Indian almond leaves in traditional folk medicine and home remedies

Indian almond leaves are extensively used in traditional folk medicine throughout their native range and have also been adopted into home remedies in parts of their introduced range, especially in South and Central America.

Please note that this section is provided as a curiosity only. I have not personally tried any of the remedies described below.

Indian almond leaves

Indian almond leaves have traditionally been given to people suffering from various stomach problems. They are for instance believed to cure dysentery in parts of South-East Asia and are ingested by people suffering from intestinal parasites in the Philippines. In Taiwan, fallen leaves used to be gathered and given to persons with liver ailments. In parts of South and Central America, a tonic made from young leaves is still given to babies with colic.

Traditional folk medicine also used these leaves for various skin and wound problems. Juice made from the leaves has for instance been used by persons suffering from scabies and leprosy in India and Pakistan, and in traditional Samoan medicine the leaves are considered an important aid for healing wounds. In Mexico, a type of porridge made from ground up leaves is placed in the mouth to stop the bleeding when a tooth is extracted.

Drinking a tea from the leaves or applying the leaves in the form of a dressing is commonly believed to lessen rheumatism. This practice is known from countries such as India, Pakistan and Samoa.

In addition to this, Indian almond leaves are used by Siamese Fighting fish breeders and keepers to condition the water in their tanks; a practise that started in Thailand and spread throughout the world.

Indian almond fruit

The ripe fruit and its seed are edible, and the seed can be dried and used to produce Indian almond tree oil for cooking purposes. It is also possible to make a black dye from the fruit. In parts of South-East Asia the fruit is considered helpful when trying to recover from dysentery and in Mexico the ripe fruit is used as a home remedy for travel nausea, e.g. on buses and ships. The fruit is also utilized by Mexicans suffering from asthma and is believed to relieve coughs in traditional Samoan medicine. In India, the fruit is used to slow down leprosy and to make dressings for rheumatic joints.

Indian almond bark

Indian almond bark is also believed to have healing properties in various parts of the world. Just like other parts of the tree, it is used to dress rheumatic joints in India and Indonesia, and it is considered effective against asthma in Mexico. In Brazil, it is used to treat dysentery and certain fevers, while traditional Samoan medicine utilize the bark in a long row of situations, from upset stomach and diarrhoea to throat, coughs and mouth ailments. Just like the fruit, the bark can be used to produce black dye.