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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics


(Persea Americana)

"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Avocado Description
  • Avocado Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Avocado Oil Overview
  • Avocado Dosage Information
  • Avocado Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Avocado Supplements & Products

  • Avocado Oil



    Native to Central America, the Avocado (Persea americana) is harvested mainly for its fruit in such places as Israel, Spain, and South Africa.

    The early Spanish explorers recorded its cultivation from Mexico to Peru. In 1601 the Avocado was taken to southern Spain. Avocados received their name from the Spanish explorers who could not pronounce the Aztec word for the fruit, known as Ahuacatl, "testicle," because of its shape. The Aztecs considered the Avocado the "fertility fruit". During the Avocado's harvesting season, Aztecs would lock up the virgin daughters to protect them. The Spanish instead called them Aguacate, leading to the word Guacamole. They were introduced to Mauritius (island nation off the coast of Africa) in 1780. It spread in Asia mostly in the mid-19th Century.

    It is an evergreen tree growing to 70 feet tall with dark green leathery leaves and greenish-yellow flowers. The fruit is picked when fully grown and the leaves are harvested as needed. The Avocado is a large fleshy pear shaped berry. It has a single large seed surrounded by buttery pulp and a hard skin. It is yellowish-green to maroon and purple in color. It is shallow-rooted and there are no visible root hairs. An average Avocado tree produces about 120 Avocados a year.



    Throughout the Aztec Empire, Avocado was used as both a food and medicine. All parts of the tree were used for medicinal purposes.

    Native Guatemalans have long used the Avocado to stimulate hair growth, repel worms, and treat diarrhea. In some parts of Africa, the fruit pulp is often used as a baby food. Avocado is rich in potassium and vitamins B-6 and E, which can help in relieving stress and sexual problems, such as infertility and impotence. Many believe that Avocados are fattening; however, their nutritional value, calorie for calorie, is hard to match. This fruit also contains a high amount of mono-unsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which makes it one of the most powerful antioxidant foods you can eat. The oleic acid offers protection against heart disease, strokes, and cancer. The fats are also easily digestible and contain anti-fungal and antibacterial actions that, when pureed, make an excellent food for invalids, convalescents and sick children. There is some evidence to suggest that the fruit can also help lower cholesterol.

    Avocado leaves and bark are used to treat diarrhea, gas, and bloating, as well as to relieve coughs, liver obstructions, and clearing out uric acid. They can also stimulate menstruation. The rind can expel worms. Externally, the Avocado fruit soothes the skin and helps heal wounds.


    Avocados are high in sterols (also called plant steroids), these sterols are considered to reduce age spots, help heal sun damage and scars. It is the sterols in the Avocado Oil that helps to soften the skin and leaves a superior moisturizing effect. For this reason it is an ideal ingredient to include for people with dehydrated, sun or climate damaged skin and undernourished. It assists in the regeneration and rejuvenation of the skin by being a good moisturizer and nourishing compound. By being both of these it softens the skin very well.

    In studies done it has been found that the Avocado oil extremely increases the amount of collagen in the skin, which normally is under attack, as we grow older. Avocado oil is easily absorbed into our deep tissue, because of this mature skin finds this oil ideal. This oil is also wonderful for people with Psoriasis and those suffering from Eczema. It is said to relieve the itching and flaking of both.

    Avocado Oil


    Avocado Oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado).

    As a food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, and as a cooking oil. It is also used for lubrication and in cosmetics where it is valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties.

    It has an unusually high smoke point, both unrefined and especially when refined. The smoke point of the refined form is 520°F (271°C). Avocado Oil functions well as a carrier oil for other flavors. It is high in monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E. Because the avocado is a year-round crop, some olive oil processing facilities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, process olive oil during the olive season, and avocado oil during the rest of the year.

    As a culinary oil, Avocado Oil compares well with olive oil. Like olive oil, avocado oil is one of few edible oils not derived from seeds; it is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit.


