Covering Grey Hair with Henna

There’s a lot of different factors playing a part in turning hair grey, but one thing for sure is that when it hits, most of us are looking for ways to hide it. Grey hair is a sign of aging, but it also represents changes in our bodies. It’s natural for our oil glands to slow their production of sebum as we get older, which is our hair’s natural moisturizer. So, if we can’t stop our hair from becoming grey and brittle, do we really want to dry it out even more with chemical dyes? Read on to find out the tips and tricks of covering grey hair with Henna.

Knowing the Basics of Henna

Henna is a naturally light, red-orange colored dye. To achieve different shades of brown with Henna, we combine it with Indigo, which is another plant-based dye possessing a natural, dark-blue tone. Our method of using Indigo with Henna allows for a wider range of color options. It’s also important to know that Henna can’t lighten hair, it can only darken or maintain your current color.

Choosing a Shade of Henna for Grey Coverage

First time users should choose one shade lighter than their desired color (i.e. medium brown for dark brown hair). This way, if the color turns out differently than you pictured it, you’ll still have the option to go darker.

For more stubborn greys, silver, or salt & pepper- try using a shade of brown henna after applying your initial, red Henna base coat, as per the instructions. When covering grey hair with Henna in particular, it’s especially important to wait 72 hours between applications to allow the Henna sufficient time to oxidize.

  • For those with white or very light-colored greys, try MM’s Light Blonde Henna to give hair a sun-streaked look with a natural golden hue. Blonde is also the only Henna color that doesn’t require an initial base of original Henna.

The Process of Covering Greys with Brown Henna

Henna usually takes one to two applications, however; you can apply it as many times as like to achieve your desired shade. Think of Henna like paint; just as an artist might use several layers of color to get the perfect tone, Henna might need multiple coats before it reflects the color you’re looking to achieve.

  1. Use Red Henna Dye to apply initial color base
  2. Wait 72 hours for Red Henna base color to oxidize
  3. Apply Brown or Black Henna Hair Color of your choice, as per the instructions


  • All Brown Henna Hair Dyes are made up of differing ratios of the same Henna and Indigo
  • Henna, (light and red coloring) likes to stick to hair, even color resistant greys/whites
  • Indigo, (blue, providing brown coloring when mixed) likes to stick to henna – not hair
  • If you put a nice henna layer on your hair prior to using indigo, the likelihood of sticking is much higher

Covering Grey Roots

Though we encourage using Henna as an-all over color for the most even results, you can use Henna for grey root coverage alone. Keep in mind that only dyeing roots may create some uneven tones as hair grows out and color fades. If you’ve died your hair brown with Henna before and now only want to touch up the roots, make sure you’re using the same ratio of Henna and Indigo as your previous application- we simply suggest using a smaller amount of the dye.







Written by Katy Mogg

Katy is a graduate of North Carolina State University and a recent west coast transplant, originally hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. She considers herself both a pop-culture fanatic and live-music lover, and enjoys spending her spare time traveling.

Gut Health is Good Health

The gut often plays the role of ‘First Line of Defense’ when encountering unwanted elements.

Offering Support for your Gut is Always a Great Idea.

Here are a few tools we love:

Health-Bac Vegan Probioticna hs health bac.png

Friendly bacteria (probiotic organisms) are required for ideal health. The body needs them for normal digestion as well as optimal  immunity.* These friendly bacteria are powerful in their functions but are readily damaged or even destroyed by toxins. Plus, antibiotics thoroughly devastate them. Also, they are depleted by stress, processed foods, and pharmaceutical drugs. Thus, for optimal health they must regularly be replenished. There are numerous issues today with probiotics. Many probiotics contain bacterial strains or species that are not proven to readily implant in the human digestive tract. This reduces their effectiveness. Also, a number are potentially contaminated due to their low-quality source. Swine-sourced probiotics are also common. These may contain residual contaminants from processing, including noxious, potentially infectious, swine-based pathogens. Plus, they are unfit for vegetarians.
Health-Bac is the only truly vegan probiotic supplement available. It contains the highest quality and most natural friendly bacteria known. Clinically demonstrated to survive the intestinal tract and successfully implant in the human gut, this is a true power for intestinal health.* Health-Bac is a broad-spectrum probiotic, containing nine friendly bacteria strains. All strains present in this formula are 100% Plant-based. Health-Bac contains the Ecologic 500 formula. This is the most researched and tested probiotic formulation known.

