Is Indian gooseberry truly the most powerful antioxidant in the world?
Here’s a heart-helping fruit that goes far beyond the heart health benefits of any fruit we’ve ever written about. The unassuming Indian gooseberry looks a bit like a large green grape, but this heart health panacea offers a smorgasbord of heart health benefits.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the Indian gooseberry group saw:
- 15% drop in total cholesterol
- 27% drops in LDL and triglycerides
- 15% boost in healthy HDL cholesterol
- Healthier blood sugar levels
- Stronger, more flexible blood vessels and better circulation
The Indian gooseberry even offers potent anti-inflammatory powers—an important weapon in the fight against nearly every one of today’s major health concerns, including heart disease.
Just these benefits show that Indian gooseberry is a must-have part of your heart health arsenal. It’s no wonder the Sanskrit name for this powerful berry, Amla, means “the sustainer.”
But that’s not the end of the story.
What makes Indian gooseberry stand out from the rest?
Heart muscles, stronger.
Indian gooseberries strengthen our heart muscles, so they can pump blood throughout the body at peak efficiency. They prevent excess cholesterol buildup, while reducing the likelihood of plaque forming and blocking your vessels and arteries. And, in turn, they reduce your chances of stroke and heart attack.
Fighting Diabetes, naturally.
Diabetes and heart health go hand-in-hand. As you may know, when you have too much sugar in your blood, it’s converted into triglycerides—one of the most dangerous of the blood lipids.
Thankfully, research shows that Indian gooseberry plays a critical role in stimulating the cells that produce insulin. This helps improve blood sugar metabolism—reducing the likelihood of dangerous sugar spikes.
Most importantly, reduced blood sugar levels means more glucose is used by your cells as fuel, which is healthy, instead of finding a home in the form of fat. Plus, a stronger metabolism means you have more lasting, natural energy…with fewer “crashes” and midday slumps.
Nature’s most powerful antioxidant
You hear the word antioxidant a lot these days. And with good reason. They not only help power up your energy, prevent certain diseases, reduce inflammation and protect you from the evil forces of accelerated aging, they also prevent cholesterol from oxidizing—a key factor for preventing plaque buildup in your arteries.
The Indian gooseberry is generally accepted as a super-antioxidant, far more potent than most. One source calls Indian gooseberries simply The Most Powerful Antioxidant in the World.
Another scorekeeper says Indian gooseberries put long-time sluggers to shame, with:
- 75 times the antioxidant power of goji berries
- 60 times the antioxidant power of pomegranate
- 50 times the antioxidant power of raw blueberries
- 13 times the antioxidant power of black raspberries
There is no more potent defense against the billions of cell-killing free radicals that can run rampant in your body.
Iron, hard at work.
The iron in Indian gooseberries helps your body build new red blood cells, the all-important transporters of nutrients and fuel to every cell in your body. The resulting increase in circulation and oxygenation of your organs and cells maximizes growth and regeneration of vital tissues.
And, the International Journal of Pharmaceutics tells us that Indian gooseberries also have potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
As you know, infection leads to inflammation and inflammation is a huge heart heath risk factor. So, anything that helps quell infection is invaluable.
Of course, far beyond heart health alone, the Indian gooseberry gives you even more reasons to be excited.
6 More Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry
Immune system, strengthened.
Indian gooseberries are a natural immune booster, thanks to their rich load of vitamins C and A, polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol.
In traditional Ayurvedic practice, Indian gooseberry juice is used to increase white blood cell count—the main line of defense for the immune system. These hardy fighters attack and eliminate foreign toxins and other unwanted threats.
Aging is natural, but Indian gooseberries can help you slow it down, reducing the likelihood of age-related illness and the presence of wrinkles, blemishes, and age spots. In fact, Indian gooseberry powder can be used as a facemask to remove those spots.
Natural digestion support.
Like most fruits, gooseberries are rich in fiber. They stimulate the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so you digest your food more efficiently, nutrients are absorbed more fully and efficiently, and you feel lighter and healthier.
Fiber adds bulk to your stool while helping your digestive tract move food smoothly through the bowels—keeping your movements regular, reducing constipation and clearing out waste more efficiently. Fiber can also bulk up loose stools, reducing diarrhea.
