Benefits of Amla for Hair

Let me tell you about our brand new product called amla powder!

amla fruit

What is Amla Powder?

Amla powder is a tan powder that has been used as a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.  It is made from drying Indian gooseberry, a small greenish yellow berry native to India.  Now we will discuss the many benefits of amla for hair!

amla product

What are the benefits of amla for hair?

There are many benefits of amla for hair:

  1. Adds body and shine to the hair
  2. Creates cooler toned browns when mixed with henna
  3. Prevents indigo from fading
  4. Enhances dye uptake for those problematic roots
  5. Darkens henna colors
  6. Prevents the relaxing of curls and waves that can be caused by henna
  7. Keeps the hair from turning brassy when used with the Light Blonde Henna.

How do I use it?

We have discussed the benefits of amla for hair, now we talk about how to use it!  You can use amla by itself or you can mix it with any of the henna colors.  Here are some specific instructions based on your color preference:

Red Henna or Light Blonde Henna (Cassia)

Mix 2.5 tbsp amla to entire packet.  Next mix in some warm water until it is of yogurt consistency.  Let sit 8-12 hours, then apply as directed.

Brown Henna

  • Light Brown – Use 2 tbsp amla

Amla can give henna a darker, cooler tone.

  • Medium Brown – Use 1.5 tbsp amla
  • Dark Brown – Use 1 tbsp amla

Mix amla with brown HENNA powder. Next mix with warm water until it is of yogurt consistency.  Let sit 8-12 hours, then use indigo as directed. Never add amla directly to indigo as it will inhibit the dye release.


Black Henna

Mix 2.5 tbsp amla with entire pack of black HENNA powder.  Next mix with warm water until it is of yogurt consistency.  Let sit 8-12 hours then use as directed.


Amla as a curl restorer or conditioning treatment

Mix amla with warm water until it is of yogurt consistency.  Let sit 15-30 minutes, then apply to hair.  Leave on hair for 30 minutes, then rinse.


Want a full list of benefits of amla for hair? Check it out!  Here are nine more uses specifically for hair and skin care.


Written By: Katie Hamilton of Morrocco Method April 21, 2015

UPDATE MAY 27/15: We here at Upaya, tried the Amla ourselves on a base of rich med/dark brown hair, and the results are indeed accurate.  What we noticed right away was that the Amla did darken or cool the red henna colour, almost to a nice auburn. On the hair that had blond streaks, the Amla (mixed with 95% Red and 5% med brown) turned it a vibrant red. However already knowing that from the above information posted earlier, we were not surprised. It turned out a nice dark auburn with red streaks/highlights. Each time we use henna we get a slightly different result as we mix up how much of the brown and red we use, just to keep things interesting!

The other difference compared to using henna on its own, was that the amla certainly allowed the hair to stay more pliant or keep its natural wave/curl.  Without the amla, the natural wavy hair takes on a more coarse straightness that doesnt hold wave or curl in the same way or as easily.  With the amla, we got the great vibrant colour and kept the natural wavy/curly texture. This is our first time using Amla with the Henna and look forward to using it again in the future.


Muscle Spasms, Twitching Eyes, Unexplained Tiredness? – Magnesium Could Be the Missing Link

According to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND,  author of The Magnesium Miracle, an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.   What does this mean?  That over half of Americans are walking around with one or more of these symptoms:  muscle spasms or cramps, twitching eyes, nerve issues, headaches, fatigue, numbness and tingling sensations, or restlessness.  Severe magnesium deficiency can also lead to seizures, irregular heart rhythms, and heart spasms.

Even if you have your blood tested for magnesium it is not accurate since the percentage of magnesium in blood is less than 5%.  So blood serum tests are useless.   It makes you wonder if this is actually just a cash grab for labs and doctors since they do not give accurate reading of weather a person is deficient or not.

The good thing is that magnesium deficiency is something that can be taken care of fairly easily.  There are many foods that are high in magnesium such as spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, avocados, figs, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate, just to name a few.  There are also many magnesium supplements that can be taken internally and sprays and gels that can be applied externally.

Magnesium Spray

Try to avoid supplements containing magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate or magnesium hydroxide since they may cause a laxative effect.   You can purchase magnesium chloride sprays that have a better absorption rate and won’t cause stool softening properties or a laxative effects since they are applied topically.   These sprays are also useful for targeting sore muscles or areas where there is muscle cramping.

Don’t be part of the 80% of people walking around deficient, get your magnesium levels up.  Your body will thank you.

Nutella versus Rawtella: Which is the Real Deal?