Ecologic 500 includes the following healthy bacteria strains: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus salivarius, and
Lactobacillus lactis. Also, the strength of this broad-spectrum friendly bacteria supplement is boosted by prebiotics               fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and inulin.*

Enzyme Supplementation

Another strategy for gut health is through enzyme supplementation.

We have found Gastronex Premium Enzyme Formulation to be of great value.nahs gastronex.png

This supplement is crucial for ideal digestion. The spice extracts in Gastronex stimulate the flow of digestive juices. This flow is essential for the mixing and dissolving ofvfoods. Then the potent enzymes in the formula digest the food. The combination of ginger, coriander, and cardamom is ideal. These spices have been used for thousands of years to boost digestion. In particular, coriander contains caffeic and chlorogenic acids, which stimulate the flow of bile. Ginger stimulates the flow of stomach acid and thus aids in the digestion of protein. It also helps balance pancreatic secretions. Fenugreek is highly nourishing and calming to the gut. Thus, it too balances the digestive process, plus it boosts the production of pancreatic secretions. Furthermore, it is rich in substances known as steroidal saponins, which strengthen the adrenal glands. Cardamom contains therapeutic volatile oil, which helps create a state of balancethrougho ut the entire intestinal canal. Wild oregano blend (P73) is added for increased spice power. The legendary P73 blend of wild oregano is a potent source of minerals, phenols, esters and terpenes, plus it cleanses the gut of noxious germs.
Enzymes are added to assist the natural process of breaking down foods. This natural and powerful blend contains protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, lactase, bromelain, and papain. These are all the highest quality, non-GMO, plant-source enzymes available.


Finally, we have found it is beneficial to add a pre-biotic product to this regiment.

The ideal product in our findings is Yacon Syrup and Powder.peruvian harvest yacon syrup.pngperuvian harvest powder.png

Peruvian Harvest Yacon is RAW and of the finest quality.

Rich in FOS (Fructo-Oligosaccharides) and possessing a glycemic Index of just 2, Yacon goes beyond just a Healthy Sweetener, becoming an Excellent Energy Source, or Prebiotic, for the Probiotics described above.

Being a Pre-Biotic also means it Does Not Feed Fungus, therefore will benefit and not compromise the goal of excellent gut health.

…The delicious flavor doesn’t hurt either!

Yacon Syrup has a taste that reminds us of gentle honey, Excellent for Coffee, Tea, Sauces, Smoothies and more.peruvian harvest chocolate sacha inchi.pngperuvian harvest chocolate golden berry.png

Yacon Powder sweetens up when blended with other foods, such as cacao, maca, lucuma etc, and is Especially Excellent for Baking.

Yacon Chocolate offers all the Benefits described, in a Delicious Chocolate Presentation.

With the Holidays coming up, these tools may come in handy for achieving and supporting Ultimate Gut Health.

We have a Gut Feeling you will Feel Great with Optimized Gut Health!

Irish Moss: a Plant-Based Secret Weapon

Chances are, you have encountered Irish Moss before. You may even consume it daily! But what is Irish Moss? Sea moss, also known as Irish moss, red algae, Chondrus crispus is a type of seaweed that grows in the oceans all over the world.  It is used as a thickening and binding agent in food products such as Pudding, Cream Pie, Meringue, and smoothies, as well as skin creams, gels, shampoos, and as a skin softener. Irish Moss is also revered for its numerous health benefits and it’s excellent source of nutrients.

Health Benefits

Irish Moss provides benefit to a wide range of your body’s needs, from thyroid support to digestive health.

Thyroid Support

irish moss 2

DI-Iodothyronine (DIT), what T3 breaks down into, is found in abundance in brown sea moss and for this reason, it has been used as a treatment for thyroid disorders. Thyroxin (T4) and Tri-iodothyronine (T3) have been found as the main organically bound iodine compounds in several seaweeds.

Irish Moss has a high concentration of iodine and selenium: both crucial factors in thyroid hormone production.

Immune Support

Irish Moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve catarrhs (inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes), which cause congestion. It contains compounds which act as a natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to boost immunity and get rid of infections.

Irish Moss also has an abundance of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and amino acids, which boosts your immune health and prevents cellular damage.

