Prickly Pear Opuntia ficus-indica

Opuntia ficus-indica
prickly pear fruits
  • Common Names
  • Prickly Pear , Nopales, Nopal, Indian fig
  • Botanical Name
  • Opuntia ficus-indica
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Prickly Pear

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden|

  • Medicinal Uses: * Diabetes * Diet/weight Loss * South_American
  • Properties: * Appetite Depressant
  • Parts Used: Fruit, pads and fruit juice
  • Constituents: flavonoids, such as quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin betalains, carotenoids, and polyphenols calcium, magnesium, and eight essential amino acids. pectin and water-soluble fiber

How to Use: Prickly Pear

Prickly pear is a plant in the cactus family used in traditional Mexican cooking and medicine. Prickly pear cacti are a source of calcium, magnesium, and eight essential amino acids. Pectin and water-soluble fiber from prickly pear cacti is effective in treating problems associated with diabetes and obesity, including the regulation of blood sugar and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) metabolism. Antioxidants found in prickly pear cactus include pigments such as betalains, flavonoids, and carotenoids, as well as vitamin C. 1

Preparation Methods & Dosage :The fresh and canned fruit is available at food markets. Nopal juice and supplements are available at health food stores and on line. Follow package directions.

see remedies

Prickly Pear Remedies

Prickly Pear Side Effects: Safe for food use. Safety in pregnancy is not established. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use prickly pear cactus

^ Top^

Plant Description

The genus Opuntia includes approximately 200 species, many of which produce colorful edible prickly pear fruit and edible cladodes (modified stems) known as nopales or young nopalitos. Indian fig cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) is the most common culinary species. Prickly pear cacti are cultivated in many countries, including Mediterranean nations, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, China, and Korea. 1

Regional Traditions :Central and South America * North America *

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Hasse C, Feistel B, Felker P, et al. "Opuntia - a cactus crop and its many health benefits." NutraCos. Sep/Oct 2008: 17-22. American Botanical Council
    Studies have demonstrated the hypoglycemic effects of the cladodes on non-diabetic animals and diabetic animals and humans. One animal study has found that a combination of insulin and a prickly pear cactus (O. fuliginosa) extract lowers glucose levels to normal with a lower dose than insulin alone.