Saturday, July 13, 2024

Why you should include mango leaves in your diet

Mango, the fruit we all love, is rightly called the King of fruits. Many people are familiar with the sweet, tropical fruit that comes from mango trees, but you may not realize that the leaves of mango trees are edible as well.

But, do you know, even its leaves are full of health benefits? This may feel strange to you, might not go well with many of us, but once you will read about the Mango leaves benefits, you will not just wait for the mango tree in your backyard to give you the sweet mangoes, but will use its leaves as well!

Rich in medicinal properties, mango leaves are there all around the year hanging on the mango trees, unlike the fruit, so you won’t have trouble sourcing them.

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These reddish leaves with a purple tint are a power bank of super nutrients that you would hardly ever imagine. They are rich in flavonoids, and compounds called phenols, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Tannins & Antioxidants.

Cultivated for thousands of years, these leaves are believed to have been brought to Southeast Asia by the Buddhist monks, and ever since, people have been relying on the powerful uses of these leaves.

Let us dig deeper and understand the various health benefits of mango leaves and learn about the different uses of mango leaves.

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Young green mango leaves are very tender, so they’re cooked and eaten in some cultures. Because the leaves are considered very nutritious, they’re also used to make tea and supplements.

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The leaves of Mangifera indica, a particular species of mango, have been used in healing practices like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

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Although the stem, bark, leaves, roots, and fruit are likewise used in traditional medicine, the leaves in particular are believed to help treat diabetes and other health conditions.

Mango leaves contain several beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and terpenoids. Terpenoids are important for optimal vision and immune health.

They’re also antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Meanwhile, polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some research suggests that they improve gut bacteria and help treat or prevent conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Mangiferin, a polyphenol found in many plants but in especially high amounts in mango and mango leaves, is credited with numerous benefits.

Studies have investigated it as an anti-microbial agent and potential treatment for tumors, diabetes, heart disease, and fat digestion abnormalities.

Here are the emerging benefits and uses of mango leaves, backed by science.

May have anti-inflammatory properties: Many of the potential benefits of mango leaves result from mangiferin’s anti-inflammatory properties.

While inflammation is part of your body’s normal immune response, chronic inflammation can increase your risk of various diseases.

Animal studies suggest that mango leaves’ anti-inflammatory properties may even protect your brain from conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

In one study, mango leaf extract given to rats at 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (5 mg per kg) helped counteract artificially induced oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in the brain.

May protect against fat gain: Mango leaf extract may help manage obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome by interfering with fat metabolism Multiple animal studies have found that mango leaf extract inhibits fat accumulation in tissue cells.

Another study in mice shows that cells treated with a mango leaf extract had lower levels of fat deposits and higher levels of adiponectin.

Adiponectin is a cell-signaling protein that plays a role in fat metabolism and sugar regulation in your body.

Higher levels may protect against obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases. In a study of rats with obesity, those fed mango leaf tea, in addition to a high-fat diet, gained less abdominal fat than those given only the high-fat diet.

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In a 12-week study in 97 adults with excess weight, those given 150 mg of mangiferin daily had lower fat levels in their blood and scored significantly better on an insulin resistance index than did those given a placebo.

May help combat diabetes: Mango leaf may help manage diabetes due to its effects on fat metabolism. Elevated triglycerides levels are often associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

One study gave mango leaf extract to mice. After 2 weeks, they showed significantly lower triglyceride and blood sugar levels A study in rats found that administering 45 mg per pound of body weight (100 mg per kg) of mango leaf extract reduced hyperlipidemia, a condition marked by unusually high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol In a study that compared mango leaf extract and the oral diabetes drug glibenclamide in rats with diabetes, those given the extract had significantly lower blood sugar levels than the glibenclamide group after 2 weeks.

May have anticancer properties: Multiple reviews demonstrate that the mangiferin in mango leaves may have anticancer potential, as it combats oxidative stress and fights inflammation.

Test-tube studies suggest specific effects against leukemia and lung, brain, breast, cervix, and prostate cancers.

What’s more, mango bark exhibits strong anticancer potential due to its lignans, which are another type of polyphenol.

Keep in mind that these results are preliminary and that mango leaves should not be considered a cancer treatment.

May treat stomach ulcers: Mango leaf and other parts of the plant have historically been used to aid stomach ulcers and other digestive conditions.

A study in rodents found that orally administering mango leaf extract at 113–454 mg per pound (250–1,000 mg per kg) of body weight decreased the number of stomach lesions.

Another rodent study found similar results, with mangiferin significantly improving digestive damage.

May support healthy skin: Mango leaf extract may reduce signs of skin aging due to its antioxidant content.

In a study in mice, mango extract given orally at 45 mg per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight increased collagen production and significantly shortened the length of skin wrinkles.

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Keep in mind that this extract was a general mango extract, not one specific to mango leaves.

Meanwhile, a test-tube study determined that mango leaf extract may have antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that can cause staph infection.

Mangiferin has also been studied for psoriasis, a skin condition that causes itchy, dry patches. A test-tube study using human skin confirmed that this polyphenol encouraged wound healing.

May benefit your hair: Mango leaves are said to promote hair growth, and mango leaf extract may be used in some hair products.

Yet, there’s little scientific evidence to support these claims. Still, mango leaves are rich in antioxidants, which may protect your hair follicles from damage. In turn, this may aid hair growth.

Treats Gall and Kidney Stones: The topmost benefit of mango leaves is that it helps to treat gall bladder and kidney stones.

If these leaves are consumed in a powdered form daily, it can help break the toughest of gall bladder and kidney stones within no time.

Lower Down Blood Pressure: Second major health benefit of using a mango leaves is to control the blood pressure issue.

People suffering from high blood pressure can rely on the power of mango leaves to lower their blood pressure and hypertension significantly.

Some properties found in these leaves help to strengthen the blood vessels and even treat varicose veins.

Cures Restlessness and Anxiety:Those searching for various health benefits of mango  leaves must also note that these leaves have the power to treat anxiety and restlessness too.

Mangiferin, a phytochemical found in these leaves, is known to possess anti-anxiety properties.

Now that you have gained sufficient knowledge about the various surprising uses of mango leaves, it is obvious for you to be curious to know how to use these miraculous leaves?

One of the best ways to consume mango leaves to reap all of the above-mentioned health benefits is by using it in a tea form.

For this, just boil 10-12 mango leaves in about 150 mL of water or use mango leaf tea bags, and you are done! You can also make a powder of mango leaves by cleaning, drying, and then grinding them in a mixer.

Store this powder in an air-tight container to help it last longer. You may also choose to get the powder of mango leaves from ayurvedic clinics.

Some people also make a paste of clean, freshly sourced mango leaves to apply it as a hair mask. Isn’t it amazing that mango, the fruit in itself is not wonderful, even its leaves are beneficial for mankind?

Available all around the year, mango leaves are also known as Mangifera Indica in botanical terms and have been appreciated for their medicinal values in Ayurveda for centuries, but the common man has just now started realizing its various health benefits.

The easiest way to use it is by making herbal tea or using it in a powder form, the benefits in some time will astonish you for sure, so do try it!

It is important to note that using mango leaves in powdered form or making its tea is a natural home remedy that works well for most people.

However, if you see any allergic reactions or see any adverse changes in your health, you must consult a doctor.

This article was first published in Imphal Times. The writer can be reached at:[email protected])

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