Many people are familiar with the sweet, tropical fruit that comes from mango trees, but you may not realize that the leaves of mango trees are edible as well.
Young green mango leaves are very tender, so they’re cooked and eaten in some cultures. Because the leaves are considered very nutritious, they’re also used to make tea and supplements.
The leaves of Mangifera indica, a particular species of mango, have been used in healing practices like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Although the stem, bark, leaves, roots, and fruit are likewise used in traditional medicine, the leaves in particular are believed to help treat diabetes and other health conditions.
Many of the potential benefits of mango leaves result from mangiferin’s anti-inflammatory properties.
While inflammation is part of your body’s normal immune response, chronic inflammation can increase your risk of various diseases.
Animal studies suggest that mango leaves’ anti-inflammatory properties may even protect your brain from conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
In one study, mango leaf extract given to rats at 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (5 mg per kg) helped counteract artificially induced oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in the brain.
All the same, human studies are needed.
Mango leaves may have anti-inflammatory effects, which may even protect brain health. Still, research in humans is lacking.