  • Botanical Name: Persea Americana
  • Origin: Kenya
  • Extraction: Cold Pressed / Unrefined
  • Shelf Life: 2 years recommended
  • Kosher Certified: No

  • Notes: This particular variety of Avocado Oil has a relatively high viscosity and is a marketed as high-oleic. Because of the relatively unstable nature of this oil it is recommended that you use the material as soon as you receive it, and store away from heat and light. Refrigeration is recommended but not required.

  • The Avocado Oil offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is unrefined and is very dark in color and is suitable for food and cosmetic use.


  • Color: Dark Green
  • Odor: Characteristic
    • Free Fatty Acids- 0.85
      Peroxide Value- 2.8
      Non-Saponifiables- 0.69
      Saponification Value- 198.5
      Iodine Value- 82.11
      Specific Gravity- 0.913
      Chlorophyll- 18 ppm
      pH- 4.22

    Fatty Acids
      Linoleic- 9.8%
      Linolenic- 0.7%
      Oleic- 63.0%
      Palmitic- 15.8%
      Palmitoleic- 4.7%

    The above product information description was obtained from Mountain Rose Herbs regarding their products. For other manufacturers, merchants and vendors, consult individual product label description.

    By John Birkbeck


    A large body of scientific evidence supports a move from the traditional Western diet, rich in saturated fat and sugars, to one similar to that consumed in the Mediterranean area, as being more healthful. Avocado Oil has a composition closely resembling olive oil and can be directly substituted for it in a healthful cuisine.

    Cold pressing of avocados produces very high-quality oil with very low levels of acidity and oxidation products whilst retaining the vitamin E content. (Eyres et al 2001)

    Avocado Oil has very desirable qualities as a food oil, but does it bring health benefits? While there may well be constituents not yet explored, several have defined health effects. The oil is very similar to olive oil, which is a basis of the healthful Mediterranean diet, the key similarity being that Avocado oil is very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and extremely low in saturated fat. It also contains no cholesterol.


    An elevated level of blood (low density lipoprotein, LDL) cholesterol is an established risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). This led to the popular media describing it as the "Bad" cholesterol. Early work in the 1950s suggested that diets rich in fat and cholesterol were associated with the rising prevalence of this disease. The Framingham population study identified raised blood cholesterol levels [now known to be LDL] as one of the major risk factors.

    It was broadly believed that saturated fats raised blood (LDL) cholesterol levels, polyunsaturates [later changed to omega-six polyunsaturates] reduced those levels, and monounsaturates were neutral.

    Subsequent work showed that this was not correct, and that monounsaturates actually did lower LDL cholesterol. A variety of hypotheses were formed. Although ultimately a whole host of potential candidate components of the diet were described, the fact that the main fat component, olive oil, was predominantly a monounsaturated fat was a probable explanation. A diet proportionally high in monounsaturates has also been recently proposed as suitable for diabetics so long as other factors such as exercise and sufficient fruit and vegetables are included in the so called Mediterranean protocol.

    Table 1: Fatty Acid Composition of Food Oils

    Food Stats MUFA (oleate) Linoleate a-linolenate
    Avocado Oil 13.4 72 9 0.5
    Olive Oil 17.3 66.8 11.8 0.6
    Peanut Butter 21.6 51.6 26.2 -
    Maize Oil (Corn Oil) 17.2 28.7 47.8 1.5
    Canola Oil 7.8 58.2 20.8 10.1
    Wheat Germ Oil 20.1 15.4 53.6 10.4
    Almonds 8.3 70.9 19.1 0.5
    NB Avocado is even lower than olive in saturated fatty acid content
    MUFA abbreviated form of monounsaturated fatty acids

    Substitution of monounsaturates for saturates even without a change in total fat will result in a substantial reduction in LDL cholesterol level.


    Food cholesterol is absorbed into the body along with other food lipids, but some of it is excreted back into the intestine in the bile, along with cholesterol-derived compounds called bile acids. These various sterols can then be reabsorbed further down the intestine, forming an excretion/reabsorption cycle.

