Aloe Amla Juice: The Ultimate Beauty Beverage for Your Hair, Skin, & Belly

by Shaun Dmello, expert review by Meghna Unhawane, B.Sc. (Home Science & Nutrition)
Published on In Health1 Comment

If ever you wish to raise a toast to glowing skin, luscious locks, and a flat belly, you should fill that glass with aloe amla juice! Popular across the world as a natural solution for a variety of ailments, aloe is widely used in skin and hair care products. Amla or Indian Gooseberry is just as popular in India, having been used for millennia in the treatment of hair and skin conditions and more. While both ingredients are often touted as a cure to every known ailment (making the claims suspect), there is plenty of reason why you should include both ingredients in your beauty regimen, especially in combination.

The two ingredients are widely used in Ayurveda – aloe for skin care and amla for hair care. Aloe is mainly used in topical gels and creams, while amla is often used in hair oils. However, both ingredients can also be consumed in the form of a juice. When combined, the aloe vera amla juice mixture is one of the most potent remedies for hair and skin care, as well as weight management. So, let’s take a closer look at how aloe amla juice helps and if it’s really as effective as claimed.

Aloe Amla Juice for Skin Care

Referred to as ghritkumari in Ayurveda, aloe is said to have a balancing effect on all three doshas, making it a useful aid to individuals irrespective of their dosha type. Likewise, amla (or amalaki) also has a pacifying effect on all three doshas. Both aloe and amla are nutrition rich and have a positive influence on skin health, reducing inflammatory skin conditions and promoting clear youthful skin. They are regarded as rejuvenatives that promote ojas, strengthening immunity and delaying the onset of age-related damage. Although most commonly used in topical applications like gels and oils, they are also ingestible and are just as valuable when added to your diet.

These claims are supported by the findings of several studies. Aloe contains over 75 active ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, phenolic compounds, saponins, sterols, enzymes, and amino acids. Although the precise biochemical actions that influence skin tissue repair and regeneration with aloe juice ingestion are unclear, a study published in the journal Annals of Dermatology makes clear that dietary aloe intake stimulates an increase in collagen production, while limiting collagen degradation. This was found to offer some protection against aging skin, improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkle formation. Amla has a nutritional profile that is just as complex, with high ascorbic acid or vitamin C content and polyphenols that include flavonoids and gallic acid. Aside from the obvious immune support, Japanese researchers found amla to have a positive influence on collagen metabolism, thereby protecting against age damage. Another study found that amla increases protection against skin damage associated with sun exposure.

Aloe Amla Juice for Hair Care

Amla oil is one of the most widely used hair oils on the Indian sub-continent, with the fruit having been used for this purpose for millennia. Aloe on the other hand is better known for its skin care benefits, but it is just as helpful in dealing with hair problems. While amla supports healthy hair growth and may delay greying or hair loss, aloe has a soothing effect that can also protect against hair loss by reducing inflammatory scalp conditions which are a common cause for excess hair fall. As in the context of skin care, aloe amla juice benefits may be attributed to its nutritional profile and dosha balancing properties.

Although the efficacy of natural treatments can vary greatly among different individuals and also depending on the duration of treatment, investigations so far have been promising. Researchers at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University studied the effects of various medicinal plants on the 5α-reductase enzyme and hair growth. They observed a strong 5α-reductase-inhibiting effect from amla. This is notable, as almost all hair loss is connected with male pattern baldness, which is linked to the enzyme. Although there is a need for more clinical research to support recommendations of aloe juice for hair care, anecdotal benefits can be explained through research findings – both topical and oral consumption of aloe produces anti-inflammatory benefits with some research suggesting that dietary intake of aloe may help in the management of inflammatory bowel disease; antiseptic agents like salicylic acid, cinnamonic acid, and phenols have also been identified in aloe, lending credence to claims that aloe can help treat or prevent scalp infections.

