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9 Health Benefits of Loquat Leaf you didn't know.

Living in a part of the world where loquat is grown, I was more familiar with loquat as a tasty, juicy fruit than with the medicinal properties of its leaves.

Loquat, also known as Eriobotrya japonica, is a subtropical tree with a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicine.

Although the loquat produces edible fruit that is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, and potassium, the therapeutic power of loquat is contained in its large and glossy evergreen leaves. Traditionally used to make a tea, loquat leaf has been reputed to promote skin, respiratory, and intestinal health.

The loquat leaves are evergreen and are five to twelve inches long and three to four inches wide. These beautiful leaves are glossed and dark green. The Japanese in particular use the leaves to make a healthful tea while it is also possible to make healing ointments and poultices from the crushed and ground leaves before applying it to treat minor wounds.

Loquat leaves have been fairly well studied over recent years and research has revealed that many of its health benefits are related to its powerful antioxidant capacity.

By now, most people are aware of the importance of getting as many natural antioxidants into our system as possible in order to prevent the free radical damage that wreaks havoc on our health and leads to serious illness.

As well as their antioxidant activity, loquat leaves contain triterponoid acid which can help reduce swelling and redness on the skin. 

The benefits of the loquat leaf include the following:

1. Liver Support

Your liver is part of your body’s first line of defense against toxins, and its job is to process and eliminate toxins. To help, loquat contains an antioxidant known as Amygdalin, or B-17, which supports the liver. It also contains linoleic acids and plant sterols, which encourage normal liver function.

2. Promotes Normal Blood Sugar

Support for blood sugar levels is another benefit offered by the triterpenes in loquat leaf. One triterpene in particular, tormentic acid, encourages polysaccharide production -- a necessary component of insulin production. Although it is premature for diabetics to rejoice and rely on loquat leaf, it is encouraging news and hopefully we'll see more research.

3. Encourages Respiratory Health

Support for the respiratory system is a cornerstone of the traditional use of loquat leaf. It's been used as a remedy for congestion, cough, sensitivity to irritants, and even lung irritation. Clinical research has confirmed its efficacy. A 2009 study at the Kyungpook National University School of Medicine found that loquat leaf slowed the allergic reactions in mice. 

Other animal models have found that it helps to reduce sneezing and the effects of histamines. The primary reason loquat leaf is so beneficial is because it stops irritation from ever occurring. A separate study in 2009 found that loquat leaf disrupts the communication from the cells that detect irritation and "turn on" the redness and swelling response.

4. Soothes Skin and Gums

When used in a topical cream, loquat leaf can be an excellent remedy for the red, irritated skin that results from environmental sensitivities. This is especially true when irritation is the result of histamines. Similarly, the soothing benefits of loquat leaf can be had orally. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish uncomfortable, swollen gums.

5. Supports Brain Health

Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is believed to be one of the primary causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Because loquat leaf is a beneficial antioxidant, it was examined in 2011 for its ability to support normal brain operation and protect against oxidative stress. Not only did the results confirm both, but mice given loquat leaf extract were observed to experience memory improvements. 

6. Supports the Mucous Membranes

Organic loquat leaf extract may support the body's natural detoxification process by acting as a mucolytic agent. This may help dissolve thick mucus that holds onto toxic compounds.

7. Releases Antioxidants

Loquat leaf helps the body release antioxidants, the incredible health-supporting compounds that your body naturally produces. Antioxidants have all kinds of benefits, but they're known mostly for their ability to neutralize harmful toxins. They are commonly used to protect the body against various diseases, support immunity, and possibly increase life expectancy.

8. For Eczema and Other Skin Complaints.

Loquat leaves can be applied topically in cream form as a remedy for redness and irritation caused by environmental allergens especially when the reaction is caused by histamines.

When applied topically, loquat leaf can combat the reaction from histamine production which both soothes inflamed skin and helps general skin health. Its antioxidant properties make it ideal for staving off the unwanted effects of free radical damage to the skin. By getting more antioxidants into your system, you can help protect against many of the signs of premature aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

9. For Bone Strength

As we age, our bone density becomes lighter and our bones become weaker. This is especially the case in women following the menopause because of the reduced level of estrogen in their bodies. Recent research shows that loquat leaf tea may help combat bone loss from estrogen depletion.

In a study published in 2014, mice whose ovaries had been removed were fed loquat leaves which resulted in a significant improvement in bone density in the lumbar area, head and abdomen.

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