The avocado tree is a flowering plant that comes in the family Lauraceae. The edible fruit is known as Avocado or Alligator Pear. It is a large berry fruit that has a single seed inside of it. The tree is said to have originated in the lands of Mexico in the southern regions. In scientific terms, it is known as Persea Americana.
The tree grows to a height of 20 meters with leaves beautifully arranged in an alternate pattern and of 10 to 20 cm in length. The flowers are small, generally 5 to 10 millimeters in size, with a greenish color and a yellow tint.
Avocado fruit is climatic and has high nutritional value. With a creamy texture and mild taste, it can be enjoyed as it is when ripe. People also put it in salads and desserts. Avocado has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatoryproperties. Because of this, it has been used for ages to cure several problems in the human body.
Ayurveda shows how beneficial Avocado is for cholesterol, weight problems, bad stomach, and toothache. Avocado has been used to treat menstrual pains and cramps for ages. Avocado has a creamy and oily consistency that makes it a great moisturizer. Avocado has been used to clear dry skin and get glowing skin. The oil of the fruit has also shown its effectiveness in getting rid of dry scalp and damaged hair.
People can have allergies to Avocado because of the traces of latex in it. The article provides in-depth information about Avocado that should know.
How did the word “Avocado” Originate?
The simple word “Avocado” is derived from the Spanish word “aguacate” or "'avogato," which comes from an old Nahuatl word "āhuacat." The Nahuatl word is said to have come from pro-Aztecan “pa:wa” which meant Avocado itself.
However, since the Spanish word Avogato is somewhat similar in pronunciation to Avocado, people have reinterpreted the meaning for the same. Avocado's earliest known English usage dates back to the year 1697 when it was written as Avogato Pear.
Historical Use of Avocado
The fruit is said to have originated in the Puebla state of Mexico. However, archaeological findings suggest that the traces and fossils of similar spices of plants had been widespread on Earth millions of years ago.
The discovery of Avocado pits earliest dates back to 10,000 years ago in the Coxcatin Cave. People consumed avocados, chilies, birds, sharks, and sea lions in temporary camps to survive in ancient times. The Mesoamerican tribes started planting the tree about 5,000 years ago because it has mythological powers. The Aztec ate Avocado to gain strength for the day.
The ancient Maya calendar shows a glyph of avocado to represent the fourteenth month of the year. Avocado seeds have also been found buried along with Incan mummies that date back to 750 B.C. The cultivation of Avocado in Mexico is said to have been started in 500 B.C.
Benefits of Using Avocado
There have not been scientific studies to prove the medicinal quality of Avocado. However, we cannot deny that our ancestors have used it for medicinal purposes and have successfully cured the problems. The properties of the fruit, also, cannot be shied away from. Having the properties it has, Avocado has been used for several purposes of healing.
Being anti-oxidant, avocado has been eaten to control the bad cholesterol in the body and also cures diarrhea. Being anti-inflammatory, Avocado reduces the swelling in tooth and gums, thus giving relief to the pain. Avocado is also rich in fiber that allows it to be a good source that promotes weight loss. It has been eaten in the belief that it reduces the cramps caused during periods.
Avocado is beneficial in several ways, along with the great taste as a fruit.
Avocado is rich in nutrients and is a good part of a balanced diet. The fruit contains the following nutrients:
- Monounsaturated fat and Polyunsaturated fats that are often called good fat
- Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 Niacin
- Vitamin B5 Pantothenic
- Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E, and
- Vitamin K
Treating Disease/ Health Problems Using Avocado
- Avocado for Cholesterol
Avocado is a strong anti-oxidant and is rich in fiber. This helps remove toxins from the body and the bad cholesterol and thus help manage cholesterol.
In the Ayurvedic texts' recent writings, Avocado has been said to decrease Kapha Dosha and increase Pitta Dosha. The imbalance of the same caused bad cholesterol to grow in the body.
Eating Avocado can balance the Dosha and thus also manage the cholesterol level.
- Avocado for Menstrual Pain
There is not enough evidence to support Avocado's action on menstrual pain. However, leaf infusions have been given to girls to ease up the pain.
Even in the earlier time, the avocado plant leaves were infused and taken by girls and women to get relief from the menstrual pain and cramps.
- Avocado for Weight Loss
Avocado is rich in dietary fiber, which gives a feeling of fullness to the person eating it. Since the stomach is full, the snack cravings reduce, and hence, it helps in managing weight.
Avocado has a heavy, comforting, and calming property. It acts as a Deepan or appetizer that helps in burning fat. It also makes us full and aids indigestion. Hence, promoting weight loss as well.
- Avocado for Toothache
The composition of Avocado is anti-toxic and anti-oxidant, which makes it basic in nature. This is why it can cure the problems related to oral hygiene, especially pain in tooth and gums.
