This evergreen eastern Asian tree that bears a small yellow egg-shaped fruit, cultivated in subtropical regions both for its fruit and as an ornamental. Here Evangelyn Rodriguez, naturalnews.com, reflects on anti-diabetes properties of loquat:
“Eriobotrya japonica, commonly known as loquat, is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the rose (Rosaceae) family. It is widely cultivated in China and Japan for its edible fruit and seeds, as well as for the medicinal uses of its various parts.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), loquat, or pi pa, is used to clear stomach heat, treat cough and eliminate phlegm. When fried in ginger juice, loquat leaves are
great for relieving nausea and vomiting. They are also a common ingredient in traditional acne formulas because of their ability to clear the skin.
In a recent study published in the International Journal of Green Pharmacy, researchers from India explored the other medicinal properties of loquat leaves. They found that besides being a rich source of antioxidants, loquat leaves can also inhibit the activity of a-amylase, the enzyme responsible for digesting starch into smaller molecules.
One of the molecules produced from this process is maltose, which can be further broken down into two glucose molecules. Because of the role a-amylase plays in increasing postprandial (after meal) blood glucose levels, inhibitors of this enzyme are used for diabetes management.
Loquat leaves show potent anti-diabetic activity
According to the researchers, not many studies have been done to set a standard for the quality of loquat products, despite the plant’s popularity as a traditional medicine. They believe that various factors, such as location, climate, cultivation and method of collection, can influence the quality and effectiveness of loquat products, especially those used for medicinal purposes.
To address this, the researchers decided to analyze the phytochemical properties of loquat leaves and evaluate their antioxidant and anti-diabetic activities. Qualitative analysis of loquat leaves revealed that they contain tannins, flavonoids, coumarins, steroidal glycosides, alkaloids, quinones, saponins and reducing sugars. An extract derived from the leaves using methanol as solvent showed an almost identical phytochemical profile, save for the absence of saponins.”
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