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Gooseberry (Nellikkai)

The Indian Gooseberry known as “Nellikkai” in Tamil and “Amla” in Hindi is reputed to have the highest content of vitamin C. It contains more Vitamin C than orange, lime, guava or sweet lime. About 100 gms of the edible fruit contains about 600 mg of Vitamin C. 8.75 mg of natural vitamin C complex from Nellikkai is equivalent to 100 mg of the most commonly used synthetic vitamin C. It also contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex.
It helps in dilating the blood vessels and thereby reducing the blood pressure. It also helps reduce blood sugar in diabetics. It is a powerful antioxidant agent.
It cures acidity, ulcer and improve appetite. It is very effective in treatment of Eye and Heart diseases, Diarrhea/dysentery and Hair loss.
The tree is considered as a sacred tree in India.
Above all, most important fact is the vitamin C content in Gooseberry does not diminish with cooking.
So either go for a fresh fruit or cook it whatever way you like. Raw fruit is very sour when you bite it first but slowly you will get sweet taste when you munch it. Drinking water after munching the fruit is different sweet experience.

We can also add one or two whole Nellikai to the Sambar along with other vegetables. For Dwadasi Samaiyal (After fasting on Vaikunda Ekadasi Day, next day is the Dwadasi day and the meal we prepare is called Dwadasi samaiyal), we never forget to add gooseberries in cooking.

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