Autumn is the season of rising Pitta dosha in our bodies. The sun is closer to the earth, just like it was in summer. The tilt of the axis is towards the south pole now, leading to cooler temperatures. Yet the proximity to the sun during this period, in Ayurvedic wisdom, aggravates the fiery Pitta dosha in our body. Panchakarma therapy of Virechana is recommended during autumn, and it is the best detoxification therapy for Pitta.
When healthy, Pitta is responsible for digestion, metabolism, radiance, and maintenance of blood, skin, and hair health. When Pitta aggravates during autumn, it leads to increased heat and metabolic turnover. For hair and skin, this translates to intensified appearance of wrinkles and thinning of the skin. Hair fall worsens and hair greying is triggered.
So while we endure the shift in the works of nature, the ever-generous mother has her own plan. Amla is the best food and medicine to balance the imbalanced Pitta dosha. Incidentally, the harvest period of Amla coincides with the autumn season.
Amla is rich in Vitamin - C. In fact, its phenomenal anti-aging capabilities are vested not just in Vitamin C, but also in the tannins it possesses. Scores of studies now confirm this.
Ayurvedic texts decorate Amla with alluring epithets. As a Vayasthapana drug, it arrests aging. It is called Dhatri because it protects and nurtures healthy metabolism. Amruta Phala literally means that its benefits are an elixir for youthfulness.
How to use Amla?
Time: Ayurveda recommends using herbs at different times for yielding different effects. (Aushadha sevana kala)
For Hair: It's best taken at night. (Before 11.00 pm)
For Skin: Early morning, empty stomach.
Form: The Vitamin C content is highest in the fresh form of amla. Dried amla powder is rich in tannins. However, if fresh amla is not available one can use the dry form too.
Amount: 1 to 2 amla daily is generally safe to use. Amla is a food and also medicine. Consuming too many can trigger increased bowel frequency, and can lead to discomfort.
Anupan and Yoga vahi: Wondering what to mix with Amla to potentiate its benefits?
Amla can be consumed as is, with hot water.
A drizzle of honey over fresh cut amla or adding honey to Amla juice can give Kapha and Pitta balancing effect.
This is beneficial to people with oily skin, oily dandruff, obesity, cholesterol issues etc.
Individuals with Vata constitution can consume Amla in its jam form, like Chyavanprash, Amalaki Rasayana, etc.
Amla should not be consumed with salt and chilies (spices). This may negate its Pitta-balancing action.
Benefits of consuming Amla
Improved skin tone
Reduction in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Improves skin texture.
Lesser incidence of acne
Improved hair growth
Reduction in hair fall
Reduced incidence of dandruff
Amla can be conveniently added to skin and hair DIY masks. However, in spite of its excellent health benefits, amla has a drying potential. So, always add adequate amounts of emollients to balance the drying action of this wonder fruit and avail its many benefits. Let the season of autumn bring its best, as you stay protected with this Ayurvedic gift of amla.