8 Benefits of Cassava Leaves for the Body
Netgenz - Health | Cassava or cassava (Manihot esculenta) is actually a plant native to South America. However, cassava is cultivated extensively in the tropics and subtropics. The core commodity is the tuber which is called a source of carbohydrates.
However, the leaves can also be eaten, lo! The common preparation is cassava leaf curry which is usually accompanied by processed rice fields. If smart to process it, the bitter taste can disappear.
Here are 8 Benefits of Cassava Leaves for the Body
1. Shows antibacterial activity
A study published in the International Journal of Microbiology in 2020 investigated the antibacterial activity of ethanol concentrate and highly active fraction of cassava leaves on medical isolates of Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis.
The anaerobic bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is believed to play an important role in the pathophysiology of the common skin disease acne vulgaris. Meanwhile, Staphylococcus epidermidis is commonly found on the skin and mucous membranes.
The results showed that the ethanol concentration of cassava leaves had antibacterial activity on the two bacteria. It is recommended that cassava leaves be developed into standardized anti-acne herbs.
2. Potential as an antioxidant
According to research published in the journal Current Biochemistry in 2016, it was found that cassava leaves have active flavonoid, phenolic compounds, and contain chlorophyll which is called a natural anti-oxidant. The role of anti-oxidants is to resist and delay various types of cell damage.
Based on phytochemical tests, cassava leaves contain flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and phenolics. Cassava leaf Simplicia methanol concentrate has potential as an anti-oxidant with an IC50 value of 92.10 mg/L.
Referring to the Online Journal of UPN Veteran Yogyakarta, a compound is said to be the strongest anti-oxidant if the IC50 value is less than 50, strong (50-100), moderate (100-150), and less strong (151-200). In short, the smaller the IC50 value, the higher the antioxidant activity.
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3. Contains many essential minerals
Citing his initial research, cassava leaves contain many important minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. The role of iron is to increase the body's immune mechanism, relieve fatigue, and cure anemia.
According to the Mayo Clinic, zinc helps with immune mechanisms and metabolic roles and is important for the treatment of injuries. Meanwhile, manganese plays a role in blood clotting, bone building, and reduces infection.
Copper helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, and nerves. Magnesium can reduce blood pressure and improve sleep quality. On the other hand, calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones.
For phosphorus, quoted by the Office of Dietary Supplements, as an element of bone, teeth, DNA, and RNA. Potassium regulates fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nerve signals. Finally, sulfur is needed to make and repair DNA and protect some cells from damage.
4. Shows antidiarrheal activity
Research published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine in 2015 found out whether cassava leaf ethanol concentrate can treat diarrhea. This study included Wistar rats who were given ethanol concentrate of cassava leaves in the amount of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg BW.
Some mice were given the drug antaramide and atropine sulfate. Apparently, cassava leaf concentrate with an amount of 200 mg/kg BW corresponds to atropine sulfate, which amounts to 5 mg/kg BW.
In summary, cassava leaf ethanol concentrate exhibited significant antidiarrheal activity by reducing intestinal fluid accumulation and gastrointestinal motility in Wistar rats.
5. Rich in flavonoids
In his initial research, it was found that cassava leaves contain flavonoids. According to WebMD, phytonutrients such as flavonoids have an anti-inflammatory effect and protect some cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease.
Based on research published in the International Journal of Food Properties in 2019, the total flavonoid in cassava leaves is 877.7 mg/100 g. It was obtained from extraction with 50% ethanol at a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius for four hours.
It can be concluded that cassava leaves have the potential to be food, medicine, or therapy to improve human health.
6. Can be used as a natural food coloring
Leaves contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. Many plants contain chlorophyll, including cassava leaves, pandan leaves, grass jelly leaves, suji leaves, to kale leaves. The leaves can be a natural food color because of their high chlorophyll content.
In a study published in the journal Pharmacoscript in 2020, it was found that cassava leaves had the highest overall chlorophyll content, which was 27,162 g/ml. The focus of ZnCl₂ which can maintain the color stability of chlorophyll is 0.3%.
On the other hand, research published in the Journal of Experimental and Agroindustrial Management in 2021, seeks to find out the type of solvent and the right maceration temperature to make cassava leaves as a natural color material. As a result, acetone solvent with a focus of 85% and a maceration temperature of 55 degrees Celsius is the most appropriate.
7. Prevent a decrease in serum albumin levels
Research published in the journal Medico-Legal Update in 2021 investigated the impact of cassava leaf concentrate on serum albumin content in mice that experienced hepatotoxicity (damage to the liver due to drugs or chemicals) due to gentamicin.
There are a large number of cassava leaf concentrates, namely 150, 300, and 450 mg/kg BW given for 14 days. As a result, cassava leaf concentrate was able to withstand the reduction of serum albumin content in hepatotoxic mice after gentamicin-induced.
What happens when the albumin content drops? Quoted by Healthline, it will be difficult to divert some important substances throughout the body. In fact, this substance plays an important role in keeping body fluids in check.
8. Potential in wound healing
Finally, cassava leaves are thought to have potential in the treatment of injuries. Research published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines in 2015 used two types of plants, namely African peach leaves and cassava leaves as a coarse concentrate.
For 21 days, the crude concentrate was applied to the tropical injuries of male Wistar rats suffering from type I diabetes. The injuries were made on the backs of rats by an excision system.
As a result, the crude concentrate showed an effective injury treatment activity with an increase in the collagen content. However, African peach leaf crude concentrate is more efficacious than cassava leaf concentrate in the treatment of injury in type I diabetic rats.