Aloe Vera & Amla Juice for Weight Loss

There are no shortcuts to weight loss and simply drinking some aloe and amla juice isn’t going to help you shed those pounds overnight. However, Ayurveda does support the use of aloe amla juice for weight loss, as an aid that can accentuate the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. The juice is said to help regulate appetite and improve digestion, helping metabolism and lowering the buildup of ama. As the buildup of ama or toxicity in the body is closely linked with fat accumulation, the juice combo could offer some respite. Moreover, the stabilizing effect of aloe amla juice on blood sugar helps to curb hunger pangs, reducing the risk of unhealthy food choices or overeating.

When it comes to weight loss benefits of aloe and amla juice, you would expect the evidence to be weak. Surprisingly, many of the purported weight loss benefits have scientific validity, although the mechanisms of action may not be clear. A study by researchers in Tokyo, found that aloe vera ingestion inhibited fat buildup, possibly by stimulating increased energy expenditure. Another study that appeared in the journal Nutrition also came to a similar conclusion, with the researchers observing body weight reduction and improved insulin sensitivity. The influence of amla on obesity and associated health risks has been even more impressive, with several studies highlighting cholesterol regulating, cardio-protective, and anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit. The dietary intake of amla was also associated with “significant reduction in body weight gain, insulin, leptin, lipids”.

A Word of Caution

When combined, aloe and amla juice work together to protect your hair and skin, providing you with a variety of essential and trace nutrients that promote healthy hair and skin. You can prepare your own amla aloe vera juice at home using the raw ingredients or simply use a pre-mixed amla aloe juice. If you wish, you can also use packaged amla and aloe juices, mixing them in equal quantities. Extraction of aloe gel and juice can be a bit tricky, with the gel close to the leaf surface containing a type of latex known as aloin. This latex produces allergic reactions in most individuals, whether applied topically or ingested. This makes it best to opt for pre-packaged varieties of aloe juice or gel. While amla is regarded as largely safe for consumption when used in moderation, aloe requires a more cautious approach. Your total intake of aloe juice should not exceed 2 to 4 ounces or 50 to 100 ml a day, as higher doses can cause uncomfortable side effects that include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

References:

  • Cho, Soyun et al. “Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in Vivo.” Annals of Dermatology 21.1 (2009): 6–11. PMC. Web. 18 June 2018.
  • Fujii, Takashi, et al. “Amla (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.) Extract Promotes Procollagen Production and Inhibits Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 in Human Skin Fibroblasts.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 119, no. 1, 2008, pp. 53–57., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.05.039.
  • Kumar, Naphatsorn, et al. “5α-Reductase Inhibition and Hair Growth Promotion of Some Thai Plants Traditionally Used for Hair Treatment.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 139, no. 3, 2012, pp. 765–771., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.010.
  • Langmead, L., et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Aloe Vera Gel in Human Colorectal Mucosa in Vitro.” Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 19, no. 5, 2004, pp. 521–527., doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.01874.x.
  • Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D G Saple. “ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW.” Indian Journal of Dermatology 53.4 (2008): 163–166. PMC. Web. 18 June 2018.
  • Misawa, Eriko, et al. “Administration of Dried Aloe Vera Gel Powder Reduced Body Fat Mass in Diet-Induced Obesity (DIO) Rats.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, vol. 58, no. 3, 2012, pp. 195–201., doi:10.3177/jnsv.58.195.
  • Choi, Ho-Chun, et al. “Metabolic Effects of Aloe Vera Gel Complex in Obese Prediabetes and Early Non-Treated Diabetic Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrition, vol. 29, no. 9, 2013, pp. 1110–1114., doi:10.1016/j.nut.2013.02.015.
  • Nazish, Iram, and Shahid H Ansari. “Emblica Officinalis – Anti-Obesity Activity.” Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, vol. 15, no. 2, May 2017, doi:10.1515/jcim-2016-0051.
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