Emblica & Papaya


Indian gooseberry has a host health-enhancing and therapeutic benefits; so also papaya, which tastes like a cross between melon and peach.

Indian gooseberry, or amla [Emblica officinalis], is an ancient fruit. It is native to India, although it is cultivated in several Asian countries and the Middle East. Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of Indian gooseberry in the country.

A rich source of vitamin C, Indian gooseberry has been used in healing practices for thousands of years. Research suggests that amla contains 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. This makes it an extremely effective ‘super-food.’

The fruit is used to treat —

  • Diabetes — to regulate and control blood sugar levels — and, age-related kidney conditions. This has been clinically verified
  • Upset stomach, diarrhoea and dysentery
  • Eye disorders
  • Joint pain
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Hardening of the arteries [atherosclerosis]
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer.

Indian gooseberry is also effective for reducing pain and swelling, caused by our body’s immune response to injury [inflammation], or illness.

It has been traditionally used as a ‘natural’ germicide too — to kill germs.

Research suggests that Indian gooseberry appears to work by reducing high cholesterol levels in the body, including fatty acids, called triglycerides, without affecting ‘good’ cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein [HDL], levels.

Its other health benefits include —

  • Antioxidant and antibacterial effects
  • A natural anti-aging agent for skin, amla nourishes the scalp and also hair roots; it encourages hair growth and controls premature greying of hair
  • Improves digestion and bowel movement
  • A strong immunomodulator, amla protects against the onset of illnesses, when taken regularly
  • ‘Knocks-out’ free radicals
  • Maintains optimal liver function
  • A good iron tonic, amla helps to raise the haemoglobin content in the blood
  • Eases cough, common cold and asthma.


The papaya [Carica papaya], originally a native to America, is grown in most parts of the world. The fruit can grow up to eight inches in length. While some varieties of the fruit appear green in colour, when ripe, most turn deep yellow, or orange. Most papayas possess a pink flesh, with a profusion of grey-black seeds in the central cavity. The seeds are edible, no less.

What tickles one’s palate is the soft, juicy sweet flesh of papaya, which tastes like a cross between melon and peach. The fruit is rich in vitamin A and calcium. It is also power-packed with the goodness of the enzyme, papain, which breaks down protein. It is this enzyme that makes papaya easy to digest.

When you choose papaya make sure that the fruit appears uniformly yellow. When you sniff the fruit, it should present a delicate scent. Avoid buying papaya with damaged, or shrunken skin. When the fruit is ripe, the skin around the stem end should be yellow. Ripe papaya should be eaten immediately.

Leave unripe papaya at room temperature, until it appears soft and yellow.

After you cut the papaya, you may squeeze a tinge of lime, or lime juice, on the flesh before serving. Likewise, the cubed flesh can be added to fruit salad, ice-cream and fruit drinks, or served with curd, or yogurt.

Papayas, which are not quite ripe, can be used in salads, while the fruit that is a little bit hard can be made into and used as jam.

  • Ripe papaya is said to ease diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Papaya is suggested to be effective for ringworm and fungal infections; the fruit can be directly applied [topically] to the area
  • The seeds have anti-inflammatory, or pain-relieving effects
  • The leaves are evidenced to be useful as a heart tonic and for calming tummy aches
  • The papaya root has, for long, been used in certain cultures as a natural pain-killer.


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