69. The merits of Amla

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, the vitamin which prevents scurvy, is found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Among vegetables, the green leafy varieties are the best sources. When pulses and cereal grains are allowed to sprout this vitamin C is formed in the grain and in the growing green sprouts. Amla (Indian gooseberry) grows abundantly in all Indian forests and is obtainable in almost unlimited quantities from January to April. The fresh juice contains nearly twenty times as much vitamin C as orange juice, and a single fruit is equivalent in vitamin C content to one or two oranges. It is possible to preserve Amla without losing much of the vitamin, for unlike other fresh fruits or vegetables it contains substances which practically protect the vitamin from destruction on heating and drying. Amla is included as an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines and tonics. It was found to be a most effective cure for scurvy in 1940 in the Hissar famine area. The above useful information is gleaned from The Indian Medical Gazette of March 1942.

A. K.
Harijan, 12-4-1942