Habitat ► Native to Central America; introduced into India and grown for its fruit in Bangalore, Nandi Hills, Courtallam, Nagarcoil, Shevaroys, lower Palnis and the foothills of the Nilgiris; also in Pune.
English ► Avocado, Alligator Pear, Butter Fruit.
Action ► Fruit—hypocholestero-laemic. Leaf—bacteriostatic; potentially toxic to goats and sheep.
The fruit is highly nutritious. The fruit from Nilgiris contains 22.8% fat, 1.7% protein; also manganese, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamine, ri-boflavin, nicotinic acid and foliate. It is relatively low in sodium and simple sugars.
American Avocado is rich in oil (1530 g/100 g fresh fruit) that is mainly monounsaturated and a good source of linoleic acid. Its high fiber content might be responsible for its cholesterol lowering effects.
Preliminary evidence suggests that unsaponifiable fractions of Avocado and soybean oils (combination) can inhibit cartilage degradation and promote cartilage repair in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. (Properties of Avocado cited in Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)
Avocado oil is used in cosmetic preparations, soaps and pharmaceuticals. The peel of immature fruit contains antifungal compounds. The fruit pulp is used topically to promote hair growth.
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