Beautiful nature offers us all we need to not only survive, but thrive. Fruits give us energy, minerals, vitamins, fiber and hydration. But did you know that their leaves also are packed with healing properties?
Try harvesting some leaves and adding them to a pitcher of water to infuse the water with their healing properties. Or cut them in pieces, place them in a mug and add hot water to make a tea. Dry, crumble and bag some leaves for later use. Label the bags with the names of the tree leaves and what their medicinal properties are.
Whirl dry tea leaves in a coffee grinder for a powder to add to your smoothies.
For those of you who have juicers, try adding a few fruit leaves to your juices.
Leaves are often used as food wraps, though cooking them will destroy much of their benefits so eating raw wraps or adding them to salads is probably best.
When I harvest leaves, I go for branches that need trimming anyhow; the fruit needs the energy and nutrients from the leaves to develop well, so do not over pick.
*Always consume organic, unsprayed vegetation only!
The following is a list of edible leaves and some of their benefits:
Grape leaves- commonly used to make Dolmades, grape leaves are rich in vitamins A, K, C, E, B6, niacin, iron, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese. Grape leaves are mildly anti-inflammatory, and can reduce edema, treat diarrhea, stomach issues, hepatitis and gynecological problems such as excessive bleeding and/or discharge.
Fig leaves- have been acclaimed to reduce the need for insulin in diabetics. They are rich in calcium and can also be used to to lower blood pressure, treat bronchitis, lower triglyceride levels, and relieve ulcers.
Raspberry leaves- are high in magnesium, potassium, iron and B-vitamins. Known to strengthen the uterine and pelvic muscles, red raspberry has been utilized for centuries to increase fertility, strengthen the uterine during pregnancy, ease labor and delivery, and regulate women’s menstruation.
Mulberry leaves- contain calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin c and beta carotene. This is another leaf that has been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels. They contain GABA which can reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, and assist in overall health of blood membranes. Some studies predict that drinking mulberry tea regularly can help reduce cholesterol.
Loquat Leaves- are antiviral, help the body release antioxidants, assists in the bodies detoxification by aiding mucus breakdown, can increase insulin production and supports the liver.
Birch leaves- help heal mouth sores, aid in healing bladder and kidney problems and gout, and is used to heal a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis.
Hawthorne leaves- are well known for their positive affect on the cardiovascular system and have been used in treating congestive heart failure, blood pressure issues, heartbeat irregularity, angina and high cholesterol and more.
Avocado leaves- can dissolve kidney stones and strengthen kidney function, act as a diuretic to relieve swelling, reduce blood pressure, eliminate thrush, and aid healing from colds, coughs, and asthma.
Olive leaves- may prevent cancer, reduce and/or eliminate tumors, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and slow carbohydrate digestion reducing insulin fluctuation; they are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, a treatment for arthritis and and a natural pain reliever; they can improve brain function and stimulate production of bone-building cells.
This list is just to pique your curiosity and get you started on your own research to the healing nature of leaves. What plant and trees do you have access to that are not sprayed? Do you have some of the ones listed above? Start there and do some more research on it.
Healing can be as simple as going out in your yard, picking a few leaves, rinsing them and making a tea. Mother Earth has provided the means. Use your intuition and the knowledge available to you and begin to apply the age old wisdom of Hippocrates to your life, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
You just might be amazed at how much healing power you have right outside your door.