A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The tree known as the avocado is a familiar plant; its fruits are consumed worldwide. At the same time, as a source for herbal remedies, many different parts of the avocado tree are utilized in the manufacture of different herbal remedies to be used in the treatment of different disorders and all types of conditions in affected patients. A very efficient and beneficial herbal remedy is prepared from the leaves and the bark of the avocado tree; this is used for the treatment of all kinds of coughs as well as in the treatment of different digestive disorders.
A wide array of herbal medicines are also prepared using the fruit, this is quite aside from its extremely nutritious and tasty characteristics - as mentioned the fruit is widely eaten in many parts of the world. The pulp of the avocado was traditionally used and is still widely used by the native people in Guatemala for stimulating the growth of hair on the head, traditional medicine in Latin America also utilizes rind from the fruit as a de-worming agent to expel intestinal worms from the body, the treatment of diarrhea is also done using remedies prepared from the seed of the avocado fruit. Other cultures in different places also made extensive use of the fruit in traditional medicine, for example, in most of West Africa the pulp of the fruit is widely used as baby food even today.
Peru is the probable place of origin for the avocado tree; it is believed that the tree is native to this country. The consensus is that historically the avocado trees were cultivated originally in the Andean Peruvian societies of 8,000- 9,000 years ago, and the tree grows extensively throughout Peru even now. The indigenous peoples of the country of Guatemala make extensive use of the avocado fruit, the dried and fresh leaves, the fruit rind and bark, and even the seeds to prepare many of their traditional tribal medicines.
ENERGY PER STANDARD PORTION 276 KCAL
Fruit, seed, leaves, bark.
Many different herbal remedies of great effectiveness are prepared from the plant, the stimulation of menstruation in women can be achieved by use of the avocado leaves as well as the bark of the young stems, and these two parts of the plant are also capable of inducing abortions in pregnant women. The leaves of the avocado are characterized by their astringent and carminative properties, and these leaves can be used in the treatment of diarrhea, to reduce abdominal accumulation of excess gas, and in the treatment of abdominal bloating. The leaves of the avocado also have a great capacity of relieving coughs and are considered of great value in this role, at the same time, the herbal remedies made from the leaves of the avocado are also used to clear away internal obstructions in the liver of patients, as well as in clearing away high uric acid levels in the body of individuals susceptible to this condition, if such uric acid accumulation continues unabated it results in the physiological disorder called gout - which is a very debilitating condition.
Additionally, worm expelling property of the rinds of the avocado fruit is a very beneficial ability extensively used in herbal medicine. Herbalists and the popular cultures also attribute an aphrodisiac property to the mashed fruit pulp of the avocado - this is also a much eaten nutritious food for many people. The fruit pulp is also extensively used as a topical remedy to bring a soothing effect to irritating skin by its cooling effect on the skin of affected persons. As mentioned before, to stimulate the growth of hair, the avocado is applied to the scalp; it is also used as an herbal poultice for suppurating wounds on the body.
Skin tone and elasticity is also maintained by the expressed oil of the avocado seeds, this oil also nourishes the skin and increase health of the skin. The oil of the seeds is extensively used as a softenener of rough and dry or flaking skin in patients affected by such skin conditions, the seed oil is also massaged into the scalp of patients, where it is said to improve the growth rate of hair on the head.
Some other nutritional benefits of the avocado fruit includes its very high content of the essential mineral potassium, long term depression and mental as well as physical exhaustion can result if this mineral is deficient in the body. Aside from this important mineral, pyridoxine or the vitamin B6 is also found in high amounts in the fruit, this vitamin is the compound which helps the body deal with mood-swings in women affected by the persistent symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The avocado fruits are also very high in the content of the important vitamin E, at the same time the B complex vitamin level is also high, these essential nutrients also aid the body in gaining relief from persistent stress and are necessary for the prevention of nutrient deficiency linked to sexual disorders such as infertility in women and in men and possible impotence in men.
People on a diet tend to give importance to the so called fattening nature of avocados, this is not true as comparatively speaking, measure calorie for calorie the avocado fruits endow a much better nutritional value compared to other fruits. Avocados are also beneficial and are considered one of the most potent anti-oxidant fruits in the world because of the high levels of monounsaturated fats found in them - particularly the important ones like the oleic acid, thus in this respect the avocado is as healthy as olive oil. Thus the avocado offers specific protection against the chances of contracting heart disease, problems like strokes, and cancer due to this anti-oxidant nature.
Among many herbalists around the world, the oil of the avocado as well as the fleshy fruit have long been used in the traditional treatment of skin, such herbal treatments have been very popular for a long period of time - one reason behind this property of the avocado has now been found in that avocado has chemicals which beneficially stimulate the synthesis of the skin protein called collagen when applied. The presence of the chemicals in the avocado oil allows the herbal based remedy to smooth out the wrinkles formed on skin; it revitalizes tired skin and makes it look young and wonderfully fresh. This treatment is much cheaper and has far less side effects compared to prevalent treatments for skin such as dermal injections or dermabrasion of the skin. Human skin also benefits from treatment using the avocado as the herbal is a very good source for the vitamins A and E; both of these nutrient compounds are excellent for the health of the skin. These beneficial effects of the herb are obtainable in many different manners; the avocado fruit can be eaten, or it can be the fruit pulp pulverized and eaten or made into an herbal fruit facial mask for the treatment of facial skin.
The pureed form of the avocado makes a very beneficial food for the consumption of invalids, as a food for sick children and in the treatment of individuals who are convalescing. This benefit accrues from the peculiar types of fats which are found in the avocado, aside from the chemicals which have effective bactericidal and fungicidal effects - these fats are very easy to digest and the fruit is regularly used as a high nutrient food for this reason.
Habitat and cultivation
The avocado tree is a native tree of Central America, where it grows in the wild. Today, the tree is widely cultivated in many different places around the world in both tropical and subtropical areas. Cultivation of the avocado is mainly for its high quality fruits, the tree is extensively cultivated in countries such as Spain, Israel and South Africa. The propagation of the avocado tree is carried out using seeds from ripened fruits. Harvesting of the fruits is done when they are fully ripened, and even the leaves of the avocado are plucked as and when needed to prepare various commercial and herbal products.
The ability of the avocado fruits to lower cholesterol levels has been studied and confirmed in many studies. Some other beneficial effects of the avocado has also been uncovered during studies, for example, it has been found that livestock animals which were given the leaves, fruits and bark of the avocado tended to suffer from much lower intensity levels of toxicity following the accidental consumption of poisons and from snakebite poisoning.
Avocado moisturizer for normal skin is prepared using the following ingredients:
To prepare this herbal moisturizer, first put the deseeded avocado in a blender, add the honey and lemon juice as well as sufficient amount of yoghurt to prepare a solid cream. Allow this cream to cool for about 30 minutes. Next, massage the cream onto your face and the region of the neck. Allow it to remain for some hours and, subsequently, wash off.
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