The inner of the fruit contains a hard seed and the pulp is white. The gooseberry has a tangy and a sour taste. They are juicy too.
Loaded with vitamins like C, E and B6 and minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorous and potassium, the fruits contain proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fibre. The fruits are used widely in the ayurvedic medical system and is prescribed in resolving many ailments.
The fruit can be eaten raw if the taste is tolerable for the eater. Else, it is better to opt for the diluted juice or the gooseberry candy or pickle.
Let us discuss about the health benefits this nutritious yet cheap little fruit has on offer:
For eye health:
Have a glass of gooseberry juice with a teaspoon of honey, every morning. To prepare the juice, wash two small gooseberries, make slight slits and remove the seeds. Then, cut the fruit into small pieces and run in the mixer. Add about half a glass of warm water. Add the honey as suggested. Drink this in the morning.
This juice is said to prevent many eye ailments including conjunctivitis and intra-ocular diseases.
Consuming gooseberries promotes hair growth. It also prevents premature greying of hair.
Eat about two gooseberries, in any form, every day. One easy method, is to lightly pressure-cook the berries. Once it cools, remove the seeds, cut them into small pieces, add some salt and chilli powder and preserve in a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator.
Regular consumption of gooseberries aids in hair health.
For the skin:
Gooseberries help in solving many skin problems.
Make a paste out of one gooseberry. Add a drop of olive oil. Apply this on the face and leave on for about 20 minutes. Regular application of this mask, smoothens the skin, moisturises it and eliminates scars and blemishes. It also solves problems of acne, pimples and rashes on the face.
Drinking a gooseberry tea is also good to maintain healthy skin. For this, boil berries in water and strain the liquid. Add good-quality honey for taste. Drink this, every day, first thing in the morning.
Gooseberries help in getting relief from constipation.
To get rid of this irritating problem, soak a gooseberry, overnight. In the morning, drink the water and eat the fruit, by chewing it slowly. This stimulates the digestive juices and activates the large intestines. Thus, easy bowel movement follows.
Be regular in this habit, to get rid of constipation and piles.
To boost immunity:
An important ayurvedic formulation called chyawanprash is recommended for children to enhance their health and immunity levels. An essential ingredient of chyawanprash is the gooseberry. Being rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, gooseberries promote health, enable rapid healing and enhance general levels of immunity.
For a healthy heart:
Regular intake of gooseberries promotes heart health. The fruits help by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, both of which deter the healthy functioning of the heart by hardening the arteries. Gooseberries, however, do not affect the production of HDL, the good cholesterol, which supports heart health.
Eating gooseberries helps in regulating blood sugar levels. To control diabetes, a teaspoon of gooseberry juice should be mixed with the juice extracted from one small-sized bitter gourd. This combi-juice should be had, everyday, on an empty stomach.
Gooseberries contain a compound called trigonelline, which has a regulating effect on sugar levels of the blood.
Diabetics should consult their physician before trying out this remedy.