Do You Know These 5 Benefits of the Loquat Leaf?

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

loquat-fruit-and-leaf

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.

Why is Loquat Leaf Beneficial?

Science has discovered that many of the health benefits provided by loquat leaf are owed to its impressive antioxidant activity. Being an ultra-rich source of natural antioxidants, loquat leaf is a common additive in cosmetics and food. [1] [2] [3] Antioxidants, which have many benefits, protect against harmful toxins and free radicals. [4] Loquat leaf also contains triterpenoid acids which help soothe redness and swelling. [5] [6 Here are five facts about loquat leaf.

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. [7]

2. Promotes Normal Blood Sugar

Support for blood sugar levels is another benefit offered by the triterpenes in loquat leaf. [8] [9] One triterpene in particular, tormentic acid, encourages polysaccharide production — a necessary component of insulin production. [10] 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. [11] 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. [12] Other animal models have found that it helps to reduce sneezing and the effects of histamines. [13] 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. [14]

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. [15] Similarly, the soothing benefits of loquat leaf can be had orally. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish uncomfortable, swollen gums. [16]

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. [17]

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.

References (17)
  1. Kim JY, Hong JH, Jung HK, Jeong YS, Cho KH. Grape skin and loquat leaf extracts and acai puree have potent anti-atherosclerotic and anti-diabetic activity in vitro and in vivo in hypercholesterolemic zebrafish. Int J Mol Med. 2012 Sep;30(3):606-14. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.1045. Epub 2012 Jun 28.
  2. Song FL, Gan RY, Zhang Y, Xiao Q, Kuang L, Li HB. Total phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities of selected chinese medicinal plants. Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Jun 1;11(6):2362-72. doi: 10.3390/ijms11062362.
  3. Polat AA, Calişkan O, Serçe S, Saraçoğlu O, Kaya C, Ozgen M. Determining total phenolic content and total antioxidant capacity of loquat cultivars grown in Hatay. Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Jan;6(21):5-8. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.59959. Epub 2 010 Feb 13.
  4. Hamada, Atsuhide, Saburo Yoshioka, Daisuke Takuma, Junko Yokota, Tailine Cui, Masahiko Kusunose, Mitsuhiko Miyamura, Shojiro Kyotani, and Yutaka Nishioka. "The Effect of Eriobotrya japonica Seed Extract on Oxidative Stress in Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy in Rats." Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 27 (2004): 1961-964.
  5. Cha DS, Shin TY, Eun JS, Kim DK, Jeon H. Anti-metastatic properties of the leaves of Eriobotrya japonica. Arch Pharm Res. 2011 Mar;34(3):425-36. doi: 10.1007/s12272-011-0310-1. Epub 2011 May 6.
  6. Lu H, Xi C, Chen J, Li W. [Determination of triterpenoid acids in leaves of Eriobotrya japonica collected at in different seasons]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Sep;34(18):2353-5.
  7. Nishioka Y, Yoshioka S, Kusunose M, Cui T, Hamada A, Ono M, Miyamura M, Kyotani S. Effects of extract derived from Eriobotrya japonica on liver function improvement in rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Aug;25(8):1053-7.
  8. Chen J, Li WL, Wu JL, Ren BR, Zhang HQ. Euscaphic acid, a new hypoglycemic natural product from Folium Eriobotryae. Pharmazie. 2008 Oct;63(10):765-7.
  9. Zong W, Zhao G. Corosolic acid isolation from the leaves of Eriobotrta japonica showing the effects on carbohydrate metabolism and differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl 1:346-52.
  10. Taniguchi, Shoko, Yoko Imayoshi, Eri Kobayashi, Yoshie Takamatsu, Hideyuki Ito, Tsutomu Hatano, Hiroshi Sakagami, Harukuni Tokuda, Hoyoku Nishino, Daigo Sugita, Susumu Shimura, and Takashi Yoshida. "Production of bioactive triterpenes by Eriobotrya japonica calli." Phytochemistry 59 (2002): 315-23.
  11. Lee CH, Wu SL, Chen JC, Li CC, Lo HY, Cheng WY, Lin JG, Chang YH, Hsiang CY, Ho TY. Eriobotrya japonica leaf and its triterpenes inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokines and inducible enzyme production via the nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway in lung epithelial cells. Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(6):1185-98.
  12. Kim SH, Kwon YE, Park WH, Jeon H, Shin TY. Effect of leaves of Eriobotrya japonica on anaphylactic allergic reaction and production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009 Jun;31(2):314-9. doi: 10.1080/08923970802714775.
  13. Onogawa M, Sun G, Takuma D, Hamada A, Yokota J, Yoshioka S, Kusunose M, Miyamura M, Kyotani S, Nishioka Y. Animal studies supporting the inhibition of mast cell activation by Eriobotrya japonica seed extract. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Feb;61(2):237-41. doi: 10.1211/jpp/61.02.0014.
  14. Kim SH, Shin TY. Anti-inflammatory effect of leaves of Eriobotrya japonica correlating with attenuation of p38 MAPK, ERK, and NF-kappaB activation in mast cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2009 Oct;23(7):1215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2009.07.036. Epub 2009 Aug 7.
  15. Shimizu, Mineo, Hideki Fukumura, Hideki Tsuji, Seiichi Tanaami, Toshimitsu Hayashi, and Naokata Morita. "Anti-inflammatory Constituents of Topically Applied Crude Drugs. I. Constituents and Anti-inflammatory Effect of Eriobotrya japonica Lindl." Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 34 (1986): 2614-617.
  16. Choi YG, Seok YH, Yeo S, Jeong MY, Lim S. Protective changes of inflammation-related gene expression by the leaves of Eriobotrya japonica in the LPS-stimulated human gingival fibroblast: microarray analysis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 1;135(3):636-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.03.066. Epub 2011 Apr 5.
  17. Kim MJ, Lee J, Seong AR, Lee YH, Kim YJ, Baek HY, Kim YJ, Jun WJ, Yoon HG. Neuroprotective effects of Eriobotrya japonica against β-amyloid-induced oxidative stress and memory impairment. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Apr;49(4):780-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.11.043. Epub 2010 Dec 17.

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