Mangoes are the fruits of the many species of trees belonging to the genus Mangifera. Besides found wildly growing in tropical countries, the trees are also widely cultivated in many parts of the world, mostly for their edible fruits. The tasty fruits are considered as the national fruit of some countries including the Philippines, Pakistan, and India. The essential summer fruit is juicy, sweet, healthy, and delicious. The fruit tastes greatwhen eaten directly, blended into a smoothie, or mixed with other ingredients as salad or pudding. But who would have imagined that the fruit is not the only part of the plant which can be consumed regularly to improve our overall health?
Surprising to many, the leaves of mango trees are also considered potential superfoods. People in some parts of the world have traditionally used the leaves as a part of their homemade remedy to cure various ailments. It becomes less surprising once we understand that the leaves contain a lot of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, some phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, niacinor vitamin B3, thiamineor vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, and betacarotene.
Consuming mango leaves in the forms of tea or extract can give you numerous health benefits, including:
1. Treats Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that is suffered by a lot of people worldwide. The disease negatively affects the way the body treats blood sugar. The disease needs to be controlled by radical lifestyle change, medication, and sometimes insulin injection in order to make the patients can function normally in their day to day lives. When the disease is not treated properly, it may bring unpleasant and dangerous side effects that can interfere with the life of the person suffering from it.
Type 2 diabetes, fortunately, sometimes can be treated by alternative herbal remedies, including the extract of mango leaves. In Ayurvedic herbal traditions, mango leaves were known to be a potent diabetes cure. A 2010 study reviewed the effectiveness of the extract of mango leaves as a diabetes cure. Diabetes-induced rats were used in the study as animal test subjects. The experimental study discovered that the extract of mango leaves could reduce the level of blood sugar. The scientist hypothesized that the activity might be caused by the intestinal reduction of blood sugar absorption due to the hypoglycaemic properties of mango leaves. Since the gastrointestinal tract of the diabetic rats absorbed less glucose, the blood sugar level of the mice became lower.
Mango leaves contain anthocyanidins which are considered to be one of the active ingredients that can help humans in treating early diabetes mellius. The ingredient improves the production of insulin and the distribution of glucose. The extract of mango leaves also helps reducing other risk factors for type 2 diabetes such as obesity and bad cholesterols.
The study mentioned that the scientists used liquid extraction to get the necessary substance for the test. It means you can make your own all-natural diabetes cure by boiling mango leaves and hot water then drink the tea after letting it sit overnight.
2. Reduces Cholesterol Level
Mango leaves tea and mango leaves extract can also be used to treat cholesterol problems. One of the reasons is that mango leaves are rich in niacin. Since more than 60 years ago, niacin has been used to treat high cholesterol problems. Consuming niacin can, in fact, reduce the level of LDL cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) by 5-20%. Throughout history, niacin is usually used to treat cholesterol problems in people who can’t tolerate statins which are the primary substances for cholesterol-lowering treatment.
In addition to reducing the levels of bad cholesterols and triglycerides, mango leaves can also improve the level of good cholesterols or HDL cholesterol. This is done by slowing down the break down of apolipoprotein A1 which helps the production of HDL. Incorporating mango leaves into your diet in the right therapeutic doses will be good for your overall cholesterol levels.
3. Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Mango leaves also have some hypotensive properties which will be very good for people suffering from hypertension. Hypertension is a disease which is characterized by the blood pressure which is above normal, typically higher than 140 over 90 mmHg. Mango leaves toease the tension in the blood vessels by strengthening the arteries’ walls while at the same time helping the blood vessels to be more relaxed. It can also treat varicose veins effectively.
4. Prevents Heart Diseases
Since niacin in mango leaves helpsto reduce the level of LDL cholesterol and stabilize blood pressure, it also positively affects cardiovascular health. The micronutrient can help prevent heart problems. It also protects your heart by another mechanism apart from the indirect consequence of good cholesterol-boosting. Niacin reduces inflammation and oxidative stress which is partly responsible for atherosclerosis. The hardening of the arteries wall is the cause of many cases of heart attacks. Based on some studies, the ingredient alone, or the combination of this ingredient and statins, can help reduce the risk of heart problems.