Mental Health

Irish Moss packs a ton of potassium, which is a vital nutrient for mental and emotional health. High-potassium foods are proven to be helpful for fibromyalgia, moodiness, agitation, depression and anxiety disorders, and can improve behaviour and mental functioning.

Vitamin B vitamins are also found in Irish Moss, which are known for reducing stress and aiding the nervous system.

Digestive and Skin Health

Irish Moss  has a mucilaginous consistency, meaning it can help act as a soothing and healing agent to all mucous membranes (great for external skin health and for boosting collagen and internal digestive tract health).

How to Use Irish Moss

Irish Moss can be used in many different recipes, especially as a Vegan stand-in for recipes requiring eggs or gelatin. It has a strong sea-flavour, so use it in small amounts while you get the hang of using it! Here are some standard uses:

  • Ice Cream
  • Pudding
  • Cream pie
  • Meringue
  • Whipped cream
  • Salad dressing
  • Smoothies
  • Sauces
  • Blended soups
  • Nut cheeses

Where to Purchase Irish Moss

You can purchase our wild harvested Irish Moss directly from Upaya Naturals in 8oz or 5lb!


Moisture Is the Key to Healthy Skin for Children

image of waterThere are many forums and discussions, articles and videos, books and lectures that you can find on the subject of children and how to keep their skin healthy.  Even my own pediatrician has offered a myriad solutions.  What it really boils down to is a consistent effort by both parent and child to prevent dehydration an d maintain skin moisture.  Hydration must happen on the inside and on the outside as well.  Children must drink water, and they must moisturize skin.

If you live in an area where winter weather means indoor heating, you will really need to moisturize the air to counteract the drying effect from your home’s heating system.  Also remember to use an air filter to capture as many particles of dust and other irritants that can be blown around from heating ducts.  These are some simple and natural preventative steps to maintaining our children’s healthy skin moisturization.  However, it does not end there…we must do more.

Why is Skin So Important?

Skin is the largest organ of the body and all the skin on our bodies is not created equal.  Image of baby in waterLikewise, our internal body condition can result in specific issues, such as excema, cradle cap or diaper rash.  Whenever these appear, remember this formula:  Treat the problem internally, and externally together.  It is a two part process.  Internally means hydrate and eat healthy nutritious foods that have vitamins and antioxidants (all year round).  Externally means to apply moisturizing products.

Since store brand cleansers create the problem of over-drying, adding toxins to the surface of the skin, and potentially providing health risks, we recommend switching to handmade soaps.  MM has a line of handmade natural soaps to choose from.  To moisturize, try a thin coating or Sun Essence Baby Oil on the entire body after showering or bathing.  When towel-drying, just pat the skin and do not rub it.  Otherwise, if you can, air dry before applying the Sun Essence Baby Oil.  Do not put on clothing until the oil has fully absorbed, leaving the skin feeling soft but not greasy.  This will take about 5 minutes.

Ayurveda & Balance: Morning Routine

A few years ago we shared information about the Ayurvedic morning routine. With so many of us leading such busy lives–and feeling that time is being compressed–we thought it would be good to  revisit the age-old wisdom of living a balanced lifestyle. To this end, practicing consistency is a key to success. As Ayurvedic physician Vasant Lad suggests, “Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.” For this reason, routine is important for overall health.

Starting off your day with a consistent morning routine helps set the tone for the remainder of the day. We conferred with Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, best-selling author, Ayurvedic practitioner and motivational speaker. Here are a few Ayurvedic ‘rituals’ that we suggest:

1. Wake with the sun. Rising first thing in the morning with the sun sets our internal clock and initiates a calm mindset as we begin our day.

2. Drink a glass of water. Drink a glass of warm water. This helps cleanse the GI tract and flush kidneys.

3. Scrape your tongue. The oral cavity is the major gateway to the human body, and the mouth harbors a whole range of bacterial species. While we sleep, undigested food and toxic bacteria accumulate on our tongues. Tongue scraping first thing in the morning is key to removing this bio-burden and toxic buildup, and stimulates our internal organs. It ignites our digestion for the day.

4. Brush & floss. Use your Ionic Toothbrush to remove plaque quickly and efficiently to reveal a cleaner, whiter smile. Floss comfortably between your teeth with best-selling Smart Floss® or our new Activated Charcoal Floss with it’s refreshing burst of lemongrass.