That’s a lot of protection against gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer.
Bonus effect: fiber makes you feel full sooner, but with fewer calories than most other foods, helping you naturally eat less—a fiber-full weight loss aid.
Healthy liver detox.
Down through the ages, a drink of Indian gooseberry juice has been seen as a go-to way to boost energy. It’s thought to be the fruit’s ability to “re-energize” the liver.
A 2013 study found Indian gooseberry helps prevent the toxic effects of the pollutants and toxins we consume in excess—multiple medications, heavy metals, and various other inescapable environmental hazards in our air, water and food.
A liver that fights these battles every day, especially an older liver, can slow down under that burden, becoming increasingly less efficient.
The antioxidant phytochemicals in Indian gooseberries help your liver withstand that toxic bombardment.
Just as these phytochemicals have helped trillions of plants and other organisms protect themselves against competitors, predators, or pathogens, they can do the same for us humans.
Natural cancer fighter
Indian gooseberry extract has been shown to be cytotoxic against cervical and ovarian cancer cells…in short, it kills those forms of cancer cells.
Researchers from McGill University in Canada showed that these extracts have strong tumor-repressive properties against a number of cancer types. Again, it’s about this tiny fruit’s load of potent antioxidant polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins, which makes it a powerful tool against a variety of conditions.
Eye and vision health.
Vitamin A and carotenes can protect and improve your vision. Indian gooseberries are outstandingly rich in both.
- Improved near-sightedness
- Reduced risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and night blindness
- Reduced intra-ocular tension. That’s the pressure inside your eyes that keeps them from bulging (too much pressure) or growing lazy (too little pressure), often a precursor to glaucoma and blindness
- Reduced blurry vision, spots, glare at night, flashing lights
Where to find your Indian gooseberry
One critical way Indian gooseberry absolutely shines in the universe of heart-healthy antioxidant superstars is its water solubility. As opposed to fat-soluble nutrients, this means your body can easily digest and absorb it. No need for the complicated conversions and workarounds required to get the most from other antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Here are some of the ways you can get your Indian gooseberry goodness. Note that many Indian gooseberry products are labeled Amla, the Indian gooseberry’s Sanskrit name.
Get Indian gooseberries fresh in season from Indian markets, but not common elsewhere. If you manage to find them, try eating them raw, or with a little salt and spices, the Indian way. They tend to be a little bitter for our American tastes, so you can also try dipping them in honey or drizzle.
Failing that, you can typically find a number of other forms from trustworthy online retailers:
- Dried and chewed, but be careful—some common Indian preparations contain a lot of added sugar.
- A drink first thing in the morning, combining Indian gooseberry juice with a little honey, is a great way to start the day. It will prep your stomach to better digest whatever comes next, helping you manage blood sugar levels to avoid dangerous highs and lows.
- Indian gooseberry oil applied to the scalp helps to strengthen the hair, prevents premature graying, and stops hair loss.
- Various powdered, organic versions are available to mix with water, honey, or yogurt, to drink or made into a hair or face mask.
Lastly, you can typically find supplements containing Indian gooseberry—especially those with a heart health focus. Look for at least 500 mg of Amla or Indian gooseberry extract and take as directed.
- Kiran, Patil.“Top 15 Benefits of Indian Gooseberry or Amla” Organic Facts. Published September 12, 2018. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- “Ocular Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment” Published May 3, 2018. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- “ANTIOXIDANTS AND THEIR MEASUREMENT” Oxford Biomedical Research. Published NA. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- “GOOSEBERRY, RIBES GROSSULARIA/ SAXIFRAGACEAE (GROSSULARIACEAE) Benefits for the health” Interempresas Media. Published NA. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- “Learn more about Phytochemical” ScienceDirect. Published NA. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- “Szalay, Jessie. What Are Free Radicals?” Live Science. Published May 27, 2016. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
- Sehgal, Ankita Gupta. “5 Super Health Benefits of Amla – Indian Gooseberry” practo (sic). Published September 9, 2016. Last accessed December 1, 2018.
Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Last Updated: May 19, 2020
Originally Published: January 3, 2013