Originating in the Americas and Europe, amaranth has been cultivated for more than 8,000 years, dating back at least to the Mayan civilization of South and Central America. It was a staple of the Aztecs and incorporated into their religious ceremonies. In the 1500’s the Spanish conquistadors prohibited amaranth production. In that area today only a limited amount of amaranth grain is grown, most of which is popped and mixed with honey to make a confection called, “alegría.” However, much of the genetic base has been maintained there because amaranth has continued to grow as a wildflower.
Amaranth grain is a highly nutritious pseudocereal with a superior amount of proteins when compared to true cereals. It is a reasonably well-balanced food with functional properties that have been shown to provide medicinal benefits. The health benefits attributed include decreasing plasma cholesterol levels, stimulating the immune system, exerting an antitumor activity, reducing blood glucose levels and improving conditions of hypertension and anemia.
Amaranth was proven to have ACE-Inhibitor qualities. ACE Inhibitors have been used to: lower blood pressure, treat patients with congestive heart failure, treat patients who have experienced a heart attack, and kidney complication from diabetes.
Several separate medical studies provided conclusive evidence that amaranth grains did in fact lower blood pressure. According to Silva-Sanchez et. al. 2008 investigated the presence of the peptide lunasin in amaranth grains, characterized it and studied its anti-carcinogenic properties. The authors concluded that amaranth grains may be a potential source of several bio-active peptides with relevant actions on cancer and hypertension.
The usage of this plant arises from the 5000 years old traditional Indian medical system Ayurveda, especially “Rasayana”, a discipline of Ayurveda that concentrates on improving a healthy body, avoiding illness, improving the defense mechanisms, in addition to reviving as well as stimulating the body as well as thoughts (Krishnaveni, 2010). The powerful perception in “prevention is better than cure” has resulted in Amla being integrated in numerous supplementary health tonics.
I first discovered amla powder while researching for upcoming articles. While I was researching on nutritionfacts.org I found an articles discussing, “ A Better Breakfast.” At first I was amazed by the antioxidant properties of this “Indian Gooseberry powder” but then I also began to discovering the many way it promotes health including the lowering of blood pressure.
According to the “Indian Journal of Pharmacology” The findings of one study suggested, “That Amla produced significant hypolipidemic effect along with a reduction in blood pressure. Addition of Amla to the currently available hypolipidemic therapy would offer significant protection against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, with reduction in the dose and adverse effects of the hypolipidemic agents.”
A Note: Should you wish to try the Indian Gooseberry also know as “Amalaki or Amla” please purchase this from a reputable seller. For example it can be purchased on Amazon at the link Amla Fruit Powder.
When using these or any other alternative sources please do you own research and discuss what you want to do with your physician.
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