5. Oil pull. Oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing or ‘pulling’ oil in your mouth for a period of time in order to pull toxins from the body. For full instructions and a visual on how to oil pull, check out this link.

6. Meditate. Find a comfortable seat on the floor or sit in a chair that you can routinely visit each morning around the same time. This routine will help encourage consistency in your meditation practice. 10 minutes or more of meditation each morning will help you de-stress, focus, and energize for whatever the day may bring.

What do you do during your morning routine? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


What’s a Dynapro? Possibly the best blender ever made.

Tribest has done it again by revolutionizing blending with it’s new Dynapro Commercial Vacuum Blender.  The Dynapro just raised the bar for Blendtec and Vitamix (there competitors) since they do not offer vacuum blending at the time this was written.

The Dynapro features a powerful 2.5 HP motor, integrated 4-spoke blending blade, a large 64 oz. container, and a vacuum blend option. The Dynapro Vacuum Lid is designed to work with the included handheld Vacuum Pump, to reduce oxidation by removing air before blending.  With less oxidation, you can enjoy more nutrients and enhanced flavors in your smoothies. The Dynapro’s blending container includes a unique thermochromatic ink raw temperature indicator that helps you maintain a raw temperature in your blend.  The blue mark changes to white at 118°F and above.


The Dynapro offers unparalleled convenience with 3 modes of operation: manual, countdown timer, and 3 one-touch preset buttons, as well as a variable speed dial for total control over your blend.


Upaya Naturals first saw this blender in action in the manufacturer’s hometown of Anaheim in April 2017 at the National Products Expo. We were amazed at the performance, versatility, power and options that came standard in this all in one blender – without having to buy additional jars and accessories like it’s competitors. For example you can make nut butters, grind seeds and coffee, blend smoothies, and make nut butters all with the same 64 oz jar.



Obviously, the coolest feature is that you have the option to take all the air out of the blender jar with a handy battery operated vacuum that is included. By pumping the air out you create a vacuum seal inside the jar which prevents oxygen from entering while blending.  This creates less air bubbles, less oxidation and provides 3x more nutrients compared to it’s non-vacuum competitors.   The blended fruit and green smoothies we made using the vacuum method came out vibrant in colour and stayed fresh way longer than standard high powered blenders.  You could taste the difference since there were less air bubbles and froth.   The juices stayed intact longer and did not separate or lose colour while sitting even after 3 days in a sealed container.

Dynapro Smoothie Oxidation Comparison

The vacuum seal and it’s pulse and blend combo feature also make it simple to make nut butters without having them stick to the jar’s side wall.  The vacuum seal also prevents the oils from oxidizing while blending.   It’s competitor like Blendtec require a separate jar for this and Vitamix requires you to stop the blender and scoop the food off the sidewalls since they don’t have a special jar for nut butters.

The other cool feature is that it has a temperature indicator on the jar that turns to white if the blended food reaches 118 deg F. or above.  This is great for the raw food community or anyone that wants to preserve enzymes and nutrients by making sure the food does not get too hot while blending.

We were also impressed with the 15 year manufacturer’s warranty for home use and 3 year manufacturer’s warranty for commercial use.

Don’t forget to write down the following coupon code to save $50 off your purchase of the Tribest Dynapro at Upaya Naturals – “DYNAPRO50”.


Save an additional

$50 off the Dynapro at Upaya Naturals

Coupon Code: DYNAPRO50

Coupon can not be combined with any other promo and is good for a limited time.

Picnic Fare

Picnic Fare!
Matt Amsden’s fabulous book entitled Rawvolution contains any
number of
terrific recipes that we’ve gone back to time and time again over the
last decade ….soups, pates, burgers, condiments , pizza, chili,
desserts and more…

Matt includes menu ideas for various
special occasions including
picnics. The following recipes are among our favorites. I hope you
enjoy them as much as we do!

