By Simeon Ugbodovon

Health challenges are no doubt undesirable as they come with costs often beyond the means of the majority, especially middle or low income earners. Gratuitously, however, there is a level of succour, endowment from God found in nature, which provides raw sources of medication. These are leaves which are commonly available in virtually any clime, and often at little or no cost.

Leaves are as numerous as the number of trees in the world, and that figure is estimated to be around 3.04 trillion trees on Earth, which is equal to around 422 trees for each person.

Among these trillions of trees are mango, avocado, guava, moringa and soursop, which leaves have significant health benefits, especially their combined mixture.


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First, let’s consider these leaves individually. Mango leaf extracts have been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, bronchitis, diarrhea, asthma, scabies, respiratory problems, syphilis, and urinary disorders

The leaves contain several beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and terpenoids. Polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help improve gut bacteria and treat or prevent conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Terpenoids are antioxidants that protect cells from harmful free radicals and play a key role in optimal vision and immune health. 

In addition, mango leaves are a potential source of minerals such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins such as A, B, E, and C..

Mango leaves contain phenolics and flavonoids—antioxidants that help lessen the adverse effects of free radicals and prevent cellular damage. According to one animal study, mango leaf extract as well contain anti-inflammatory effects which may help counteract artificially induced oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in the brain. Chronic inflammation (a prolonged immune response) can increase the risk of various diseases including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Also, animal studies suggest that the tender leaves of the mango tree contain phytochemicals and tannins called anthocyanidins, which can help treat high blood sugar levels.

The leaves contain a compound called 3beta-taraxerol and ethyl acetate extract that synergize with insulin to activate glucose transporter type 4 (gated channel in the cells that facilitates glucose movement in the cells) and stimulate the synthesis of glycogen. Due to these factors, mango leaves may help treat diabetic angiopathy and diabetic retinopathy.

Regular intake of mango leaf infusion acts as a stomach tonic, flushing out toxins from the body and helping prevent various stomach ailments such as stomach ulcers and digestive disorders.

Polyphenols present in mango leaves including gallotannins, phenolic acids, quercetin, and mangiferin exert chemo-preventive effects against various types of cancer due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Mango leaf extract contains mangiferin, a compound that helps activate higher levels of adiponectin. Adiponectin is a cell signaling protein that plays a role in fat metabolism and sugar regulation in the body.

Multiple animal studies have reported that mango leaf extract inhibits fat accumulation in the tissue cells, thus helping manage obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Mango leaves have hypotensive properties and help strengthen the blood vessels and treat varicose veins.

Mango leaves have antioxidant properties that can combat signs of skin aging, increase collagen production, and promote wound healing. Mangiferin, a compound present in mango leaves, may also help treat psoriasis (a skin condition that causes itchy, dry patches).

Because mango leaves are rich in antioxidants, they may help protect hair follicles from damage and promote hair growth. (


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What about Avocado?

Avocado leaves are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The leaves also provide iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, vitamin E to protect the cells against free radical damage, vitamin A to maintain healthy organs, and other nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Avocado leaves notably contain quercetin, a natural flavonoid with antioxidant properties to reduce inflammation and protect the body’s overall health.

Historically, Avocado leaves were used among Mesoamerican indigenous populations to remedy coughs and digestive disorders and as a gas reducer. The leaves were traditionally crushed and steeped in hot water to make teas and tonics. Infusions of the leaves were also rubbed on the skin to soothe redness and swelling, lessen acne, and unclog pores (



Benefits of guava leaves

We all depend on western medicine for simple problems like fever, cold, cough etc. But, don’t forget that guava leaves are very healthy too. If guava fruit is healthy, then its leaves are super healthy. Here are some of the benefits of guava leaves that you need to know.

  • Helps in stopping diarrhoea
  • Hells reduce cholesterol levels
  • Helps in losing weight
  • helps to manage blood sugar levels
  • Helps to fights cancer
  • Helps in good vision
  • Used for healing acne
  • Helps in improving your skin texture

Note: Guava leaves can either be boiled in hot water and consumed or made tea using them. Either of these will benefit you in many ways. (Dr. Nikita Tosh, PharmEasy)


Tropical Plantae

1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Moringa leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 and Folate. They are also rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.

