Avocado leaves are edible, but they’re not commonly eaten. In fact, in many areas of the world, avocado leaves are not considered safe to eat.
However, in some South American countries such as Colombia, avocado leaves are consumed regularly and have been found to contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.
In addition, avocado leaves have been used medicinally for centuries in Central and South America. They’ve been used to treat everything from headaches and fevers to heartburn and indigestion.
So what’s the verdict on whether or not avocado leaves are safe to eat? Are they really edible? Let’s find out!
Can You Eat Avocado Leaves?
Yes, you can eat avocado leaves. They are part of the plant and have nutritional value.
Avocado leaves are edible and can be used as a herb in cooking. Avocado leaves add a subtle earthy flavor to foods and are often used in Southeast Asian cooking.
The leaves are also good for making tea and tinctures, although this practice is not widespread.
What are Avocado Leaves?
The avocado fruit is a pear-shaped, green, or dark purple berry with a large seed inside. The pulp and seed of the fruit are eaten raw or cooked in many parts of the world.
Avocado leaves are large, shiny, dark green leaves that grow on small trees or shrubs. They have an oval shape with pointed tips and smooth edges. These leaves are often used as ornamental plants because they look beautiful when they flower during springtime. They also have medicinal uses as well!
Are Avocado Leaves Safe To Eat?
Avocado leaves are edible but should be eaten in moderation. The leaves contain a compound called persin, which can be toxic in large quantities.
Because of their high concentration of persin, which has been linked to contact dermatitis (skin irritation), nausea, and vomiting, it’s best to avoid eating too much avocado leaf at one time.
The recommended amount of avocado leaves depends on your age and weight:
Children who are 1 year old or younger should not eat avocado leaves because they may be too young for this food group yet still have the risk of developing food allergies.
If you’re breastfeeding a child who is younger than 1 year old and want to eat avocado leaves yourself as part of a balanced diet, feed them only a small amount at any one time (1 teaspoon).
Are There Any Benefits To Eating Avocado Leaves?
Avocados are a wonderful fruit that we all know and love. However, there is much more to this fruit than meets the eye. Avocado leaves are edible and are actually pretty nutritious!
Here are just a few of their benefits:
They Improve Digestion
Avocado leaves contain a compound called tannin which helps aid in digestion by breaking down proteins and carbohydrates. This helps to increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
They Help You Lose Weight
By helping with digestion, avocado leaves can make it easier for your body to digest food which makes losing weight easier on your body. They also help control blood sugar levels which can help reduce cravings for sugary treats like candy or ice cream because they won’t be as appealing when you have balanced blood sugar levels!
They Are Anti-inflammatory
The tannins found in avocado leaves are also anti-inflammatory which means they can help relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis or other conditions such as tendinitis or bursitis. They also help reduce inflammation associated with acne breakouts by reducing redness and swelling around the skin.
What Do Avocado Leaves Taste Like?
Avocado leaves are edible, but they aren’t very palatable. The leaves of most varieties of avocado taste bitter and astringent. The bitterness can be masked by cooking the leaves with other foods, but the astringency will remain.
The leaves are edible only when they’re young and tender. When the leaves become older, they become thicker and tougher, making them less desirable as food. In fact, many people consider the old leaves unfit for consumption and throw them away.
How To Prepare Avocado Leaves
Before you can use avocado leaves, they will need to be clean first. Then you can use the leaves either fresh or dried — just be sure to store them properly so they don’t go bad before you use them.
To prepare avocado leaves:
1. Lay out your avocado leaves to dry for about three days on a drying rack or in front of an open window during the warmest part of the day.
2. Rinse them off under cold water and then pat dry with paper towels or cloth towels until no longer damp.
3. Put the dried leaves into an airtight container and store them away from direct sunlight at room temperature until ready to use (up to two weeks).
Drying Avocado Leaves
You can dry avocado leaves and store them for later use. To dry the leaves, place them on a flat surface in a single layer and leave them exposed to the sun for several days until they are completely dry. Once they are dried, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from heat sources like stoves or ovens.
What Can You Do With Avocado Leaves?
Avocado leaves are an underused culinary ingredient that can add a unique flavor to your dishes. They have a mild cilantro-like flavor and a subtle citrusy note, which complements the avocado’s creamy texture.
The leaves can be used for:
Soups, stews, and other savory dishes. The leaves can be added to soups, stews or sauces at the end of cooking time for best results. (They’ll lose their flavor if cooked for too long.) They can also be used in stir-fries and sautés because they’re sturdy enough to withstand high heat without wilting.
Salads and pasta dishes. Avocado leaves are also great in salads and pasta dishes because they don’t wilt easily like other greens do when tossed with hot pasta or cooked with other ingredients for too long. The leaves’ mild flavor pairs well with strong seasonings like garlic and chile peppers, as well as the acidity from vinegar or lemon juice — just be sure not to overdo it when seasoning them so they don’t become overpowering against the other flavors in your dish.
Making desserts. Believe it or not, avocado leaves can even be used in desserts! Try substituting them for mint leaves in your desserts.
Make tea. Avocado leaves contain tannins and flavonoids that act as natural antibacterial agents. They also help relieve stomach upset and diarrhea. To make tea, steep the leaves in boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it warm or cold.
Besides using them in food, there are many other uses for avocado leaves. Below are some of them:
Treat wounds and burns
Avocado leaves are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, which makes them great for treating cuts and burns. If you have an open wound, crush some leaves and apply them directly to the skin around the injury to help stop bleeding and prevent infection. If there is already inflammation or swelling from an injury or burn, crush some leaves into a paste with a little water and apply directly to the affected area as needed for relief from pain and swelling.
Make insect repellent
A hot infusion of avocado leaves can be used to repel insects like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and mites when sprayed on skin before heading outdoors or into areas where these pests may be present (e.g., picnic areas). The hot infusion will also kill parasites and harmful bacteria.
Yes, you can eat avocado leaves. In fact, they’re delicious. You can make a salad with the leaves, use them in soups or even fry them up like spinach. Just be sure to eat them in moderation due to the persin found in the leaves. This toxin can be harmful in large amounts. If you’re just eating small amounts of avocado leaves, there’s no need to worry about any harmful effects on your health.