A hearty
sunflower pâté with diced celery, scallions, dried dill, and dulse in a
creamy nut-based mayo.
For the salad:
– 3 cups of pre-soaked (2 to 4 hours) sunflower seeds, ground
– 3 to 4 celery stalks, diced ½ bunch green onions, diced
– 2 tablespoons dulse flakes
– 4 tablespoons dried dill
For the
– 1 ½ cups Thai coconut water
– 6 garlic cloves
– 1 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon sea salt
– 2 ½ cups raw macadamia nuts, cashews, pine nuts, or
– ½ cup stone ground mustard
1. In a large
mixing bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss to
thoroughly mix.
2. In a high-speed blender, combine all of
the dressing ingredients and thoroughly blend. Pour the dressing over
the salad, toss to mix well, and serve. Serving suggestions: Serve as
is, on a green salad, between 2 pieces of Onion Bread with stone-ground
mustard, or in a collard green or romaine lettuce leaf as a wrap.
Variations: For Mock Chicken
Salad, replace the dulse flakes and dried dill with 2
tablespoons each of dried thyme, oregano and sage.


1/2 TRAYS A delicious, soft flat bread that you won’t believe is made
using only five ingredients.
– 1 large
yellow onion
– 2 cups ground flax
– 2 cups ground sunflower seeds
– 3/4 cup wheat-free tamari
– 3/4 cups olive oil
1. Peel and halve the
onions. In a food processor, cut the onions using the slicing blade.
Transfer the cut onions to a
mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix until the
ingredients are thoroughly combined.
2. Evenly
spread 1 ½ cup of the mixture on a dehydrator tray with a Teflex sheet.
Dehydrateat 115° for 36 hours, removing the Teflex sheet after the
first 24 hours. Once dehydrated, cut into 9 equal pieces (2 cuts
horizontally; 2 cuts vertically).

A vibrant
yellow macadamia cream salad with diced celery, scallions and red bell
– ½ cup pure water ½ cup fresh lemon juice
– ½ tablespoon turmeric
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled
– ½ tablespoon sea salt
– 1 ½ cups raw cashews
– ⅓ cup chopped green onions
– ⅓ cup chopped celery
– ⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
1. In a blender,
combine the water, lemon juice, turmeric, garlic, sea salt, and
macadamia nuts and blend until smooth.
2. In a mixing
bowl, combine the contents of the blender with the green onions, celery
and bell peppers, mix well and serve.

Kernels of
fresh summer sweet corn cut from the cob and tossed with diced celery
and scallions in a creamy sauce.
For the salad:
– 3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob – 1 cup roughly chopped celery
– 1 cups green onion
– 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
For the
– 1/2 cup Thai coconut water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 3 Tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 Tablespoon salt
– 1 Tablespoon curry powder
– 1/4 cup raw cashews
1. In a mixing
bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss to mix thoroughly.
2. In a blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients
and blend until smooth. Pour over the salad, toss well to mix the
dressing with the greens, and serve.

Visit us at Upaya Naturals for more recipe books,
organic spices, nuts, seeds and other ingredients to make your healthy

Why Use Sulfate Free Shampoos? Understanding the Difference

Sulfates are found in more than 90% of modern-day shampoos and body washes.

You may think that something so ubiquitous can’t be all that harmful. In truth, sulfates are one of the most severe chemicals found in cosmetics and can be the cause of some pretty nasty side effects, including dryness, brittle strands, itchy skin and dull, lifeless hair.shampoopic

Understanding the basics:

Sulfate, in general terms, is a name for any mineral salts that contain sulfur, most commonly found in the form of detergents. The two most widely used sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These chemicals can be easily identified as the suds and foam that build as you lather shampoo into your hair.

Sulfates exist in shampoos to remove the naturally occurring oil produced by your hair and scalp known as sebum. Sebum with time can accumulate bacteria, which is why it needs to be washed every so often.  Sulfates, however, are a corrosive agent that not only strip away more oil than necessary but also damage the hair, destroying hairs’ protective barriers. Sulfates are even strong enough to be found in industry-strength cleaners and have been shown to cut through heavily soiled surfaces.

So are sulfates bad for my hair?

The simple answer is: yes. In minor doses, sulfates can be relatively harmless to your hair and scalp. But since sulfates are found in shampoos and cosmetic products, which are intended to be used daily, some nasty side effects begin to manifest after repeated washes.

