Studies on the avocado fruit have been uncovering more and more health benefits as wider research goes into its potential—and that’s especially true for the last decade or so. The avocado is an amazing nutrition source that’s loaded with potassium, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. It has also been known to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, protect your liver, help with skincare, weight loss, and much more.
If that wasn’t enough, the fruit itself isn’t the only miraculous part of an avocado. Other parts of the avocado can also play a critical role in organically aiding your health and wellbeing, especially its leaves.
If you’ve been throwing away all of your avocado leaves while using the fruit, that changes today. Those leaves have copious amounts of healthy acids and vitamins, making them highly useful for organic home remedies.
What is avocado?
If you happen to live in an area where avocados don’t grow much or aren’t as popular, you may not be fully aware of this fruit.
They’re distinguishable by their skin’s dark green shade, with a pear-like shape. However, they don’t taste like pears at all. Before eating, you’ll also have to get rid of the avocado’s seed, which is fairly large and round.
Avocados come from trees, which means many of them are harvested with their leaves still attached to them. In this article, we’ll discuss how you’d be lucky to find leaves attached to your avocados – because these leaves have various health benefits that aren’t too common in other fruits or leaves. When toasted, they produce a distinct hazelnut-ish aroma and taste like mellow liquorice.
From their most important wellness benefits to their various key uses, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get into it!
Benefits of avocado leaves
1. Aids in weight loss
The weight-loss potential of avocado leaves deserves the top spot on this list. Containing limonene, an appetite suppressing substance, these leaves can help induce a feeling of being full, which helps you keep your food intake at reasonable levels, preventing unnecessary bloating, overeating, and weight gain.
2. Decreases anxiety and insomnia
Experts believe avocado leaves to be especially noteworthy in providing an organic solution to prevent mental health issues like insomnia and anxiety. This health benefit comes from the impact of avocado leaves on the brain receptors that are responsible for serotonin production.
If you’re not familiar with serotonin, it’s the key hormone that deals with stabilizing your mood. It plays a critical role in regulating your appetite, happiness, and sleep quality.
Aside from this hormone, the limonene content within avocado leaves can also help in dealing with anxiety.
3. Prevents and treats diarrhea
Diarrhea is usually treated with the use of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t like taking pills unless it’s necessary, avocado leaf tea could be exactly what you’re looking for. You could add this tea to your daily routine as your natural defense against diarrhea. Avocado leaves can play a role in protecting you against the specific types of viruses and bacteria that can lead to diarrhea, which keeps you from falling sick.
Not only does avocado leaf tea have preventive capabilities against diarrhea, but it can also treat the condition with its limonene content. Limonene can greatly improve your intestinal function, and help maintain a strong digestive balance.
4. Acts as a detoxing agent
Avocado leaves can purify the blood, getting rid of any toxic substances thanks to a compound called flavanol. Because avocado leaves are rich in this compound, they encourage the body to remove such toxins naturally with bowel movement.
When drunk daily, avocado tea can work as an incredible detox agent, helping your body get rid of toxic substances at an increased pace—all while staying all-natural!
5. Treats diabetes
Avocado leaves are also rich in glycoside content, which has shown significant promise in being an effective organic tool in diabetes treatment. Glycoside can provide the body with the sugar it needs to help you achieve a more satisfied and ‘fuller’ feeling when you eat.
Rather than going for your usual sugary snack, try replacing it with a healthier choice next time—avocado leaf tea! You’ll enjoy its taste, with the added benefit of not feeling so constantly hungry for snacks between meals.
6. Reduces cholesterol
The limonene compound in avocado is again the star compound here. Avocado leaves are a great home remedy to keep your cholesterol levels in check, all thanks to limonene.
According to experts, not only does it help lower cholesterol, but can also reduce several risk factors such as triglyceride levels and blood sugar. These risks can lead to heart disease, which means adding avocado leaves to your daily diet is one of the best dietary choices you could make for your heart health.
7. Reduces itching and swelling
Another beneficial compound in avocado leaves is quercetin, which scientists believe can be significantly helpful in reducing swelling and inflammation. One study found it to have notable preventive potential against chronic and acute levels of inflammation, while also demonstrating properties that can help treat arthritis organically.
Quercetin is thought to be able to minimize and neutralize inflammatory substances, especially when it’s applied externally on top of the skin, over the affected area.
Thanks to the anti-allergic substances in avocado leaves, avocado leaf extract tea can also help with itching caused by allergic reactions, insect bites, skin infections, or irritation.
8. Improves skin health
Besides being anti-inflammatory, avocado leaves are also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are widely regarded as one of the best natural agents that keep the skin supple, clean, and youthful. They’re amongst the most crucial ingredients that the skin requires for maintaining good health.
Fun fact: most of your skincare products probably also list antioxidants as a key ingredient, and that’s because of how important they are for skin health.
Avocado leaves also have antiseptic properties, which in combination with antioxidants can also fight blackheads and acne. Some other skincare benefits of antioxidants include anti-aging properties, preventing early signs of skin loosening or wrinkling, and fighting free radicals that can harm the skin.
Overall, adding avocado leaves to your daily diet can help with maintaining the suppleness, vibrancy, and elasticity of your skin.
9. May prevent cancer
Though more research is required to reliably support this claim, according to early research studies, avocado leaves have shown promise as an organic tool that have potential in cancer treatment, especially when used in conjunction with traditional medicinal cancer remedies.
Owing to the limonene and pinene content in avocado leaves, they are thought to be able to prevent and even help treat certain types of cancers. These two compounds have shown to be effective in acting as chemoprotective agents, and in hindering cancer cell growth in patients.
