There are several health benefits Abamoda (Bryophyllum pinnata) leaves which you may not have known.
Mostly cultivated for its ornamental and medicinal purposes, Abamoda is a succulent-leafy plant that grows well in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is commonly known as commonly known as life plant, air plant, love plant, and miracle leaf. Its leaves are ever greenish and simple with purple notched margins which possess the ability of producing new vegetative plant when they fall off to the ground.
Abamoda is commonly seen around the house and garden of, especially elderly people, and has been said to possess numerous health benefits, which is the purpose f this article. After reading through this article, you would learn not only the health benefits of Abamoda leaves, but also the nutritional and medicinal compounds present in the leaves.
The plant does not grow tall, usually up to a meter. In some rare cases, however, bryophyllum can grow up to three feet. It is perennial and ever succulent.
Phytochemicals present in Abamoda leaves
Bryphyllum is well fortified with numerous bioactive compounds, which may well explain it wide range of pharmacological application on several disease conditions. These phytochemicals are listed according to their groups, for easy classification, as follows:
Polyphenols: Caffeic acid, Vanillic acid, Cinammic acid, P-coumaric acid, Ferulic acid, Protocatechulic acid, phosphoenolpyruvic acid.
Flavonoids: Rutin Luteolin, Kaempferols, Quercetins, Flavones.
Steroids: Bryophyllin A, Bryophyllin B, Bryophyllin C, Bersaldegenin-1, 3, 5-orthoacetate, Stigmast-24-enol.
Triterpenoids: Amyrin, Beta amyrin, Amyrin acetate, Glutinol, Taraxasterol, Taraxerol.
Fatty acids: Palmitic acid, Octadecanoic acid, Stearic acid, Arachidic acid, and Behenic acid.
Aside these bioactive phytochemicals, bryophyllum also possess vitamins and minerals such as:
- Ascorbic acid
What are the health benefits of Abamoda leaves?
Like earlier mentioned, this miracle plant may be used as a home remedy for the treatment of several health complications. I shall therefore discuss those health benefits in details below.
Abamoda leaves benefits for Diabetes
Diabetes is fast becoming the disease with the highest economic burden on the world. It therefore required that urgent attention be given to ways of curing it. Sadly, there are limitations with the available synthetic drugs due to its cost and affordability.
For this reason, many folks have resorted to alternative medicines, and luckily, Abamoda leaves happen to be one of those great remedies for diabetes.
In a research conducted on the aqueous extract of Abamoda leaves, the result showed that the plant has a great activity against diabetes as seen in its ability to reduce the blood sugar levels of the experimental rats within 120 minutes of extract administration. Also, when administered in combination with glibenclamid, the antidiabtic activity of the two products was higher than when administered singly.
This experiment proved the age long use of bryophyllum leaves for the treatment of diabetes. It also showed that when taken as a tea while taking orthodox medication, it can greatly enhance the healing process.
Benefits of Abamoda leaves in liver toxicity and damage
Your liver does most of the difficult works in your body. It is the main site of metabolism of foods and drugs, including toxic substances. As a result, it is faced with numerous toxic attacks from dangerous substances and food poisons which we most times, knowingly or not, ingest into our systems. Most of these substances are the reason for the cancers of the liver.
So many researchers have however validated the use of bryophyllum for the treatment of liver related diseases like CCl4- induced liver toxicity and nitrosamine induced liver cancer. Surprising from the studies is the fact that the juice or aqueous extracts of the leaves showed more effectiveness in protecting the liver from damage than ethanol extracts.
This means that for nonalcoholic individual, Abamoda leaves would be your first choice of home remedies for the treatment of liver diseases, such as liver cancers or other toxicity.
May protect you from Leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that is caused by the parasite, Leishmania. It is usually found in the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe, and is classified among neglected tropical diseases. The vectors of the parasite, leishmania, are the sand flies.
The symptoms of leishmaniasis include skin ulcer, high fever and an enlarged liver.
The incidence of this disease has increased in recent times and therefore requires urgent attention from medical world. However, bryophyllum has shown preventive activity against the disease. This is done through the bioactive compounds such as quercetin and its derivatives, quercitrin and azelin, extracted from the leaves of the plant.