Here are 6 reasons to avoid sulfates:

  1. Hair loss: Follicular damage is one of the most common side effects of persistent sulfate use. Damaged follicules have a harder time holding on to hair, which can lead to hair loss.folicle-pic
  2. Scalp and skin irritation: More sensitive scalps can be agitated by sulfates, leading to tender skin, redness, dryness and itching. This is because sulfates strip away the protective lipids (natural fats) that otherwise protects the hair.
  3. Dull and lifeless hair: As sulfates corrode hair, the strands become porous, which manifests as a faded color and an overall dull, lifeless appearance.
  4. Toxic byproducts: One of the byproducts of manufacturing SLES is 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. And while manufactures try to remove this compound, only a certain degree can actually be cleaned, meaning some gets left in the  final shampoo.
  5. Environmentally unconscious: Most industry sulfates are produced from petrolatum, a costly and non-renewable resource.
  6. Unnecessary: Harsh suds are not the only way to clean hair; there are many safer alternatives that cleanse hair without breaching our hairs’ natural protective barriers.


So are sulfates the end of the world?

When it comes to sulfates in cosmetic shampoos, there is no need for dramatics. But there is a need to be more conscious about the ingredients found in the shampoos we use on an everyday basis.

Choosing a sulfate free shampoo is a step towards breaking the cycle of sulfates stripping away your natural oils and your scalp hastily trying to make up the difference. Overtime, as the hair and scalp adjust to gentler cleansers, sebum is produced at a more natural rate. With time and healthier choices, you can enjoy more natural hair that not only looks healthier but is healthier.


Written by Colin Keane

Colin is cat lover and recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied English literature and communication. In his free time, he dances ballroom competitively

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide


At Upaya Naturals, we handpicked perfect healthy living gift guide for you. This will help you and your loved ones live well this holiday season and welcome the new year.

Without implying anything, these healthy living gifts are highly recommended PLUS you can take advantage of up to 20% off our entire store until December 25th , 2016.

Equip your Kitchen for making the most delicious smoothies to vigorous salads to energetic raw food dishes. From new products to clearance corner, you have a range to select from.

Here are a few ideas for your loved ones:

  1. Omega NC800HDS – Our Number One Selling Juicer
  2. Blendtec High Powered Blenders – Many models to choose from to fit your budget
  3. Humio Humidifier – Cool Mist and Trendy Styling with Night Light
  4. Nut Butters – large variety to choose from. From pecan, hazelnut, brazil, walnut + more
  5. Chocolates – Hand Crafter Artisan Chocolates in a variety of flavours
  6. Gift Certificates – makes a simple and excellent gift. You can choose the amount.

Inspiring Quote of the day:

“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” Marilu Henner, Actor and Author

Stay warm, healthy, and happy Holidays!

With best wishes.

The Upaya Naturals Team

26 Scientific Studies on Avocado



Native to South America and the Caribbean, the avocado tree produces a fruit that is actually a large egg-shaped berry with a sizable seed at its center. Its use among pre-Incan and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures has been dated to about ten thousand years ago by archaeologists. The Aztecs considered avocado to be a fertility booster.

Though dozens of avocado cultivars are harvested, the Hass cultivar accounts for three-fourths of all avocados consumed. Mexico remains by far the biggest producer. Avocados contain much more potassium than bananas, are high in monounsaturated fats and B vitamins, and have a high fiber content. They have proven health benefits in many areas, particularly in lowering levels of harmful LDL and triglycerides and raising levels of beneficial HDL.


AV119, a Natural Sugar from Avocado gratissims, Modulates the LPS-Induced Proinflammatory Response in Human Keratinocytes. Donnarumma G, Paoletti I, Buommino E, Et al. Inflammation. 2010 Oct 9 (Epub ahead of print). Key Finding: “Our data show that AV119, a patented blend of avocado sugars, is able to modulate significantly the proinflammatory response in human keratinocytes, blocking the NF-kB activation in human keratinocytes.”


Hypoglycemia and hypocholesterolemic potential of Persea Americana leaf extracts. Brai BI, Odetola AA, Agomo PU. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):356-60. Key Finding: “These results suggest that aqueous and methanolic leaf extracts of P. Americana (avocado) lower plasma glucose and influence lipid metabolism in hypercholesterolemic rats with consequent lowering of T-CHOL and LDL-CHOL, and a restoration of HDL-CHOL levels. This could represent a protective mechanism against the development of atherosclerosis.

