Persea americana Miller

Nota de alcance (en)

Origin and historical background
The cultivated forms must have developed in Mexico and Guatemala. From rehistoric finds it is concluded that avocados were being cultivated 10 000 years before Christ. In precolombian times, avocado was cultivated from Mexico to Peru. The Aztecs called the tree Ahuacatl from which the name Aguacate is derived. Many more names exist which were given to the tree by other Indian tribes.

Ethnobotanical and general use

Nutritional use
In the regions of production, the fruits are eaten raw as a vegetable, as a salad prepared with salt and vinegar, or with a filling of meat or lobster; and ice cream is even made of them. In the USA, the fruits are canned, because they are of very short durability. The fruits have a high nutritive value due to the high content of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (14-30 %).

Medical use
Leaves, fruit and seed are mainly applied. Fruits and seeds are used to cure infections of the digestive apparatus and of the skin. They also help as a vermifuge and have antibacterical activities. For centuries the oil extracted from the seeds is applied to treat the dry scalp. An ointment is also prepared to relieve pains and to soften the skin of wounds. The dried and pulverized fruit shell is applied as an antidysenteric; so is an infusion of the leaves, which is also used to treat infected and inflamed wounds. The same infusion is also helpful to cure infectious diarrhoea and indigestion. The infusion of the fruit shell helps in the treatment of intestinal parasites. A decoction of the seeds taken monthly during menstruation is considered an contraceptive. Crushed seeds dissolved in brandy, are used to treat snakebites. The fruit pulp is said to regulate menstruation and to be helpful as an aphrodisiac. Leaves are crushed for a cataplasm to alleviate haematoma. The antimicrobial activity of the fruit and seed is worthy to note. Extracts of the seeds show antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Micrococcus pyogenes, Sarcina lutea, and Staphylococcus aureus. The long-chained aliphatic compounds of the fruit shell have bactericidal activity on Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus. Extracts of fresh leaves and shoots have shown anticancerous activities, as well as cytotoxic properties. They inhibit the growth of gram-negative microorganisms. Further diseases which are cured with avocado are: scabies, ulcers, vesical incontinence (seed); it helps as an antihelmintic and as a vermifuge (fruit), for rheumatic pains, malaria, as an emmenagogue and an abortive (seeds); it is pectoral, stomachic, and is used as an emmenagogue (leaves and bark). The fruit is recommended as food for diabetics, as it contains neither sugar nor starch. The oil of the seed may be applied as a cosmetic to soften the skin and to accelerate cicatrization. An infusion of the seed used as a bath is recommended in case of blennorrhagia.

Chemical contents
Fruit and seed are rich in fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, stearic, capric, and myristic acid which form 80 % of the total fatty content of the fruit. The seed oil is rich in tocopherol. Further substances present in the fruit are squalene, saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons and aliphatic alcohols, terpenes, aspartic and glutamic acid as well as many other substances (GUPTA 1995). The leaves principally contain a yellow greenish essential oil composed of estragole, pinene, cineol, transanethole, camphor and traces of other substances (GUPTA 1995). Aqueous extracts of the leaves contain a high percentage of essential oil, dopamine, serotonin, flavonoids, a bitter principle and traces of other substances (GUPTA 1995).

Bark, leaf, fruit: asthma, cough, diarrhea, fever, kidney

---------------

Uses: blood depuraive, pain location, uric acid, stomach, liver poor digestion, menstraul cramps, uterine infection, bronchitis, throat, cough, rheumatism, renal colic, infection of the kidneys, urinary problems.                                                 

Origin: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, China, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Gabon, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Suriname, Unites States, Venezela.         

-------------

Stem: Bark used for diarrhea in NW Guyana.

Leaf: Decoction of dried leaves used to treat hypertension (to decrease tension). Boiled with Tripogandra serrulata for a drink to remedy biliousness. Infusion of young leaves to treat coughs, aid digestion and decrease tension. Leaves employed in French Guiana for dysmenorrhoea. Leaves are boiled and the water drunk as an antihypertensive, by the Guyana Patamona. Used to treat biliousness, diarrhea, stomachache, hypertension, heart problems and malaria in NW Guyana.

