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Amla has long since been in use as a medicinal herb and its benefits have been widely recognised, especially for your skin and hair. In fact, it is an ancient remedy, with its mention being found in various Ayurvedic pieces of literature. But, what about amla oil? Is it as good? Well, it sure has its own benefits and is inevitably the best way to use amla for its hair benefits. The rich antioxidant content of amla oil makes it an excellent hair growth stimulator. You will learn more about this along with many other benefits of amla oil in this article. But, first, it’s time you know more about this wondrous herb.

Some basic facts about amla oil

Amla oil is derived from the fruit of amla and here is what you must know about this oil:

  • Scientific name: Oil derived from the herb Phyllanthus emblica or Emblica Officinalis
  • Family: Phyllanthaceae or Euphorbiaceae
  • Native region and distribution: Amla plant is native to India but is also grown in other Asian countries like China and Malaysia. So, these regions happen to be the major producers and users of amla oil. However, due to its impressive properties on the hair and the skin, the use of amla oil has crossed continents and is popular worldwide.
  • Energetics: Amla oil is said to have cool energetics, that is, it has a cooling effect on your body. Ayurvedic doctors believe that this herb can balance all the three doshas in the body, namely, the vata, pitta and kapha.
  1. Amla oil benefits
  2. How to make amla oil
  3. How to use amla oil
  4. Amla oil side effects and disadvantages

Amla oil for hair growth

Amla oil is rich in several antioxidants, which make it excellent for the health of your scalp and hair. The benefits of this oil on your hair are profound, but, the most marked one happens to be its potential to reduce hair fall.

It has been highly established that free radicals aggressively react with body cells due to an extra lone pair they possess, which causes damage to these cells. With respect to your hair, a higher level of oxidative stress and damage can lead to excessive hair fall. By controlling the activity of free radicals with its antioxidant effect, amla oil helps to control hair fall when applied topically. This has been confirmed by several studies including lab studies and clinical studies, which gives you a good reason to trust these actions.

Studies on animal models have revealed that the topical application of this oil promotes hair growth within 2-4 weeks, when used regularly. So, if you are suffering from excessive hair fall and are looking for quick home remedies that would work, maybe you will benefit from using amla oil.

Clinical studies, which made the use of amla in a mixed herbal formulation oil, have also found convincing results supporting the hair growth potential of amla oil. When used as a mixed formulation, it obtained better results on alopecia patients than the medicines which are usually used in conventional treatment. Alopecia refers to patchy hair loss causing bald patches on the scalp. If amla oil can help in its treatment, it surely can help your hair fall concerns.

You can consider buying a product which has a mixed herbal formulation in the favour of this research finding or you can make one at home (a recipe for which will be shared ahead).

Amla oil for hair thickness and length

Have you forever dreamt of having long hair that is also unbelievably thick? Well, that dream is not far fetched if you have a bottle of amla oil in your cupboard. Researchers have found that not only does amla oil help in hair fall reduction and cater to its growth but also it helps in improving hair strength. With right nourishment from amla oil, your hair can grow as long and thick as you desire. So, it’s time to put that long sitting bottle to some use.

Studies suggest that the use of amla oil is equally prevalent among men and women in India. This is obviously due to its hair growth benefits for both the genders. Amla oil can, thus, assist the growth of hair even in men and can be used by everyone alike. So, no need to worry about purchasing separate hair products now.

Amla oil for hair cleansing

With all these benefits on your hair, amla oil has also been demonstrated to improve your hair hygiene. The antioxidants present in amla oil fight more than free radicals it seems. To utilise this benefit, you can make the use of amla oil as a post-wash conditioner or a leave-on conditioner, which will help in keeping your hair clean and protecting it from dirt and environmental pollutants.

In order to prevent greasiness from direct use, you can mix it in your leave-on conditioners and coat it on your hair ends for a soft and clean look.

Amla oil for preventing scalp infections

An extension of the previous benefit, as amla oil helps in improving your hair hygiene, it also helps to ward off scalp infections. While this was an obvious claim, there is sufficient research evidence to support the antimicrobial actions of amla oil. Studies have found that amla oil is toxic to several infectious agents that could otherwise be responsible for scalp infections.

So, daily application of amla oil can help in keeping your scalp healthy. This benefit can additionally be attributed to its antioxidant activity, which assists in maintaining the integrity of the skin that makes your scalp.

Amla oil for the skin

Amla oil is not just good for your hair but also for the skin. Credit its high antioxidant content, this oil has been recognised as a perfect anti-ageing oil and has several cosmetic applications. Application of amla oil to the skin can help in slowing down the process of ageing and can assist in keeping the skin healthy and soft by maintaining skin elasticity.

Further, amla oil is an anti-inflammatory and helps in reducing redness or swelling of the skin due to any irritants. For the correct dosage and method of application, you must consult an Ayurvedic doctor in order to avoid side effects.