Cancer (oral; prostate)

Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Ding H, Han C, Guo D, Chin YW, Ding Y, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):348-56. Key Finding: “Avocados have a high content of phytochemicals with potential chemo preventive activity. Previously we reported that phytochemicals extracted from avocado meat selectively induced apoptosis in cancer but not normal, human oral epithelial cell lines. In the present study, we observed that treatment of human oral cancer cell lines containing high levels of reactive oxygen (ROS) with D003 increased ROS levels twofold to threefold and induced apoptosis. These data suggest that perturbing the ROS levels in human oral cancer cell lines may be a key factor in selective apoptosis and molecular targeting for chemoprevention by photochemical.”

Chemoproventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):386-94. Key Finding: “Our recent studies indicate that phytochemicals extracted with chloroform from avocado fruits target multiple signaling pathways and increase intracellular reactive oxygen leading to apoptosis. This review summarizes the reported phytochemicals in avocado fruit and discusses their molecular mechanisms and targets. These studies suggest that individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention.”

Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30. Key Finding: “Avocado contains numerous bioactive carotenoids. Because the avocado also contains a significant amount of monounsaturated fat, these bioactive carotenoids are likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the significant cancer risk reduction associated with a diet of fruits and vegetables.”

An avocado constituent, persenone A, suppresses expression of inducible forms of nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase in macrophages, and hydrogen peroxide generation in mouse skin. Kim OK, Murakami A, Takahashi D, Nakamura Y, Torikai K, Kim HW, Ohigashi H. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Nov;64(11):2504-7. Key Finding: “This study suggests that persenone A, an avocado constituent, is a possible agent to prevent inflammation-associated diseases including cancer.”

Cholesterol (and Hypercholesterolemia)

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) size and composition are modified in the rat by a diet supplemented with “Hass” avocado (Persea Americana Miller). Perez-Mendez O, Garcia Hernandez L. Arch Cardiol Mex. (Spanish). 2007 Jan-Mar;77(1):17-24. Key Finding: “The inclusion of avocado in the diet decreased plasma triglycerides increased HDL-cholesterol plasma levels and modified HDL structure. The latter effect may enhance the antiatherogenic properties of HDL.”

Effects of a vegetarian diet vs. a vegetarian diet enriched with avocado in hypercholesterolemic patients. Carrznza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, Alvizouri-Munoz M, Alvarado-Jimenez MR, Chavez-Carbajal F. Arch Med Res. 1997 Winter;28(4):537-41. Key Finding: “All three diets reduced HDL levels. To obtain beneficial effects on lipid profile with avocado, lower amounts of carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fatty acids are probably needed.”

Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Lopez LR, Frati Munari AC, Hernandez Dominguez BC, Cervantes MS, Hernandez Luna MH, Juarez C, Moran LS. Arch Med Res. 1996 Winter;27(4):519-23. Key Finding: “High lipid, high MFA-avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia (combined hyperlipidemia) is present.”

Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype II and IV dyslipidemias. Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado MR, Chavez F, Gomez M, Herrera JE. Arch Inst Cardio Mex. (Spanish). 1995 Jul-Aug;65(4):342-8. Key Finding: “Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids in diets designed to treat hypercholesterolemia with some advantages over low-fat diets with a greater amount of carbohydrates.”

Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. Key Finding: “Adding avocado fruit can significantly enhance carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa, which is attributed primarily to the lipids present in avocado.”


Cardiovascular effects of Persea Americana Mill (Lauraceae) (avocado) aqueous leaf extract in experimental animals. Ojewole JA, Kamadyaapa DR, Gondwe MM, Moodley K, Musabayane CT. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2007 Mar-Apr;18(2):69-76. Key Finding: “The findings of this study tend to suggest that P. Americana leaf could be used as a natural supplementary remedy in essential hypertension and certain cases of cardiac dysfunctions.”

Effect of an avocado oil-rich diet over an angiotensin II-induced blood pressure response. Salazar MJ, El Hafidi M, Pastelin G, Ramirez-Ortega MC, Sanchez-Mendoza MA. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):335-8. Key Finding: “Avocado oil-rich diet modifies the fatty acid content in cardiac and renal membranes in a tissue-specific manner. Diet content can be a key factor in vascular responses.”


