Abukado is a medium-sized tree reaching a height of up to 10 to 15 meters. Leaves are alternate, leathery, oblong to oval or obovate, about 20 centimeters long. Flowers are small, yellow, borne in naked, panicled hairy cymes. Stamens are 12, in groups of 3 in 4 whorls. Fruit is large, fleshy, elongated, of various sizes and shapes, often resembling a pear, 8 to 18 centimeters long, some weighing as much as two kilos, soft and edible, with a nutty
flavor, color varying from yellow-green to purple.
- Introduced from tropical America before the end of the sixteenth century.
Now extensively cultivated in the Philippines for its edible fruit.
- Usually grown from seeds, but may be propagated by budding, grafting,
- Fruit: fixed oil, 6-10%;
- Leaves contain a volatile oil,, 0.5%, with methyl-chavicol, d-d-pinene and paraffin.
- Leaves yielde3d isorhamnetin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin and apigenin.
- Seed is rich in saponins, tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids.
- Digestive, emmenagogue,
antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal, pectoral, stomachic, anthelmintic,
- Pulp considered to have aphrodisiac and emmenagogue properties.
Bark, fruit, leaves
Edibility / Nutritional
• Fruit eaten with a dressing as a salad.
• Makes an excellent ice cream and dessert.
• A good source of vitamins A, some B, C and E, potassium (higher
than bananas) and fiber ; fair source of iron; low in calcium. A fruit
with high-energy producing value, each edible pound allegedly provides
an average of 1,000 calories.
• Fat content averages about 20 percent and increases with maturity of the fruit. The digestibility of the fat is comparable to that of butter fat.
• The caloric or energy-producing value of avocado is high. One pound of edible portion represents an average of 1,000 calories. The maximum yield is about twice that of lean meat.
• High in fat, about 25-35 gms on average. however, about 65%
of it is health-promoting monosaturated fat, particularly oleic acid.
• Mineral content is considered greater than in any other fresh fruit. Salts of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium compose more than one-half of the ash. It yields an excess of base-forming elements, compared to nuts which furnish an excess of acid-forming elements.
• Protein content, which averages 2%, is higher than any other fresh fruit.
• Leaves used as a substitute for tea.
• The pulp is thought
to promote menstruation.
• The pulp is used to hasten the suppuration of wounds.
• The pulp is considered aphrodisiac and emmenagogue.
• Ointment from pulverized seeds sometimes employed as rubefacient.
• Decoction of pulverized seeds used as gargles for toothaches; also, a piece of the seed placed in the cavity of the tooth to relieve toothaches.
• The leaves and bark promote menstruation; the tea has been used
to expel worms.
• Used for diarrhea and dysentery.
• Rheumatism and neuralgia: Pulverize seeds or bark, mix with
oil and apply on affected area as
• Beverage: Take decoction of leaves as tea.
• Pulp is applied to shallow cuts, prevents infection.
• Flesh of ripe fruit is soothing to sunburned skin.
• In different parts of the world, has been recommended for anemia,
exhaustion, high cholesterol, hypertension, gastritis and duodenal ulcers.
The leaves have been reported effective as antitussive, antidiabetic,
antiarthritic and antiinflammatory.
• In Mexico, rind of the fruit used as anthelmintic. In the form of a liniment, used in intercostal neuralgia. Seeds, crude or toasted, are used to treat skin rashes, diarrhea, asthma, hypertension, rheumatism, and dysentery caused by helminths and ameobas,
• In many African countries used in traditional medicine for gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, anemia.
• In Nigeria, seed extracts used for hypertension.
• Ink: Juice from seeds yields a milky juice which turns red on exposure; used
to make permanent ink for fabric lettering.
• Lactating livestock
eating avocado leaves may develop non-infectious mastitis and agalactia.
Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (Avocado)
leaf aqueous extract in mice: In African traditional
medicine, Persea americana has been used in various human ailments
including childhood convulsions and epilepsy. A study showed that avocado
leaf aqueous extract (PAE) produces anticonvulsant effect by the enhancement
of GABAergic neurotransmission and/or action in the brain. (1)
Hypoglycemic activity of aqueous leaf extract of Persea americana:
A Nigerian study revealed that the leaf extract contained various pharmacologically
active compounds such as saponins, tannins, phlobatannins, flavonoids,
alkaloids and polysaccharides. Although the results were incomparable
to the reference drug (chlorpropamide), it confirms the ethnomedical
use of the plant for diabetes management. More studies are needed to
identify the hypoglycemic principles and its mechanism of action. (2)
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic:
Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic Potential of Persea americana Leaf
Extracts: A effect of aqueous and methanol extracts
of Persea americana on plasma glucose, total cholesterol, low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-CHOL), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(HDL-CHOL) in rats was investigated. Results suggested lowering effects
on glucose and lipid metabolism influences with lowering of Total and
LDL cholesterols, an effect of HDL-cholesterol and a potential protective mechanism
against atherosclerosis. (3)
• Antiobesity / Hypolipidemic: Effects
of Persea Americana leaf extracts on body weight and liver lipids in
rats fed hyperlipidemic diet: The study results
hypothesize that P. americana leaf extract increases catabolism of lipids
accumulated in adipose tissue causing a decrease in mean body weight
gain and raises the question if higher concentrations of the leaf extract
would reduce liver levels in obesity and fatty liver conditions.
Hypotensive: Leaf constituents of Persea americana given
intravenously induced a marked fall in mean arterial blood pressure
lasting 2-3 mins. The short duration was assumed due to rapid metabolism. (6)
• Toxicity / Persin: Study
of avocado leaves isolated an active principle, persin. Previously shown
to have antifungal properties and to be toxic to silkworms. At high
doses, persin can induce mammary gland necrosis and myocardial fiber
necrosis, the mechanism for which still remain to be resolved.
