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What Are the Uses of Avocado Leaves?

Avocado tree with fruit and leaves.
Close-up of an avocado leaf.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
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There are many ways in which a person can use avocado leaves, and some are culinary in nature, while others are medicinal. For example, some people who use herbal medicines in alternative health treatments use these leaves to treat respiratory illnesses, such as colds, or to better regulate a woman's menstrual period. Some research even shows that they may be useful for helping to treat tumors. As far as cooking is concerned, these leaves can be used when barbecuing foods as well as to flavor some types of stews and soups. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there have been some reports of toxicity, especially in cases wherein the leaves were consumed in large qualities, so users should exercise caution.

Avocado leaves are used by some people to treat a number of ailments. These individuals assert that the leaves are helpful for treating arthritis and respiratory illnesses, such as common colds and the flu. Many also report that the leaves are helpful for treating stomach issues and can act as a tonic in such cases. There are even some reports that preparations made from the leaves can be used to help to regulate a woman's menstrual cycle. For example, some people recommend making a tea out of them for this purpose.

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Cooks can also use avocado leaves. Fresh leaves often are used as seasoning, and they can also be used to create a bed on which a person can barbecue meats. Such uses may prove more common in South American countries than in other parts of the world, however; dried leaves typically are used more frequently in most countries, including the United States. In such places, they are commonly used in stew dishes as well as in soups. Additionally, they often are used to flavor dishes in which beans are the primary ingredient.

It is important to note that there is some question as to the toxicity of these leaves. Some research suggests that leaves taken from certain types of avocado plants could potentially produce toxic effects. For example, some experts assert that the Guatemalan avocado plant produces leaves that can be toxic, but that the Mexican avocado plant is safe. Even in the case of the Guatemalan avocado, however, many experts state that toxicity is only likely if the leaves are consumed in large quantities.

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Discuss this Article

anon924411
Post 13

Is an avocado leaf decoction an effective treatment for diarrhea?

anon343793
Post 11

To those who fear avocado leaves so much, you would have to eat a lot of then to get sick. It is almost impossible to eat so many.

@Lighth0se33: I don't know where you grew up, maybe in some country where they grow some kind of poison avocado. My dogs eat tons of avocados every year and they are beautiful and their hair gets very shiny. They never have gotten sick. I eat avocados, drink the avocado tea made out of the avocado seed, drink the one made out of three to four avocado leaves for three cups of water or add the avocado seeds to my olive oil and use it on my face as an antioxidant moisturizer, or for joint pain and never had a problem.

Maybe certain kinds of avocados might be poisonous but after you boil the seed for 10 to 15 minutes, the poison is neutralized -- at least that is what my nanny said. You can do more research on that, but I never had a problem, and I am 53 years old. Good luck using avocado. It is very beneficial for you.

anon334405
Post 9

Avocado leaves do lower your bad cholesterol and normalise your good cholesterol. If you have a cholesterol problem, boil the young leave in water, let it cool and drink a glass every night, then go check you cholesterol. You will be amazed.

PinkLady4
Post 8

I would be reluctant to take avocado tree leaves internally. I'd like to see some medical studies before I take any natural substance. I wonder just how poisonous the avocado leaf is. How much is too much is the question.

Probably grilling meat wrapped in the leaves would be fine. Is the taste of the leaves the same as the avocado fruit? I love a good avocado. I think that I will stick with eating them.

sunshined
Post 7

I have never tasted avocado leaves - at least that I am aware of. I have heard of them being used before though.

One of my friends is a master at grilling meat. Almost every weekend he smokes or grills several different kinds of meat. He told me that he has used avocado tree leaves to wrap up meat in before placing on the grill.

I imagine this could bring a very unique flavor to the meat and think it would be interesting to try sometime.

We don't grow avocados where I live, and am wondering where you would find something like this in colder climates?

Mykol
Post 6

Most people are familiar with avocados, and whether you like them or not, know that they are good for you. Very few people seem to know that using an avocado leaf can be very beneficial for you too, if used in the right way.

My first exposure to using avocado leaves with food was a bean dip that I tasted when a co-worker had a party at her house. Her family is from Mexico, and she always has the most interesting and flavorful foods.

This bean dip was different than any other kind of dip I had ever tasted. It had an anise flavor to it that I couldn't quite figure out. When she told me that she used avocado leaves to make this dip I was surprised and intrigued.

I doubt I will ever take the time or trouble to use avocado leaves in my cooking, but I was impressed with the taste it added to this dip. It would be interesting to see what these leaves tasted like in other dishes too.

golf07
Post 5

I like to use natural and alternatives when treating medical conditions as often as possible. One of the things I have used before is an avocado tea for kidney cleansing.

I make sure the leaves are thoroughly washed and boil them in some distilled water. If I want to cleanse my kidneys I will drink this morning and night.

Some people like the taste well enough that they will drink avocado leaf tea any time. I don't mind the taste, but it is not something I would choose if I wasn't trying to accomplish a specific purpose.

I will also add a little bit of honey to my tea so it tastes a little sweeter.

shell4life
Post 4

My mother discovered avocado leaves while searching for a natural treatment for her toothache. Since it worked, she read about its other uses, and she began using avocado for a variety of problems.

She found out that avocado oil can be used to treat osteoarthritis, which she has. She takes it by mouth, and she says that it improves her mobility and lessens her pain.

She also uses avocado to reduce her bad cholesterol and increase her good cholesterol. When she injured her hand while pruning roses, she used it to speed up the healing of the wound. I am sure that if she develops any other conditions that avocado has ever been used to treat, then she will try it.

orangey03
Post 3

My aunt is really into herbal teas. She makes tea from avocado leaves to cleanse her kidneys. Though regular green tea is hard on the kidneys and could cause stones to develop, avocado tea is supposed to purge them of impurities.

She has avocado trees in her yard, and she uses fresh leaves for the tea. She takes seven big leaves and washes them under filtered tap water. She puts them in a pot of 2 liters of filtered water and boils them for fifteen minutes.

She lets the tea cool off before drinking it. When she makes this tea, she drinks it all in one day. She will spend most of that day urinating, but that is the whole idea.

Perdido
Post 2

Avocado leaves have a wonderful anise flavor that they impart to whatever they are cooked with, and Mexican food tastes awesome when seasoned by them. I have family in Oaxaca and in Puebla, and they tell me that it’s very common there for people to add avocado leaves to black beans, soups, and tamales.

My family makes black bean dip using avocado leaves. They also wrap the leaves around fish and chicken while baking them for that distinct flavor.

Some avocado leaves are stronger than others, so it’s best to start with a small amount when seasoning things. My cousin uses one teaspoon of ground leaves or one whole leaf to season a big pot of black beans, and if this isn’t enough, she just adds more after tasting them.

lighth0se33
Post 1

Because I have a small frame, I am extremely sensitive to quantities of things that normal people would not be affected by. This makes me scared to try avocado leaves.

Though I would love something to better regulate my period, I am too afraid of the consequences. I know that avocado leaves, skin, bark, and pit are poisonous to animals like dogs, cats, cattle, rabbits, goats, fish, horses, and birds. If they ingest any part of the avocado, they could die.

I have heard that the side effects of avocado poisoning include gastrointestinal irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, congestion, respiratory distress, accumulation of fluid around the heart, and possibly death. I feel safer staying totally away from avocados.

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