A potential role for avocado and soybean based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. Dinubile NA. Phys Sportsmed. 2010 Jun;38(2):71-81. Key Finding: “Basic scientific research studies and a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available high-quality randomized clinical trials indicate that 300 mg of avocado and soybean unsaponifiables per day (with or without glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.”

Symptomatic efficacy of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in osteoarthritis (OA) patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Apr;16(4):399-408. Key Finding: “Based on the available evidence, patients may be recommended to give avocado/soybean unsaponifiables a chance for e.g., 3 months. Meta-analysis data support better chances of success in patients with knee OA than in those with hip OA.”

Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Angermann P. Ugeskr Laeger (Danish). 2005 Aug 15;167(33):3023-5. Key Finding: “These studies indicate that ASU has an effect on the symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis but not on the structural changes caused by osteoarthritis.”

Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis—a systematic review. Ernst E. Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;22(4-5):285-8. Key Finding: “The majority of rigorous trial data available to date suggest that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables is effective for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis.”

Structural effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on joint space loss in osteoarthritis of the hip. Lequesne M, Maheu E, Cadet C, Dreiser RL. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Feb;47(1):50-8. Key Finding: “Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables significantly reduced the progression of joint space loss as compared with placebo in the subgroup of patients with advanced joint space narrowing.”

Symptoms modifying effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in knee osteoarthritis. A double-blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study. Appelboom T, Schuermans J, Verbruggen G, Henrotin Y, Reginster JY. Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(4):242-7. Key Finding: “The efficacy of ASU at a dosage of 300mg/day and 600mg/day was consistently superior to that of placebo at all endpoints, with no differences observed between the two doses.”

Modification of articular cartilage and subchondral bone pathology in an ovine meniscetomy model of osteoarthritis by avocado and soya unsaponifiables (ASU). Cake MA, Read RA, Guillou B, Ghosh P. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2000 Nov;8(6):404-11. Key Finding: “These findings support other studies which have proposed that avocado and soya unsaponifiables may exhibit disease-modifying anti-osteoarthritis activity.”

The possible ‘chondroprotective’ effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado and soya in vivo. Khayyal MT, el-Ghazaly MA. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1998;24(1):41-50. Key Finding: “An experimental in vivo model for studying cartilage destruction has been used to study the possible chondroprotective effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado, soya and their combination. The unsaponifiables of both avocado and soya significantly reduced the degenerative changes induced by the granuloma tissue on the implanted cartilage in control animals. The effect was even more marked when animals were treated with the combination of the two unsaponifiables at a 1:2 ratio.”

Efficacy and safety of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. A prospective, multicenter, three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Blotman F, Maheu E, Wulwik A, Caspard H, Lopez A. Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1997 Dec;64(12):825-34. Key Finding: “One of the objectives of symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis is to reduce the need for drugs with a less favorable safety profile, mainly analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables reduced the need for these drugs in patients with primary femorotibial or hip osteoarthritis. The functional index showed a significantly greater improvement in the active (avocado/soybean) group.”


Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Stucker M, Memmel U, Hoffmann M, Hartung J, Altmeyer P. Dermatology. 2001;203(2):141-7. Key Finding: “The results of this clinical trial provide evidence that the recently developed vitamin B (12) cream containing avocado oil has considerable potential as a well-tolerated, long-term topical therapy of psoriasis.”

The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. Key Finding: “The effects of various avocado oils on collagen metabolism in skin were studied in growing rats. Rats fed the unrefined avocado oil extracted with hexane from the intact fruit, its unsaponifiables or the avocado seed oil, showed significant increases in soluble collagen content in skin.”


Natural remedies for schleroderma. Gaby AR. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):188-95. Key Finding: Avocado/soybean extract is a promising natural treatment for scleroderma, an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue characterized by fibrosis and thickening of various tissues.


Wound healing activity of Persea Americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Nayak BS, Raju SS, Chalapathia Rao AV. J Wound Care. 2008 Mar;17(3):123-6. Key Finding: “Avocado oil is rich in nutrient waxes, proteins and minerals, as well as vitamins A, D and E. It is an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged or chapped skin. This study aimed to evaluate the wound-healing activity of fruit extract of Persea Americana in rats. Rate of wound contraction, epithelialization time, together with the hydroxyproline content and histological observations, supports the use of Persea Americana in the management of wound healing.”

source: Lindsay Johnson, Hippocrates Health Institute