Against hypertension, even that which cannot be controlled by drugs, we now know that we have a new powerful ally on our side, amla, or Indian gooseberry. This emerges from recent scientific research published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine by an Iranian team (Ghaffari et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2020).
Hypertension, a growing problem
Hypertension is one of the most important and widespread health problems globally. It is estimated that, by 2025, 60% of the adult population will be diagnosed with hypertension. Excessively high blood pressure causes damage to the cardiovascular system but also problems with cognitive function as well as increasing the risk of neurodegeneration. This is why science is constantly looking for remedies to control blood pressure, also considering that, sometimes, drugs may not be enough.
The properties of amla
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, scientific name Emblica officinalis Gaertn, is characterized by fruits similar to grapes. The fruits of amla have already been studied for their cardiotonic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasodilating properties, also useful for counteracting arteriosclerosis. Not only that, amla also has an anti-hypertensive effect. Therefore, the researchers wondered whether amla can be considered a complementary remedy to the treatment of hypertension, even in the most difficult cases to treat, in which blood pressure remains above the warning levels despite the use of drugs.
Amla fights hypertension, the study
Scientists recruited 80 people, average age 53, all with uncontrollable hypertension despite the use of drugs. The volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to take an amla supplement, 500 mg three times a day after their main meals, for 8 weeks. The second group took a placebo instead. At the end of the experiment it was found that those who had taken amla had a significant reduction in blood pressure. In particular, the systolic blood pressure showed a reduction between 8 and 24%, while the diastolic blood pressure between 5 and 20%. The group that had taken the placebo instead presented very variable blood pressure values at the end of the study, sometimes decreased, remained the same or even increased, despite the presence of antihypertensive drugs. Hence, amla, as the authors of the study conclude, can be considered a valid complementary treatment to treat even the most drug-resistant hypertension.