• Cytotoxic/ Antitumor / Pesticidal:
Study of unripe avocado fruit isolated three major bioactive constituents
which showed activity against six human tumor cell lines with selectivity
for human prostate adenocarcinoma, with one compound being as potent
as adriamycin. also, one compound was shown to be more effective than
rotenone, a natural botanical insecticide, against yellow fever mosquito
• Toxicity / Larvicidal / Antifungal:
Study of extracts of avocado seeds showed toxicity towards Artemia salina,
activity against Aedes aegypti. Extracts were also active against all
yeast strains, Candida spp, Cryptococcus neoformans and Malassezia pachydermis. (8)
• Vasorelaxant: Study of aqueous
leaves extract on isolated rat aorta produced significant vasorelaxation,
an effect attributed to the synthesis or release of endothelium-derived
relaxing factors and/or release of prostanoids. Extract also reduced
vasoconstriction probably through inhibition of Ca influx through calcium
• Antimicrobial / Antimycobacterial:
Study demonstrated antimycobacterial activity and suggests a potential
source for antituberculosis drugs. (10)
Persealide / Cytotoxicity: Study of ETOH extract isolated
'persealide' which showed moderate cytotoxicity against three solid
tumor cell lines: human lung carcinoma, human breast carcinoma and human
colon adenocarcinoma. (11)
• Anti-Viral : Study showed
infusion of P. americana leaves strongly inhibited herpes simplex virus
type 1, Adenovirus type 3 and Aujeszky's disease virus. (12)
• Acute and Subacute Toxicity Studies: Acute toxicity study showed a relatively low LD50 for the seed extract. Treatment for 14 days decreased food consumption, body weight, blood glucose, Hb and hepatic cholesterol levels.
• Hypoglycemic / Pancreatic Protective: Study showed
restorative effect of the ethanolic extract on pancreatic islet cells. Results suggest a potential for the management of diabetes.(14)
• Immunomodulating / Anti-Adhesion Property: Study showed that P americana has the potential to interfere with the adhesion of all the oral bacteria in host epithelial surfaces. Its significant inhibition property suggests that like cranberry juice, avocado juice can also be consumed to avoid urinary tract infections with E coli. (16)
• Hypolipemic Effects: (1) Study showed treatment with various doses of a methanolic extract of Persea americana seeds caused a significant reduction in the levels of TC, TG, LDLC, and VLDLC while the levels of HDLC increased significantly. (17)
• Antioxidant / Leaves Phytoconstituents: Study of leaves isolated isorhamnetin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin and apigenin. On free radical scavenging testing using the DPPH and H2O2 assays, quercetin showed the highest scavenging activity.
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated the wound-healing activity of a fruit extract in rats. Results showed the rate of wound contraction, epithelialization time together with hydroxyproline content and histological findings support its use in the management of wound healing. (19)
• Anti-Ulcer Activity: Study in rats showed both aqueous and methanolic extracts of Persea americana were not potent enough to reduce gastric acid secretion in rats but inhibited histamine-stimulated acid secretion probably by inhibition of H2-receptors. (21)
• Chemo-Protective: Studies have shown phytochemicals extracted from avocado fruit selectively induce cell cycle arrest, inhibit growth, and induce apoptosis in precancerous and cancer cell lines. This study suggest phytochemicals from the fruit have a potential as a chemoprotective ingredient for lowering the side effect of chemotherapy like cyclophosphamide in cancer therapy. (22)
• Antibacterial / Antimycobacterial: Methanol extracts from both Persea americana and Gymnosperma glutinosum showed to possess antimycobacterial activity. Persea americana showed higher antimicrobial activity against the mycobacteria strains.
• Liver-Kidney Effects: Study evaluated the histopathologic effects of P. americana leaf extract on liver and kidneys of rabbits. Histopath of the liver and kidney of recommended and high dosage groups were not different from the control suggesting the plant extract to be beneficial, except for loose stool suggesting increased bowel emptying. (23)
• Wound Healing Benefits / Oil: Study showed avocado oil is rich in oleic acid and essential fatty acids. When used in natura or in pharmaceutical formulations for topical use, avocado oil can promote increased collagen synthesis and decrease the numbers of inflammatory cells during the wound healing process. (26)
• Anti-Hyperlipidemic Activity / Leaf Extract: Study evaluated the anti-hyperlipidemic activity of a methanol leaf extract in cholesterol-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Results showed a dose-dependent reversal of hyperlipidemic by the methanol extract of leaves. The MEPA also caused a dose-dependent reduction of plasma lipid peroxidation in rats. The anti-hyperlipidemic effect was comparable to standard drug cholestyramine. (27)
• Anti-Ulcer / Leaves: Study of an aqueous extract of leaves against ethanol/Hcl and indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer showed anti-ulcer effects, with significant reduction of ulcer index, possibly through a decrease in gastric secretion. (28)
• Antiprotozoal / Antimycobacteria / Seeds: Study of chloroformic and ethanolic extracts of seeds showed significant activity against E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and T. vaginalis. The chloroformic extract inhibited the growth of M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Results showed amoebicidal, giardicidal and antimycobacterial activities. (29)
• Hypotensive / Seeds: Study of aqueous seed extract showed reduction of blood pressure in normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats, possibly through reduction of heart rate. (30)
• Cardiotoxicity of Acetogenins: Study evaluated a new acetogenins-enriched extract from the seed of Persea americana to investigate its toxicity on cardiac tissue. Results showed the acetogenins-enriched extract could directly modulate permeability transition, resulting in cardiotoxicity. (31)
and ubiquitous market produce.