Avocados are fruits that contain 60% more potassium than bananas; they are also sodium and cholesterol-free. An avocado has a higher fat content (5 grams per serving) than other fruit, but the fat is monounsaturated fat, which is considered healthy when consumed in moderation. Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can reduce total cholesterol levels in the blood and increase the ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, "good" cholesterol) to low-density lipoprotein (LDL, "bad" cholesterol).
In addition to high cholesterol, avocado has been taken by mouth to treat osteoarthritis. Its oils have been used topically to treat wounds, infections, arthritis, and to stimulate hair growth. The seeds, leaves, and bark have been used for dysentery and diarrhea. It is also used in topical creams for regular skincare. Historically, the Amazonian natives used avocado to treat gout (inflamed foot), and the Mayan people believed it could keep joints and muscles in good condition, avoiding arthritis and rheumatism.
The most promising use for avocado is in a combination product, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU), which is a combination of avocado oil and soybean oil.
Caution is advised when taking Mexican avocado due to the constituents, estragole and anethole, which may be liver damaging and cancer causing.
Abokado, aguacate, ahuacate, ahuacatl, alligator pear, avocado pear, avocato, Persea americana, Persea americana var. drymifolia Blake, Persea gratissima, Persea leiogyna, Persea nubigena var. guatamalensis L., Persea persea, Laurus persea.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Avocados added to the diet may lower total cholesterol, LDL ("bad" cholesterol), HDL ("good" cholesterol) and triglycerides. Additional study is needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
Osteoarthritis (knee and hip)
A combination of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) has been found beneficial in osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. Additional study using avocado alone is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Early scientific study showed promising effects using avocado in a cream for psoriasis. Additional studies are needed in this area before a firm recommendation can be made.