In addition, mango leaves also contain flavonoid which may help lower the level of cholesterol, a contributing risk factor for heart disease. Flavonoids may also lower blood pressure by preventing blood clotting and supporting artery functions. All of these mechanisms result in a better protection against heart problems.
5. Contains A Lot of Antioxidants
The oxidizing effect of reactive oxygen species induces damages to our biological molecules, including DNA, proteins, and lipids. Oxidation causes changes in the function and structures of our biological molecules, leading to various chronic ailments in the long run. Fortunately, nature also provides us with nutritional antioxidants that we can find in many fruits and plants. Mango leaves are known to be rich in antioxidant content, including Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene. These micronutrients are beneficial to prevent chronic disorders resulting from the process of oxidation.
In a laboratory setting, the extract of mango leaves showed an interesting inhibitory effect on the peroxidation process of rats’ brain. The active ingredients in the leaves also prevent DNA damage in rats caused by the free radicals. The studies confirmed previous assumptions that mango leaves can be a good dietary source of antioxidants.
6. Boosts Immune System
If you are the type of person who never misses the seasonal flu, your immune system is probably not working properly. Everyday, you are exposed to million germs through your interaction with other people and everyday objects like your phones and any surfaces at public places. These bacteria and viruses are always trying to get into your body system and take it over. The only defense you have is your body’s immune system, which is a complex mechanism of body’s protection against harmful, foreign elements. Most of the time, your immune system is successful at defending your body. But sometimes, it breaks down, and you catch contagious diseases.
Boosting your immune system is a must if you want to have the perfect protection against diseases. Unfortunately, as you get older, the job is getting tougher because the free radicals attack the immune cells, causing your defense to constantly drop. Because of this, you need antioxidants to fight these free radicals.
Mango leaves contain a lot of antioxidants, including vitamin C and betacarotene. Vitamin C is probably the biggest boost for your defense system. The vitamin aids the production of white blood cells in your body. White blood cells protect your body against foreign invaders and infectious diseases. It is very vital in preventing a number of diseases. Besides vitamin C also stimulates the production of interferon, which is a protective coat on your cells surfaces that prevent viruses from attacking the cells. Meanwhile, carotenoids including beta-carotene help your body by increasing the production of natural T-killer cells and T-cells.
The vitamin A content present in mango leaves also help our immune system by inducing the production of T cells and prevent inflammation. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with a reduced ability to resist infections. Consuming mango leaves which are rich in vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene is a good way to support your body’s fight against harmful foreign agents and diseases.
7. Prevents Cancer
Some phenolic compounds found in plants, including flavonoids, are known for its anti-cancer properties. Flavonoids are a big group of the polyphenols family consisting of 4000 varieties. Flavonoids as a dietary prevention against cancer work through multiple ways, including by suppressing, blocking, and transforming the cancer cells. Suppressing agents of flavonoids work by preventing the birth of new cancers, blocking agents stopping the dangerous compounds from reaching its important initiation stages, while the transformation agents convert the carcinogenic compounds to less dangerous materials.
Mango leaves contain flavonoids in a significantly large amount, making these plants a good chemopreventive ingredient when incorporated in human’s diet. Boiling mango leaves with water and drinking the concoction regularly is one of the recommended homemade supplement to prevent cancer.
8. Eases Restlessness
People who suffer from various types of anxiety disorders can use mango leaves as a home remedy to treat their restlessness. Restlessness is a common symptom of anxiety which should be treated because it can cause a lot of loss of productivity and difficulty to live a healthy and functional life. People who suffer from ananxiety disorder will experience periods where they always feel on the edge, easily irritable, constantly fatigued, and tense. Sleep difficulties and sleep disturbances are also the symptoms of restlessness caused by an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder needs to be treated by a proper psychiatrist, but, you can ease the symptoms by using mango leaves as a home remedy. Putting some mango leaves into the bath and soaking in the water can help make yourselves feel more relaxed. Your restlessness will recede and you will feel calmer and more focused. Do this in the evening before bed time to have a good sleep.
