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Related article: An evergreen tree up to 14(-14)m high; young branches glabrous or glaucous; crown
very dense, rounded or elongated. Leaves spirally arranged, simple; stipules absent;
petiole 1.5-6cm long; blade narrowly to broadly elliptic or obovate, 5-30cm long,
3-19cm wide, apex usually acute or acuminate, base unequally cuneate to rounded, margins
entire, chartaceous, dark green and glabrous above, glaucous below. Inflorescence dense,
greyish pubescent or sericeous, axillary panicles 6-20cm long; flowers many, bisexual,
fragrant; pedicels slender, bracts lanceolate, 4mm long, deciduous. Perianth segments 6,
in 2 whorls, greenish-yellow, tomentose, outer whorl 4-6mm long, inner slightly longer;
stamens 9, in 3 whorls, inner whorl longer, each with 2 orange nectaries at the base,
staminodes 3, in innermost whorl; ovary 1-celled, style slender, hirsute. Fruit globose
to pear-shaped, 3-20cm long, epicarp yellow-green to maroon and purple, mesocarp yellowish
green, butter-like consistency, edible. Seed 1, globose-pear-shaped, c.6cm long.
Flowers between May and August in Mexico.
4. ESTABLISHED MODERN PHARMACEUTICAL USES
- 162 -
5. FOLK MEDICINAL UESES
The avocado has been used for medicinal as well as food purposes from very ancient
times. According to indigenous informers in the period immediately following the Spanish
conquest of Mexico, the seed of P. aroericana, ground and made into an ointment, was used Aldactone Mg
to treat various skin afflictions, such as scabies, purulent wounds, lesions of the scalp
Later it was realized that the oil extracted from the seed has astringent properties,
and an oral infusion of the leaves was used to treat dysentery. The anthelmintic
properties attributed to the skin of the fruit have been recognized by the people for
many centuries. In Mexican medical literature spasmolitic and abortive properties are
attributed to P. Aldactone Mg americana.
In Mexico now the skin of the fruit and the leaves are used to treat various
infections of the skin and digestive ailments. Infusions of the leaves and skin are
prepared for the treatment of dysentery, and plasters made using the abundant oil of the
6. MAJOR CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS AND MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
Chemical study of the avocado has been concentrated basically on the fruit, because
of its food value. The pulp and the seed are rich in fatty acids, such as oleic, linolic,
palmitic, stearic, linolenic, capric and miristic acid, which constitute 80 percent of
the fruit's fatty contents. The oil of the seed is rich in tocopherol. Other substances
present in the fruit are esculin and a numerous group of saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons,
aliphatic alcohols and terpenes, esterols (Beta-sitosterol) and an unsaturated poliol.
Recently the fruit has been shown to contain considerable amounts of gamma amminobut iric
acid. Among the glucides, d-perseita or d-alf a-manoheptite and d-manoheptulose and
persiteol or d-glycerol, d-galactohept itol stand out. Protocyanidine, carnitine and
carotenoides are very abundant in the seed.
The leaves of the tree contain mainly a Aldactone Mg yellowish-green essential oil, composed
of estragol, d-pinene, cineole, transanetole, alcanfore and traces of enantic acid,
gamma metilionone, beta pinene and limonene. Watery extracts of the avocado leaves,
in addition to their high content of essential oil, contain dopamine and serotonine,
flavonoides, perseite, periteole and a bitter principle called abacatine.
Despite the extensive chemical knowledge of the composition of avocado, the
medicinal effects of preparation from it have not been fully studied. Some organic
extracts of avocado seeds possess antibiotic effects on Bacillus coli, Micrococcus
pyogenes, Sarcina lutea and Staphylococcus aureus. The long-chain aliphatic compounds
obtained from the seed, such as 1,2,4 trihydroxy-n-hepadeca-16-eno, are responsible for
the antibiotic effect already proved on Salmonella typhi , Strigella dysenteriae and
Candida albicans, which explains the traditional use made of avocado to combat infection.
Recently anti-cancerous activity has been reported in extracts of Aldactone Mg leaves and fresh
shoots of avocado, studied in adenocarcinoma 755 tumours in laboratory animals.
7. HARVESTING, CONSERVING AND PREPARATION
Collection of skin of fruit, leaves and fresh shoots.
- 163 -
8. ECONOMICS AND MARKETING
Individual trees may yield up to 136 Kg of fruit per year and this aspect of the species
production is well written up. There is no information on the marketing of its medicinal
products which are most likely to be collected and used domestically or collected and sold by
herb Aldactone Mg vendors (Morton, 1981).
The Avocado is readily grown from seed.
10. MAJOR DISEASES
Root-rot infection by Phytophthera Aldactone Mg cinnamomi has been experienced in Kenya (Bergh, 1980)
and Verticillium wilt is another soil fungus borne disease (Williams and Chew, 1980) and are
a major limiting factor (Martin, 1984). Rots of the surface and stem and of the fruit are
caused by the fungi Colletotrichum spp. and Dothiorella spp. which together with Cercospora
leaf spot can be controlled by appropriate fungicidal sprays (Williams and Chew, 1980).
The species is attacked by a number of insect pests among them larvae of the Helivus genus
of beetles feeding on seeds of developing fruit and burrowing into trees. The Aldactone Mg fruit, leaves
and flowers are subject to attack by a wide range of pests, but generally within its native
range (Martin, Aldactone Mg 1984).
11. OTHER USES
The fruit is much valued as a food commodity and the leaves are characterized by the
fragrance they release, similar to the scent of aniseed. The unripe fruir is poisonous
and the ground-up seed mixed with cheese is used as a rat and mouse killer. A fluid
extracted from the seed is Aldactone Mg used as ink (Morton, 1981).
Abbott , B. evt al.
Cancer Res. 26:2.
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