Avocado Flowers and Leaves

Karen without makeup, with avocado without leaves after hail

7/29/2018 ~ Hail has left my avocado tree a skeleton of its former self. There were more avocado leaves on my deck than on my tree. And, what leaves were left on the tree were shredded.

I used to love going out on my deck and sitting by my avocado. I loved that my avocado could shade my tomatoes that don’t like the high desert sun.

The downside is that my avocado has not flowered, not one tiny flower, ever.

The horticulturist at Fast Growing Trees, where I bought it, said that many plants are more likely to flower if they feel their life is in danger. They want to reproduce so as not to go extinct. So, if that’s true, my avocado should be flowering a lot come next spring. We’ll see.

And, just to be “sure” I pruned off branches with the most damage. That reduced the tree’s size dramatically.

11/25/18 ~ Here’s what my avocado tree looks like several months later:

Avocado, kumquat with marguerite daisy in my plant room

I’m quite hopeful that my avocado will flower and produce fruit this year.

Avocado Leaf Tea

I just learned that Avocado Leaf Tea is very healthy for us. It’s good for colds, flu, stomach ache, diarrhea, regulating periods, and helping with menopause problems. The thing I liked best was that avocado leaf tea is good for antibiotic cleansing.

To make the tea I brought about a half quart to a quart of water to nearly boiling and dropped in a wad of crushed leaves I picked from branches that were crowding other branches. I took the stainless pot off the heat and did several tasks while I waited for the tea to cool. The tea was a black tea type color, but maybe not entirely that dark. I drank a teacup full, rather than a mug. I did this because in watching Asian dramas I see that they drink small cups of tea rather often, rather than a large mug of tea, the way I drink a mug of coffee.

The tea was fine without sweetening. Not totally delicious, but fine, especially since I’m drinking it to help my health. What was left over I put into a different pot to cook my brown rice. I’m curious to see if that’s as satisfying as some reports say. There are pages on Pinterest that make avocado leaves sound as necessary a culinary item as bay leaves.

Results ~ My rice cooked in avocado leaf tea gave a fresh taste to my black beans and rice. The flavor gave the impression of lots of fresh ingredients. Quite lovely.

Avocado Leaves’ Nutrients

Minerals ~ Sodium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. We need 4,700 mg of potassium a day. We need that much because our metabolic process relies on potassium/sodium ion pumps. Every message your nerves sent, like “HOT” is transmitted via Potassium/sodium ion pumps.

Flavonoids ~ Avocado leaves have more flavonoids  than the fruit. Flavonoids are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties. Plus, they protect nerve cells from degeneration.

Phenols ~ Phenols are antioxidants. Oxidative damage is found in chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Plant phenols interfering with the cancer process.

Quercetin ~ A powerful antioxidant that is useful in warding off cancer, especially skin cancer. Yellow onions are a potent source of quercetin.

Polyphenols ~ A sub-group of phytonutrients found in onions, grapes and some nuts. Polyphenols are also antioxidants commonly found in some tea leaves, so that doubles the antioxidants for the same cup of tea, just how awesome is that?

Amazing Uses

Anticonvulsant ~ Having seen that some African cultures treated convulsions, as in epilepsy, with avocado leaf, researchers did a study using mice with artificially induced convulsions. The mice that were prepped with avocado leaf extract either suffered no convulsions, or the convulsions were delayed. Ojewole, John AO, and George J. Amabeoku. Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana, Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 8 (2006): 696-700.

Anti-ulcer ~ Aqueous leaf extract of avocado produced significant, dose-dependent anti-ulcer activity against artificially induced stomach ulcers in rats, probably because of phytochemicals like flavonoids, saponins, and tannins. Ukwe, C. V., and S. V. Nwafor. Anti-ulcer activity of aqueous leaf extract of Persea americana Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 3, no. 1 (2004): 91-95.

Lowers Blood Glucose ~ A study using rats found that avocado leaf extract has blood glucose lowering effects in rats with artificially induced diabetes. The reduction in blood sugar peaked six hours after a dose of the extract. Brai, B. I. C., A. A. Odetola, and P. U. Agomo. Effects of Persea americana leaf extracts on body weight and liver lipids in rats African journal of Biotechnology 6, no. 8 (2007).

Decreases Body Weight ~ We store fat in cells called adipocytes. A study of rats on a high-cholesterol diet found that those treated with aqueous and methanolic extract of avocado leaves had a decrease in body weight. This was due to an increase in the destruction of fat that had been accumulated in adipose tissues. Effects of Persea americana leaf extracts on body weight and liver lipids in rats African journal of Biotechnology 6, no. 8 (2007).

While drinking avocado leaf tea is no where near as potent as using an extract, over time it likely has beneficial effects.