Avocado can be used to cure mukhashoshahara (dry mouth), mukha virasyahara (bad breath), and kanta doshahara (clearing throat). It reduces the bacterial growth that causes all these and thus also cures toothache.
- Avocado for Skin
Avocado is creamy and oily in nature. When applied to dry skin, it calms the skin and moisturizes it. The oily consistency cures dry skin, and the creamy consistency gives a glowing effect to the skin.
Avocado is also used in creams and essential oils to be applied to the skin. Avocado masks help in regaining the elasticity of the skin, provide nutrition and moisture to the face, and cure dull and tired skin.
Forms of Avocado with Recommended Dosage
Avocado is available in the market as avocado creams and avocado oils. The oils can be massage oil as well as essential oils. All the form have different uses to them. Avocado creams are both for regular use and medicinal use. People widely use avocado masks.
- Avocado Creams
- These creams are for external use and can be applied as and when required for moisture and elasticity. It can be used once or twice a day over the body.
- Avocado Massage oils
- Avocado massage oils are applied tothe skin as well as hair and scalp to get rid of dryness. Just a few drops with your regular oil works wonders on the skin.
- Avocado Essential Oil
- The essential oil can be used in a diffuser adding 4 to 5 drops of the oil on the diffuser.
- It can also be used in bathwater. While preparing your bathwater, add 3 to 4 drops of the oil in the bucket full of water or 5 to 6 drops in the bathtub.
- Avocado masks and packs
- Avocado masks and packs are specially made to regain the elasticity of the skin and remove the dryness. They can be directly applied to the skin and left for 15 to 20 minutes before wiping with a clean and wet cloth. Marks generally are peel off and do not require cloth cleaning.
These can be applied once in two weeks to twice a month to get the desired effect.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Avocado
- Avocado Fruit Salad
- Take a big berry of Avocado and peel and slice it up into small pieces.
- Slice other fruits as you like it.
- Mix them up slowly as not to break the pieces.
- You can add heavy sweet cream to the salad and mix it.
- Add a pinch of black salt.
- Enjoy the salad.
- Avocado Shake
- Add one or one and a half sliced Avocado to your blender with a cup of milk.
- If you want the sugar to be natural, you can add 2 to 3 dates removing the seed.
- Blend them well in the blender.
- Serve to enjoy the drink.
- Avocado Smoothie
- Avocado smoothies are delicious and healthy. To make a smoothie bowl, slick some avocados as per taste.
- Add them to the blender along with frozen blueberries and cranberries.
- Add 2 to 3 dates as a sweetener.
- Blend them without milk if you want the smoothie to be thick, else add a half cup of plant-based milk.
- Put it up in a bowl and enjoy the cold smoothie.
- Avocado Toast
- Slice a whole avocado and put it to freeze overnight.
- Mash some pieces in the morning and make a spread for the bread.
- Toast the bread to your liking and spread the avocado spread on it.
- Add the seasonings as per your wish.
- Enjoy breakfast.
Side Effects of Avocado
Avocado can has side effects on people who are allergic to it. Avocado contains latex, and anyone allergic to latex would be allergic to avocadoes as well. This can cause itching, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. In such cases, it is advised to visit a doctor immediately.
Precautionary Guide while Using Avocadoes
- Avocado with Latex Allergy
A person who is allergic to latex must not consume avocadoes as it has good latex content. It can cause the same allergic reaction to you as latex does.
- Avocadoes while Pregnant
There is not much information about having Avocadoes while a woman is pregnant. It is good to keep on the safer side and avoid it while you are pregnant or take the advice of a gynecologist.
- Avocadoes while Breastfeeding
There is not much information regarding the consumption of Avocadoes while breastfeeding. It is in the best interest to avoid any experimental usage at home.
- Avocadoes with Children
Children who are allergic to dairy products or cannot handle dairy should not be fed avocadoes. It can cause stomach pain and vomiting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the seeds of avocadoes poisonous?
- Yes, the seeds of avocadoes are poisonous and should not be consumed. The seeds need to be dried perfectly, chopped, and blended to be consumed.
What are the benefits of dried avocado seeds?
- Dried avocado seeds are rich in antioxidants and can help prevent cancer, heart problems, cure cholesterol problems, digestive problems, balance sugar level, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Can I eat Avocadoes every day?
- Eating Avocado every day is good for health and also promotes weight loss as it is heavy. Being a source of good fat, it can also reduce the chances of heart problems.
Are avocadoes bad when they turn brown?
- Avocadoes can turn brownish when you slice them and keep it. This can turn the fruit bitter, but it is safe to consume. However, it will lose the taste.
Can avocadoes help in reducing weight?
- Yes, Avocadoes are heavy when eaten. If you eat one full avocado, your stomach will be full for a long time. This reduces the craving for untimely food and thus also manages the body weight.
Can babies be fed avocadoes?
- While avocadoes are a good source of nutrients, it is best to seek the advice of a physician or a gynecologist before feeding avocadoes to a baby.