Full of eastern promises
Colette Harris tries an exotic new tonic: Amla 49
Sunday 09 March 1997
The main ingredient in this fruit-and-herb tonic is pulped amla fruit, or Indian gooseberry, a sour-tasting berry packed with vitamin C. But there are 48 other components, including herbs like tiger's claw and Indian trumpet flower.
Around 25 million Asians use an all-round herbal tonic prescribed in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient treatise on ayurvedic principles. This is what Amla 49 - which claims to have cleansing and antioxidant properties - is based on. "We import it from India, where it's made up using the traditional recipe as a basis," explains importer Bodywealth UK.
But Dr Ela Shah of the Ayurved Consultancy thinks that a mere basis in a traditional recipe does not add up to much. Dr Shah says: "This product is a diluted version of a traditional mixture, with all sorts of things like sweeteners and honey added. Amla fruit is full of vitamin C, so you would get that benefit, but I doubt you would get much else. You might as well eat amla jam."
However, Chinese herbal expert, Sharon Subner, of the Good Health Clinic in London is a fan. "You only get a little bit of each thing in the mixture, but the combination gives you something extra," she says.
"I would say this product is a good immune booster and metabolism regulator. And with vitamin C and warming spices like cloves and cinnamon, Amla 49 would be great for colds."
Amla 49 costs pounds 9.99. Call 0171 721 7674 for stockists.
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