You may be hearing more and more about a potent and sour little fruit called Indian Gooseberry. It’s native to India and tropical areas of southeast Asia and has long been used as a supplement in alternative medicine. The Indian gooseberry is also referred to as amla or amalaki. Dried gooseberry powder can be added to tonics and supplements and is commonly taken for a range of conditions, such as fighting heart disease and cancer.
Dried Gooseberry Benefits
Research shows that gooseberries have important properties, including anticancer, antioxidant, immunomodulating, cholesterol balancing, and liver protective properties. Although these benefits are impressive, it’s the gooseberries’ potential for preventing heart disease that is getting the most attention.
Heart Health and Cholesterol
Eating gooseberries may contribute to a healthy heart by fighting the development of plaque in the arteries and preventing oxidative stress. When plaque builds up, blood is not able to travel as easily through the arteries, which puts stress on the heart. Plaque can also cause blood circulation problems, high blood pressure and some types of heart disease.
Some research shows that gooseberries can help lower cholesterol as well. Two of the compounds in gooseberries, Dgg-16 and Corilagin, may prevent LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from sticking to arterial walls. By decreasing cholesterol, gooseberries can lower the chances of plaque buildup. A 2008 study found that people who had dried gooseberry extract showed not only a decrease in LDL cholesterol after six months, but also an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Ancient cultures have prescribed Indian gooseberries for many conditions. People with mild to moderate conditions such as upset stomach, fever or the common cold may find relief from consuming dried gooseberry powder. It can also work as a diuretic or laxative too.
Gooseberries have also been used for serious conditions such as cancer, pancreatitis, hepatitis, and immune system disorders. People also take gooseberry supplements for cancer prevention.
Research indicates that gooseberries may slow the growth of cancerous tumors. The antioxidants in gooseberries help protect cells from the damage that leads to cancer.
Studies show that gooseberries are beneficial for people with diabetes and diabetic complications. A study published in 2012 stated that gooseberries had positive effects on fasting glucose levels. It also lowered hemoglobin A1c (HB-A1c).
A 2011 study found that taking gooseberry extract and green tea decreased measures of diabetes while improving oxidative status in diabetics on dialysis due to kidney damage.
Gooseberry also contains substances known to be beneficial to health called phytochemicals. Dried gooseberry is a rich source of furosin, corilagin, tannis, gallic acid, proanthocyanidins, methyl gallate, and polyphenols. These vitamins and phytochemicals are responsible for the health benefits of gooseberries so it is important to retain as much of the nutrition as possible- so you want to choose a minimally processed (or raw) powder form.
Extract from dried gooseberries and raw fruit provide plenty of nutrients for health and well being. Supplements of dried powder are readily available at your local health food store. You can also buy freeze dried and fresh berries to add to cultured dairy, desserts or just eat them by themselves.