    A considerable number of such phytosterols have been studied, as they are quite widely distributed in plant foods. Quantitatively the most significant has been beta-sitosterol, but campesterol and stigmasterol are also present in many foods. Phytosterol content of several foods is given in Table II.

    Table II: Beta-Sitosterol Levels of Plant Oils

    Range %
    Typical %
    Avocado Oil
    0.4 - 0.9
    Saw Palmetto
    0.2 - 0.5
    Olive Oil
    0.2 - 0.3
    Sterol Spread

    In almost all people phystosterols are nontoxic. Safety studies on phytosterols by various regulatory agencies show that there are no significant safety issues even with more than 2 grams per day intake.

    Absorbed sitosterol has beneficial effects in increasing plasminogen activation [which is depressed by cholesterol], and also seems to enhance conversion of linoleate to other essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. These effects are likely to have a beneficial effect on risk of CHD.


    Sitosterol has been used in the management of a variety of other conditions, notably benign prostatic hypertrophy as carried out in a trial reported in The Lancet and in fact is the basis of drugs sold in Germany for this purpose. There is evidence that phytosterols may reduce the risk of prostate cancer at least in animal models.


    Vitamin E actually represents a mixture of at least eight compounds, called tocopherols and tocotrienols.

    Several studies, especially a longitudinal one involving tens of thousands of subjects, reported there was a clear negative correlation between dietary vitamin E intake and risk of coronary heart disease. The reduction of risk was around 30 to 40 percent. Among those taking supplements, there was a greater benefit except for those at the highest levels, where there was less benefit.

    It is well known that Vitamin E plays a role in aiding skin appearance and it is interesting and logical to speculate that a healthy oil diet containing this vitamin will assist in having a good complexion!


    One aspect of food oils, which is often forgotten, is the propensity to being oxidized. Polyunsaturated fatty acids especially are prone to air oxidation. The adverse sensory properties of oxidized lipids has led to a need to add artificial antioxidants to some seed oils, although any benefit is often negated by exposing them to light in clear containers. Oils should optimally be sold in dark bottles, with instructions to store in the dark, and preferably kept under nitrogen until used.

    It is not widely recognized however that lipid oxidation products have adverse health effects as well. Indeed a major defense system in the body works hard to prevent lipid oxidation whether that be lipids in cell structures or in the circulation.

    New Zealand Avocado Oil has very low peroxide values, indicating that there has been very little oxidation, and is bottled under nitrogen in dark bottles.


    Virgin Avocado Oil is distinctly green due to a high chlorophyll content (40 to 60 mg / kg). While this might pose a risk of oxidative effects when exposed to light, earlier moves to decolorize the oil showed that consumers like the presence of chlorophyll, which is credited with health benefits. The rich color of the Avocado Oil is due to a combination of the chlorophyll and lutein.


    Avocado Oil, when carefully prepared and stored, contains components which can bring many health benefits, while also providing the sensory and culinary benefits expected of a food oil. The oil because of its nutritional benefits is an excellent contributor to a healthy and balanced diet and is of particular benefit in diets which help to prevent coronary heart disease, diabetes and possibly prostrate problems.

    Dr. John Birkbeck is Professor of Nutrition at Massey University (previously Otago) and has been seen as an expert in his field for many years.


  • Gey KF, Brubacher GB and Stahelin HB: Plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins in relation to ischemic heart disease and cancer. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45:1368-1377.
  • Watts GF, Lewis B, Brunt JNH, Lewis ES, Coltart DJ, Smith LDR, Mann JI and Swan AV: Effects on coronary artery disease of lipid-lowering diet, or diet plus cholestyramine, in the St Thomas' Atherosclerosis Regression Study (STARS). Lancet 1992;339:563-569.
  • Kromhout D: Diet and cardiovascular diseases. J Nutr Hlth and Aging 2001;5:144-149.
  • Eyres L, Sherpa N and Hendriks G: Avocado oil: a new edible oil from Australasia. Lipid Technol 2001;Vol 13, no 4:84-88.



    Besides eating Avocado as a fruit, Avocado and Avocado oil comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products.

