Some of the most impressive health benefits of albizia include its ability to relieve stress and anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, stimulate the circulatory system, reduce signs of aging, prevent certain chronic illnesses, help digestive issues, lower cholesterol, prevent respiratory distress, and eliminate inflammation in various parts of the body.
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What is Albizia?
The broad term albizia actually refers to a specific genus of tropical flowering trees that is made up of more than 150 species. The trees are native to Africa, Asia, Madagascar, America, and Australia, but it is an old genus, so when those landmasses were connected, the flowering trees dispersed, and are largely only present in Old World locations. The flowers are very beautiful, with bushy, lacy flowers that makes them very desirable as ornamental plants. However, more importantly, albizia species contain high concentrations of saponins, polyphenols, and triterpenoids, all of which have an important impact on human health. It is very common to find albizia as a part of Ayurvedic treatments in India, although the widespread publication of new research on albizia has given rise to renewed interest in the plant in other parts of the world as well.
Albizia can be applied both topically and internally through consumption, and in terms of the parts of the plant that can be ingested, there are beneficial compounds in the bark, fruit, leaves, flowers. Decoctions can also be made, which should be administered with more caution, as they are particularly potent. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at some of the important health benefits of albizia.
Health Benefits of Albizia
Health benefits of albizia include:
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
The unique combination of active components in albizia, including quercetin, isoquercetin, saponins, and polyphenols can have a rather strong impact on the hormonal and nervous systems in the human body. One of the oldest and most consistent uses of albizia is as a mild sedative that quickly alleviates feelings of stress and anxiety. For those suffering from chronic stress hormones in their body, albizia can help them find some peace and quiet in their own minds and finally relax!
In a similar vein to the health benefit above, albizia also improves mood by rebalancing hormones in the body and soothing the nervous system, which can often complicate hormonal levels. In fact, it has even been used by people feeling suicidal tendencies or experiencing irrational anger and thoughts. It has been known in ancient medicinal cultures as a spiritual herb that helps your anchor your soul and find peace.
If you suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia, a decoction of albizia may be just the ticket to a good night’s sleep. Beyond soothing the nerves and mind, it also calms the body and helps stimulate long-lasting restful sleep.
For those who suffer from asthma, allergies, or chronic respiratory conditions, albizia can significantly help by eliminating inflammation in those sinuses and tracts, thereby reducing the impulse to cough or wheeze. This can help to speed up recovery time and generally improve the health of your respiratory system, even in the midst of an asthmatic attack. In fact, it has been shown to reduce the effects of allergic antibodies so your allergic reactions are not nearly as severe.
With such a vast array of antioxidant compounds found in albizia, it’s no wonder that certain antioxidant properties have been linked to this plant. It is able to eliminate free radicals in the body, scavenging those dangerous byproducts before they can cause cell mutation or death. This helps to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, and even cancer.
Keeping the Skin Healthy
The antioxidant qualities of the bark and leaves of albizia also work on the outside of the body, and for those suffering from cutaneous conditions like rashes, blemishes, wounds, acne, or psoriasis, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds can quickly soothe those areas and reduce the appearance of blemishes and irritation.
Aids in Digestion
Albizia in a powdered form is often prescribed for those suffering from gastrointestinal issues. Similar to dietary fiber, the powder binds to water and the food material, thereby speeding up the digestion process and keeping your bowel movements regular.
Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Protecting the heart is always important, and albizia has a unique ability to lower cholesterol levels due to its impressive mixture of organic compounds and beneficial active ingredients. By lowering cholesterol, the cardiovascular system is protected from things like atherosclerosis, and in turn, strokes and heart attacks.
Arthritis and Gout
The anti-inflammatory activity of albizia is also used to eliminate the pain associated with gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. Applying a paste to affected joints and areas can quickly relieve swelling, and the sedative nature of the compounds can also eliminate pain.
A Final Word of Warning
Although this can be a very effective alternative for antidepressant pharmaceuticals, chronic depression can be a lifelong and dangerous battle. You should always consult a medical or psychological professional if you are suffering from thoughts of suicide or are experiencing chronic depressive symptoms. There is no known toxicity of albizia if taken in moderate amounts. It is not recommended for pregnant mothers due to its blood-circulating effects.