One cup of moringa leaves will contain 2 grams of protein, magnesium (8 per cent of the RDA), Vitamin B6 (19 per cent of the RDA), Iron (11 per cent of the RDA), Riboflavin (11 per cent of the RDA)  and Vitamin A (9 per cent of the RDA).

2. Rich in Amino Acids

Moringa leaves are rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. 18 types of amino acids are found in them and each of them makes an important contribution to our wellbeing.

3. Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is how a body naturally responds to pain and injury. Moringa leaves are anti-inflammatory in nature due to the presence of isothiocyanates. They have niazimicin that is known to reign in the development of cancer cells. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases like cancer, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many autoimmune diseases. When we suffer an injury or infection, the body suffers increased inflammation.

Basically, it is a protective mechanism against trauma but because of a wrong lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, inflammation can increase in the body. Long-term inflammation leads to chronic health issues. Eating moringa leaves helps to reduce inflammation.

4. Rich in Antioxidants

Moringa leaves have anti-oxidative properties and protect against the damaging effects of free radicals present in the environment. The damage caused by free radicals is responsible for many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart problems and Alzheimer’s.

Moringa leaves are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene that act against free radicals.

They also have Quercetin which is an antioxidant that helps to lower blood pressure. Another antioxidant that is present in moringa leaves is Chlorogenic acid which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels post meals.

A study in women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder regularly for three months had shown a significant increase in blood antioxidant levels.

5. Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Sustained high blood sugar levels lead to the development of diabetes in individuals. Diabetes, in turn, can cause heart problems and organ damage in the body. To avoid this, it is good to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Moringa leaves are a perfect resource for that as they stabilize the blood sugar levels due to the presence of isothiocyanates.

6. Lowers Cholesterol

Apart from oats, flaxseeds, and almonds, moringa leaves are a dependable remedy against high cholesterol. Cholesterol is the major reason why people suffer from heart diseases and eating moringa leaves has known to show considerable improvement against high cholesterol levels. Moringa oleifera can lower those levels and protect against the risk of heart disease. Pregnant women usually experience higher levels of cholesterol, which can in turn increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes during their term. What is gestational diabetes? It is a type of diabetes that is first detected in pregnant women who did not have diabetes before they were pregnant. Moringa leaves can certainly be included in the diet for gestational diabetes

7. Protects the Liver

Those who have tuberculosis can benefit greatly from moringa leaves as they reduce the negative effects of anti-tubercular drugs. The leaves accelerate the repair of the liver cells. The leaves have a high concentration of polyphenols that protect against oxidative damage to the liver and may even reduce it. They increase the protein levels in the liver.

The liver is the site of blood detoxification, fat metabolism and nutrient absorption and it can function properly only if the liver enzymes are normal. Moringa leaves stabilize these liver enzymes.

8. Protects Against Arsenic Toxicity

In many parts of the world, arsenic contamination is a common problem. Arsenic has found its way in our systems through many food items, particularly rice.

Long-term exposure to this element can lead to the development of cancer and heart disease. Research on lab animals has shown that moringa leaves to combat the effects of arsenic toxicity.

9. Good for the Stomach

Moringa leaves are beneficial against digestive disorders. Those who suffer from constipation, bloating, gas, gastritis and ulcerative colitis should add Moringa leaves to their diet.

The leaves have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties which make them an ideal remedy against digestive disorders. Even the high amount of B vitamins in the leaves helps in improving digestion.

10. Improves Bone Health

Moringa leaves are rich sources of calcium and phosphorus. Both of these elements are needed for good bone health. Since moringa leaves have an anti-inflammatory nature, they help combat arthritis and may even heal bones that are damaged.

Moringa oleifera also fights against osteoporosis and keeps bone and teeth strong

11. An Antiseptic

Moringa leaves are antiseptic and fight off many bacterial infections. They are even beneficial towards wound healing and help to heal bruises, minor cuts, and burns quickly as they reduce the clotting time.

12. Improve Lactation

Moringa leaves for pregnancy can be beneficial due to their nutrient-rich composition, potentially supporting the health of both the expectant mother and the developing baby. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, moringa leaves were used to increase lactation in nursing mothers. Since they are a rich source of protein, important vitamins, and essential nutrients, consuming moringa leaves is very good for the health of the mother and the baby.

