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June 07, 2019
Amla, also known by its scientific name Phyllanthus emblica, is a common Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries for a number of ailments. While Amla is not as well known in Western countries, Eastern medicine has been utilizing its healing properties for years. Scientists have declared Amla to be one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on Earth.⁶
Amla is a tree native to both the Asia Temperate climate areas, such as China and Taiwan, and also the Asia Sub-Tropical climate areas such as India, Indonesia, and Cambodia.⁷ It produces small, round, edible fruit that is yellow-green in color and bitter/sour to the taste. It is common in India to steep the fruit in salt water and chili powder to make the fruit more palatable to eat.
In Ayurvedic medicine, all parts of the amla tree have medicinal value. However, the fruit is the most potent, containing the most antioxidant properties. When eaten, it is used as a diuretic and liver tonic.
Amla is so powerful it has been used traditionally to treat chronic diseases. It has been shown in studies to block the growth of cancer. Studies have shown it to be potentially more effective than leading diabetic medications without side effects. It also helps to lower cholesterol and suppress coughs, fevers, pain, stress, and diarrhea.⁶⁽⁸⁾
It has been reported through studies that Amla has not only antioxidant properties, but also anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and immunomodulatory activities which are what allow it to play a large role in the prevention and treatment of diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, liver, and heart diseases.
Amla has chemical constituents that include tannins, alkaloids, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals, which have all been found through study be to extremely useful to the body. ³
While there are hundreds of studies written on the topic of Amla and its potential uses for a plethora of other conditions, hair issues, like alopecia are less easy to find. Of the studies available, though, it has been proven that Amla most certainly can be beneficial to those attempting to regain healthy locks.
One study, published in 2009, showed the results of combing well-known Ayurvedic herbs used for hair growth and related issues. Each of the herbs, (listed as Amla, Hibiscus, Brahmi, and Methi) were each tested individually and also in various mixed concentrations. In the individual tests, Amla showed significant growth at a 7-8% concentration in a time frame of 8-9 days. In the combined group, the third formula with the highest concentration of the four herbs was found to have the most substantial growth and was noted to be an excellent potential replacement for the current prescription drug for baldness, Minoxidil. Minoxidil is one of few treatments on the market for baldness, but it often delivers results with a number of uncomfortable side effects.¹⁰ Ayur Luxe’s Damage Control Collection contains a 10% concentration of these herbs and 5 more powerful Ayurvedic herbs for hair.
A group of scientists published a study in 2011 with the intent to discover the reason why Amla had been a common hair treatment in Ayurvedic medicine. They detailed the different stages of the hair and how the dermal papilla cells play a large role in the production and sustenance of hair follicles. Keratinocytes, which make up 90% of epidermal cells, are influenced by the growth factors produced by the dermal papilla. The study showed that the Amla had little effect on the keratinocytes, but there was stimulation in the growth of dermal papilla cells, which suggested that Amla may improve hair growth by extending the anagen (growth) phase. ⁵
In another study, several exotic fruits were tested for their potential to aid in hair growth by studying the growth in rabbits and sheep’s wool. Of the different groups, Amla displayed the most significant growth of 7-8% in a matter of only 8-9 days.⁴
In 2012, a study was published that related to a specific enzyme that has been known to inhibit hair growth. The point of the study was to determine which medicinal Thai herbs commonly used to promote healthy hair were effective against the enzyme. While Saffron was the most effective in blocking the enzyme, Amla was the second highest.¹
Between these studies, it can be seen that Amla has been proven to promote hair growth by extending the anagen phase. It also blocks known enzymes that contribute to hair loss. In addition, Amla provides a large amount of Vitamin C, which is responsible for producing collagen which is a building block of both hair and skin. It also has iron, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Proteins, Fibers, Phosphorus, and Essential Fatty Acids.²
While its scientific research may be somewhat limited, the studies that have been done on Amla have proven that it has a significant impact on hair growth by extending the growth phase of hair follicles and thus extending the hair life cycle. Its current studies with its rich antioxidant properties deal mostly with other medical conditions like cancer. Hair problems, such as alopecia, have been proven to be worsened by oxidative stress. In the future, it is likely that a study will be published relating Amla’s antioxidant properties aiding in reducing the biological stress caused on the dermal papilla by free radicals.
Aside from its ability to encourage growth, its corresponding ability to block a known hair-loss enzyme is significant for those battling hair loss. While suffers do wish for their hair to grow back, thinning and bald spots can potentially be avoided by using preventative measures, like Amla.
There are few products on the market with a high concentration of these Ayurvedic herbs in a clean formulation. This is why we created Ayur Luxe’s Damage Control collection. To learn more, visit our Shop Page.
¹Kumar, N., Rungseevijitprapa, W., Narkkhong, N., Suttajit, M., & Chaiyasut, C. (2012, February 15). 5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22178180
²Amla and Hair Growth - Is There a Connection? | Dr.UGro Hair News. (2018, August 15). Retrieved from https://ugro.com/amla-and-hair-growth/
³A Pharmacological Perspective - Global Research Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://globalresearchonline.net/journalcontents/v24-2/25.pdf
⁴Emblica (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.) Fruit Extract Promotes Proliferation in Dermal Papilla Cells of Human Hair Follicle. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://scialert.net/fulltextmobile/?doi=rjmp.2011.95.100
⁵Journal Of Pakistan Medical Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://jpma.org.pk/article-details/6704?article_id=6704
⁶Phyllanthus emblica. (2019, March 16). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllanthus_emblica#cite_note-GRIN-1
⁷Taxon: Phyllanthus emblica L. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=28119
⁸Amla. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/amla/
⁹Wong, C., & Fogoros, R. N. (n.d.). Can Amla Oil Help Your Hair Grow Faster? Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/amla-oil-for-hair-89404
¹⁰Banerjee, P. S., Sharma, M., & Nema, R. K. (n.d.). Preparation, evaluation and hair growth stimulating ... Retrieved from http://www.jocpr.com/articles/preparation-evaluation-and-hair-growth-stimulating-activity-of-herbal-hair-oil.pdf
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June 07, 2019