The preventive action of bryophyllum against leishmaniasis is through the activation of the nitrogen intermediates pathway-2 macrophages.
Abamoda leaves possesses anticancer properties
There has been speculation that Abamoda leaves possess anticancer properties. A study attributed this property the glycoprotein lecithin extracted from the plant leaves. Another study demonstrated a dose dependent cytotoxicity of the leaf extract of bryophyllum against cervical cancer.
Maybe in the future, more studies on the anticancer property of the bryophyllum will guide us as to whether to apply the leaf juice in treating cancer or not.
Abamoda leaves possess wound healing ability
Another important benefit of Abamoda leaves is in wound healing. When applied topically, the hydro-ethanolic extract showed an increased rate of wound contraction.
Wound contraction contributes to wound closure and is crucial as t decreases wound dimension and increases amount of extracellular matrix required to repair the defect cell and assists re-epithelization
Read also (10 Amazing Health Benefits of Watercress Juice)
Abamoda leaves protect your kidney from urolithiasis
One of the many diseases ravaging humans is kidney related diseases. This is so complicated because the availability of kidney for transplant when a kidney has failed is quite low. Most kidney patients are placed on dialysis for quite a long time pending when a donor surfaces and agree to donate. This in itself is risky, as the donor now have one kidney, and in event of stress to that one kidney due to workload, may be in danger of losing out of life.
When it comes to kidney related diseases, especially kidney stone, prevention remains the best approach. Luckily, Abamoda leaves possess the ability to dissolve kidney stones and prevent our kidney from failing.
Once in a while, do take a glass of bryophyllum leaf and scent leaf juices to cleans your kidney and help it function at a maximum rate.
Benefits of Abamoda leaves as antioxidants
One of the root causes of human diseases is oxidative stress and the release of excess free radicals. Glutathione is a natural antioxidant that scavenges free radicals from the body. But in some cases, this natural antioxidant is overwhelmed. This results in excess free radicals, which attack our cellular integrity and function, destroy our DNA and leads to autoimmune and neurologic diseases.
The role of antioxidants is to suppress oxidative stress and scavenge free radicals. Antioxidants rejuvenate our skin and lengthen our life span, making us enjoy youthful life, even when we have gone far in age. They are the reason why your skin glows when you apply cream, and bryophyllum is richly endowed with these antioxidants.
Possess anti-inflammatory activity
Abamoda leaves have been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, burns and bruises in China. The efficacy of the leaf extract may be due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
May be used for Ulcer
Another important application of the leaves of love plant is in the treatment of gastric/peptic ulcers. If you are suffering ulcer drink Abamoda leaf tea or juice. You may as well mix the leaf juice with cabbage juice and drink. Cabbage juice is so effective in curing ulcer.
Bryophyllum leaf tea and juice recipes
To make a tea from the leaves of bryophyllum or produce juice does not take too much work. For the juice, you may imply squeeze the leaves and extract the juice. But if you want to produce the juice an a considerable amount, follow the following steps:
- Wash the leaves with clean water
- Put them in a blender and add a little water
- Blend for about 3 minutes and bring out
- Use a sieve to separate the juice from the leaves
Bryophyllum leaf tea recipe
To make the leaf tea, follow the instructions below:
- Get a handful of the fresh or dried leaves
- Bring a 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil
- Put the leaves in the boiling water
- Add powdered ginger (optional)
- Boil for about five minutes
- Turn off the light and allow simmering for another two minutes
- Strain the tea from the leaves
- Add honey and enjoy your tea.
Although herbal remedies have proved to be effective at curing certain ailments, you should not expoe yourself to it without your doctor’s advice. Always conduct your doctor whenever you notice a change in your system due to ingestion of herbal remedies.
Aransiola, EF, Daramola MO, Iwalewa EO, Seluwa AM, Olufowobi OO. 2014. Anti-diabetic effect of Bryophyllum pinnatum leaves. International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 8:89–93.
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Afzal, M., Kazmi, I., & Anwar, F. (2013). Antineoplastic potential of Bryophyllum pinnatum lam. on chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rats. Pharmacognosy research, 5(4), 247–253. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.118811.
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