Many people are unaware of the benefits of mango leaves. Although the fruit of this tree is well known for its flavor and versatility, few know that the leaves are also edible and nutritious. They concentrate on plant compounds that have exhibited pharmacological activity.
In particular, they are attributed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antitumor activity. Its extracts are even being used to make teas, supplements and other complementary health care products. Why are they recommended? We will detail it below.
Main benefits of mango leaves
There are about 69 species of Mangifera; However, the best known in terms of natural medicine is Mangifera indica, whose therapeutic applications come from Ayurvedic and indigenous medical systems.
While the stem, bark, roots, and fruit can be harnessed from the plant, its leaves, in particular, are believed to have superior therapeutic effects. Let’s see in detail the benefits attributed to them.
1. Concentrate healthy plant compounds
First of all, it should be noted that the benefits of mango leaves come from their interesting concentration of plant compounds. To be more precise, they provide polyphenols and terpenoids, known for their ability to protect against the negative effects of free radicals.
These substances, in turn, have positive effects on visual health and the immune system. Therefore, its consumption reduces the risk of eye diseases, infections and other chronic diseases.
2. They have anti-inflammatory activity
One of the most outstanding properties of mango leaves is its anti-inflammatory capacity. As stated in a study published in BioFactors, mangiferin contains a polyphenol that has the structure of C-glycosyl xanthone, which exhibits the potential to inhibit excess inflammation.
Other biological activities are attributed to it, such as antioxidant, antidiabetic, analgesic and immunomodulatory capacity. In turn, it is believed to help reduce the risk of heart and neurological conditions.
3. They are coadjuvant in weight loss
By themselves, mango leaves are not a miracle weight loss product. Still, incorporating them into a healthy and varied diet can help you achieve a healthy and balanced weight. The reason? Studies have determined that its components are coadjuvants in the metabolism of fats.
In particular, the extract of mango leaves helps to inhibit the accumulation of fat in tissue cells. While more evidence is needed to confirm these effects, for now, it is considered a useful and safe supplement for most people.
4. They contribute to the treatment of diabetes
Diabetes is a complex disease that must be treated according to medical recommendations. Therefore, remedies such as mango leaves should only be used as an adjunct to treatment. This plant, due to its ability to improve fat metabolism, also has a favorable effect on the control of glucose levels in the blood.
Research published in Plos One compared the effects of mango leaf extract and glibenclamide (a diabetes drug). In the end, the extract group was found to have slightly lower glucose levels than the glibenclamide group after two weeks.
5. They promote skin health.
The benefits of mango leaves also extend to the skin. Due to its significant concentration of antioxidants, its extracts are linked to a lower risk of premature aging. Even animal studies suggest that this ingredient helps protect against collagen degradation and UV damage.
Also, a publication in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerface states that the antibacterial properties of these leaves fight the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, responsible for various skin infections.
6. They promote hair health.
The oxidative stress is associated with impairment of the hair. In this sense, mango leaves and their antioxidant properties can help. While there is little scientific evidence to link extracts from these leaves to hair care, they are believed to help prevent excessive shedding and promote healthy strand growth.
How to take advantage of the benefits of mango leaves?
Mango leaves are edible and can be added fresh to salad recipes. However, the most common way of consumption is by preparing tea. To do this, about 12 mango leaves are boiled in half a liter of water. Once it reaches its boiling point, it is left to rest until it is ready for consumption.
On the other hand, they can be found in health food stores in powder, extract or supplement form. The powder is diluted in water, both for oral consumption and for external application. In general, they are considered safe for most healthy adults. Anyway, if there are doubts, it is best to consult the doctor.