    For best results, read and follow product label directions. If you have any questions please ask your health care provider.



    Avocado is generally regarded as safe as it has long since been used as a food.

    Research has shown that the Bark and the Leaves of the plant are not safe for Pregnant women or women that are nursing, consult your health care provider before using.


  • Avocado Herbal Products

  • Avocado Herbal-Carrier Oil Products




    HerbsPro: Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask, Freeman, 6 oz. (96537)
    HerbsPro: Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Shampoo, Earth Science, 8 oz. (109271)
    HerbsPro: 2Chic Avocado & Olive Ultra-Moist Shampoo, Giovanni Cosmetics, 8.5 oz. (109271)
    HerbsPro: 2Chic Avocado & Olive Ultra-Moist Conditioner, Giovanni Cosmetics, 8.5 oz. (109265)


    Kalyx: Avocado (Persea americana) Leaf Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF
    Kalyx: Avocado Leaf Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF
    Kalyx: Avocado Leaf Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
    Kalyx: Avocado (Persea americana) Fruit Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF
    Kalyx: Avocado Fruit Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF
    Kalyx: Avocado Fruit Powder, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB

    Kalyx: Avocado (Persea americana) Fruit Powder Extract 4:1, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF
    Kalyx: Avocado Fruit Powder Extract 4:1, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): RF


    Amazon: Avocado Fruit & Gourmet Grocery Food Products
    Amazon: Avocado Oil, Organic Cold Pressed, Grocery & Gourmet Products
    Amazon: Cold Hardy Avocado Trees, Outdoor & Patio

  • Aromatherapy: Avocado Herbal Oil Information
  • Nutrition Basics: Avocado Herbal Information



    Mountain Rose Herbs: Avocado Oil (Persea Americana), Certified Organic Bulk Carrier & Vegetable Oils
    Metod of extraction is cold pressed and unrefined. This ultra rich organic oil is a delightful treasure containing high amounts of Vitamin A, B-1, B-2, D, and E. Also contains amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin, and other essential fatty acids. Highly prized to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments and our variety makes a lovely salad oil for dressings and condiments. Highly recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin and other irritations that require vitamin rich oil. Now Fair Trade Certified.


    Starwest Botanicals: Avocado Oil, Unrefined, 4 fl. oz.
    Starwest Botanicals: Avocado Oil, Unrefined, 16 fl. oz.
    Starwest Botanicals: Avocado Oil, Unrefined, 1 gallon


    HerbsPro: Avocado Oil, Refined, Now Foods, 4 fl. oz. (67743)
    Avocado oil is an all-natural oil derived from American avocados. Vegetable derived oils date back to ancient times, when they were mixed with fragrant herbs to create traditional ointments. Avocado oil is a nutrient-rich oil that contains Amino Acids, Proteins and Vitamins A, D and E. Heavier in texture than many other vegetable derived oils, Avocado Oil moisturizes and softens even dry, cracked skin and increases elasticity. It is also a great massage oil with no greasy residue.
    HerbsPro: Avocado Oil, Aura Cacia, 4 fl. oz. (13847)
    For external use only, either to dilute your favorite essential oil or as a stand-alone product to aid in soothing the skin. Do not use in foods.
    HerbsPro: Avocado Carrier Oil, Natures Alchemy, 4 fl. oz. (35146)
    Avocado oil is prized for its rich, nourishing qualities for the skin. 100% pure Avocado Oil, expeller pressed. May be used as a massage or moisturizing oil by applying to the skin as desired. Fragrance free. If you choose you may add your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Keep oil in a cool, dry place to preserve freshness.
    HerbsPro: Avocado Beauty Oil, Hobe Labs, 4 fl. oz. (66084)
    Avocado Oil is a protein-rich moisturizer that is high in Vitamins A and E, plus potassium and other minerals. Excellent for dry skin and scalp problems. High antioxidant value improves skin elasticity and helps reduce fine lines. Product contains Avocado oil with Vitamin E.
    HerbsPro: Avocado Oil, Now Foods, 16 fl. oz. (95858)
    HerbsPro: Pure Avocado Oil, Life-Flo, 16 fl. oz. (92786)
    HerbsPro: Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Shampoo, Earth Science, 2 fl. oz. (109270)
    HerbsPro: Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Shampoo, Earth Science, 6 fl. oz. (109271)
    HerbsPro: 2Chic Ultra-Moist Avocado & Olive Oil Shampoo, Giovanni Cosmetics, 8.5 fl. oz. (109264)
    HerbsPro: 2Chic Ultra-Moist Avocado & Olive Oil Conditioner, Giovanni Cosmetics, 8.5 fl. oz. (109265)
    HerbsPro: 2Chic Ultra-Moist Avocado & Olive Oil Hair Mask, Giovanni Cosmetics, 8.5 fl. oz. (109266)
    HerbsPro: Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask, Freeman, 6 fl. oz. (96537)


