Amla (emblica officinalis), Amalaki, Indian gooseberry. In autumn, in wet forested hilly areas of India’s subcontinent, the amla or gooseberry fruit ripens. Sacred to India, sour in taste, sumptuous to eat. In many countries, food good to eat is also food good for the skin. Canada is listening.
I am very conscious of what feeds my skin. We started Earth to Body 15 years ago, due to an illness that stripped me of my job and much of my life at the time. But it was also the start of a new journey. My healing research, introduced me to the amla tree. Fortuitously. We now use amla in two of our skin care products. Our ESP and Tooth Cleanser.
Recently, I visited a hair salon in Victoria, BC. Vancouver islanders are back to earth, tree huggers, eco aware, sustainable and caring for the environment. Forgetting I was in Victoria, I asked my hairdresser to kindly read the label as to what was in the conditioner. She readily obliged and I learned a new term, ‘Slow Food’. I asked her what it meant. She did not know, but assured me that the ingredients were all natural from a farm in Italy. As she washed and massaged her magic on me, a light bulb flicked on and I beamed. “Oh. Clever. Slow Food vs. Fast Food. It means it is good for us.” Italy , a pioneer.
According to wikkepdia Slow Food is a grassroots organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986. It has since spread worldwide. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.
A visit to a hair salon was my intro to SLOW FOOD. I love the term. Not surprisingly, it translates to cosmetics. And that means Amla. A slow food. Good for you. All natural and from the earth. Non GMO. Traditional. Amla is a well-known hair conditioner. Excellent on controlling dandruff. Adds shine to the hair. Did you know that giving up most of the commercial hair shampoos and conditioners, your hair has a lot less chance of falling out? Adding amla to your hair routine is an added bonus. This fact alone is probably why our ESP shampoo bar is so popular.
And let’s go south to the mouth. Why did we decide to add amla to our tooth cleanser? Amla and Ayurvedic* toothpastes are married. Ayurvedic toothpastes select from 20 herbs, roots and fruits to promote health in the teeth, mouth and digestive tract. Amla is one of them. Adding amla helps to astringe the mucus membranes and promote healthy gums. Amla is known as a general rebuilder of oral health. So for hair, scalp, mouth, we love amla.
Thank you, India, for introducing ‘Amazing Amla’ to our country. And thank you, Italy, for the SLOW FOOD movement.
*the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.