Avocado (Persea americana).Plant Part Used: Leaves, seed, fruit.Dominican Medicinal Uses: The leaves are traditionally prepared as an infusion and taken orally for diabetes, diarrhea, inducing abortion, intestinal worms, menstrual cramps, parasites and vaginal infections, and the seed decoction is taken for contraception. The fruit is typically used for nutritional and culinary purposes.Safety: No data on the safety of the leaf or the seed in humans has been identified in the available literature; animal toxicity studies have shown equivocal results. The fruit is commonly consumed as food and generally regarded as safe.Contraindications: Oral use of the leaves is contraindicated during pregnancy (due to emmenagogue and uterine muscle stimulating effects) and lactation (due to potential for harmful effects based on case reports in goats). No information on the safety of the leaves in children has been identified in the available literature.Drug Interactions: Warfarin: fruit may inhibit anticoagulant effect. Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors (MAOI): one case of hypertension crisis has been reported due to concomitant ingestion of the fruit and MAOI.Clinical Data: The following effects of this plant have been investigated in human clinical trials: fruit: cholesterol and lipid-lowering, treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and triglyceride-lowering; avocado/soybean unsaponifiables: treatment of osteoarthritis; and oil: treatment of plaque psoriasis.Laboratory & Preclinical Data: The following biological activities of this plant have been investigated in laboratory and preclinical studies (in vitro or animal models): analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antihemorrhage, hepatoprotective, immuno-modulating, uterine muscle stimulant, trypanocidal, uterine stimulant and vasorelaxant.* See entry for Aguacate in “Part 3: Dominican Medicinal Plant Profiles” of this book for more information, including references.
Article Categories:Medicinal Plants