    Kalyx: Avocado Pure Carrier Oil, Aura Cacia, 4 fl. oz.: K
    Kalyx: Avocado Beauty Oil, Hobe Labs, 4 fl. oz.: HF
    Avocado Oil is a protein-rich moisturizer that is high in Vitamins A and E, plus potassium and other minerals. Excellent for dry skin and scalp problems. High antioxidant value improves skin elasticity and helps reduce fine lines. Enhanced with natural Vitamin E to improve antioxidant stability. Cosmetic grade is best available.
    Kalyx: Avocado Oil, Refined, Starwest Botanicals, 4 fl oz: C
    Kalyx: Avocado Oil, Refined, Starwest Botanicals, 16 fl oz: C
    Kalyx: Pure Avocado Oil, Life-Flo, 16 fl oz: HF

    Kalyx: Avocado Oil, Refined, Starwest Botanicals, 1 Gallon: C
    Cosmetic and food grade oil. Avocados find their roots in Central America. Also known as Persea americana, the avocado was labeled the ''fruit of kings''. These luscious pear-shaped wonders are considered one of the most nutritious fruits on earth. That's because avocados contain at least 75 percent monosaturated fats. The edible pulp of the avocado, which surrounds the seed, contains from 8 to 30 percent of a non-drying oil. Oil is separated by dehydrating the pulp, then pressing. Avocado oil has a light, but unique flavor that makes it an excellent choice for salad dressings or for use as a condiment. Refined avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any plant oil (255°C), so it is useful for high heat cooking. It can be infused with lemon, rosemary, basil or chili. It is a good source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, which makes it nutritionally beneficial. This unique, nutty-flavoured oil may be used in whipped potatoes, drizzled over steamed vegetables, in vinaigrette dressings, for sautéing, soups ands stews. Premium avocado oil is cold-pressed much like olive oil and is rich in vitamins E, D and E, and known to lower LDL levels. Studies conducted show that avocado oil reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and prostate incidence. It is free of trans fatty acids and cholesterol-inducing fats. Avocado oil has a higher viscosity than olive oil, and texturally is more pleasant than all other oils. Medium to heavy weight oil suitable for massage. Use up to one-fourth to a cream or salve base. Contains vitamins A, B, and D and is rich in lecithin. Has beneficial effect on dry skin and wrinkles. Add to soap recipes for a more moisturizing bar. Try it in a gentle baby soap or maybe a shaving soap for true luxury! We often find avocado oil in expensive creams and lotions. Or, for the ultimate indulgence try a massage oil with avocado oil. This oil does not have a long shelf life.
    Kalyx: Avocado Oil, Refined, Starwest Botanicals, 5 Gallons: C


    Amazon: Avocado Oil, Organic Cold Pressed, Health & Personal Care Products
    Amazon: Avocado Oil, Organic Cold Pressed, Grocery & Gourmet Products

  • Aromatherapy: Avocado Herbal Oil Information
  • Nutrition Basics: Avocado Herbal Information

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    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
    Cajuput Oil
    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
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    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
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    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
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    Lemongrass Oil
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    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
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    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
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    Nutmeg Oil
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    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
    Patchouli Oil
    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil


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