13. Helps in Weight Management

Moringa leaves increase fat burning in the body. They slim down the person without depleting energy reserves. This keeps the person feeling buoyant and nourished. They reduce cravings for food and boost metabolism. They also lower cholesterol.

14. Good for Skin and Hair

Due to an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients, moringa leaves improve the health and appearance of skin and hair. They add suppleness to the skin and shine to the hair. The antioxidants present in moringa leaves reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. They have about 30 antioxidants present. Not just this, a paste of moringa leaves for hair. when applied to the scalp reduces dandruff and adds life and bounce to dull, lifeless hair. The leaves also strengthen the hair follicles. Moringa leaves for skin also has proven to be beneficial for acne-prone skin, however, more research is required. This is why moringa leaves are part of many cosmetics. They improve the skin tone and add a glow due to their purifying nature and therapeutic properties.

15. Good for Nervous System

Many nervous disorders have been known to show positive results with the moringa leaves uses. They support brain health and work as neuro-enhancers. The high concentration of vitamins E and C combat neural degeneration and help improve brain function. Those who have a migraine or suffer from recurring headaches must eat moringa leaves regularly. These leaves also work as mood balancers as they stabilize the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline which are important for memory, mood, and for stimulus-response.

16. Good for Detoxification

Moringa leaves are natural cleansers and help to detoxify the system. This helps to keep the body and increases immunity against various infections. They also increase the energy levels in the body.

Potential Downsides

  • Moringa and its leaves may not be for everyone. While generally considered safe and healthy for most, there are some minor moringa side effects to watch out for. In large doses, the leaves, bark, roots, and moringa fruit may have laxative properties.  
  • In pregnant women, the roots, bark, and extract of Moringa may cause uterine contractions. Pregnant women should take the advice of their doctors before including Moringa leaves or products into their diets.  
  • Similarly, breastfeeding women should avoid Moringa leaves since it is unknown whether any of the chemicals or substances present can pass through the milk to the child.  
  • In some cases, Moringa leaf powder has been found to contain higher than the recommended tolerable amounts of lead, please source any extracts you use only from reputable companies.  
  • Lastly, it is recommended that people on blood thinners should also avoid Moringa unless you consult your doctor first. As with all things, when taken in moderation it can be safe for most people, so always use it with caution.  (Dr. Nikita Toshi, PharmEasy)


It provides various nutrients including vitamins C and B (including thiamin, riboflavin and niacin) as well as minerals: calcium, phosphorus, and iron (González-Stuart, 2014; Small, 2012; Duke, 1986; Morton, 1979).

In traditional herbal medicine, the fruit and leaves of the tree are used to relieve digestive ailments (including diarrhea), pain, hypertension, inflammation, fever, coughs, and asthma, among many other medical afflictions.

A tea made from the leaves has been reported to have a soothing and calming action, especially for insomnia and nervous disorders, but should not be used in small children.

The seeds can be toxic and are used to make a liquid hair wash to kill lice, but caution should be taken, as the liquid is very irritating to the eyes.

The leaves and fruits contain natural compounds that could potentially be beneficial for prostate as well as other cancers, although more scientific studies are needed.

Some studies have shown that the plant’s active ingredients possess antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-arthritic, anti-parasitic, anti-malarial, liver protective and anti-diabetic effects.

Graviola / Soursop extracts have a promising potential for treating gastric ulcers.

A study showed that an alcohol-based extract of soursop possessed antiviral activity.

Extracts made from the rind of the fruit showed antimicrobial activity.


The delicious fruit is safe to eat and nutritious, but the seeds are toxic and should not be consumed

Tea made from the leaves should be avoided during pregnancy

Do not take tea for long periods of time and avoid use in small children

Due to its blood glucose lowering effects, supplements containing soursop or graviola should be taken with caution by patients taking anti-diabetic medications.

Due to its blood pressure lowering effects, supplements containing soursop or graviola should be taken with caution by patients taking antihypertensive medications. (Armando Gonzalez Stuart, Herbal Safety)


Thomas Medical Center

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