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.    Antioxidants, which have many benefits, protect against harmful toxins and free radicals.  Loquat leaf also contains triterpenoid acids which help soothe redness and swelling.   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. 
2. Promotes Normal Blood Sugar
Support for blood sugar levels is another benefit offered by the triterpenes in loquat leaf.   One triterpene in particular, tormentic acid, encourages polysaccharide production – a necessary component of insulin production.  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.  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.  Other animal models have found that it helps to reduce sneezing and the effects of histamines.  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. 
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.  Similarly, the soothing benefits of loquat leaf can be had orally. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish uncomfortable, swollen gums. 
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. 
Supplementing with Loquat Leaf
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.