10. Reduces headache pain
If you frequently suffer from bad migraines, reaching for over-the-counter painkillers may not be the right move every time. Avocado leaves might be the best at-home natural remedy for your troubles, as they can treat headaches through their pinene and quercetin compounds. This compound pair works together to obstruct pain transmitters that induce migraines, and other headache-associated pains, providing you instant relief.
You can try making a tea out of avocado leaves to give them the best chance at treating your headache. The best part about it is that even if it doesn’t work too well for you, there isn’t any risk of side effects involved, as it’s avocado leaf tea is all-natural home remedy.
11. Lessens asthma symptoms
The same compound, pinene, has also been found to aid easier breathing, kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and also improve memory.
Pinene helps opens up an asthma patient’s airways thanks to its bronchodilator effect, increasing airflow to the lungs, while also reducing inflammation. This effect of pinene can be remarkably effective against problematic asthma symptoms, and other serious respiratory illnesses.
Especially with the current respiratory pandemic at hand, it’s best to do everything you can to keep your breathing intact. Take advantage of the pinene compound in avocado leaves during these times, even if you don’t suffer from asthma.
12. Protects the body from degenerative disease
Many people with inflammatory illnesses could largely benefit from adding avocado leaves into their daily nutrition intake – especially since the flavonol in avocado leaves can protect the body from several degenerative diseases like arthritis. According to some studies, regular consumption of avocado leaves can also prevent certain signs of early aging.
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13. Supports heart health
As mentioned above, avocado leaves can mitigate various heart disease risks with long-term consumption. According to experts, drinking avocado tea can have a significant positive effect on cardiovascular health, blood circulation, and blood pressure. The natural composition of avocado leaf extract tea can help maintain heart rate and blood pressure at desirable levels.
14. Promotes stronger, thicker hair
Avocado leaves also have significant applications in haircare. Avocado is a commonly used ingredient in many organic hair health products. Most of this comes it from being rich in B-type vitamins.
Avocado leaves can strengthen your hair and rejuvenate its shine and health. According to studies, a deficiency of B vitamins leads to hair loss. If you’re not getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B through your regular diet, it’s time to pump those numbers up through an increased daily intake of avocado leaves—possibly through tea.
Uses of avocado leaves
Now that you know about the healthcare potential of avocado leaves, you’re probably wondering how you could use them at home. Here are 4 home remedies to try out yourself.
1. Avocado leaf tea
In case you hadn’t already picked up from this article, one of the best ways to make the most out of avocado leaves is to boil them and create a rich herbal tea. Though avocado tea is easily available in many retail and health stores, it’s more effective (and cheaper) to use the leaves straight from a plant and make tea with them yourself.
Put two or more leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes. This allows the nutrients from the leaves to pass into the water. Then, let the water cool down to drinkable temperature, and enjoy the tea with a natural sweetener like honey, and maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon.
To maximize the benefits of avocado leaf tea, make sure to drink it at least once a day. Drinking it in the morning is possibly the best choice because it’ll keep you energized and hydrated for the day ahead.
2. Avocado leaf soup or stew
As with adding them to hot water to make tea, avocado leaves can be added to boiling water to flavor your stews and soups. You can choose to have your soup or stew with or without the leaves when it comes to plating up, because avocado leaves are edible.
However, the leaves may not be to your taste, so make sure you’re okay with their flavor before choosing to have your soup with them.
3. Avocado leaf facemasks
As you now know well, there’s a lot of skincare potential hidden the humble avocado fruit.
When it comes to skin health, ingesting avocado leaves isn’t the only way to take advantage of them.
You can apply the leaves directly to your face or on other areas where you may have acne, scars, or blackheads. An avocado face mask can help fight acne and many similar skin conditions.
To make a face mask out of avocado leaves, simply mash five fresh leaves and mix them with a little bit of lemon juice to make it into a paste. Apply the mixture directly to the affected areas of your skin or your whole face, and leave it on for about 10 minutes—allowing the nutrients to transfer their full effects. Then, wash it off and pat dry with a towel.
If possible, treat your face with this leaf mask at least once a weak, especially if you commonly struggle with acne. It can also be used to prevent early signs of aging and to improve skin suppleness and health.
4. Avocado leaf hair mask
Many hair products rely on avocado leaf extract for most of the hair health benefits they have to offer. Why search for products with this specidic ingredient when you can just make your own at home? Just like the face mask discussed above, avocado leaf hair masks are simple to make. They can help strengthen your hair and encourage hair growth.
To make your own DIY avocado hair mask, crush a handful of young avocado leaves until a paste-like consistency is formed. Then, whisk one egg yolk and combine it with the leaf paste. Apply the mixture to your hair and allow the nutrients sufficient time to work—about 30 minutes.
Once the time is up, rinse your hair well with warm water, and let it dry on its own. Do this regularly and you’ll see your hair getting shinier in appearance and smoother to touch.
You can use the mask as frequently as you wish, as it’s all-organic. If you’re trying to grow your hair out quick, or want to give it a boost, using the mask once a week is more than enough.
The avocado has so much more to offer than you may have thought. The next time you buy avocado fruit, you’ll hopefully be more excited about the leaves than the fruit itself.
Discarding the leaves is in no way a smart move, because all of those health benefits don’t belong in the bin – rather, in your body, rejuvenating your wellness through fully organic means. Use avocado leaves internally and externally on a regular basis, and you’ll be able to feel the results yourself within a month or two.