Amla oil prevents skin infections

Another good reason for adding organic amla oil to your skin care routine is that it helps in preventing skin infections. Studies have proven the antimicrobial properties of amla oil, which are not just limited to your scalp and hair. The use of amla oil has a toxic effect on certain microbial species responsible for skin infections like fungus Trichophyton rubrum, the causative agent of ringworms, jock itch, athlete’s foot and fungal infections of the nail.

Thus, it can be ascertained that amla oil is the best agent to ward off any fungal infections, especially those associated with the foot. So, if you commonly suffer from fungal foot infections or have a recurrent ringworm infection, you can consider talking to your doctor about the usage of amla oil on your skin. Also, if you are a diabetic, you have a higher risk of foot infections. In that case as well, it is recommended to talk to your doctor about the same.

Amla oil is not just toxic to human pathogens but has also been found to possess antimicrobial activity against a variety of microorganisms which can cause infections in animals. Its specific toxic actions have been reported against Microsporum canis and Microsporum gypseum, which cause infections in non-human hosts but the infection can also spread to humans. M. canis is an agent which usually causes an infection in domesticated cats and dogs but if spread to human, it can cause severe skin and scalp lesions. The application of amla oil can significantly lower the risk of these infections. Case studies have reported pediatric patients acquiring infections due to Microsporum canis. So, if you have a pet at home, you can consider the application of amla oil to your child’s skin before letting them play with their furry friends.

Amla oil for the face

Amla is a common ingredient in Ayurvedic medications and amla oil has found its application in a variety of face creams and skin care products used on the face. This is because it helps to control the activity of free radicals, which, by increasing oxidative damage in the body, contribute to early ageing of the skin. Premature ageing of skin can cause you to develop facial wrinkles, fine lines and age spots at a much quicker pace than anticipated. This may be avoided by choosing the skin care products and facial creams which have amla oil as an active ingredient in them.

Moreover, studies have found that amla oil has an antibacterial and an antimicrobial effect. So, it may be preventive against acne by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. However, there have been no specific studies to support this and it is not recommended to apply amla oil directly to the face as this can cause skin irritation.

You must be quite impressed by the several benefits of amla oil for your hair and skin and won’t be able to hold your excitement before you begin using this wondrous oil. While there are several commercial preparations available for use, you can also form amla oil at home quite easily. So, why not go the organic way. Here is a quick recipe you'd love to try at home:

  • Take a fresh amla and use a grater or a blender to form a paste. If amla juice and extract separate during this procedure, it is recommended to mix the two back together.
  • Now take about one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil and heat it up.
  • Add the blended amla to this mixture and combine with the help of a spoon or a fork to mix well.
  • Now heat this mixture until the two are completely blended and your amla oil is ready.
  • Strain the mix to separate the oil into a clean and dry glass bottle.
  • You can use it fresh or store it in a cool and dark place to be used within a week.

The use of this oil is bound to give your hair a natural glow and shine and will help to reduce hair fall when used regularly.

Simply heat some oil, whether homemade or commercially bought, and massage it into your scalp with the help of your fingers. Massage gently for a few minutes and leave it on for 1 to 2 hours. You can then wash it off with the help of a mild cleansing shampoo.

Before applying amla oil to the skin, it is recommended to consult with your doctor to know the correct dosage, amount and method as per your condition.

Amla oil has no side effects when applied to the hair. You can use it without concern. On the other hand, direct use of amla oil on the skin can have side effects in the form of skin irritation. While this is a mild side effect, studies have reported more serious side effects with the use of this oil on the skin.

Topical application of amla oil has been found to trigger lichen planus pigmentosus, which is a rare form of lichen planus. In this condition, patches, macules and other lesions develop on the skin, particularly in areas that rub against each other. So, in order to avoid these symptoms, it is best you stay away from unprescribed use of amla oil on the skin.

Similarly, you must avoid the ingestion of amla oil in any form in order to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

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References

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  2. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. Effect of Topical Application of Oils of Amla, Coconut, Sarson and Samsol on Growth of Rabbit's Hair and Sheep Wool. Karachi, Pakistan.
  3. Binic I, Lazarevic V, Ljubenovic M, Mojsa J, Sokolovic D. Skin Ageing: Natural Weapons and Strategies. 2013;2013:827248. PMID: 23431351
  4. Gaire BP, Subedi L. Phytochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal properties of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. 2014 Dec 9.PMID: 25491539
  5. Garg AP, Müller J. Inhibition of growth of dermatophytes by Indian hair oils. 1992 Nov-Dec;35(11-12):363-9. PMID: 1302812
  6. Pasquetti M, Min ARM, Scacchetti S, Dogliero A, Peano A. Infection by Microsporum canis in Paediatric Patients: A Veterinary Perspective. 2017 Sep 19;4(3):46. PMID: 29056704.
  7. Rajpreet Kaur Goraya and Usha Bajwa. Enhancing the functional properties and nutritional quality of ice cream with processed amla (Indian gooseberry). 2015 Dec; 52(12): 7861–7871. PMID: 26604358
  8. Krishnaveni M, Mirunalini S. Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder. 2010;21(1):93-105. PMID: 20506691
  9. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Lichen planus pigmentosus
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