Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amla, The Fruit for Eternal Youth

The Indian gooseberry, Amla, Phyllanthus embilica has flooded the market now. It is a small, green fruit, astringent and somewhat bitter to taste, but it is purported to have great rejuvenating qualities. All systems of Indian medicine make extensive use of the Amla. Jams, pickle and murabba is made from it, which are very popular. Chyavanprash, a spicy jam made from it using 100 medicinal herbs, is based on the Amla fruit.
The feathery leaved tree framed by the other trees is the Amla tree. There is an interesting story about the tree.
In the ancient times,the beautiful Princess Sukanya accidentally pierced the eyes of the old sage Chyavan, who was meditating sitting in an ant-hill. Sukanya's father, fearing the wrath of the sage, married her off to the blind old sage. Sukanya looked after her husband tenderly, and soon fell in love with him. One day , the gods' physicians, the twin Ashwini Kumars, visited them in human form. Pleased with Sukanya, they asked Chyavan to take a bath with them in the nearby lake. When they emerged from the lake, all the three were looking alike - like young and handsome men. They asked Sukanya to tell who her husband was. In a daze, Sukanya looked at her favourite Amla tree and saw its long shadow. Immediately she knew who her husband was- the man with the shadow. The gods cast no shadow as they are beings of light.
The Ashwini Kumars were pleased with Sukanya's cleverness and love for her husband, and they taught Chyavan the secret recipe for Chyavanprash, which keeps one youthful till the natural end of one's life.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, what a wonderful post! I loved the story and the fruit and tree looks beautiful.

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  2. What a wonderful story! I have never seen this fruit before. It is different from our gooseberry. Do they have seeds?

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  3. Sylvana, thanks for visiting my blog and sending the comment.
    Helen, it is different from the ordinary gooseberry. Each fruit has one seed.

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  4. Interesting story!! Makes me wish to have amla right now. But have to wait to visit India before I can taste this fruit. Love your photographs.

    Janani

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  5. Delighted with this ... which I stumbled upon looking for kadamba vruksh. Now I know how it looks. I am looking for its seed, and I hope I can plant one. Then had a glimpse of amla. Sure will visit again. Good Luck

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