9. Gets Rid of Kidney Stones
Another powerful health benefit of mango leaves extract is the ability to treat kidney stones. If you suffer from kidney stones, try mixing two spoonfuls of finely ground mango leaves and with water and keep it in a tumbler and let it sit for a night. The herbal drink will help break the stones in your kidney andflush them out of your body. You can also drink this herbal home remedy to treat gall bladder stones.
10. Boosts Brain Function
Your brain needs niacin, a part of the enzymes NADP and NAD, to work and function properly. The enzymes provide the necessary energy for your brain. The lack of niacin may cause brain fog and even some psychiatric symptoms. Several schizophrenia types are related to brain cells damage as a result of niacin deficiency. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can also be benefited from niacin consumption as it also helps reduce the decline of the cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s patients. Mango leaves contain a significant amount of niacin, making it a perfect weapon against brain problems.
11. Improves Skin Health
Mango leaves contain niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin A. All of them are important nutrients that boost skin health and functions. Niacin protects skin cells from the danger of the ultraviolet ray, so it can prevent certain kinds of skin cancer. Vitamin A is one of the most important agents in fighting aging. Consuming enough vitamin A will make your skin smoother, brighter, and free from dark spots. More importantly, it also prevents and reduces wrinkles. Furthermore, the vitamin C content in mango leaves will even out the tone of your skin, shield it from pollution impacts, improve hydration, and make it stay youthful.
Both drinking mango leaves tea and applying the leaves topically on your skin and body is agood treatment for healthy and beautiful skin.
12. Treats Respiratory Problems
Respiratory problems, such as cold, asthma, and bronchitis can be very inconvenient and even dangerous. Fortunately, you can help yourself with ahome remedy by drinking the concoction of mango leaves. Boil some leaves and water and wait until there is only half of the original amount of the water remaining. Once it gets warm enough, add some honey to sweeten the taste and boost the nutritional contain and drink it. It will help clear out the airways and make it easier to breathe.
13. Cures Dysentery
People from many parts of the world are at risk from dysentery, which is a form of intestinal inflammation caused by aparasitic microorganism. There are two types of dysentery: bacillary dysentery and amoebic dysentery. Both are commonly caused by poor hygiene, bad sanitation, and contaminated water or food. Diarrhea, stomachache, and stomach cramp are the most common symptoms of dysentery.
Mango leaves can be very effective at helping the treatment of people who suffer from dysentery. This is because the leaves have some potent antiparasitic and antibacterial properties. It can inhibit the activity of the bacillus and amoebas that cause dysentery. When the infection stops, the inflammation will be stopped, too. As a result, the dysentery symptoms will disappear.
14. Protects The Liver
A study conducted by European scientists demonstrated the ability of mango leaves’ extract to protect the liver. The study was done by inducing the test animals, Swiss albino mice, with oxidative stress that results in cellular injury of the liver. At the end of the study, the scientists observed that the mice that received the treatment of mango leaves extract had better liver health because the mango leaves modulate the cell growth regulators in a way to combat the oxidative stress.
15. Boosts Oral Health and Sanitation
Old mango leaves have been traditionally used as an all-natural form of mouthwash. The antiparasitic and antibacterial properties clean up the inside of the mouth and prevent infection from unhealthy foods and other bad habits. This can be also be used regularly for a preventive measurement and to keep dental and oral hygiene.
To use this as a mouthwash, pluck some old mango leaves from the tree and clean it well. Brew the leaves with some cups of hot water until you see the water’s color changes into yellowish. Store it in the refrigerator so you can use it as a mouthwash for several days.