An important ingredient that is widely used in Ayurveda is amla. Commonly known as Indian Gooseberry, it is one of the most important plants in Ayurveda. It is mainly grown in India and some countries in southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The amla tree is considered sacred in Hinduism. It is considered the nectar of the gods and a life giving fruit. The small, round, light green fruit is very sour, yet extremely nutritious. It has an incredibly high vitamin C content (20 times more than an orange), vitamin A, and full of fiber. It also contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, carotene and phosphorus. It can be pickled, made into sour candy, tea, or spice.
It is most commonly used in powdered or oil form - taken internally or used as an ingredient for masks. When used as a skin or hair mask, it works best when mixed with honey, yogurt, or water.