Avocado Persea americana

Persea americana
  • Common Names
  • Avocado
  • Botanical Name
  • Persea americana
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Avocado

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How to Use: Avocado

Avocados are a favorite food because of the high fat content that gives them such a creamy, luscious flavor. This puts some dieters off, it shouldn't. Most of the fat contained in avocados is monounsaturated fat, about 75 percent in a typical avocado. The fruit also has more potassium than bananas and is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. There are some recent studies that confirm avocados role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, adding to the long list of reasons to enjoy this luscious, medicinal food.1,2

Avocado oil is dark green, very rich, thick and moisturizing to dry skin. It's many healthy properties explain avocados popularity in homemade skin masks and skin treatments and avocado oil is also great in salad dressings. The high fat content makes this oil a bit unstable so store away from heat and light, refrigeration is recommended.

Avocado oil combined with soy, or avocado soybean unsaponifiables is also available as a supplement. (ASU) supplements have shown benefits for osteoarthritis of the knee, with patients experiencing less pain and stiffness in clinical trials. Two clinical studies found that the combination significantly improved functional disability and pain.3 There is a delayed onset of action, which could frustrate those looking for quick relief. You may be able to reap some of the same benefits by including more avocado and soy in your diet, as well you should, but the supplements do provide a concentrated source.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Avocado oil is used in skin care and as a salad and vegetable oil. Avocados are one of the most popular home skin treatments.

Avocado Side Effects: None Noted.

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Plant Description

Avocado trees need subtropical conditions and cannot tolerate frost. Commercial orchards in California and Mexico account for most of the fruit available here in the US, the Hass cultivars being the most common. The species originated in Mexico.

Regional Traditions :North America *

How to Grow Avocado

You can grow avocados as a decorative houseplant, but don't expect any fruit unless you have more than one tree for cross pollination, lots of sun and space to grow. To start a sprout pierce a seed from a ripe avocado with 3 or 4 toothpicks and set it in a glass of water for a month. If you get a sprout, transfer seedling to good quality potting soil, if not discard the seed.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Inhibition of Cholesterol Oxidation Products (COPs) Formation in Emulsified Porcine Patties by Phenolic-Rich Avocado,J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Mar 7
  2. Hypolipidemic Effect of Avocado(Persea americana Mill) Seed in a Hypercholesterolemic Mouse ModelPlant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Mar;67(1):10-6.
  3. "Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Apr;16(4):399-408. Epub 2007 Nov 26. Symptomatic efficacy of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in osteoarthritis (OA) patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Source The Parker Institute, Musculoskeletal Statistics Unit, Frederiksberg Hospital, Denmark. PMID: 18042410