Avocado

Persea americana

Lauraceae

Location in our garden

Section D (Orchard)

Habitus

Trees. An evergreen tree, woody, perennial, can reach heights of 20 m, shaped like a dome.

Part Used

  • Leaves
  • Seeds
  • Bark
  • Fruit
  • Stem

Growing Requirements

  • Low Temperature

Habitat

  • Forest

Overview

The area of origin of avocado is in Central America – probably Mexico,Guatemala and Honduras. The fruit is widely appreciated, and found for sale in countries all around the world. The tree is also valued for the oil, it yields, and forits many medicinal applications. The tree is extensively cultivated in tropical andsub-tropical regions

Vernacular Names

E li (Chinese), Avocat (French), Abokado (Japanese), Ah bo k'a do(Korean), Abukado (Philippines), Cura (Spanish), Awokhado (Thai), Bó (Vietnamese).

Agroecology

Avocados grow from sea level up to 2,250 m altitude, on soils types such as red clay, sand,lateritic soils, or limestone. It requires a well drained aerated soil because the roots are intolerant of an aerobic conditions and saline conditions. Optimum range of pH is from 5 to 7,mean annual temperature of −4 to 40 °C, and mean annual rainfall is 300–2,500 mm

Morphology

  • Stem, - 30–60 cm across with grey-greenlongitudinally fissured bark.
  • Leaves, - alternate, petiole 2–5 cm. Leaf bladeis simple, variable in shape, 8–20 x 5–12 cm.
  • Flowers, yellow-greenish, 5–6 mm on 6 mmdensely yellowish brown pubescent pedicels.
  • Fruits, yellow-green, deep-green or verydark-green, reddish-purple, or so dark a purple as to appear almost black. Usually pear-shaped, sometimes ovoid or globose, mesocarp, bright-green fleshy, but generally entirely pale to rich-yellow, buttery and bland 
  • Seeds, oblate, 5–6.4 cm long, hard and heavy.

Chemical Constituents

Volatile oil (methylchavicol, alpha-pinene),flavonoids, tannins, saponins, phenols, steroids, cyanogenic glycosides, unsaturated fats, alkanols, coumarin,sesquiterpenes, terpenoid glycosides.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

  • The fruit pulp is emollient, carminative and helps lower blood cholesterollevels.
  • The bark is astringent, carminative, antitussive and emmenagogue.
  • It is used for relieving coughs, lowering blood pressure, treating liverobstructions, promoting menstrual flow and for clearing high uric acidlevels in the body which could lead to gout.
  • The oil from the seeds contains steroids that are used for pharmaceuticals.Oil extracted from the seeds has astringent properties.
  • The pulp is believed to promote menstruation.
  • An oral infusion of the leaves is used to treat dysentery, its chewed as aremedy for pyorrhea, leaf poultices are applied on wounds, heated leavesare applied on the forehead to relieve neuralgia.
  • The seed is ground and made into an ointment used to treat various skinafflictions, such as scabies, purulent wounds and dandruff; seed decoctionis put into a tooth cavity to relieve toothache.

Cultivation

  • Generative propagation is by seeds.
  • Vegetative propagation is by rootingavocado cuttings, layering, and grafting.
  • Avocado propagating by cuttings is a morecertain method, as propagating a new treefrom avocado tree cuttings results in a clone of the parent tree.

Snapshot of Part Used

Reference Sources

  1. Chevallier, A. 2016. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Third Edition. DK Publishing, New York. p.121.
  2. Lim, T.K. 2012. Edible Medicinal And Non Medicinal Plants - Fruits Vol. 3 : pp.78-100
  3. Stuart Xchange. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Abukado. http://www.stuartxchange.com/Abukado.html.19-09-2020