Amla or Indian Gooseberry grows as small and round fruit on a tree with the same name. This fruit has an astringent and sour taste but is packed with nutritional goodness. Amla powder is got by grinding the leaves of this tree and has been used not just in food, but also in Ayurvedic medicine, as a cure for several types of ailments. The powder is also known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which has led to it being used in beauty products as well – both skin and hair. Ayurveda considers amla as a ‘divine medicine or divya aushadhi’ and recommends it regain the luster and health of your ‘crowning glory’ – your hair. Using amla powder for hair is said to make it healthier, shinier, and dark. Some of the benefits of Amla powder for hair are:
Accelerates growth and thickness
The alkaloids, flavonoids, and amino acids present in amla, help to stimulate blood circulation. Blood circulation in turn enhances the absorption of nutrients by hair follicles, which stimulates hair growth. Amla also inhibits 5alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that triggers hair loss occurring through hormonal imbalance. Vitamin C in amla boosts the strength of scalp tissues, while compounds called polyphenols support hair growth. Further, consuming amla also elevates calcium absorption in the body.
Reduces premature greying and Combats Inflammation of the Scalp
One of the top properties of Amla is that it acts as a potent detoxifier, which helps wipe out dead cells and replaces them with fresh new cells. Its antioxidant properties help to counteract free radicals while repairing cells that are damaged. These actions prevent inflammation of the scalp, promote health and longevity of hair, and also help to slow down the aging process of the body. Vitamin C abundance in amla accelerates the production of melanin in the hair follicles, which significantly reduces premature greying of hair. All of these properties of amla serve as deep nourishment and protection for the hair, giving your pretty locks added shine, luster, and bounce.
Prevents damage from UV rays
Amla contains compounds called tannins, which protect the hair from photodamage and damage from the heat and UV rays. The keratin in hair, binds with tannins, preventing splitting and breaking of hair. Carotene content in amla boosts hair growth and health.
How to Use Amla Powder for Hair Growth
- To enhance the efficacy of amla powder, it is best to mix it with herbs that boost and support hair health and growth. Hence, mixing amla powder with reetha powder (Indian soapberry or washnut) and shikakai (Senegalia rugata) powder amplifies the benefits. Experts recommend mixing two tablespoons of each of all three powders, with a bit of water to make a paste. This paste should then be applied to the hair strands and left on for 30 minutes, post which it should be rinsed off with water and followed by a wash using a mild shampoo.
- Mix three tablespoons of amla powder with four tablespoons of henna powder, with water to form a paste. This paste should be set aside for half an hour. The paste should then be applied to the roots of the hair and left on for about 45 minutes, and then washed off.
- Amla powder mixed with coconut oil proves to be a miracle treatment that promotes hair growth, while deeply conditioning them. This also helps in preventing hair loss and greying, while repairing damaged hair and giving it a darker appearance.
- Amla powder can also be mixed with aloe vera and used as a hair mask. This works to repair hair damage and also reduce the effects of free radicals on the hair. Using this hair mask once a week is sufficient for the best results.
- Apart from applying, amla powder can also be eaten. Mixing the powder either with water or honey is a great way to consume it in the morning.
While amla is one of the bounties of nature, there are very few side effects. However, if you experience irritation or swelling post its use, it should be discontinued. Always check with your doctor before consuming or applying anything new, especially if you are a pregnant or lactating woman.
Amla is certainly one of the wonders of nature and possesses several properties and compounds that work magic on hair. Consuming amla boosts immunity and has several other benefits as discussed. Apart from the other ways to consume amla, it can also be enjoyed as a tea ingredient. Cheers to health!
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