Fruit Toxicity
Fruit: Fluid from unripe fruit used to induce abortion.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA=USED PART: fruto y hojas 

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA=PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION: antimicrobiano , antibacteriana y antitumoral

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA=CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: Los frutos son ricos en acidos grasos tales comooleico, limoleico, palmitico, estarico, limolenico, cáprico y mirístico, conformando el 80 % del contenido graso del fruto.Tambien encontramos vitaminas A, E, aminoacidos. Asimismo, el mesocarpio cremosocontiene fosforo, hierro, tiamina, riboflavina, niacina y acido ascórbicolo cual constituye una fuente nutricional dede el punto de vista alimenticio.Las hojas contiene un aceite esencialde diferente composiciónsegun la variedad, rico en estragol, metilchavicol, metileugenol, cineol y limoneno. Tambien flavonoides, taninos y terpenoides.

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA =GEOGRAFICAL ZONE: Mexico, Gatemala y el Caribe.

--------------

Parte empleada: hoja.
Usos: colesterol y diabetes.
Preparación: para el colesterol hervir siete hojas en un litro de agua y tomar como agua de tiempo.

---------

Partes usadas:
hojas

Usos tradicionales:
a) uso interno: afecciones respiratorias (resfríos, tos, catarro, bronquitis); malestares estomacales; menstruación escasa y dolorosa.
La infusión se prepara con 1 cucharada de hojas frescas o secas para 1 litro de agua recién hervida: beber 1 taza 3 veces en el día.
b) uso externo: enfermedades de la piel (granos, caspa); leucorrea.
La misma infusión para uso externo (lavados de cabeza, vaginales o de lesiones de la piel).

Efectos:
antiséptico, emenagogo, emoliente, estomacal4.

Precauciones:
 no se aconseja su uso durante el embarazo y lactancia. Puede reducir el efecto anticoagulante de medicamentos del tipo Warfarina

----------------

Distribución
Cultivado. Amazonas, Cuzco, Huánuco, Junín, Loreto, San Martín, Ucayali.

Usos
Corteza
Infecciones urinarias: beber una taza cada ocho horas de un cocimiento de 10-15 gramos en un litro de agua.
Odontalgias: enjuagues bucales con la infusión de la corteza.

Hojas
Reumatismo, catarro, ronquera y asma: una infusión de 100 g de hojas en un litro de agua.
Tónico, anemia: la infusión de 40 g de hojas frescas o 10 g de hojas secas tienen reputación como tónico.

Fruto Semilla
Quemaduras: aplicar el aceite de pulpa del fruto.
Descensos: (Flujo blanco). Las semillas secas se reducen a polvo. Se prepara una decocción de las hojas de llantén, mezclada con una cucharadita de este polvo. Tomar una vez al día.
Disenteria, antidiarreico: la semilla en infusión o cocción, combinada con pan y azúcar quemados, se usa para combatir la diarrea amebiana.
Mordedura de serpiente: lavar la herida con el cocimiento de la semilla.
Anticonceptivos: secar la semilla y molerla; el polvo obtenido se mezcla con los alimentos.


Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) ALONSO, Jorge R. Tratado de fitomedicina : bases clínicas y farmacológicas. Buenos Aires : ISIS, 1998, p.

2) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

3) Barret, Bruce Economic Botany vol. 48, nro. 1 .-- p. 8-20 1994

4) Geraldini , Isanete, Journal of Ethnopharmacology v. 173, 2015 . -- p. 383-423

5) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017

6) Plantas medicinales de La Matamba y El Piñonal, municipio de Jamapa, Veracruz/ Escamilla Pérez, Blanca Edith; Moreno Casaola, Patricia. INECOL: Mexico, 2015, 99p.

7) Hierbas medicinales/ Chile. Ministerio de Agricultura.  p.64

8) Mejía, Kember; Rengifo, Eisa /Plantas medicinales de uso popular en la Amazonía Peruana.-- Lima : Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, 2000. -- p. 286

Persea americana Miller
Término aceptado: 24-Jul-2015