Loquat, also known as Eriobotrya japonica, is a moderately sized tree found in subtropical climates that has a history of use in traditional and herbal medicine. Although the loquat bears edible fruit that is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, and potassium, the therapeutic power of loquat is contained in its large, glossy, evergreen leaves. Traditionally used to make a tea, loquat leaf has been reputed to offer relief for skin disorders, respiratory ailments, cough, gastroenteric disorders, and more.
Why is Loquat Leaf Beneficial?
Science has caught up with traditional use and discovered that many of the health benefits provided by loquat leaf are owed to its impressive amount of antioxidants. Commonly added to cosmetics and foods, loquat leaf is an ultra-rich source of natural antioxidants.    Antioxidants, which have many established benefits, protect the body by neutralizing harmful toxins and free radicals.  Loquat leaf also contains triterpenoid acids. These helpful compounds suppress systemic redness and have even been thought to relieve discomfort.  
Assists the Liver
The job of your liver is to process and eliminate toxins. It is part of your front-line defense against the harmful effects of such irritants. When your liver is operating at its best, you’re set up to experience good health; loquat leaf can help. It contains an antioxidant known as Amygdalin, or B-17, which supports the liver. It also contains linoleic acids and plant sterols, which encourage healthy liver function. 
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, helps the body produce polysaccharides, which increase insulin production.  Although it is premature for diabetics to rejoice and rely on loquat leaf, it is encouraging news. Hopefully we’ll see more research examine the potential for loquat leaf to promote healthy blood sugar.
Support for the respiratory system is one of the cornerstones 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. 
There’s no denying that the antioxidants in loquat leaf are able to defend against airway irritation. However, 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. 
Soothes Irritated 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 when periodontal disease is present. 
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. 
Supplementing with Loquat Leaf
Loquat leaf is available in several forms, including tea and even as a respiratory syrup for kids. We’ve added it to our Detox Foot Pads to support the elimination of toxic substances. Have you had any experience with loquat leaf? If so, please leave a comment below and let us know what benefits you observed.
- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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