Traditional Mexican communities have used avocado leaves for tea, cooking, and healing for millennia. However, the avocado leaf’s applications and benefits have only recently come to attention for most of us.
The fruit of the avocado plant is well-known around the world. Avocado leaves’ health benefits, on the other hand, are only now making their way into the general public’s consciousness.
Look for alternating, dark-green leaves with somewhat lighter-green veins on the avocado tree for identification. Avocado leaves can remain on the tree for three years or more.
The leaves of avocados can be eaten. You can get all of these benefits from other fruits and vegetables and the avocado fruit itself. Avocado leaves have several uses, including cosmetics, medicinal formulations, food, and beverages.
Use the young, fragile leaves sparingly in salads and other dishes. Large to medium-sized leaves are dried and used in tea and culinary herb preparations. Compared to the West Indian avocado leaves, the Mexican avocado leaves have a slight anise-y aroma when crushed.
Considering that the avocado tree is closely connected to the Bay leaf shrub, this isn’t that far of a leap. The dried leaves can be purchased like bay leaves in Mexico. Spice powders are made by toasting and crushing or grinding the leaves.
Which Avocado Leaves Are Toxic?
The leaves of avocado trees other than the Mexican variety are considered harmful. It is harmful to animals that eat significant amounts of avocado leaves, seeds, and skin, but this is rare in people who eat avocado leaves as a herbal, seasoning, or tea ingredient.
Avocados from trees with Guatemalan or West Indian ancestry, including Hass, Fuerte, and Nabal, and an avocado tree with Mexican ancestry, would be beyond bounds because of their Guatemalan ancestry.
According to reports, Guatemalan leaves are said to be used medicinally by the country’s indigenous people. However, you wouldn’t use them in cooking because they don’t taste or smell like Mexican leaves, and you wouldn’t realize that they’re poisonous.
To ensure the safety of the tree’s leaves, you need to make sure it is of the correct variety. It’s also worth noting that the producer knew he was spraying the tree intending to sell the leaves from the start and had planned accordingly.
The latex in avocados and avocado products can be deadly if you are allergic to latex. In addition, avocados can cause allergic reactions in certain people, especially those who are sensitive to birch pollen. The lips and throat may itch as a symptom.
Are Avocado Leaves Toxic to Humans?
Avocado leaves contain the fungicidal toxin persin. It is toxic and hazardous for domestic animals if persin is ingested through the avocado tree’s leaves, bark, or fruit skins and seeds.
The seeds and leaves of the avocado can release persin, an oil-soluble molecule chemically similar to a fatty acid. Allergy sufferers are the most likely to experience adverse effects in people.
It is harmful to animals that eat significant amounts of avocado leaves, seeds, and skin, but this is rare in people who eat avocado leaves as a herbal, seasoning, or tea ingredient.
The ripe pulp of the avocado fruit contains modest quantities of persin, which is generally regarded safe for human consumption. The signs of avocado toxin poisoning in birds are heart palpitations, cardiac tissue damage, difficult breathing, disorganized plumage, nervousness, and lethargy.
You shouldn’t eat the leaves if you don’t have a Mexico avocado tree. People who eat avocado leaves as a flavoring or tea component do not have the same health effects as animals consuming large volumes of avocado leaves, seeds, and skin.
Persin has been shown to cause apoptosis in some breast cancer cells in animal experiments. In addition, tamoxifen’s cytotoxic effect was also enhanced in vitro when combined with this compound. It is, however, challenging to dissolve persin in water. Thus, further study is needed to develop a soluble tablet form.
How Do You Eat Avocado Leaves?
As a fiber and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant source, avocado leaves are a good choice. In addition, essential minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, and manganese are found in these leaves.
There are minor to larger avocado leaves ranging from 4 to 10 centimeters wide and 10 to 30 centimeters long. They are oblong to elliptic in shape. The top of the leaf is leathery and dark green, while the bottom is matte and light green to brown.
In the center of each long, slender leaf runs a conspicuous, pale green-white vein. Tender hazelnut and anise-licorice flavors come from toasting avocado leaves before using them. The leaves’ flavor might be described as spicy and slightly bitter.
Fresh and dried avocado leaves are best prepared by roasting, boiling, or steaming rather than frying. For roasting meats and fish, fresh avocado leaves can be used as a bed, as a wrapper for steaming or grilling fish, and even as an ingredient in the filling of tamales.
Additionally, they can be dried and used in various dishes, including stews, moles, and salad dressings, where they impart a nutty hazelnut and pungent anise flavor. When kept in a cold, dry, and dark location, dried avocado leaves can last up to a year if kept your avocado leaves inside an airtight container.
Is Avocado Leaf Medicinal?
Several chefs have said that the flavor of avocado leaves is similar to fennel, anise, or bay leaves. Toasting avocado leaves generates a nutty scent and a licorice-like flavor, traditionally done before usage.
To get an idea of the subtle tastes that avocado leaves can provide to your food, imagine if you put fennel, bay leaves, and hazelnuts in the pan and let them roast for a few minutes.
You may find quercetin in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This effective natural antioxidant helps us stay healthy on all levels, from the heart to the immune system, from the bones to the inflammation-fighting ability.
Avocado leaves just so happen to be high in quercetin. In addition, minerals like zinc, calcium, magnesium, and potassium abound in these extraordinary leaves, making them great for boosting the immune system. In addition, these fantastic leaves improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and reduce hypertension; they all contribute to a healthy heart.
Avocado leaves are rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and improves gut and metabolic health. In addition, flavonoids and high amounts of quercetin assist the body in ridding itself of pollutants and damaging free radicals, which may help lower inflammation, a risk factor for cancer and heart disease, in the process.
Avocado leaves also contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes healthy brain function and reduces stress and anxiety. So the avocado leaf deserves a round of applause!