There’s been a recent craze, especially at a popular coffee shop chain, with Nutella stuffed donuts and Nutella spread on bagels as a healthy alternative to some of the other items served there.   Nutella boasts the health benefits of hazelnuts – since they are rich source of magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin B’s such as folate.   What they are neglecting to tell their customers is about the rest of the ingredients in this popular spread and how they are not really healthy at all.nutella

Did you know that Nutella is Gluten Free, Certified Kosher and has No Artificial Colours or Preservatives.  But does this mean it’s healthy?   So what’s in Nutella anyway?   What do you think the first ingredient is?   You would think it would be hazelnuts, right?  Wrong.  The first ingredient, which is also the one that it contains most of,  is processed white sugar.   That’s a great health food.   Yummy white sugar to put your blood sugar level through the roof.   The next ingredient you would think is hazelnuts, but it’s modified palm oil.   So it’s not palm oil, but MODIFIED palm oil.  What the heck does that mean?  Well, we will never know since it is used as a general term in food manufacturing.  It could mean it is hydrogenated which makes it worse with trans-fats.  The full ingredients are listed below

Nutella Ingredients: Sugar, Modified Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa, Skim Milk Powder, Whey Powder, Soy and/or Sunflower Lecithin, Vanillin.

Hold on a sec, what is vanillin?   Is it vanilla?  Nope, it’s artificial vanilla.   They can’t even put real vanilla in their product.  According to, Heather McClees at One Green Planet, Vanillin is what you’ll find in cheap extracts at the store that are also called “imitation vanilla”. Imitation vanilla may also be called “vanilla flavor”, and is often combined with sugar, corn syrup, or a similar low-quality sweetener to make the product taste better. It’s chemically produced to mimic the taste of vanilla but is not however, true vanilla.

So what is healthy about Nutella anyway.  The cacao is processed, you have soy or sunflower lecithin, which is most likely from GMO crops, and you have dairy products.  Hold on, it must be the hazelnuts.  Yes the third ingredient is what makes it so healthy.   These non-organic most likely heated and pasteurized hazelnuts.

Well thank goodness there are other companies out there that are making a small dent in Nutella’s fame – such as Rawtella.  Rawtella is a stone ground spread with only 3 simple ingredients.  It’s made in small batches using all organic non-GMO  ingredients with no funny stuff added.  It also comes in a variety of flavours.  It has 1/3 the sugar of Nutella and uses coconut sugar, which is way healthier than white table sugar and won’t spike your blood sugar level into the high heavens.   You will also notice that the first ingredient is…..  hazelnuts, not processed sugar.  Rawtella is a very smooth spread, with just enough sweetness and has a nice hazelnut flavour to tantalize your taste buds.


Rawtella has only the following organic ingredients: Raw Hazelnuts, Raw Cacao Nibs, Coconut Crystals (which is Coconut Sugar).

After writing this blog we had to stop and wonder…….    hmmmm…. so which product is the knock-off here.  It’s almost as if Nutella is the sad knock off when comparing it to the pure ingredients of Rawtella.  Go for the healthy stuff and let us know what you think.


Rawtella is available in 5 Flavours (Original, Mint, Coffee, Crunch, and Silk) and can be purchased at  Upaya Naturals.



Easy to Make Sauerkraut

Fermenting food can be very intimidating for some people due to the fear of bacteria.   However,  the bacteria in fermented foods is excellent for building beneficial gut flora to help with digestion.   Once you make a few simple batches of sauerkraut the fear of something going wrong with it is forgotten.   The key though is to make sure you are using the freshest ingredients, clean water and a clean jar or fermentation pot.

You can ferment your veggies in any container.   We recommend using a ceramic fermentation pot since it allows for larger quantities and it is actually designed for making sauerkraut and other fermented foods.   These fermentation pots are what the pro’s use.  The stoneware is baked at over 1200 deg C and is finished with a lead free glaze.   It has a moat on the top that you fill with water that creates a air tight seal but still allows for the gas produced while fermenting to escape.   It also comes with 2 stones that apply the correct weight to the sauerkraut to keep it under the salt water.  The recipe below is for a 10 liter fermentation pot.




11-17 lbs of Cabbage for the 10 liter pot
3 tablespoons of sea salt for every 5 lbs of cabbage.

  1. Remove the outer wilted leaves of the cabbage and shred the cabbage into a bowl using a knife or food processor.   You can make it thick or thin depending on how you like it.
  1. Weigh the salt and keep it separate from the shredded cabbage. Generally it’s about 3 tablespoons for every 5 lbs of cabbage.
  1. Add a layer of cabbage to the pot and sprinkle some salt on it. Mash the cabbage with a potatoe masher or fist until cellular fluid is released from the cabbage.
  2. Repeat until the pot is almost filled – 4/5ths of the way.sauerkraut2
  3. Put one whole cabbage leaf on top and place the stones on it.  If the stones are covered by less than 1 to 2 inches of liquid, add boiled and cooled salt water (1.5 g salt per liter)
  4. Cover the pot with the lid and add water into the water groove/moat. You do want to check every couple days to make sure there is water in the groove to prevent dust and mold spores from letting into the pot.
  5. Leave at room temperature (20-22 degrees C) for 2 to 3 days. Bubbling indicates the beginning of fermentation and is normal.
  6. After 3 days move it to a cooler location about 15 – 18 deg C.
  7. The sauerkraut can be eaten after 4-6 weeks.  You can store it jars in the fridge or even the basement if it is cool *about 5-10 deg c.).

There you go, easy to make sauerkraut.   We love adding this as a side to our favourite dishes or just eating it straight out of the jar.  Let us know your favourite fermented recipe.